free online challengeI’m obsessed with online challenges – I’ve written about them and talked about them on the Fearless Launching show…today, I”m going to give you the top ___ things I learned doing my most recent one…

January 2016 I was ready to start the year with a bang…so I hosted the #ReadyToLaunch2016 challenge. You can check out the full post, grab the prompts and do them really whenever you want, but we did the challenge live back in January!

I’ll go through the content for the challenge as well as what it took to put the challenge together and what I will change the next time I do one!

Why I Did The Challenge

Always good to define why you’re doing something and what you hope to achieve…I’ll admit that my goals related to the challenge got a little muddy when it came to conversions…because honestly I wasn’t sure I could expect (if anything).

All I knew was that I wanted to:

#1 Grow Facebook Group to 500 and actually interacting with one another

#2 Help people who were just like me – launching their first products of 2016

#3 Hopefully turn some of those people into customers when Fearless Launching opened

The Big Lessons From The Challenge

  1. Too long – 30 days is a long time. More on that later.
  2. Too much content. In my effort to give, the challenge was actually too much to accomplish in a free challenge over just 1 month.
  3. A few of the prompts had concepts that were just too darned big to do in one day and need to be broken down wayyy more!
  4. Concepts were not really Instagram friendly, so the challenge should have never been brought onto Instagram.
  5. Daily periscopes. Not sustainable for me — next time I’ll go on weekly or every few days but only to bump up the participants not to add more content to the challenge
  6. Do photoshoot and all content creation in advance. Did most of the written stuff in advance and the guidebook…all of that is good, but I wanted the challenge to be more visual, so I know I could have done more on this front.
  7. Send more communications to people who sign up to participate.
  8. Start planning the whole thing earlier. Honestly? You want pure honesty? I decided to do the challenge in early November, I did not work on it until the week before the new year…soooo yeah. I could have done a little better job getting started!
  9. Hire a dependable social media manager who understands what the challenge is and that they should interact often. I needed support in this area and didn’t get it to the degree I really wanted!
  10. Create graphics and images to promote the challenge. I didn’t have any really.
  11. Create a true promotional period to get more signed up…this could have happened if I didn’t start working on the challenge a week before 2016 started.
  12. Transition to the launch was muddy and it’s because I didn’t take the time to think about it…if I had, the challenge would have been 1 or 2 weeks long only…
  13. Create a stand alone funnel for the challenge participants, so they get delivered the materials for the challenge, support along the way, and maybe a different call to action at the end.
  14. Forgot to send the post-challenge survey out by email…ooopsie!
  15. Too many channels – Periscope, email, Facebook group, Instagram… what? Pick 2 maximum and stay there. Facebook and email.
  16. Neglected to use ads to promote – mostly because I knew I didn’t have the bandwidth to create any graphics… already in progress making sure I have them for next time!
  17. Now that I have assets for my next challenge, I must improve them and use them.

Biggest Takeaways If You’re Planning A Challenge

Takeaway #1: Be really clear about your eventual call to action – especially if you’re using it as content that leads to a launch…it will help you create the right content for your peeps that will have a much more natural transition to whatever you want them to do next!

Takeaway #2: Make sure you can sustain the length of the challenge by having support in the group to help you keep everyone engaged. 30 days may be great for a smoothie challenge or a photo challenge, but not so great for a sample class challenge!

Takeaway #3: Your challenge should challenge someone, but not make them feel like they are way behind or broken in anyway. Make it easy enough for most people to get some quick wins and then hard enough to know that there’s more for them to learn!

Additional Reading

Want to read more about creating your own challenge or coming up with new ways to lead up to your launch? Make sure to check these resources out too…not all are your typical 30 day challenges…but might give you some new ideas yourself.

How to create your own online 30 day challenge on how to create your own of the Fearless Launching Show

What You Need To Know About Creating Memorable Launch Content

Fearless Launching January Challenge: #ReadyToLaunch2016

An Alternative To Pre-Launch Content