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How to run and promote a 2-week membership challenge

If you want to grow your membership, get our 5-step guide on how to create, run, and promote a 2-week membership challenge. You can excite your audience today.

October 2, 2020 by Cyn Meyer

You’ve created a solid new membership program

It’s live and your first members are happy with the valuable content you’ve been posting.

Now, all you need is to bring in more members to keep up your momentum. 

If you want to welcome new members in a bigger burst, rather than a slow trickle, we’ve got just the thing for you -- run a membership challenge.

Today, we share everything you need to know about creating, running, and promoting a two-week membership challenge, so you can bring in more paid members -- and quickly. 

Let’s get straight to it, so you can welcome those new members ASAP.

5 steps to create and promote a two-week membership challenge

Step #1. Plan your challenge content 

Your first step in running a masterful two-week membership challenge is to plan out the contents of your free challenge. 

To do this, start on the result you want to deliver. What do you want your participants to walk away with after having gone through your two-week challenge?

For instance, at the end of fitness coach Denise Austin’s 2-week walking challenge, you’ll achieve a more active lifestyle, burned calories, and toned body through daily walking. 

Alternatively, if you partake in YouTube sensation Chloe Ting’s 2-week shred challenge, you’ll lose weight and gain abs. 

And if you participate in fitness coach Jeremy Scott’s 2-week clean eating challenge, you’ll pick up the habit of clean eating through carb cycling, which is when you follow a food intake pattern of no carbs, low carbs, and medium carbs.

The point is to deliver a specific result and to map your content around that result. 

If you dig deeper into Jeremy’s challenge, for instance, you’ll see he lays out a daily food plan for carb cycling, which looks like repeating a three-day meal cycle:

  • Day 1 - no carbs
  • Day 2 - low carbs
  • Day 3 - medium carbs
  • Day 4 - repeat Day 1

Basically, to figure out where you’re going, start with figuring out where you’ll land and lay out the exact steps your participants need to take within two weeks to reach their desired result.

Once you’ve planned your challenge content, it’s time to shape it into a format that’s deliverable.

Step #2. Decide on a format for delivering your challenge content 

Your next step is to figure out how you want to deliver your challenge content. 

Of course, depending on your content topic, certain formats are a better fit, but nonetheless, you have a wide variety of formats to choose from.

If you’re a health chef like Heather Martin, who published SkinnyM’s 2-week weight watchers weight loss challenge, your content might be best suited as recipes for each meal during the challenge period.

Heather shares daily recipes in the form of blog posts with accompanying cooking videos, like this first breakfast recipe for Greek egg muffins on Day 1 of the challenge.

Another option is to create a series of videos to deliver your challenge content, just like Chloe Ting does on her YouTube channel. She even maps out the video series in the description of each 2-Weeks Shred Challenge video, so her audience can easily follow along.

Alternatively, you can follow in the footsteps of fitness entrepreneur, Lucy Wyndham-Read, who delivers her Feel Fabulous for the Summer 2-week challenge in the form of a downloadable PDF.

Inside Lucy’s PDF, you’ll find two weeks worth of links to daily instructional YouTube videos, so participants can stay on track with her challenge.

As you can see, when it comes to choosing your content format, you can get creative with it. Take notice, though, that video content is a common theme weaved into each of our two-week challenge examples here. 

For a good reason, too. A whopping 84% of shoppers are convinced to purchase a product or service from a brand after watching their video.

What’s more, 54% of consumers actually want to see more video content from the brands and businesses they support, so it’s worth taking the time to produce a video. 

Worried that creating a polished video will be overwhelming? Don’t be. You can film a high-quality video with just your iPhone

With or without video, though, create content that makes it super easy for your audience members to follow along with your two-week challenge. Be explicit in your directions and simply guide them to their desired result.  

Then, once you have your content created, it’s time to create a place for your members to access your challenge materials.

Step #3. Create your landing page and free membership 

Your third step is to create an opt-in landing page and/or free membership space to deliver your two-week challenge content.

While you can skip this step altogether and deliver your challenge materials without keeping it behind a “gate,” it’s hugely important for you to capture your audience’s email address. 

Why? So you can stay connected and nurture them to your other offers after the challenge. 

That is, if you want to grow your business.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to sell your profitable digital products, including your paid membership programs. 

In fact, email marketing delivers an impressive $42 of return for every dollar you spend. The extra effort that goes into email list building is definitely worth it.

So, to make sure you’re capturing your participants’ email addresses, you have two options -- the first being to create a landing page for opting into your two-week challenge. 

You can use a top landing page builder like Leadpages or Lander to create your opt-in page.  

If you’re wondering how to construct a landing page that converts well, look to our landing page guide -- it includes nine essential components and templates, and covers everything from the headline to CTA button copy.  

Once your audience signs up for your challenge, deliver your contents by sending them an email with your challenge details, or redirect them to a page with your challenge info after they sign up (or both).

