I’ve always been a big fan of challenges — both running them and participating in them. As a participant, I love that they are short, actionable, and help me achieve a certain “win” in a specific period of time. As a business owner, I love that they are a fun and fast way to grow your email list and prime your audience to be ready to buy.
Right now, we’re in the middle of our second annual Double Your Summer Sales Challenge for our Business Class members, and I can tell you that the energy and excitement is contagious! As people start sharing their results, I love to see how just the little push of joining the challenge motivated them to make big strides forward in their businesses!
And I want you to experience that kind of growth as well! Interested in hosting a challenge of your own? I’m gifting you the exact emails I used for our 21-day list building challenge so that you can see exactly how I structured the challenge and the content and start to build your own! This valuable swipe file is normally only available inside Business class, but today you can click here to download it for free!
What is a challenge?
But let’s take a step back for a moment and define what we’re really talking about here. In our context, a challenge is usually a call to participate action you want your community to take, usually over a short, defined time period.
Throughout the challenge, participants focus on achieving one small, specific goal. For example, you might ask them to commit to drinking a green smoothie every day for 30 days, taking one action a day to build their list, or setting aside time to do strategic planning with you.
In order to join the challenge and play along, your audience must register — usually either by providing an email address or joining a group on social media. In exchange, you provide educational content, tips, support, and encouragement during the challenge itself.
So, a challenge is valuable to the audience because you’re offering them extra content (usually for free). But why is it valuable to your business?
5 Great reasons to host a challenge
Challenges are a fun and exciting way for you to promote your business, engage your current audience, grow your email list, and increase your sales. In fact, they can help you:
- Grow your list
Challenges create a sense of exclusivity, and people understand that they will need to give some of their information in order to participate. This means it’s an easy and awesome way to get people to join your email list.
TIP: In order to use a challenge to grow your list beyond your existing audience, you have to promote it to new people. Think about where and how you can promote the challenge to a new set of your ideal customer — or, think about how you can encourage your existing audience to invite their friends to join.
- Build community
Challenges create a natural sense of camaraderie and engagement. Everyone is going through the same thing at the same time, and can feel supported and engaged with a community.
TIP: It’s important to have a way for participants to communicate with each other, not just with you, whether that’s a specific space on social media (like a Facebook group) or a hashtag that everyone can follow. Consider making interaction (commenting, liking, encouraging) with other participants part of your challenge instructions.
- Build trust
One of the biggest barriers to sales is when people aren’t sure what they’re going to get from you — can they trust you to deliver results? A challenge offers participants an opportunity to try before they buy, so to speak. When they get a win in your free challenge, they are more likely to trust that you can deliver bigger results with a paid product.
TIP: When developing your challenge, focus on one very specific result you can help people achieve, and then put your best content out to help them achieve that one thing. Less is sometimes more!
- Encourage action
Challenges are naturally time-limited, meaning that there’s a certain amount of FOMO (fear of missing out) that compels people to join and participate. Because of that, challenges are a great way to get people to take action instead of just reading content. And once someone sees success with an action (no matter how small!) they are psychologically primed to want more, which could mean investing in going further with you.
TIP: Keep your challenge short to keep people engaged. More people will finish a challenge that lasts 5 or 7 days than one that lasts 30. Shoot for the smallest amount of time in which you can get them a real result.
- Prepare your audience to buy
As I’ve been alluding to above, challenges are a great way to get your audience primed to make a purchase. A success builds momentum that they’ll want to continue, and the experience of the challenge helps them get to know, like, and trust you enough to make a purchase.
TIP: When designing your challenge, think about how it will lead into your paid product. Make your paid product the natural, no-brainer next step in their journey to success.
Challenges are a win / win!
When done correctly, a challenge is a win/win for you and your audience, providing them with valuable information, support, and success and providing you with new leads who are primed and ready to do business with you.
Interested in getting a peek at what a successful challenge actually looks like? Then click here to download my 3 Week List Building Challenge Swipe File for the exact emails I used to host one of my most successful challenges!