Sarah here, and I want to ask you what's stopping you from running your own challenge? Challenges are huge lead generators, I should know we've supported 750,000 people through the blogging challenge since 2007. That's a lot of people… And our first setup was in an online forum called BT Tradespace. I loved those people, and I made life-long connections there.
It wasn't until 2012 I made the blogging challenge an email thing, it was 2014 before it became a book. 2020 before it became a course…
But it all started with an online challenge.
Now, the reasons it took 14 years to transform was simple – it took that long for me to have the time and the tech to deliver the experience I need.
Email lists have always been simple enough to use, I just had a fricking mindset issue the size of Grand Canyon to get over. It took me until 2011 to reach that point. Then there was the tech… I hate video. I can only love it on sunny days in England, which we all know are the figment of most people's imaginations…
Snagit put the end to my video woes, and recording over my shoulder was the way to go.
Then the research backed me up – most people want distraction-free training so recording the slides is a great way to teach people – yay! Apparently those “talking heads” don't hold people's attention as much as people think they do AND people don't retain the information for as long as they do when they watch a video and take notes.
By now it's 2015 and the Blogging Challenge is off of Google Plus (remember that!) and in a Facebook group. And I was getting a lot of interest in delivering challenges, at this point we'd had around 500,000 people through the challenge.
Online Challenges were changed.
They became a pseudo-launch mechanism where you would have 5 days of intensive with someone, then a pitch for a course or program.
It felt slimy and deceptive to me.
Call it a launch, call it a bootcamp, call it what it truly is. Call it anything but a challenge, because most of these online challenges are anything but challenging!
There's been a lot of talk from marketers talking about challenges being too long when they're 30 days.
Apparently, the people who binge-watched 8 seasons of The Game of Thrones haven't got the attention span to do 30 x 1 hour a day in creating their content… All those people who watched all 10 seasons of Friends in a Weekend when it arrived on Netflix? They have no attention span…
What they mean is they don't have enough skill to maintain someone's attention for so long. They're scared of the people dropping out, they're not going for longevity and transformative results they're going for a fast-buck.
But we're still here. Yup. And for the record, I've read all the Game of Thrones books before it was a series. Imagine what other marketers must think of me, in the back garden lying out on a sun lounger, praying it's not going to rain for long and soak the pages… Believe me, no one hearted that photo on Insta!
So, back to challenges.
It's 2021 and you cannot move for challenges, but people are still put off by the tech. They're still back where I was in 2007; using a forum that they don't own to a community they have no control of, and shrieking about the algorithm ignoring them. Okay, I never shrieked about the algorithm. You can't change what you can't control.
George RR Martin, Author of the Game of Thrones has kept people's attention for best part of 30 years with his big, long, 700 page books.
He simply creates the content his audience wants. Then he gives it to them.
And just when it looks like he's losing your attention there's a brutal murder…
Now, I'm not recommending you stab a challenge participant halfway through just to liven things up, because we don't condone murdering your course takers even when they download all the content and ask for a refund 5 minutes later because it didn't work.
Of course it didn't Karen! You have to do some work to get the results…
As Maya Angelou says “Nothing works until you do”.
She's right of course. Nothing works until you do.
The same applies with a challenge.
But… You can speed it up, you can create a challenge in 15 minutes, I know because I did it last night with this software
I was really surprised at how swift it was.
Okay, I'll admit I haven't recorded the videos yet, but give me an hour tomorrow and I'll have 5 x 10-minute videos ready to go.
It's easy when you know your content inside out. And I know content inside out…
I bet dear reader there's something you know like the back of your hand, and you can get it out really swiftly if you had the right tech.
Well go and check out https://www.onlinevisibilityacademy.com/challenges
It's simple to use, and fast. You're not limited to a 5-day challenge, if your people cannot watch an episode of the Simpsons you can do them a 3-day challenge, and if they're in it for the long-haul you can go all-in with 30-day challenge
Oh, and it's as cheap as chips.
No matter who your audience are, they'll love a challenge. Or a bootcamp, or even a sprint.
And maybe you'll love helping your audience this way and sell more of your services.
So why not give it a try? Most people find when they step outside of their comfort-zone they have an amazing adventure.