It’s no secret launching a course can be overwhelming. But you know what’s even more overwhelming?
Launching a course that literally no one buys.
Cue the sad, sad trombone.
The good news? Running a value-packed free challenge before your course can make the whole process a lot easier, fun and more lucrative.
Here are four reasons why running a free challenge should be a part of your course launch strategy, no matter what:
1) Build Buzz and Excitement
While there are very few guarantees in life (death and taxes aside), one of the best ways to create buzz around your course and attract throngs of potential students is to run a free challenge first.
When you launch a free challenge before your course, you can create lots of buzz beforehand. You can tease your challenge, then ‘launch’ your challenge, give out prizes for participants during your challenge and of course, tease your upcoming course during your challenge as well.
Your challenge should offer a taste of teaching style, like an appetizer. This gets people excited and interested in your topic (or even more excited & interested than they already were) and whets their appetite. By the end of your challenge, they’ll be hungry for even more from you and–if done well–will be lining up to get a front-row seat to your knowledge and expertise.
2) Cultivate Community
Running a free challenge can also create a strong sense of community and engagement among your audience. Most free challenges include some type of community–whether that’s a free Facebook group or the comment box on a series of live Zoom calls. People love connecting with others interested in the same topic(s) and experience(s) they are.
Creating a space for people to connect around a shared interest helps your challengers feel more connected to each other and to you/your topic, too. Hot tip? You might even offer a “Bring Your New Bestie” deal on your course, where two excited participants can get in for the price of one.
3) Grow Your Reach (and Email List)
Two of the biggest advantages of running challenges? Generating high-quality leads and growing your email list (because let’s be real, email marketing is still very much king!).
While not everyone will buy your course the first time it’s offered (even if it is offered on a very much silver platter), a free challenge allows you to collect email addresses of people who you know are interested in your topic. After the challenge, you can add them to your main email list and keep in touch with them that way–and you never know who might say yes to your course the next time it comes around.
Did I mention you can also re-package your free challenge after you run it the first time, so you don’t have to create it from scratch every time you launch?
4) Establish Yourself as an Authority
A free challenge allows you to flex your expertise and demonstrate your authority in your niche in a very public way. As your participants experience your valuable insights firsthand, they’ll start to recognize you as a “go-to” person on your topic, which will simultaneously boost your credibility and set you apart from the competition.
Free challenges allow you to not just tell people you’re an expert, but show them, too! And if they like what they see? Odds are they’ll want to dive deeper with you by joining your course. And if they don’t, at the very least you don’t have to worry about them snapping up your course & not loving your teaching or coaching style.
5) Nurture Relationships and Cultivate Trust
Building meaningful relationships with your audience is crucial. A free challenge provides the perfect platform to connect, engage, and nurture relationships with people who might not have signed up for a paid offer–but who just might turn into loyal customers down the line.
Free challenges are the ultimate trust-builder. Not only are you delivering major value upfront (no price tag–or strings!–attached), but you also have the opportunity to connect deeply with people in your audience on a personal level. And when people feel connected to you? They tend to buy, and come back for more.
6) Pre-Sell Your Course and Boost Conversions
One of the best reasons to add a challenge to your course launch strategy? You can use it as an opportunity to pre-sell your course. Like I mentioned before, when done right, your challenge should feel like a fun, tantalizing teaser that gives participants just a small (but impactful) taste of the transformation they’ll experience in your full-fledged course. Challenges also attract highly-qualified leads – you’re speaking to people who you already know are interested in your area of expertise, rather than shouting into the void that social media can be sometimes. This means you’re more likely to convert your challenge participants than random people who come across your Instagram posts–and they’ll likely convert better than your more general email list, too!
There you have it! Baking a valuable free challenge into your course launch strategy is a game-changer. It builds buzz, grows your audience (and yes, email!), establishes your authority, nurtures relationships, and can even boost your bottom line.