Transcript: How to Prepare, Plan & Execute a Profitable 5-Day Challenge

January 19, 2017

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today’s topic is a hot one. 

In 2016 I started to see challenges become even more powerful than the years past. I started to see people do thing with challenges that made a huge impact in their audience’s lives as well as their business. 

Some of the examples that come to mind: The girls at Simple Green Smoothies have been doing challenges to much success. Sarah Jenks of Live More Weigh Less has done challenges for years now and they have only gotten bigger and better. They are so personal. People get really engaged. 

Jasmine Star did a challenge in 2016 for Instagram. I could not believe she actually got a Facebook group of over 20,000 people just from one challenge. 

I’ve seen challenges do incredibly well for list building. I guess I need to back up. If you’re not totally familiar with the idea of challenge, it’s basically that you do seven days or ten days of challenging your audience to do something every single day. 

You guide them, maybe in a Facebook group or with live video or email, through the different challenges and inspire them and motivate them to do something. That engagement moves them closer to wanting to be a customer of yours and actually dive deeper with you. 

The whole thing for them to get into the challenge is that they first give you their name and email. That’s why I’ve seen challenges, as a list-building effort, be incredibly successful. I’ve never done a challenge before, which is probably why I wanted to do this episode today, because in 2017 I will definitely be doing some version of a challenge. 

I always like to learn from the masters, the people who have gone before me. That’s what this episode is all about. I started to follow what my friend, Zach Spuckler, was doing with challenges; because, not only was he doing challenges in his own business, he started to teach others how to do them as well. 

What makes Zach’s approach to challenges unique, his are not just about list building. They also have a focus on making sales. When I saw him make a direct play on selling with his challenges I knew I had to talk to him. If I wanted to know what he knows then I thought you guys would probably want to know as well. 

Real quick, Zach has been on my show before. He was in Episode #94 talking about the power of Periscope and how he used it to find his audience and also sell his programs. 

If you don’t know Zach, here’s a little bit about this talented 22 year old. Shoot me! Yes, he’s 22. 

In under a year, Zach built a six-figure business that allowed him to leave graduate school, quit his job, and become a full-time entrepreneur. These days he coaches and consults with clients who are growing their businesses online. 

When it comes to Facebook ads, Zach has things dialed in on anything to do with live streaming and creating lucrative on-line challenges. So I am really excited to introduce you to his strategy of challenges which, specifically are five-day challenges that actually lead to sales at the end of the challenge. 

Before we get into all of the details, and I have to tell you I already did this interview with him so I get to record the intro afterwards and I always love to do that because I have a little more insight, and at the end of the interview I told Zach I think this was an interview that had zero fluff. 

There’s not one word that you’re not going to want to hang onto, take notes, and literally put into action. We did our homework up front. I spent about an hour preparing for this interview. 

He has an amazing blog post where I took a lot of the details to get him to dive into his challenges. I’ll link to his specific blog post at the end as well. But, let me tell you, you are in for a treat. I loved every minute of the interview. 

I’ve teased you enough with how great it’s going to be. Before we get there, a quick word from our sponsor. If you are a freelancer, coach, or consultant I want to share a tool with you to help you manage the chaos that often happens when you’re juggling multiple clients and multiple projects. Fresh Books just released a new version of their cloud accounting software. 

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Okay, let’s go ahead and dive in. 

Amy: Zach, thank you so much for coming back on the show. I’m delighted to have you here. 

Zach: Thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be back. 

Amy: This is going to be a great episode because you and I have worked on it back and forth. We are ready to dive in. We have so much to cover so are you ready for this? 

Zach: I was born ready! 

Amy: Okay, perfect. Let’s get right to it. Before we get into all the glorious details of how you created your successful five-day challenge, I thought it would be fun to share your big results. They are incredibly impressive. 

I also think people, if they hear these results first, will actually have their interest peaked if they aren’t sure if challenges are worth the time and effort because your results actually make it very clear they are worth the time and effort. 

Why don’t you walk me through just the top-level results. Then, near the end we are going to get into those results and some of the details behind them. 

Zach: This is a challenge that we ran last year in 2016. We had about 1,292 people sign up, not about, actually. We had 1,292 people sign up. We spent about $434.23 on our Facebook ads. Our program was priced at $197. It was a digital course. 

