How to Create a 5-Day Challenge to Launch Your Online Course
Course Sales Series: Part 3 of 3
YAY! Welcome to the final post in our 3-part COURSE SALES series all about choosing the best sales driver for you.
In this post, I’ll tell you all about one of my favorite sales drivers: a Facebook challenge (or Instagram challenge) that helps you sell and launch your online course.
Now, before we talk about how to create a 5-day challenge, let’s be clear about what a sales driver is.
Remember, a sales driver is a strategic piece of content that ends with a pitch into your course.
It’s a tool that helps build momentum specifically for your course.
In this series, we’ve learned all about the first two sales drivers that I teach my students in Clients to Courses®:
This week, we’ll talk about the last sales driver…. *drum roll please*
The 5-day challenge.
Is a challenge the right sales driver for your course?
Depending on your preferences, a challenge may be better suited for you than the other two sales drivers.
If you’re not into anything “live” and you don’t thrive with live engagement, then this may not be the best sales driver for you.
(Perhaps an email video series that doesn’t require you to be live at all would be right up your alley!)
If you do thrive in a live environment and prefer live engagement, then here are a few questions to consider:
- Do you prefer ongoing engagement (vs one-time/instant engagement like in a webinar)?
- Do you enjoy group settings?
- Are you more familiar with social media (vs the ins and outs of hosting a webinar)?
- Feel more comfortable with less tech?
- Are you able to show up on live streams throughout the challenge?
Choosing the best sales driver depends on you, your audience, and your industry.
However, if after reviewing these questions you feel strongly about running a social media challenge, then just go with it!
Don’t get caught up in the choice between the three sales drivers! Pick the one that is best suited for you for now, and simply get started.
Done is better than perfect.
How to Create a 5-day Social Media Challenge to Successfully Launch Your Course
Step 1: Choose ONE topic
One step that all 3 sales drivers have in common is this first step!
To have a successful social media challenge, pick just ONE topic to focus on.
How are you going to pick your one topic?
Go back and look at your course. What are the pain points or problems that your course helps solve for your audience?
List them out, and then only pick one of those pain points to address in your challenge.
Why just one?
First, this is a sales driver meant to lead people naturally into your course.
The goal of the challenge is not to expose them to every single concept of your paid offer.
Giving them everything in your course in such a short amount of time will not only overwhelm them, but it will drive them away from your course altogether.
Don’t get me wrong- I am not saying to fluff up your challenge with things that won’t really address your audience’s one pain point.
Provide value, but also help lead them to discover that there are other problems that they need help with, and your course helps them solve each of them.
Step 2: Decide where you’ll be running your challenge
Alright, now that you’ve got the topic, it’s time to choose how you’ll deliver the challenge.
The most common way to do this is within a Facebook group.
If you have a free group already, you can certainly deliver the challenge there each day.
“But Jess, what if I don’t have a Facebook group, where do I run the challenge?
Or what if Facebook is just not my jam?”
Amazing questions, many answers.
There are some options to choose from that do NOT involve Facebook groups.
Where can you run your social media challenge:
- An existing Facebook group
- A pop-up Facebook group
- On your personal/business page
- On Instagram, either by:
- Creating IG Lives each day
- Creating a new IG account just for the challenge
- Inviting people to your “close friends” list and delivering the content that way
The key to choosing your delivery method is what will work best for your audience.
If you find that your audience isn’t really on Facebook or in Facebook groups, then that may not be the best option.
If you think that Instagram may not be a good place for engagement, then stick to Facebook.
Experiment and have fun with it!
Step 3: Create the challenge outline
It’s time to outline this challenge!
Here, you’ll need to know a few things before getting started:
- Will your challenge run for 3 or 5 days?
- Which day will you pitch your online course?
- If it’s a 3-day challenge, I recommend you pitch on the 3rd day! If it’s 5, then pitch on the 4th!
- How can you break down this ONE pain point into smaller topics?
- What are the small wins for each day?
- What specific call-to-action do I want my audience to take each day?
