9: Why Challenge Launches are King for Increasing Reach, Relationships, and Revenue

course creator tips entrepreneur how to scale your business momentum podcast May 31, 2022

When done correctly, challenge launches can skyrocket your business. Learn why they're so effective in increasing connection and conversions in your business. Plus, get tips on how to make sure your challenge launch is a success.


00:00 - Introduction and welcome
02:42 - Launching my business
05:11 - My journey in the first two years of business
18:53 - Three things you need to launch and scale your online business
19:53 - The magic of challenges
20:40 - Challenges provide a way for your audience to have quick wins
21:26 - One of the biggest reasons why someone does not buy your offer
27:49 - Five things you need for a successful challenge

Resources and Links

Register for Challenge Launch Bootcamp and learn how to create and deliver a 4-Day Challenge that boosts your revenue and skyrockets your business. CLICK HERE

Download my free guide, 3 Things You Need to Launch and Scale Your Online Business at banishbusinessclutter.com/guide

Join our Facebook community at launchperspective.community

Want to stay up to date on new podcast episodes, or ask a question that I answer on the show? You can do this and more at launchperspective.com.

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We're going to jump right in, and I just want to give you a heads up about what to expect. We're going to talk a little bit about challenges. So many people ask me how challenges have impacted my business. We're not going to go into too many details of how I run them, but for the benefit of those who are wondering if a challenge can impact your business, you're going to want to pay attention because I'm going to share some authentic numbers and personal experiences with you.

Now, I always want to preface this with an earnings disclaimer. I never share revenue and profit numbers because I want to brag, or because I am implying that everyone can do this, or I'm implying that this is easy. I like to share authentic numbers because I know how valuable that was to me when I started my business two years ago. I always appreciated when entrepreneurs would share not just their revenue, but, like, how much were they spending in ads and, you know, what did it really take to get that result. And I always love being authentic in that way because I know how helpful that is for me. But I just want to mention that in here, obviously everyone's results are different. But I want to open up your mind to the possibility of what your online business can mean for you and your family.

So, if we have not had the opportunity to meet, I'm Lydia Martin and I launched my business Banish Business Clutter in March of 2020. I resigned from my corporate job on March 2nd of that year, and I was all in. This was two weeks before the COVID pandemic shut down the world. It really was a God thing that I had resigned on March 2nd, because I think if I had resigned two weeks later and known about COVID I may have changed my mind. So, I'm glad that I didn't let fear hold me back. I took this major leap of faith and launched a business with zero people on my email list. And I just feel so blessed to be here two years and about four months later or so, having the privilege of helping other entrepreneurs reach their goals and dreams.

That is what is so important to me because it's not just about creating the business you desire, but it's creating the business so that you can create the life you desire. Right. We all want to have more impact in the world. We want to leave a legacy for our kids. You know, there's just so many reasons why you should have flexibility and freedom. And that's how passionate I am about being able to work for yourself in an online business capacity. All right. So that's what I want to preface our talk with tonight.

And of course, if you have been listening to the podcast, I so appreciate your support. There has been an overwhelming response so far. You can find the Launch Perspective on any of your favorite podcast apps. Just search for Launch Perspective. I actually had an episode launch this morning that is probably my favorite episode to date because I share quite a few stories on how the word perspective has impacted my business. So, you don't want to miss that. Thank you all so much for your messages about the podcast. Thank you for rating and leaving a review. That means so much. Make sure you click that check mark, which means that you're following the podcast. And if you haven't already be sure to listen to the first eight episodes there at the moment. And they are so impactful so you're going to want to check those out.

Now I've shared some of these stats before, but if you're new I want to share a little bit about my journey in my first two years of business. So again, I launched in March of 2020 with zero people on my list, and I decided that the first offer that I was going to launch aside from individual coaching sessions. I was coaching one-on-one, but my first course that I wanted to launch is called the Digital Clutter Cure. And I launched this course before I built it. So, I always like to share that. People say, well, how did you earn revenue so quickly? And I truly embraced the mantra of taking massive imperfect action. I knew that my course was going to grow. This was just like the first initial starter version of it. And I thought, you know, my launch probably isn't going to be perfect, but I need to be meeting people and gathering people and connecting with people. And to me, a challenge was the best way to do that.