We sold 104 of the courses, which is about an 8% conversion from signups. We also had an upsell that 19 people took us up on for about 18.2% of people taking us up on the upsell. When all was said and done our total revenue was $22,331. 

Amy: That’s so impressive, like I mentioned. Plus, you only spent $434 on ads to generate $22,000. That’s impressive. I know in the blog post that I mentioned in the intro that you were definitely going after a warm audience. 

You have an audience so you were really tapping into the people you’ve already attracted. Is that right? 

Zach: Yes. Absolutely. We talk about that a little bit in the blog post but we did target a warm audience. I always like to throw out the disclaimer that we have repeated this several times over with different results, different challenges, and we find that it still converts whether you have a warm audience or a cold audience. 

Amy: I love that. That’s what I was hoping you would say. For those of you who are still growing your email list, let’s say you have less than 1,000 on your email list and you’re really just struggling to get that list to grow, challenges are a great way to grow your email list and to also make some money. 

Just know that this episode is for anybody just starting out and  willing  to  test Facebook ads for a challenge or for those that have been at business for a while. What’s even better is that you’re going to tell us how you got those results. Because now it’s time to dive into specifics. 

So let’s start at the top. One thing I love that you’ve said about challenges in general is that you approach them as a system, not just something you throw together quickly to make a buck. This is totally up my alley. I love the idea of a system so tell me a little bit more about your approach before we get into the nitty gritty. 

Zach: We have a three-phase system we used. It’s technically a four-phase system but in the blog and in this episode we’ll call it a three-phase system because the first phase is learning the system. We won’t include that one but we have a three-phase system that breaks down to building the challenge, filling the challenge, and selling the challenge. 

We approach this as a system because challenges kind of got a little bit bigger in 2016. For whatever reason, it seems everyone was doing them. We were finding, and what I was seeing, a lot of people were doing them within my audience, within my niche, outside my niche, but they weren’t getting paid. 

I stepped back and said there had to be more than just “doing it.” I know you talk about webinars. It’s a perfect parallel to running the ads and throwing up a 90-minute presentation. That is not what a webinar is. That is what it is from a 20,000-foot view. But when you get into it there are all of these little intricacies. 

I stepped back and asked what we did to make this work. It really broke out into three pieces. We built it out so it actually started with a four-minute conversation with a friend of mine in New York. He said challenges were going to be huge and I had to do them. 

I doodled it on a little piece of paper I save to this day. 

Amy: I love it. 

Zach: We basically mapped out the process and built it. That is composed of daily emails, a Facebook group, strategic Facebook posts. We’ll get into all of that. But then the second phase is filling it. 

I’m in a similar space that you’re in. We’re both in the online marketing space. I find that’s where the red flags go up and the panic sets in. They have a system but they don’t know how to get people in. 

We have gotten really almost black and white, super clear about how that works. We actually do a couple of things that we’ll talk about that will allow people to bring more people into the challenge even after it signs up and leverage the challenge as an actual launch mechanism. 

I’m sure you’ve talked about this where you talk about your list-building blitz. Putting out a lot of content at once can create an influx of leads. So we created a system around filling your challenge that operates from a very similar perspective. 

The third phase is the selling phase. What good does it do you to get a really great system, build it out, get a ton of people signed up, and then not make any money? Our goal is to always be profitable on the back end by really structuring those five days. 

We talked about this a little bit. It’s not just five days of content, it’s five days of content specifically mapped out to move people to be ready to buy when that challenge ends and then taking a specific set of follow ups. 

Just like with webinars, launches, video series, it doesn’t stop on Day 5. We follow up with a series of emails and really targeted advertisements that convert people into buyers of our products. 

When it’s all said and done you learn it, you build the system out, you fill it up with really targeted leads, and then you sell a product so that you’re growing your list, your growing your revenue, and the really cool thing is that because you’re creating an awareness you’re also building your credibility and authority in the industry really, really quickly. 

Amy: Definitely. I just heard you snap. Did you just snap your finger? 

Zach: I did snap. 

Amy: Have to bring this up because I just interviewed Nicole Walters and while she got into her content, it was just a few episodes back, she said something really great and I heard her go “snap, snap, snap.” I asked her if she just snapped and she said, “I got really excited.” 

