Have you ever participated in an online challenge? Maybe you started a blog, learned to meditate or created a dating profile. The experience was fun, right? And it worked.
That’s because online challenges offer to solve a problem — whether it’s getting over the hurdle of regularly writing articles, making time for yourself or feeling comfortable dating on the internet — by making it feel achievable. At the end of a challenge, when you see what you’ve achieved, you feel good about yourself and your accomplishments.
Online challenges are like New Year’s resolutions, but you can do them any time of year. And they’re much more fun and rewarding.
Why online challenges work
Online challenges are effective, because they deliver content the way people like to consume it — in short, focused segments. Think of an online challenge like it’s a mini-training. People who join in are encouraged to take part in a series of actions for a set period of time to achieve a common goal.
Participants make a commitment to themselves and a community. And they walk away with a tangible outcome: achieving a goal, forming a habit or mastering a new skill.
And for you as a business owner, you add hundreds (or even thousands) of hot new prospects to your list, who now see you as an authority and can’t wait to buy from you.
The most effective challenges are five days long, require as little as 10-15 minutes per day and have an attainable outcome. And they focus on something your audience actually wants to do, change or achieve.
Resist the urge to create a challenge that is too complex. A challenge that solves only one problem over a short period of time will be the most successful. Anyone can commit to doing something for five days but probably not five new things for five days.
Keep your challenge simple, and your participants will be successful. And you won’t jeopardize your paid offer by giving away too much.
They create action
Online challenges result in real change for your audience, because they require real action and commitment. Motivate your audience to do something they know how to do already, but aren’t doing, or challenge them to try something they’ve never done before.
If you design a challenge that is easy to consume and implement, you’ll keep participants accountable, motivated, and engaged. They need to have something to do every single day. Your audience needs to see change before the challenge is over. An effective online challenge shows your audience that the outcome of small and consistent actions is significant results.
And the result of their change and immediate experience of success for you? Increased trust in your expertise. And a strong foundation for a long-term relationship with your participants.
They promote community
When a group of people share a positive experience, something special happens. Unlike New Year’s resolutions that are usually solitary endeavors, online challenges provide the opportunity for feedback and support. And the accountability most people need to go from intention to action.
When your participants see the results of the challenge, they’ll spread the word. So not only will they be more likely to continue to work with you, your community will grow as well.
They result in long-term change
At the end of the challenge, your clients will have a concrete accomplishment. Effective challenges motivate participants and help them create real change. The feeling of accomplishment is encourages them to keep going long after the challenge is over.
You benefit too
Your participants aren’t the only ones who accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. As a business owner, you benefit too. While your audience solves a problem, you grow your email list, engage your online community, establish yourself as a go-to expert and lead your clients to your paid product. Effective online challenges draw your client in to purchase your paid offer.
Every successful business owner should online challenges in their arsenal. In fact, they’ve become my number one strategy for getting clients online.