There are many different types of launches. I talk about that in the podcast. But I just knew that hanging out with my ideal audience in a Facebook group over a few days would probably be one of the best ways for people to connect with me, me to connect with them. And that is how I launched my first course. 

I'm going to say some of these numbers since some of you will not be watching live. You'll be listening on the podcast. But my first challenge was held that first month. I held my first five-day challenge the end of March of 2020 and ended up getting ninety-five students in my $97 course. The only thing I had done was an introduction video. That was the only thing that was complete. But then I basically recorded a module and delivered the module. Recorded a module. Delivered a module. And that is how my first group of students received that course over six weeks.

And it was an amazing experience. I learned so much from that launch. And I basically did a repeat three months later, that July, and then three months after that, that October. So, I had three challenge launches in my very first full year of business. Okay. And that first full year of business, you may have heard me share this before, my goal was to hit six figures. In, you know, working many amazing jobs and businesses 25 years prior to launching this business, I had earned a great income. I had earned free trips. So, I was very thankful for the jobs and the businesses that I had had. But I had never earned a 100K in a year. In 25 years of working extremely hard. Okay.

And I just thought, how cool would it be if I launched this business. I'm going to be grateful for anything, but I'm a goal setter. Right. If we get in our car and don't have a destination, then we're just driving aimlessly. So, I'm very big on setting goals. And my goal was to hit six figures in that first full year of business. I did not make that goal. I actually hit the revenue of about 71K and the unique thing about that is 47%, so almost half, of the revenue that I generated in that first year was from those three challenge launches. So do you all see how launching had a significant impact on my result. Okay.

I did not use ads at all in the first launch. The second launch I only paid a hundred dollars to, like, boost an ad. And then I really started learning more about Facebook ads and in my third challenge I spent about $1,300 on ads. But my revenue for those launches were around $9,200, over $11,000, and over $13,000 and I was so excited about that. And in the fourth quarter of that first full year, I was planning a fourth launch. And I think if I had had that fourth launch, I probably would've hit my goal. But instead, November of 2020, I came down with COVID and it took me two months to recover. I was out of commission you all. Like unable to get out of the bed for about four weeks and then another four weeks before I could really talk without coughing. So, it definitely felt like a setback, but I will tell you it lit a fire in me to start creating more evergreen products.

Now we throw that word out evergreen and I never want to assume that everybody knows what that means. But an evergreen product is a product that's available at all times. So, I have some evergreen products now, but in the beginning, I only would open the doors to my program when I was live launching. And then the other revenue I was earning in between launches was, like, from coaching sessions, coaching packages, that sort of thing. I realized during that COVID experience that I needed to start working on creating things that I could sell 24/7. Even if my signature programs only opened their doors a few times a year. What else did my audience need that would sell in between? Okay. That I could generate leads to at all times. That would bring revenue into my world while I slept. Right. It really lit a fire. Okay.

So, I decided that second full year that I was not only going to do one live launch a quarter, but that I was going to also start doing some live paid workshops and those would become courses. I created a few digital products. Those became available to purchase on my website. So, there was a lot of things I was building in my second full year. But challenges continued to be an amazing boost of revenue in my business. So, my second full year of business, I went from 71K in the first year to $209,000 in revenue in my second full year.