I love that you just did it too! 

Zach: I get excited. 

Amy: You guys crack me up. That’s so good. Here’s what I have to say before I get into my next question. This episode is airing at the beginning of 2017 but it doesn’t really matter when you listen to it, what Zach just outlined has a really bigger lesson I wanted to touch on really briefly. 

Anything worth doing in your business, and in order to really make an impact on your audience, your list building, and your revenue, it’s always going to be a system. It’s never going to be a quick little strategy you put together in two days and throw out there. 

Those instances are very, very rare and neither Zach nor I teach that kind of stuff. I want you to think about everything you’re doing in your business and where you might be able to pare back just a little bit or stop doing some things this year in order to put some solid systems in your business. 

What Zach is going to teach you in a moment is something you can do over and over again. But you can’t do it over and over again if you 1) don’t really treat it like a system and give it the respect, time, and effort it deserves, and 2) If you’re so busy dabbling with a bunch of different projects at one time. 

Most people that don’t succeed in online business have their hands in so many different things they won’t sit down and do what Zach’s going to talk about in this first step, which is to actually put it all together to make it come together and say, “This is exactly how it’s going to go and this is what I’ve created.” 

I just feel there is a lesson to why people succeed in online business and why there are those that don’t. Thanks for sharing that with us. 

Zach: I love that. 

Amy: My question is, let’s start with Part One, which I have heard you say is the most intensive part of the challenge. Walk us through that. 

Zach:  The first part is a little more intensive because it’s the build-it phase. It is where we put all of the content together. I created this phase because over the past year in my business this is something I really, really worked on. 

You can’t just fly by the seat of your pants to make it happen. You have to really be intentional with planning content in advance. Our challenges  run  on  a  three-part basis. We have daily emails that go out, we have a daily live stream we recommend you do on Facebook Live, and we are doing a daily Facebook post as well as a Facebook group. 

Everyday we’re creating three different touch points for our audience. Before I ever even promote the challenge, at the very, very minimum I will outline how the challenge will look. That includes the daily emails, daily live stream, and the post on Facebook. 

The big question is: What is all of that? 

In order to tell you what all of that is we kind of have to step back from the concept of building the challenge and introduce the concept of what I like to call the gap. 

The gap is what separates your clients from where they are now to where they want to be. It’s something you have to create the need for during your challenge. The easiest way I can explain this is to give you an example. 

Let’s imagine you are teaching people anything at all, let’s say, how to drink green smoothies. The average person isn’t saying, “I want to drink green smoothies.” 

Even the potential customer, even somebody who is ready to buy isn’t really saying they want to drink more green smoothies. They want to drink more green smoothies because they want to lose weight, they want to feel healthy, they want more energy. 

The gap is getting clear on where your people have a problem that they perceive, where is the solution you have, and how can you build five days of content that moves them from their problem to your solution. 

To get a little marketing nerd on you, challenges are essentially for people who are problem aware, possibly solution aware, and maybe even product aware but we are showing them how our solution solves their primary problem. Whereas a lot of challenges we see online, especially the ones that kind of tend to fall flat are five-day Instagram challenges, five-day Facebook challenges, five-day weight-loss challenges. 

You want to really get clear on the gap and the easiest way to do that is to make sure your challenge is based on a measurable outcome. Once we figure out their problem and how we can bridge that gap then we need to create a challenge that very specifically solves that problem. 

A couple of examples that are real-world examples we have done, create your first Facebook ad in the next five days. That was for a Facebook ads course we have. We did generate your next 20 leads and your first sale on Periscope in five days. 

We did one that was to outline your five-figure launch in the next week. 

Amy: Nice. 

Zach: We do very, very specific measurable outcomes that speak directly to their problem. That kind of forces you, without getting too far down the rabbit hole, it forces you to discover the problem and decide what your audience needs to hear, what they need to experience, and what they need to be told in order to understand their problem is solved with your solution. 

Then you create that content over the five days. Everyday you send them a really simple email that gives them a super short assignment. I mean really short, less than five minutes. Simple wins are the way to go. 