Remember, the goal of the challenge is not to give them everything, but to give them valuable, small wins that engage them into your course.
That means that you could absolutely sprinkle in how each topic relates to the course you’ll pitch to them at the end of the challenge.
Like I said in the previous post, I always prefer to reference my course in each video because I hate to surprise my audience.
I want them to be informed and understand how to work with me beyond the challenge, especially if as they’re going through the challenge they’re realizing that they need more help than what’s provided in your free challenge!
Some suggestions for your challenge videos:
- Keep the length of your challenge livestreams under 30 minutes to give ample time for questions (and also because attention spans are at an all-time low!)
- Make notes for yourself to engage with your audience: ask them to type in the comments, use hashtags, etc
- Something I always recommend to my students in Clients to Courses® is to include a worksheet for each day. This helps with engagement!
Step 4: Map out your schedule
When will you run this challenge?
Now, before you choose a date, I always suggest that you give yourself at least 2 weeks to promote your challenge.
That way you can leverage all your content channels to promote the challenge several times before the challenge starts.
With that in mind:
- Schedule two weeks for promoting your challenge
- Choose the dates of your challenge
- Choose the date you’ll pitch your course
- Choose the dates for open and close cart (for your course)
Having these dates mapped out will help you create the content and promotional materials for both your challenge AND your course!
Did you know that in Clients to Courses®, students receive ALL the resources you need to plan your social media challenge? From swipe files and checklists to the Ultimate Launch Planner, you’ll have everything you need to launch and sell your course successfully! Check out Clients to Courses® to learn more.
Step 5: Write your promotional materials for your challenge
We’re getting closer to launch!
Now that you’ve got your schedule mapped out, it’s time to write all of your content for your challenge.
What content will you need?
First, a landing page.
If you’ll be promoting your challenge on social media, then having a landing page will be a good way to capture those emails (to grow your email list!) and notify them once the challenge starts.
You can create a landing page within most email service providers.
However, if your email service provider doesn’t have one, or if the graphics and customization options are too limited, then give Leadpages a try.
With Leadpages, we’ve created beautiful landing pages that are really simple to create, even for the non-tech savvy!
And we’re able to track our analytics (page views, sign-ups, etc) better on Leadpages.
Second, you’ll need all the emails that will help you promote your challenge.
These will include:
- Emails promoting the challenge to the people already on your list
- The “thank you” and follow up emails to people who sign up via the landing page
- The emails for each challenge day once the challenge starts!
- Emails to begin promoting your course once the challenge is over 🙂
Using the copy from your landing page and your emails, you can create social media posts, lives, etc to promote the challenge and then your course.
If all the content feels overwhelming, you have access to all the swipe files for the promo copy you’ll need to promote your challenge and your course in Clients to Courses®!
Step 6: Promote your challenge!
And now it’s time to invite people to your challenge. Remember, when you’re promoting during the two weeks prior to day 1, be sure to direct people to your landing page.
That way you’ll capture those emails to continue growing your list!
Especially because these people interested in the challenge are your ideal audience– the people who have identified with the problem you’re solving in your challenge.
Don’t forget to create your promotional graphics, worksheets, and any bonuses you’ll include during the challenge!
Pro tip: on your opt-in “Thank You” page, link to wherever you’ll be hosting your challenge (your Facebook page, Facebook group, or Instagram). Get them in there as soon as they sign up to increase engagement leading up to the challenge!
Ready to get started but still need more help?
I know that picking the right sales driver for you can be a challenge, no pun intended 😏
But planning it all (and creating all the content for it!) can be quite overwhelming.
One of the reasons why I created Clients to Courses® was to provide you with an all-inclusive, comprehensive program that gives you the A-Z of creating, launching, and selling out your online course.
In this program, you’ll get all of the tools you need to launch your course with a social media challenge (or a webinar or email video series!), including a step-by-step walkthrough, all the swipe files, and the Ultimate Launch Planner.
So that you can map out your promotions, write out all your copy, and launch your course with success.
Learn more about Clients to Courses® here!