I want to stop here just for a minute because I want you to hear me. I did not reach my initial goal in year one. Right. And I could have been really bummed about that and been like, ugh, you know, what's the point? You know, this isn't going well. But the point is, is even when we don't hit the mark, when we're taking action, momentum builds. And when you stick with something and you launch something again and again, you improve each and every time. You learn from each experience. And I am sharing this screen for those who are watching this live, but I'll try to describe it for our podcast listeners. That 209K that I earned was from four live launches that year. And those four launches made up 66%, so two thirds, of my revenue in my second year was still from live launches. However, in between, I now had evergreen products to sell. I now had digital products to sell. And because I was doing these live launches and connecting with so many people, I was growing my Facebook groups, building my email list, building that "Know, Like, Trust" factor. That every time I would launch something new people were like I don't care what it is at this point. I trust Lydia. I love the way she teaches or, you know, I know what she's teaching is going to help me move forward. And they'd be, like, sold. Okay. Because I created a wide range of options from as little as $12, you know, all the way up to our signature programs and coaching packages.

So, I just want you to see. Now in March, when I got over COVID, this was March of 2021, an entire year after I launched my business. I decided to do a webinar launch. I wanted to see what a webinar launch would be like. I had completed Digital Course Academy with Amy Porterfield and I really wanted to just go for a webinar. It was awesome. Okay. It was a great experience. It ended up generating over 18K in revenue, which was, at that point, my highest launch to date. But after that launch, I knew I wanted to do a launch in quarter two, three and four of that first full year. And I thought I'm going to go back to doing my challenge launches, but I'm going to make a few changes. And just by making some tweaks, okay, to what I was doing. I don't have time to go into all of those details right now, but just by making some tweaks it skyrocketed the results of my challenges. In June of 2021 revenue $37,300, September 2021 $38,800. February of 2022, I changed it up again and this time did a paid bootcamp.

So, if you are not familiar with challenges, challenges are typically three, four or five days. That's what I recommend, and you are together in a Facebook group sharing valuable content, but at the end of the challenge you share an offer. Okay. It could be a membership, a course, a coaching program, products, Done-For-You service. There're so many options for offers, but that's the whole point of a challenge. And up until this point, I had always made my challenges free. But in February of 2022, I decided to try a paid challenge. This time I called it a bootcamp. Very similar to the challenges I had run previously, but by charging for it, it was $37 to get in. While I had less registrations, it created a much more intimate group. Okay. And I was able to really get to know that group and that time when I launched my offer it ended up generating over $43,000 in revenue. Now, ad spend on each of these, if you're looking at my chart, is anywhere from about $2,500 to $6,500 per launch. So, I was still generating for these three challenges over 30K in profit. Almost 40K on the last one. All right.

So how many of you are looking at these numbers and thinking holy cow. If I could generate that kind of income in a 10-day launch period, what difference would it make for you and your life? It was life changing for our family. I was able to retire my husband from his 30-year IT career in October of 2021. He's been working with me and our team ever since. He is my podcast manager and what a blessing for our family. He actually took over homeschooling our son. Okay. He homeschools by day and works for me in the afternoon. It is just like a dream come true and a pinch me moment. I just am so grateful for the opportunities, for what I've learned, for just the opportunity to share what I've experienced to help others do the same. Okay.

So, you can see how challenges had such an impact, but it also had an impact in the growth of my list. One of the things that you'll see on this chart is that one of the huge spikes in revenue from the year actually took place in December of 2021. Because I had grown my email list and had built so many great relationships, I did a 12 days of Christmas promotion in December of 2021 that generated, like, 26K in the month. Can you imagine? By sending out, like, fourteen emails. To generate that kind of income without even a live launch. This is what's possible once you've put in the effort and the work and you've launched it again and again and again. Okay. And all of this was to the exact same program, my Digital Clutter Cure program. That program is now my signature program. Obviously not $97 anymore. It actually is a $597 program. And I even offered two additional tiers in our last bootcamp. The highest tier being a 3K level, had four people jump into that opportunity.

So, you can see where even if you feel like I'm starting so small, I just have this little mini course that's only $97, you can grow that to whatever you want it to be. And for me, challenges are what's made that possible. All right. So, if you are new to our world, I want to make sure that you do get our free resource.