You create a live streaming content, usually about five minutes with ten minutes of Q&A, and that’s just kind of amplifying the experience of whatever you talk about in the email, you are just “saying” it. 

It’s similar to the podcast. You talk about blogs or we are talking about a blog I’ve done. But this is my opportunity to go deep and really explain it and create a high- touch know, like, trust. 

I talked about this the last time I was on your show. When people can see and connect with you in a live format the trust just gets a lot deeper a lot faster. Then, of course, you post to Facebook. The cool thing about your Facebook post is it’s actually just a copy of the email less the email introduction. 

Before I pause to take a breath and a sip of water and let you ask any clarifying questions, the last real golden rule of this content is that if somebody chooses to engage in your challenge at 100% capacity, meaning they are going to open your email everyday and read it, they are going to come onto the live stream and stay for the whole thing to watch it, they’re going to do the daily assignments and are going to check in on the Facebook group, you have to make sure the whole process is no more than 45 to 60 minutes. 

We do that because 1) Most people will not go through all of your content, and 2) They have no real skin in the game. You’ve talked about this on your show before and we hear it all the time, more is not better. Good laser focused content that specifically moves them from their problem to your solution is dramatically more important than throwing incredible content at them that overwhelms them over the course of five days. 

When you put that all together you have five days of strategic content that solves a problem in a way that makes them feel like they can get their own results and then introduces them to an opportunity to work with you further, which they have just gotten five days to experience what that’s like, and they become raving fans and instant customers. 

Amy: Oh my gosh, so good! I do have a few quick clarifying questions. When you say 45 minutes to an hour, are we talking about when you take the five days of content and add it up? That’s only an hour? 

Zach: It should be daily. 

Amy: Daily, okay. 

Zach: The way that breaks down, let’s say it takes them five to ten minutes to read the email and about ten to 15 minutes to watch the live stream and ten to 15 minutes to do your task. That’s your 45 minutes right there. 

Amy: Oh good. I was going to say, whoa, I can’t even do anything that fast if it’s all five days. So, daily. Perfect. Okay, great. So you’re saying in Part One you’re literally sitting down. I know I read this in your blog post where you said you went to Starbucks, hunkered down, and got it done. 

You suggest that you want people to just create it all. Write out the emails, outline what you’re going to talk about in the live stream, put any kind of worksheets or freebies together. You don’t just plan it but you actually create it in Part One? 

Zach: Yes. 

Amy: Got you. Okay, good, I like that. Now we’re moving on to Part Two. Part Two is all about the fill up. I have to say most of my students would say that finding people to join their challenge is something they either struggle with the most or they are so afraid of that part because they’ve had challenges along the way (they have had obstacles to make it happen) that they haven’t really started or tried a challenge because they don’t know if they could fill it up enough to be profitable. 

My hope is that you can break down Part Two for us so that we feel it’s really doable in terms of filling it up. 

Zach: Absolutely. I’m going to go in a slightly different order than what I have listed on the blog because I want to go in the order of ascending difficulty, from what feels super approachable to what feels a little more difficult. 

Amy: I love it. 

Zach: The first thing is organic marketing. I know this kind of feels like the red flag moment where you are like, “Oh Great! He’s going to say to post on Facebook and post on Instagram. But what if I don’t have a following?” 

When it comes to organic marketing the first thing you have to understand is that whether you have 100 people following you or 10,000 your organic marketing will attract people to your offer so it’s something you should never skip. I have this little saying, “If you operate like a business from Day 1 it’s a lot easier to operate like a business at Day 1,000. 

I can tell you while organic marketing felt a little scary when I was first starting my brand, now I would never do a promotion without throwing a post on Instagram or Facebook because I know I’ll generate leads. 

I always like to lead with that little disclaimer that I know it’s a little bit overwhelming. So let’s skip right over that. We’re going to assume you’re going to post on Facebook, post on Instagram, and all that good stuff. But let me give you some other organic marketing tricks we use to get people in, especially if you’re just getting started. 

The first one is a really strategic Facebook event. I’m sure a couple of people’s eyes rolled so hard they just saw their brain. 

Amy: Totally. I’m so surprised you’re saying this. Tell me more. 

