3 Things You Must Know About Running Free Challenges

Welcome to Episode 313 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right guys, so last month in Hit the Mic Backstage I answered a very common question by doing a training all around free challenges. We see these all over the place, they’re a huge list growing opportunity. Basically, what they are is a challenge to actually grow your email list. You’re providing value for your audience, you’re getting them engaged right from the start, and it’s totally free for them. All it costs is an email address. Usually this up sells to some sort of paid program or coaching opportunity, something like that. It doesn’t have to I guess but generally speaking I like to do something on the other side of that opt-in, right? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about the three things you need to know about running a free challenge to grow your list. All right, let’s do it.

Thing number one that you need to know about running a free challenge is getting people engaged is critical but keeping them engaged, that’s where the money is.

Here’s the deal. A lot of times we shoot ourselves in the foot by feeling like we need to deliver an epic amount of value. Here’s the deal. I’m really, really happy that you want to increase your value and you want to provide your audience with this killer, killer information. Real talk, they can only do so much. Okay? They only have so much time in the day and because this is a free challenge you have to factor that into where you fall on their priority list.

They’ve got to deliver to their work or their business, and their family, and their friends, and themselves, that’s a lot of cups to fill up. You want to make sure that they have a reason to spend time with your challenge for the duration, whatever that may be. Now, that is going to directly impact what that duration is. Meaning you don’t want to have a free challenge that’s 21 days long because again, real talk, it’s hard to keep somebody engaged for that long when there’s no financial investment on the table. Think about how many courses you’ve paid for and fallen off hanging out with it way before 21 days rolled around. Make sure that, especially when you talk about something you’re not financially invested in, you’re not sort of trying to prove that it was a good investment, think about that when you factor in their attention span. Length of time but also the day-to-day of it, keeping them engaged from one day to the next. Making sure that you are giving them a reason to keep opening those emails, keep visiting the site, whatever it is that you are doing.

Number one, yes, getting them engaged is absolutely critical but keeping them engaged, that’s where the money’s made, that’s where the difference happens. Really, that is the most important decision you have to make when you get started.

Number two, there are a lot of decisions to make and I want you to make them all before you start marketing.

There’s a lot of things you’ve got to decide. You’ve got to decide length of time, what kind of content it’s gonna be, what problems are you gonna solve? You have to figure out all of this stuff. How are you going to deliver it?

You have to figure out all of these things. We dove deep into that stuff inside the training, inside of Hit the Mic Backstage. If you want to sort of break through those questions I give some input on how to suss out those answers. The reality is, is too many of us fall into the trap of, “Okay, so I know I want to run this challenge around X,Y,Z. I’ll just build it as I go.” That makes it really difficult for us to do a good job of actually engaging the audience. It makes it really, really difficult for us to actually share the value we’re trying to share because we get so focused on creation. We get so caught up in simply building and making sure that this thing is a real thing that we miss out on the opportunity to really say, “Hey, I’m here for you.  How can I help you? How can I support you? This is why I want you to take the next steps, this is why you’re doing this. This is why you’re staying in the room and staying engaged.”

Don’t skip through the planning and jump right into, “Oh, I’ve got this idea. I’ll just figure it out as I go.” Take a step back, map out the email sequences. Map out the up sells. Map out the delivery methods. Map out what content you want them to have delivered. I’m not saying you have to come out of the gate with the primo super shiny offering. What I am saying is I want you to come out of the gate with the foundations of a valuable, consumable, engaging challenge. Have the decisions made already around is there going to be a Facebook group, how you’re delivering the content, what that content is. Have all that stuff prepared because some of the best value they’re going to get is from you actually showing up, you actually being available to them. That can only happen if you are able to be 100% in deliver-ability and outside of that creation space.

Factor that in, make sure that you make time and you give it the attention it deserves. That is absolutely 100% a lesson I learned the hard way so please don’t relive it because it sucks. Okay, guys?

All right, buzzing right through this list, number three. Market this like you would any other program.

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people making when it comes to these challenges is they take a really laid back approach to marketing it. They don’t gut out their end run Facebook ads and share it in their group, and talk about it in their speaking engagements, and reference it in their content. They’re not talking about these things all the time. Whether you’re running this as a one off challenge and it’s 100% live and it’s just for this short period of time. Or you run this an an Evergreen thing and it’s a standard opt-in on your website and people can get in any time, either way you have to market it.

Sometimes we jump ahead to, “Oh, I’ll just wait and I’ll market the actual program I’m selling instead of this challenge. Really, the challenge is going to convert much more frequently to that paid thing than a cold ad is, than a cold sell is. Even a warm sell at the end of speaking engagement. You can say, “Hey, I want you guys to take the next step with this. Here’s a free three day challenge I have. Text the code blah, blah, blah to X,Y,Z and here you go.” Then sell them from that because you’ve given added credibility, you’ve given added value and you’re going to convert at a much higher rate. Give this the same marketing attention, the same marketing investment. Not just financial but time-wise that you would any other program or offering in your business. It deserves that attention, it deserves that priority.

Again, going back to sort of step two where I talked about make sure you’re out of creation mode, make sure in addition to creation time you also have marketing time. You also have space for you to sell this, share this. Get people invested in it before they ever walk through the door. That’s so, so important and it’s something that I see so many people missing, all right?

There we have it, out quick and dirty three things episode. We’re going to start trying to keep these a little bit shorter. I want it to be super consumable for you guys and I want to see you taking action. If you’re ready to take action on this and you want to take it a step further and you want to dive deeper, head over to HittheMicBackstage.com. You will find inside of Hit the Mic Backstage an entire 30 minute training dedicated to this. Plus, we have the brand new private forum which is so amazing, so much better than a Facebook group. I’m so excited about this. It is such a powerful way for you to engage, not just with me but the other members, and really get the feedback you need, the feedback you want on your challenge.

Come through and work through it with us, that’s what that space is for. Get feedback on your landing pages, get feedback on some of the copy in your email sequences. Get feedback on your Facebook ads, learn how to run the Facebook ads for it. Really take it to the next level by giving it the, again, the financial and time investment it deserves to really run at a next level epic for you. Okay? All of that stuff is inside of Hit the Mic Backstage so join us once again, hitthemicbackstage.com and it’s going to be super fun. I’m excited to welcome you backstage, I can’t wait to see you. If you’re already a member and you missed that training go check it out right now, okay?

All right, I will see you guys on Tuesday.

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