Why should I run a 5-Day Challenge?

My whole business started with a 5-Day Challenge. January 1st 2017 – I saw a Facebook Ad posted by the now hugely successful Julie Stoian for her Create Your Laptop Life course (no I’m not an affiliate!).

She was offering a FREE ‘5-days to Facebook Ads‘ course which included videos and worksheets. All I had to do was give her my email address, join her Facebook group and work through the daily emails. She had me at ‘FREE’ and then I was hooked. Her challenge had solved a problem. I immediately joined her Membership Site, paid her quite a lot of money over the course of a year and learnt a heck of a lot.

A year later I’d learnt everything I needed to know to run my own 5-Day challenge. And boy did I need it. I’d been struggling to get 50 followers in my Facebook group for over a year, and most of them were friends and family being supportive! I posted consistently high-quality content almost daily, welcomed new members, asked questions and polls to increase engagement and get shares etc but all to no avail.

Everything else was ready – the website, the freebie, the automated emails, the Membership site in the pipeline. I just needed more followers and ‘buzz’ so that I could build authority and get more people to know, like and trust me. But how?

The Challenge

I’d already discovered Neta Talmor’s No Hassle Website through a free challenge (Build Your Membership Site in 5-days!!). Because I managed to build my Membership Site in 5 days, I won a place on Neta Talmor’s ‘How to run a 5-day Challenge‘ course. I was skeptical about how it could work for me, but thought it was worth a try.

I had it all planned months in advance for January 2018 when I had a week off work and would be around to cope with any tech disasters and respond to questions.

The result? After a day of Facebook Ads, I got 100 sign ups. Perfect. I didn’t want any more than that. A nice small group to start with. The challenge went smoothly, though only 2 people signed up to my course. Apparently that’s not bad for a first attempt. But then it went crazy – as soon as the challenge finished and I was about to close the Facebook group, I started getting 50 – 100 new followers a day and still do.

There are 3700 in the group at the moment with almost 700 requests (people who don’t answer questions or who seem to be selling stuff don’t get in – I’m still not sure how to deal with that). So the challenge was a huge success and I wanted to share what I learnt.

The Challenge Checklist


1) Choose a totally simple challenge

The other day I listened to a podcast about a company called ‘SimpleGreenSmoothie’ and how they got 200,000 subscribers in a year. The challenge? Drink one green smoothie a day. That’s it. All people had to do was buy the stuff, make a smoothie and drink it. For 5 days. They were hooked.

So the first thing I learnt was ‘less is more’. You want people to do one simple thing every day that will get them closer to solving their problem.

In my case, I noticed people struggling with a writing task in their IELTS test preparation. Every day I got them to do one simple thing e.g. Day 1 – write a 2-sentence introduction. Day 2 – write 2 sentences in the Passive Tense. They posted their daily tasks in the Facebook group (important! – get them to do something to show up, even if it’s just taking a photo and posting it).

I gave feedback on every single response, being chirpy and constructive at all times (it was exhausting!).

2) Get people to do something in the Facebook group

As above – to get people engaged in the community and with you, they’ll need to do show what they’ve done. This could be a photo of a list they’ve made, a picture they’ve drawn, or just saying how they feel – anything as long as they show up. There will always be ‘lurkers’ and that’s fine. Make sure they know that there’s no pressure to post and that they can still take part in the challenge even if they don’t want to post in the group.

Set up a separate Facebook group with a nice cover.Make it a closed group so that people feel special, but don’t limit the people who want to join – just put a link to the group in the email you send them and keep hassling them to sign up! Stress the importance of being in the group (hopefully they’ll stay there after the challenge is over, like mine did). Here’s my group.


3) Set up a competition with a prize at the end.

There are lots of ways of doing this. If you’re hoping to sell your course at the end, you could choose one person who’s stood out as being helpful, supportive and hard-working, and they win your course. It’s a great way of publicising the fact that you have a course! I think I pulled a name out of a hat during the webinar on the final day.

Again, give them a reason to go to the webinar so that they see what value you can offer and so that they stay right till the end. It will also help motivate people to do the challenge right to the end, by which point they’ll have realised how fabulous you are.

I recently took part in a 10-day challenge to win a 6 months’ access to www.designsta.com. It was a fabulous challenge – everyone in the Instagram group had to post an image they’d created each day for 10 days. They also had to use the hashtag #imadesignsta. This created a massive buzz on the Instagram page, and got lots of free publicity as everyone was sharing their photos with the hashtag. It was a perfect challenge. Simple, fun and engaging. The fact that I won it was a total bonus.

4) Facebook Ads

Ugh. Yes. There’s no avoiding it. You have to use Facebook Ads. This is what ultimately made the difference to my numbers. You’ll have to work out how to do this, even if it’s a bit hit and miss at the start (Facebook learns what kind of people are interested in you, so the second time you do a Facebook Ad campaign you get better results).

So it takes a bit of time and practice. And money. I spent £40 but apparently you have to be brave. Neta regularly spends $1000 on Facebook Ads but gets results worth 10 times the money she invested. I’m not quite ready for that, but I’m sure it gets easier. Do a 5-day Facebook Ads challenge first!


5) Set up your automated emails

So, when they click on your Facebook Ad, this should take them to a landing page that asks them for their details (I created this in Mailchimp. It’s pretty simple and free up to 2000 subscribers).

When they’ve entered their details and confirmed etc (not forgetting all the GDPR and Privacy Policy stuff you have to include now, making sure they consent to you storing their data), they should get a nice ‘Yay! You’re in!‘ welcome email with all the details. You set up all the other emails to go out on specific days e.g. a couple of days before, remind them about what’s happening.

Tell them what to expect e.g. – they’ll get an email with a link to a video/worksheet etc. And don’t forget the Facebook group link!

6) Get all your videos made in advance

You don’t have to use videos – it always depends on what you’re trying to sell, but videos are a good way of them getting to know you, your voice, your style, your caring nature and the quality of what you’re providing. Upload the video to somewhere like YouTube, Google Drive or Vimeo so that you have a link that you can put in the email each day. They just click on the link, watch the video, download a worksheet if you want and then post in the group. Simple!

7) Get ready to do Facebook live or webinars

It’s good to do a Facebook live every day just to check in with your followers. Give them feedback, encouragement, mention names, show you’re interested and ready to help if they need you.

You could do a webinar to get them started, and most definitely do one at the end where you reflect on what they’ve learnt. And this is where you start to sell – build excitement in your product, have special bonus offers for people who sign up before the end of them webinar, tell them how long the cart will be open for (usually a week) but keep reminding them of the deadlines for the special offers.

8) Do something nice to finish

Totally up to you, but I copied and pasted all the most useful responses into a PDF that I sent out and put as a file in the group so that people who’d missed the challenge could learn from it.

What next?

  • Join a few challenges yourself. Learn how they work. Take notes about each stage. Keep all the emails in one place. Learn the language of sales and marketing! This might be a good one to start with?
  • Start planning now – write everything down, be prepared, think it through.
  • It doesn’t have to be 5 days! It could be a weekend or 10 days or even a month!
  • Make all your graphics (Canva’s great for this) well in advance – this can be time-consuming.
  • Just do it – it won’t be perfect but you’ll learn from it and get better.

Need help?

If there’s any part of the challenge that you need help with, get in touch.

The things I’ve listed above are the bare bones of a challenge – you might want someone to think it through with you.

Let me know what you’re planning and I’ll see if I can help!





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