Zach: I will tell you more. Facebook events do have a reputation for being used the wrong way. But there’s a really strategic way to use them with some of the new updates Facebook has done that people don’t know about. 

I recommend my brand newbies (people who are just getting into it), everybody’s a member of Facebook groups now. There are a million Facebook groups. I guarantee it. It’s part of our eco system now. 

What you can do with a Facebook event is to very strategically invite people based on groups you are both in…And your friends. I tell people to create a Facebook event. Don’t go crazy trying to invite everybody and their brother. 

Create a really simple link to your landing page for the challenge using LeadPages or whatever you use for your sign-up page. Then invite people that you are friends with on Facebook that you’re in Facebook groups together with that are relevant to your niche. 

I wouldn’t do this every time, this is usually for the first time you’re doing your challenge or as a way to really kind of push people into engaging with you. What happens, because of following the flow and using people who you are in groups with, who you have already connected with, you’re not actually cold marketing to anybody. 

You’re reaching out to your existing market and in that event I would say, “If you know anybody that might be interested in this just click the button and invite them.” 

The first time we did this we had over 1,000 people invited to our challenge and I only invited a couple hundred. I don’t do this every time. But there are people in your audience who are excited to promote you because generally speaking, we know in this space, people talk about what they want to do and share what they want to do. 

When you go into that first big marketing push you have dormant people watching you that want to help you promote so I always recommend to do a Facebook event the first time but then don’t do it every three weeks because that’s annoying. It’s a very strategic type of invite. 

The second thing is what I call “referral marketing”. It’s not affiliate marketing but referral marketing. You talk about this in your list-building blitz episode but we take a slightly altered approach. 

We encourage all of our students to write a blog post about the content of their challenge. You could take one of the days and really expand on it, preferably 1,000+ words (because everyone wants to know how many words it should be). 

That is totally an arbitrary number but it’s not a one-off post. Post good content that has a link to sign up for your challenge. If you don’t have readers you might be asking how you are going to get traffic, what if your list is small, what if you don’t have a ton of reach? 

I would take the blog and use it in your Facebook post and Instagram. People are way more likely to engage with something they don’t have to sign up for. 

The second thing I tell my students is to reach out to five to ten people in your industry that you know at some level whether it’s personally or slightly above you. Ask them to share the post. 

I have learned that influencers, people in your niche, even peers are way more likely to share a blog post. You don’t want to lie to them and tell them there’s nothing there. I’m very transparent and tell them I’m promoting a blog and a challenge, “I don’t want to ask you to promote my sign-up page but I’m looking to get more eyes on my content, would you mind advertising my blog post with just a simple share.” 

Amy: Nice. 

Zach: That does two things, and we’ll talk about that in the next step. But it also creates a credibility that other people are sharing your offer. Sometimes it really gets the ball rolling. 

Those are two things that are really outside of the post on Facebook and Instagram. They are things you can do. They take a little bit of leg work but they convert. I know that from personal experience from my students, not just from me. We’ve tested those and they work really, really well. 

Amy: Awesome. 

 Zach: The second type of promotion is Facebook ads. Always run Facebook ads for a challenge. I recommend that if you have an existing audience you at least run ads to the people who are on your list, people who like your page, and people who have visited your website. 

You also have a unique trick because, remember I just told you that you should write a blog and drive traffic to it, we can also run an ad to people that read the blog post but didn’t sign up for your offer. 

Those people will convert at a very low cost and we are essentially taking organic traffic to an audience we didn’t previously have and converting them to leads on our list. That is a total win across the board. 

I do my warm marketing ads, I do my retargeting ads, and then if I have a budget left over I’ll also be doing my cold ads to audiences of people who don’t know me. They get the standard “click here to sign up for my challenge” ads that you see around the internet. 

There’s a kind of side piece to Facebook ads. Because you’re live streaming every single day on your Facebook we also take that post everyday of the live challenge after you’ve started and we promote those. We leave our challenge open for enrollment while it’s already happening. 

We can come back and talk about that more because it’s part of the “sell it” phase but I just wanted to throw it in there that we’re going to be leveraging ads for people who are just getting started. It’s like $10 per day for the challenge commitment to boost those videos to both cold audiences and internal audiences. That will increase your signups. 

