Now more than ever, consumers in all industries are looking for opportunities to connect and build community online. Business owners are looking to pivot and grow their revenue in unconventional yet connected ways. One of the best ways to build momentum, community, and revenue with a focus on service and genuine connection is by hosting an online challenge for your business.
When it comes to growing an audience organically, Jadah Sellner can help. Jadah is a founder, CEO and community growth expert who used challenges to grow her company, Simple Green Smoothies, to over a million dollars in sales and 355,000 email subscribers in two years without any paid advertising. Now, she helps her clients get similar results.
Jadah has a 5-Step Challenge Roadmap that she’s shared with me so you can implement it for yourself.
“There are five fundamental steps to create a successful online challenge, so that you can build trust with potential customers, establish credibility and grow your email list. As a business coach and the creator of the Build Your Challenge course, these are the EXACT steps I took to add an additional multiple-six figures a year to my own businesses by running challenges,” says Sellner.
1. Build Your Challenge Foundation
“First, set your challenge foundation. Get clear on why you’re doing a challenge,” suggests Sellner. “Decide who your dream challenge participant is and the transformation they want to achieve from this experience. Outline the mini-objectives required to facilitate that transformation.”
Answer the question: Who is your ideal challenge participant? Brainstorm some possible problems they would love to have solved in the next 30 days or less.
2. Map Your Challenge
“Next, plan your challenge content from start to finish with a clear action plan that your challenge participants could accomplish confidently in 5 -10 days (any longer than that and you’ll lose their attention). You want them eagerly excited to know “what’s next?” which is the best way to promote your current products and services,” notes Sellner.
Decide whether the challenge is a daily habit (like meditating for 5 minutes a day) or activity-based where you have them follow a different prompt each day that will move your challenge participants closer to achieving their goals.
Answer the question: What will your challenge topic be about? Brainstorm at least 5 topic ideas.
3. Promote Your Challenge
“Then, create your plan to promote your challenge so people actually sign up! Get the word out with newsletter announcements, blog and social media posts, inviting people to register for the challenge by entering their name and email. Don’t forget to remind them it’s free!” says Sellner.
Answer the question: How do you plan to get the word out about your challenge? Brainstorm a few places you could share.
4. Run Your Challenge
“Now it’s time to host your challenge and deliver your prompts to help them achieve their first step in transformation. These should be easy to follow prompts delivered through daily emails that build more confidence each day of the challenge. When you run your challenge live, make sure you properly onboard your challenge participants, build momentum, and keep engagement high all the way through,” suggests Sellner. “A great way to increase participation is to create a private group, like Slack, Facebook or Discord during the challenge and award prizes along the way.”
Answer the question: What’s an easy way to help your community stay engaged and achieve their goals? Brainstorm a few ideas now.
5. Wrap Up Your Challenge
“Last, you’ll wrap up your challenge and build a bridge for the next step you want your challenge participants to take. This is when you offer a paid product or service. Here are 3 potential ways to make money with a challenge,” Sellner says.
- Sell a product or service you already have.
- Package the free challenge you just hosted and sell it.
- Survey your newly engaged community to identify a solution or product that they would love to buy from your business
Answer the question: When your challenge is over, what’s next? Which product or service will you offer at the end of the challenge? Brainstorm a few possible offers you could sell.
“Now that you have the five essential steps to create, promote and launch your challenge, make sure you avoid this very common mistake: offering too much information and overwhelming your audience,” advises Sellner. “These community-driven challenges not only increase your revenue, but they also capture email addresses and nurture leads as long as you keep it simple and fun!”