Your challenge, should you choose to accept it….
Today I want to talk to you about challenges… and I’m not talking about the random struggles we face on a day-to-day basis. (Did I turn off the hair straightener?… Can anybody help me open this dang jar?!?!) The challenges I have in mind are the ones that will help propel your business forward. But before we dive into biz challenges (and I share my own challenge results), let’s take a step back and uncover why brands use challenges in the first place.
How do challenges benefit brands?
They’re MAJOR traffic drivers.
Challenges are highly social, and with the right strategy, they can be highly shareable, too – generating lots of activity and attention.
You set the tone.
Because you design the challenge, it’s the *perfect* opportunity to give your audience a little taste of who you are and what your unique expertise and teaching style can do for them. This is your chance to let that personality shine!
Challenges set up the sale.
Your challenge is meant to attract people with a common need or goal that you can help them with. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you might run a 15-Day Body Bootcamp, encouraging participants to kickstart their weight loss goals… and get them excited about your next offering.
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What’s in it for your audience?
Motivation to accomplish something great in a short period of time.
The best challenges bring proven results in small windows of time. Challenges keep participants highly focused on their goals, while motivated and held accountable by the competition.
It’s FREE – the best price.
Free challenges are right up there on the Best Things Ever list. They offer boatloads of value, accountability, and motivation, at no cost. You literally have nothing to lose.
They get to test your expertise before deciding to pay for your services.
It’s nice to test-drive the car before you buy it, right? It turns out that this is true for professional services, too. How many leads do you think you lose to buyer hesitation? A chance to experience your work for free gives YOU a chance to convince them to stick around!
How to make your challenge THE BOMB DOT COM.
Make your content ultra accessible.
Position all of your challenge content to be enjoyable and easy-to-follow – even for someone totally new to your chosen topic. This will get you in front of more people with a need for your services.
Offer a great experience with different types of media.
Looking at the same exact designs or layouts over and over and over again can be boring. In fact, it gets old pretty fast. To keep your participants interested, use dynamic visuals and media in your content.
Give it an exciting, on-brand name!
Your challenge doesn’t have to be quite as literal as “The Ice Bucket Challenge.” Try including the desired outcome within the challenge name! Try out names with various challenge replacements, like Sprint, Workshop, Event, Bootcamp, Spree, Contest, Mission, Pursuit, Party, etc. Find the combination you like best!
Treat your challenge like a product or service launch.
Give your challenge participants the full experience by setting up landing pages, offering free training videos, and a friendly welcome email or orientation video. Short-term challenges are a great way to “spend some time” with your leads and earn their trust. Use that time wisely!
Time it perfectly.
To keep high engagement rates throughout your challenge, short timeframes work best. 15 or 30 days is too long to sustain excitement and interaction. While the most popular length for challenges is 5 days, I personally opt for 3 (plus a bonus, where I can find my most engaged prospects). If you wanted to, you could even run a 1-day challenge! Aim for a timeframe that’s long enough to see results but not so long that people get bored.
Shout it from the rooftops.
Offering free material is the ULTIMATE way to grow your audience. Tell everyone about your challenge! Rely on your network to help spread the word and set up ads to expand your reach. Start promoting no more than two weeks before the start date, so the challenge is fresh in their minds. Build hype by retargeting your audience with blog posts, videos, and other content about your upcoming challenge!
Now, here’s how to make your challenge to REALLY stand out…
Create an orientation video.
Anybody can create a welcome email, but a video? That goes the extra mile. In addition to proving how much you care about the quality of the experience, it’s a great opportunity to introduce yourself and put a face to your brand. An orientation video is a chance to remind them why they started, get them PUMPED and ready to roll, and let them know how to reach you with any questions.
Bring in guest experts.
Combining forces with another industry leader is a great way to build trust with your audience and keep them happy! Whether you co-host a webinar, feature a guest post on the blog, or hold an AMA sesh – your participants will appreciate the extra help.
Offer new deliverables each day.
To get the best results from a challenge, you’ll need to put in work every day. Encourage participants to see what they’re capable of by providing daily worksheets, assignments, or other content to keep their head in the game.
Up your engagement.
You’re the leader here, so set the expectation by regularly keeping the conversation going. Give daily prompts and ask questions to get to know your group better. You can even incentivize participation! (I offered prizes based on each person’s participation level. Every comment in the group counted as a unique entry for prizes.)
***For those of you looking to offer a similar incentive, prepare to manually count votes! It was a MASSIVE pain in the butt, but absolutely worth it. We had over 700 comments during the 3-day challenge period!
How could you possibly relate to your group better than by taking part in the challenge yourself? By participating alongside the rest of the group, you can share your unique experience with the group and help them to stay accountable in working towards their goals.
Include an exciting giveaway!
Everybody loves free stuff! Giveaways are a simple way to do a little something extra for your audience and encourage participation. There are an infinite amount of possibilities out there when it comes to prizes. Do some brainstorming to figure out what would work best for your business. What do your challenge-takers need? What would help them succeed in their goals?
Make it easy for participants to share and follow along with other challenge-takers.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful lead generators out there! By creating a custom hashtag, photo filters, or other shareable content throughout the challenge, you are giving participants an easy way to show off their progress (and spread the word).
Take advantage of the participation levels that come with short-term promotions.
Because short-term challenges only require participation for a limited number of days, you’re much more likely to see high levels of engagement than you would be with a longer campaign. Don’t underestimate the potential here. Tap into it and keep the conversation as lively as possible during the challenge window.
Ask for testimonials on the last day.
Requesting testimonials from your challenge participants is a sure-fire way to get awesome quotes for your sales page next time you run the challenge and you’ll get insanely valuable feedback about how you can optimize the experience in the future.
Still not fully convinced?
Take a look at the stats from my most recent Brand Trifecta challenge…
- 727 people signed up, costing me $4.09 per lead (including retargeting). The final conversion rate for the landing page was 56.97% (I told you people love free!)
- On the final day, I launched a sales webinar to sell my In Demand Brand course, which was watched 122 times. That’s an 11.5% watch-to-sale conversion rate.
- Overall, I spent $4,350 total running this challenge. 16 challenge participants signed up for my course, a 2% lead-to-sale conversion rate – bringing in $14,869 in total revenue.
As you can see, this challenge brought me sixteen new clients and I over tripled my financial investment! I am absolutely amazed by these stats, but I’m even more floored by some of the amazing feedback I got from my challenge participants…
“Kaye has put years of thought into the materials she shares with #brandtrifecta participants. I come across so many ‘freemium’ Facebook challenges that are little more than a long sales pitch with a free download. This one is very different – genuinely practical tools and access to a supportive network of fellow entrepreneurs. Loved it! Thank you.”
“I cannot say enough about the class act and high value that Kaye Putnam puts forth into her Brand Psychology work. Her archetype quiz and workbook helped me get clear on my website, which I can honestly say I am proud of. Despite being a nontechnical person, my site matched my vision. Secondly, the Brand Trifecta challenge went far beyond my expectations. Again, it was instrumental in helping my brand cohere and come alive, which I desperately need as I get closer to launching. Kaye is the ONLY person I would consider or recommend for branding and launching.”
“This did not feel like a free course. #brandtrifeca put so much thought into the content that you feel confident in where to start with your brand in just 3 days. If this mini course is like this, the full course has to be out of this world amazing. Thank you for offering this and giving us a jump start.”
It’s official. I’m in love with online challenges.
Let’s get yours started today! If you’re ready to kick off your own online challenge, I have the *perfect* resource just for you! Download your very own Challenge Inventory Checklist to kick off your planning.