The third and final type of promo is email marketing. I leave that one for last because it’s pretty self explanatory. You send out an email to the people that are already on your list. I usually like to send three. I send the logical email, “Hey you should be doing this because blah, blah, blah.” 

I send the emotion email, “Let me tell you what it feels like to get these kind of results,” to invite them to the challenge. I then send the procrastinator email that goes out the day before, “Hey, you’ve seen the ads, you saw my post on Facebook. You still didn’t sign up. It’s starting with or without you.” 

We send those and ultimately we have now essentially treated the introductory level of our challenge as a launch on a smaller scale. We generate more signups as a result of that. 

Amy:  I have two questions. One is about live stream so don’t let me forget. I tend to have questions and can’t remember them. But the second one is timing of those email invites. 

If you have a five-day challenge starting on Monday how far in advance are you getting in front of this for your email invites? 

Zach: We do all of our promotion one week in advance, including the emails. We usually do the first email the previous Monday. We then do the second one on Thursday and the last one on Sunday. 

Amy: Perfect. Good. I can’t even tell you, I just have to stop you and say, “Thank you so much”. This is so detailed. It is exactly how I love to do my episodes with mini trainings so my heart’s beating kind of fast because I’m so excited. So, thank you for literally going above and beyond with this. I appreciate it. 

My second question was about live stream. I should have asked this in the beginning and it just popped up. When you talk live stream are you saying it’s free game in terms of Facebook Live, Periscope, and now Instagram Live? Is that the kind of live streaming you’re talking about? 

Zach: Yes. Without getting too much on a tangent, I recommend Facebook Live for these. The biggest reasons are 1) They are running commercials, they’re spending money, they’re now a household name so there’s a good chance your audience is already there; 2) The advertising is a lot more beneficial on Facebook. You can’t advertise your Instagram Live or Periscopes yet; 3) You get way better stats and way better targeting with those videos. 

There are all kinds of benefits to Facebook Live. It’s where our focus is shifting in 2017 and what we’re going to recommend outright. 

Amy: Perfect. Someone that you and I both know, Sue B. Zimmerman, talks about cross pollination. I’m guessing that it would be a great idea to jump on an Insta Story and say, “Hey, I’ve got this challenge. I’m doing a live stream today. Meet me over on Facebook Live.” 

You can use the other channels just to filter into a Facebook Live? 

Zach: Absolutely. 

Amy:  Great. We’ve gone through Part One and Part Two. Now we’re in Part Three which is all about selling. I think this makes your challenges really unique and it’s why I wanted to have you on the show. 

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t approach a challenge just for list building but you incorporate a big focus on moving your audience into paying customers. I really love that because now it has so much more power inside your business. 

Break this down for us. 

Zach: The really cool thing about these challenges, I’ve seen it myself and I’ve seen it with my students, I’ve seen it from people I don’t even know running challenges, when you lead with the problem, at the end of the day you’ve just helped people with what they resonate as one of the major pain points for five days. 

At the end of five days, unlike a challenge where we say, “Build your Instagram in five days,” then at Day 5 it’s kind of over. In this case we’ve solved that problem. It opens up a new problem. 

I’m going to use another example from a challenge we did. We did a five-day super simple email sales funnel challenge. By Day 5 you have a five-email funnel that essentially most people don’t have a follow up. 

We said we would teach people how to do that. Most people tell us, and I’m sure you hear this all the time, “My biggest problem is I can’t make money,” or “Nobody’s buying my products,” or “Nobody’s paying me”. 

What most people actually have is a traffic problem. If I ran a challenge called How To Generate More Traffic no one would sign up because they think they have a sales problem. We lead in by saying we will help build a sales funnel with a series of five emails that sell the product. 

We do it together and on Day 5 they have essentially said, “I built it. Now what?” Because we’ve given them really strategic wins every single day with short, actionable items, at the end of that they should have the emails and this is kind of a cheat because this is probably more than 15 minutes but we did give them templates to keep it simple, but on Day 5 they have the funnel and are asking, “Now what?” 

We now say they need traffic. This is the point where we get to step in as the expert and say, “Hey, remember you said you had a sales problem? I showed you what it’s like to solve that problem. Let’s solve the next problem together.” 

