What I Learned From Running An Online Instagram Challenge
If you’ve been around here for a bit, I hope that you learned about #theheartfeltgrid challenge that I hosted back in February! It was a super fun, exciting, mind-blowing challenge that I hosted on Instagram. The challenge was for business owners who wanted to learn about growing an Instagram feed with authenticity, real talk, and honest confessions. If you didn’t participate, you can still get access to all the content! You can sign up here and go through the challenge at your pace.
Through the process of creating, launching, and hosting this challenge, I learned countless lessons about myself, my business, my audience, and the creative industry. If you have thought about hosting any type of challenge, I encourage you to read through what I learned in hopes that you would be able to side step any unnecessary challenges!
Before we dive into what I learned, I want to give you some reasons why you might want to host a challenge. Maybe you're at a spot in your business where you want to try something like this! Or maybe you just want to know the brains and strategy behind something like this. I believe that these are some of the
Reasons to host an online challenge:
- Start establishing yourself as an educator about a specific topic
- Grow an Email list
- Introduce the launch of a new product or service
- Share expertise with a hungry audience
- Give free content away
- Connect with your audience in a deep way
- Expand the reach of your business
Here’s what I learned:
- You need a streamlined way for people to register: before I launched my first online challenge, I decided to switch my mailing list from Mailchimp to Convertkit. This decision was one of the best decisions and investments I have made for my business. Convertkit made it incredibly easy to send emails to the participants and the sign-up was a breeze. I couldn't have made the transition without Brianna from The Palm Co. She is seriously a genius and working with her was a dream.
- Influencers/Cheerleaders for the challenge are your secret weapon: during the weeks leading up to the challenge, I had reached out to some of my online friends to see if they would be willing to join the challenge and/or spread the word about it. I am so glad I did this! Not only was I able to invite others into the process, but they helped make the impact larger than I imagined. It also doesn't hurt that they were so kind and supportive and sent me texts throughout the week to encourage me. Community rules.
- Writing out all content before you launch is necessary: if you are scrambling to write emails or blog posts or Facebook posts right before (or during) the challenge, you will be way too overwhelmed and stressed out. If there is one thing you can do to prepare yourself, it's to prepare yourself. Plan out the entire challenge BEFORE you even launch. I like to have everything ready to go at least two weeks before we launch/introduce the challenge.
- You need to have a clear launch strategy (if you are launching something): speaking of launching...you need to have a date set, emails scheduled, Facebook posts ready, etc. Have a plan of when you launch, your copy written (and ready), and a plan for how to maximize the sign-ups.
- Things will go wrong: yep. They always do. And that's okay. You just need to know how to rebound and you'll be fine. Remember that everyone makes mistakes and it's not the end of the world. Praises.
- You will spend a lot of time preparing and a lot of time working during the challenge: whenever I have a launch week or an online challenge going, I know that I will be working extra that week (or weeks). In order to not get overwhelmed, I make sure I have rest scheduled in for those weeks, I make sure I have slower work weeks flanking the busy weeks, and my husband and I clearly communicate what life will look like during the challenge. Since I know there is an end date and it won't be this busy forever, I am able to feel more energized and less stressed.
Hosting #theheartfeltgrid was such a highlight of the first half of my business year and I am so thankful for those who joined. I am also grateful for the lessons I learned and I hope they can benefit your business.
If you want to join my FREE 5-day challenge to help you run a heartfelt Instagram feed, sign up below!