We have a guide called the Three Things You Need to Launch and Scale Your Online Business. And it really does come down to your offer, which is the thing you sell, okay, and how it fulfills the needs of your ideal audience. Your launch, which is your marketing plan. Okay. How you're going to create those raving fans that are just ready to buy. That's what I love about challenges. Okay. And then the third thing you need, of course, are leads. And that is the other icing on the cake. Challenges help you grow your list. So, it is a win-win all the way. If you do not yet have our free guide, be sure to go to banishbusinessclutter.com/guide. It's like a fifteen or so page guide that talks about the different types of offers, different launches, all the different traffic sources, and ways that you can generate leads. You're going to want to refer to that again and again.

Now, why challenges? What is the magic? The magic to me is the community. I enjoy doing webinars. You can tell. I like to speak with slides, and I get to hang out with you guys. And you all are in the comments right now with me on Facebook live. It's very similar on a webinar. Right. I'm on zoom and I'm seeing all the comments. But it's not quite the same as when we're all together in a Facebook group working together on something. So, it's not just all eyes on me and a few comments. A challenge everyone is engaged. Everyone's in the Facebook group taking action and they're all working towards a common goal. And that is what I love about challenges.

The second thing is challenges provide a way for your audience to have quick wins. All right. Quick wins meaning each day of your challenge you're going to give them an action step. A very simple action step that they can complete in like 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops. Okay. And by having quick wins that they can now go in the group and say, woohoo, here's my action item. Here's what I did. Check my screenshot out, whatever. It does a lot of things. They're getting connection with others. They're getting recognized. They may be getting rewarded if you're giving prizes. But it also increases their belief in themselves.

Do you know that one of the biggest reasons why someone does not buy your offer is not because they don't trust you? It's that they don't trust themselves. How many of you have ever been on a webinar? And you're like, oh my goodness. I love what this person sharing. I want this program, but I don't think I can do it. I don't know if I'm smart enough. I don't know if this is going to work for me. They're not doubting you they're doubting themselves. And that is holding people back from taking that next step. But when you're in a challenge with them and they're, like, I did that action step and now they're farther ahead. And then they do another action step and they're like, oh my goodness, I'm getting this now. I'm having a win. I'm putting it together. And by the end of this challenge, they're like, look what I have accomplished in such a short time. Imagine what will happen if I take the next step. That to me is the magic of a challenge. Okay.

Now, in addition to them getting to gain confidence in themselves, you are also getting to know your audience. By having even that very first challenge when I kicked off my business, I learned so much about my audience, their pain points, their desires, what was holding them back. And that information is exactly what I put in my course. I am so glad I didn't pre-create a course with the things I thought they would want to know. Instead, I literally created my modules and lessons based on what they were telling me inside the challenge. Okay. So, you learn a lot about your audience. And as I've shared before, it definitely builds your list and increases your revenue.

Now, if you are somebody who's listening to me and your like, ugh, I love what you're saying Lydia, but I've done a challenge. I've done a few challenges and they just don't seem to work for me. I can't get the people there, or I had a pretty decent challenge, but nobody bought my offer. Well, I want you to know that there's a lot of things within a challenge that can impact your results. And the good news is, is by tweaking just a few of those things can make a massive difference. And one of the things that I think people don't think through enough is how important it is to understand the numbers.

So, people will come to me and say, oh yes, I did a challenge. I had like, you know, thirty people register, but I only had one person buy my course. And in actuality, one person from thirty is not a bad conversion rate for a cold audience. Okay. If you had three from thirty, that's still a 10% conversion rate, which is really good. And people, I think underestimate the number of participants that they need in their challenge to reach their challenge goal. So, I have an example up here. Let's just say your course is $500. All right. And you have set a goal of having a 15K launch. So, I always love starting with the goal in mind and then breaking it down. Okay. So, if you want to hit 15K and your course is $500, you're going to need thirty new students, thirty new members, thirty new clients, whatever your offer is. Okay. And let's say your conversion rate, meaning the number who buy your offer compared to the number of participants in your challenge, that that conversion rate is 5%.