At that point we introduced our Facebook ads program that sold exceptionally well. I know the question was, “How do you sell,” and I stepped back to the promise. But it starts with the promise. 

Understanding you have to build the gap first, if you build that gap, deliver really relevant content that’s really actionable, on Day 5 they aren’t going, “That was awesome,” they’re asking, “What’s next?” 

You then get to introduce a paid solution. 

Amy: I’ve got to stop you real quick because I’m very excited about the strategy. For any of you who are in my Webinars That Convert course or for any of you that just do webinars in general, you know the webinar content is all about the promise and opportunity. 

I always tell my students when they go into the sales portion of a webinar it’s like the easiest transition because you already showed them the opportunity. Now you’re going to help them dig deeper into one specific area. 

I think they are very, very similar. I love that you’re doing this. One of the reason I wanted to interview you, I wanted to offer my students other strategies beyond just webinars. But the cool thing is that alignment you’re talking about is totally the same for both. 

Zach: Yeah, absolutely. It really starts with the promise and that’s what’s going to steer the direction of the whole sales conversation. 

Amy: That’s so important. So keep going. 

Zach: Assuming you have that all right and you are to Day 5, what do you actually do? We’ll talk about this and I know we’re going to talk about the stuff we learned and how we up level it. But, in our most very basic version of the challenge, which is what we teach, we don’t do a webinar, we don’t do a live class, we don’t do a video series, we don’t do anything other than a live stream on Day 5 that sells our product. 

On Day 5 we already know we’re going to introduce our solution. All we have to do is create a really simple five to ten-minute pitch for our product. It’s very similar to a webinar where you have a five to ten-minute pitch, except instead of doing all the content in 45 minutes in one sitting we have just broken it up into five days and moved them to that point. 

We only do the live stream and position the product for sale. We used to find that if you were doing live streams on Periscope that converted really, really well in real time. We find that with Facebook Live it converts well not in real time. 

Amy: Yes. 

Zach: Most people will tell you it’s harder to get people live on a Facebook Live than it is on a Periscope. But don’t let that live show up or initial sales falter you. 

We’ve had several students who have said that “nobody” bought. But then come Monday I get the email that tells me a ton of people bought and they shouldn’t have panicked. Don’t panic. You lead in with the live stream. 

Then you take that live streaming video and retarget everybody in your challenge. You can do this with Facebook ads whether you’re in ConvertKit, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, it doesn’t matter what software you have for your email, you export the list and upload it to Facebook then run ads for that Day 5 to them. 

We know if they signed up on Day 1, whether they engaged or not, they want a solution to the problem and that’s what I’ve just provided. We’re actually advertising to a warm audience. 

The second type of retargeting ad we do is to build a recap page. It’s super simple. We do it in Lead Pages. Everyday you go live you just save it to your phone. We’re going to assume you are going Monday through Friday, on Friday you share a link to a Lead Page that’s a recap page. 

The recap page is all five videos and a copy of all five emails as a PDF. That kind of brings in the theory of reciprocity. Basically, when you give to people they want to return the favor. On Friday when you put the retargeting page  together  with  five videos and a recap of all of the emails we are basically saying, “Look at all this stuff I gave you for free.” 

Because they already signed up it is ungated and does not require another opt in. It is theirs. We will retarget people that visit that page back to our sales page. 

Of course, we set up our sales page retargeting ads. Anybody that visits the sales page will also be retargeted. We then send out six emails over the course of a weekend. Yes, it feels like a lot. Yes, it converts. 

On Friday we send out our first email that recaps the whole challenge. It says, “Hey, my paid product is for sale, by the way the recap page is up.” We are hitting three things. We are wrapping it up, we’re recapping everything we’ve given them, we’re bringing in the reciprocity and introducing our solution. 

We then send a few more emails over the weekend. Essentially they are designed to do some really core things. We want to overcome core objections. We want to share results that our past students have gotten, case studies. 

If you don’t have a case study then tell a story of how you came into this space or how you started teaching it. Most of us have a personal story or connection or reason we do something. That can be just as powerful as a testimonial when you’re first getting started. 

We also put a deadline in there and have a couple of emails about that. We like to keep it really simple. The cart is only open from the time we do our live stream on Friday until Sunday at midnight. It’s a short window. It creates urgency. It creates scarcity. It moves people into action. 

