The Most Important Thing You Need to Run a Successful Challenge

Inside Business Class, we’re in our last week of our second annual Double Your Summer Sales Challenge, and we’re getting some fantastic results!

I’ve done quite a few challenges for Business Class, including both a summer sales challenge and a holiday sales challenge, a list building challenge, and a live video broadcast challenge.  (All of which Business Class members can access and do on their own any time, by the way!)

Because of that, I’ve learned a few things about how to run a successful challenge. If you want an insider’s look at how I run my challenges, click here to download my 3 Week List Building Challenge Swipe File, a complete document containing all my actual emails from one of my most successful challenges ever!

But they all started with this…

The most important aspect of running a challenge

Challenges are a fun way to engage and grow a community, get new email leads, and prime people to be ready to buy from you. But they’re not a silver bullet. I’ve seen people launch what looked like a promising challenge idea, only to founder and not get the participation they wanted, or the sales they needed.

But why is that?

From what I’ve observed, it usually comes down to one big thing: Not having a clear purpose.

What do you hope to get out of running a challenge, and how will you tell if you’ve succeed? That’s the key question in both deciding if you want to run a challenge and deciding it to be a success.

That may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people decide to run a challenge and then don’t align the strategy with their goals.

So follow these steps to ensure that doesn’t happen to you:

Understand your purpose.

Running a challenge without understanding what you hope to gain by it is a waste of time and energy! Instead, decide on your purpose first: Do you want to grow your email list? Sell more of a product or program? Grow a group or community? Get publicity? Each of these is a valid purpose, but you will approach each a little differently when crafting your challenge.

For example, it’s completely possible to design and run a challenge that is very popular and gets you a lot of publicity and email sign-ups — but that isn’t aligned with what you sell, and therefore doesn’t result in a big bump in sales.

How will you measure success?

Once you’ve decided on your purpose, you need to decide how will you measure it? And the answer is: metrics. Some people think metrics are scary, but it really only means knowing your numbers.

For example, if your purpose in running a challenge is to add people to your email list in order to then sell them a program, the two metrics you need to focus on are email opt-ins and sales. Pretty simple!

The difficulties might lie when you have a more amorphous goal, like “getting publicity.” How will you measure publicity? By retweets? By how much your Facebook page likes grow? By how many press mentions you get?

Declare your goal

From there, you can declare a goal, which will help you understand if your challenge succeeds.

This might be a certain number of email addresses and a certain number of sales. Your goal should usually be a range, with the lower number the minimum you need to feel successful, and a higher, “stretch” goal that would totally knock your socks off.

You might set a goal that you want 500 new email sign ups, and 50 sales, and your stretch goal would be 1,500 signups and 150 sales! And anywhere in between is golden.

Your purpose and goals influence all your other choices

Once you have these vital things mapped out, you must let them influence all your other choices as you design and run your challenge.

As I mentioned above, it’s possible to have a popular challenge that doesn’t lead to sales. If sales is your goal, you need to design the content of the challenge to be all about directly leading to that sale — by getting them a small win, helping them get to the place where they’re ready to benefit from your product or program, or overcoming objections they may have.

If your goal is to collect email addresses, then it’s not a good idea to put the whole challenge on your public Facebook page where people can participate without signing up. Or, if your goal is to build community and grow your reach, you can bake in reasons for people to share the challenge with a hashtag, invite their friends, etc.

But understanding your big goal and what it will look like to succeed will dictate the other decisions you make when it comes to running your challenge.
If this has got you pumped to start designing your first challenge, I challenge you to click here and download the free 3 Week List Building Challenge Swipe File — which contains the exact emails I used in one of our first challenges. Use these as a template for building your own challenge!


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