A second option is to take it a step beyond creating a simple landing page and then delivering your challenge contents -- you can offer your challenge participants instant access to a free membership as a way to access your challenge materials. 

Offering newbies a free trial membership is an excellent way to give them a taste of what your paid membership is like. 

This lays the groundwork for converting your challenge participants, from free user to paid member, in a seamless transition following your two-week challenge.

Podia can help with that.

Podia’s easy-to-use platform lets you manage your entire challenge funnel -- from creating your landing page and membership sites to managing your emails, campaigns, and sales -- using just one dashboard and zero coding.

But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself how streamlined managing your business can be on the other side of this 14-day no-obligation trial.

If you want to see Podia in action, check out how entrepreneur Elizabeth Tollis offers both a free and paid tier to her Full Focus membership.

Otherwise, the gist of it is this:

Create a landing pad for opting into your two-week challenge. Whether it’s a landing page or access to a free membership trial (or combination of both), once you’ve collected your participants’ emails, you can nurture your audience to your paid membership.

Now that all the logistics are lined up, let’s turn our focus to promotion.

Step #4. Promote your 2-week membership challenge

It’s time to get the word out about your two-week membership challenge. 

An effective way to announce your challenge is to use an email sequence and send messages to your current audience leading up to the challenge launch. 

For an email sequence to follow, try our launch email templates, which include:

  • Pre-launch emails - mysterious pre-launch and build hype pre-launch emails
  • Product launch announcement emails - launch date and launch benefits emails
  • Follow-up emails - testimonial and Q&A follow-up emails

Another great way to get the word out is to share your challenge announcements on your social channels. 

If you’re wondering how effective today’s social media platforms are, the answer is still very

In fact, according to a recent Buffer study, a chunky 58.8% of marketers believe social media is very important to their overall marketing strategy.

For your social posting, simply follow the same principle as in the email sequence, where you build hype leading up to your challenge launch date. That way, when it comes time to launch, your audience is primed and ready to go for your new challenge.

To help excite your audience when posting on social media, include relevant images that feature the result you aim to deliver during the two-week challenge.

Check out Chloe Ting’s Facebook announcement where she shares her new core and ab workout. 

Alternatively, you can also post announcements highlighting past client successes, like in this Facebook post featuring one of Chloe’s fans’ before and after images.

Sharing images of an end result is a surefire way to excite your social audience to join your challenge. 

Better yet, host Facebook Live videos that promote your challenge. 

These days, Facebook Live produces six times as many interactions as traditional videos and 10 times more comments. Plus, the search popularity increased by 330% in just one year, so it’s worth a (live) shot. 

The main takeaway is to promote your two-week challenge by building hype among your current audience -- through email and social media announcements -- and get them excited about achieving results.

From there, enjoy engaging with your challenge participants and guiding them toward their desired results. 

Once your two-week challenge is over, though, the work doesn’t stop there. It’s the perfect time to upsell your participants and reel them into your paid membership -- our final step today.

Step #5. Upsell your membership 

Your final step is to win over your challenge participants and entice them to join your paid membership. 

Again, this is another place where email comes in handy. 

Since you’ve collected emails from your challenge participants, you can easily segment them into a group of two-week challenge contacts and nurture them in a personalized way.

Do this by writing relevant emails. Speak to your audience directly about their specific challenge experience and continue to help them reach their individual goals. 

Personalization is so effective that a staggering 78% of consumers claim that personally relevant content from brands increases their intent to purchase.

On top of being relevant, it’s also important to be explicit in your communication.

One of the biggest challenges in growing a membership is being able to clearly communicate the value and benefits of joining. 

So, clearly explain to your audience what they’ll gain by joining your membership. If you create a free trial membership, let them know what they can see more of and how it will be different from their trial experience. 

Another great way to communicate the value and benefits of your membership is to host a Q&A session in a live webinar. 

After all, 60% of webinars are aimed at creating loyal customers. 

To build your base of loyal member customers, invite everyone that participated in your two-week challenge to join the Q&A webinar. 

By answering questions and engaging with your audience live, you can overcome any objections they may have about joining your paid membership program.

In a nutshell:

Stay connected to your audience even after your two-week challenge ends. By sending them emails and hosting Q&A webinars, you can continue to help them solve their problems while picking up more paid members. 

See why Podia is the best platform for selling memberships

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I challenge you to launch your two-week challenge

While it’s a challenge in and of itself to launch a membership challenge, it’s a worthwhile undertaking.

Especially if you follow our five steps:

  • #1. Plan out your challenge content and map out steps for reaching a desired result.
  • #2. Choose from a wide range of formats and create your challenge content.
  • #3. Create a landing page and/or free membership trial for participants to access your challenge content.
  • #4. Announce your two-week challenge through an email campaign and series of social posts leading up to your event.
  • #5. Stay connected to your challenge participants after the challenge and nurture them to your paid membership.

Ready to boost your membership? You got this.

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