That's usually where I tell people to start, because often we don't know our numbers in the beginning. We're just making a best guess. All right. 5% may be high depending on your niche or what your offer is. 5% may be low. I ended up having four hundred people in my first challenge and ninety-five students. So that's almost a 25% conversion rate. Now that is because that was a warmer audience. Right. I was, like, inviting people that I have worked with over my 25-year career. You know, I had some connections. But as I've been doing challenges with cold audience, you know, a 10% conversion rate might be good. But let's just say 5%. That would mean you need six hundred people in your challenge to sell thirty offers.

Now for some of you this feels shocking. Because you're like, okay, one, I didn't realize I would need that many to hit thirty people and others of you are thinking how in the world am I going to get six hundred people? Well, the good news is, is there're a lot of strategies to increase your registrations and one of them is your registration page. Where are they going to sign up for your challenge? What's that conversion rate? Okay. Let's say you have a conversion rate of 25%. In other words, you have a thousand people go to your registration page. If I have a 25% conversion rate, that would mean 250 people register. And 25% is always what I shoot for, you know, even if you hit 20%. I'd say 20% to 25%, or even 30% if it's a warm audience. Those are some great numbers, but that means in our example you would need 2,400 people looking at that registration page.

Now so many people never backdate their numbers this far. They just say, I need thirty students. I can sell thirty spots to my course. But they're not thinking I better get 2,400 pairs of eyes on my registration page so that I have a better chance of making that happen. Okay. So, I want to encourage you, if you have held a challenge and you're like, I didn't get the results I wanted. I bet there's something in this list right here of these numbers that you're like, ugh, I didn't have enough people in my challenge. I didn't have enough people at my registration page. And the good news is that there are so many things that you can tweak to increase these numbers. Okay.

All you need for a successful challenge launch are these five things. You need Clarity. Why are you doing the challenge? Who's it for? How is it going to benefit them? What's the purpose? What's your offer going to be? Right. The second thing is Content. What topics are you going to cover in the challenge that makes your audience aware of the thing they need that your offer solves? You not only are just teaching things, but you're creating awareness and this gap to let people know, hey, I'm helping you identify where you want to be. Here is why it hasn't worked yet and then here is your next step to move forward in this goal. Okay. All of that content is key in a challenge. All right.

The third thing is Communication. You typically underestimate the amount of communication that is required for a successful challenge. I think we end up writing, it's like, twenty-six different emails, multiple dozens and dozens worth of posts, text message reminders. Communication in a challenge is key. And there's a lot of tips to fast tracking this, but I just wanted to let you know that this is a big piece of a challenge. It's not like a webinar where you are like, you know, just sending reminders. This is like every day. Here's what we're doing. Here's your action step.

If that scares you, I will tell you, I did my first two challenges solo. I did not have a team, but after those first two, I swore I would never do another challenge without help. That's when I hired my first team member. She worked with me about ten hours a week, made all the difference. Now we are a team of four, two of whom work full time. So, you will grow over time. Okay. It doesn't all have to fall on you. And remember, you can always start with the basics in your first launch.

Number four is Connection. Learning how to connect with your audience in a Facebook group is a skill. It's more natural for some. For most of us, it's not natural at all. Okay. I know people say to me you're so natural on camera. Let me tell you while I am natural on camera. I committed to learning and doing Facebook live when it came out in 2016 and I have probably done thousands of Facebook lives since. Okay. In my corporate job, I needed to go live every single week to deliver training. And that forced me to get comfortable with my voice. And it forced me to get comfortable in how to connect with people through live video. That takes time. So, learning how to make those connections through your posts, through your lives or your recorded video. Not everyone delivers live video in a challenge. Some pre-record their content. It's totally fine, but you still want to improve every time you do a launch, right, to increase those connections.

And then the last thing you need of course is Conversions. Learning how to share your offer at the end of a challenge also takes practice. And these are the five things that I work on every time we do a launch. These are the things I want to improve on.


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