We might also do something like decrease the price temporarily or throw in a bonus. Everybody has their own school of thought about what the best way to implement scarcity is. But we do have a scarcity deadline. 

Just to recap super quick, whether you follow our flow or not the key things are to recap the whole challenge, remind them they can buy, overcome the core objections, give them a story or case study, and give them a couple of reminders of the deadline, at least two reminders on the last day if not three. 

Amy: That’s so good I can’t stand it. Definitely, that’s a lot to cover. I’m going to tell people how they can get their hands on a really cool guide you created to walk them through it when they’re ready to sit down and do it. But before I get there I wanted to ask you, because I know you’ve done many challenges since your $22,000 big success challenge. 

Real quick anyone listening who has never done a challenge, I suggest you do it exactly how Zach just outlined this challenge. I think this is the perfect place to start. But, Zach kind of teased me with the fact that he’s added some bells and whistles down the road. He’s done some more sophisticated things even since the challenge. I thought maybe you could hint at those for those that are ready to take the challenge to an entirely new level and to kind of peak their interest as they get going. 

Zach: Sure. One of the things we did that worked really well, we just did a challenge- based launch at the end of 2016, this is how we know that challenges work because we actually did it during the election. 

Amy: Which was really when everyone was having the worst case of high-paying Facebook ads ever. That’s impressive. 

Zach: We paid a ton. 

Amy: But you still did well so that’s great. 

Zach: We did well. We ran a six-figure challenge and some of the things we did to kind of change the dynamic a little bit, we added a couple of webinars on the back end. 

Amy: I was curious about that. Tell me where those would fit in.

Zach: We don’t recommend you do webinars the first time around.

Amy: No, no, no. 

Zach: Not at all because I’ve tried to explain this to my students because I’ve had a few students who want the “best” up front. But you don’t. Challenges are their own system and webinars are their own system. Luckily I’ve been studying and doing it long enough that I can see where to put them together. 

If you’re getting started you might not be able to do that and that’s normal. So don’t dive in with a webinar right away. But we stacked a webinar on Friday and essentially replaced the last live stream with a live class and did some really strategic stuff with our emails so that only people who didn’t sign up were getting regularly invited. 

We did some retargeting ads but essentially rather than pitching  them  on  a  live stream we know that they are going to be more engaged and the people who show up for the webinar are going to be more likely to buy because we’ve warmed them up really strategically over four days. 

That webinar converted exceptionally well. We did an encore webinar and then one other webinar that we just drove cold traffic to just to get some metric against it. 

Another thing we did was affiliates. Oh my gosh, this worked so well. 

Amy: Really? 

Zach: It worked exceptionally well for us. The thing is we didn’t go crazy with our affiliates. We actually kind of stole a page right out of Todd Herman’s book. I’ve done the 90-Day Year with Todd and I just love that he does student affiliates. 

I don’t need crazy intense people. The people who know how good my program is are the obscure niches. We have one girl who does photography for parents. We have one girl that does manifesting, and then we have health and wellness. 

Ironically, the people that did the best weren’t in a business niche. That was pretty cool to see. 

Amy: I love that. 

Zach: I love getting out of the bubble. 

Amy: Me too. 

Zach: We essentially let our students be affiliates. Part of the reason that worked so well is we treated our affiliates really well. We did regular leader boards. We gave them swipe copy. We gave them ad copy. We put somebody on my team in charge of communicating with them. 

Again, it’s a little bit more of an advanced strategy but I want to say it added about 

$15,000 in sales to our launch for what is now a reusable set of work. Affiliates are another good way to go. 

The last thing is just putting more money in. I always love to tell people you can care about your students, and I love my students, but it is a numbers game. Right? 

You do have to kind of start to scale up the ad spend. That big one over the election, don’t everybody get too nervous, but we spent about $20,000 on ads. Our costs were really higher than they should have been. We spent about twice what  we  were planning to. 

It still converted on the back end. If you really want to take it to the next level we like to reverse engineer what a $10,000 challenge would look like. We crunch the numbers to see how many sales we need if your conversion is 3% to 4%. Crunch all the numbers first and check to see if it converts. 

Then all you have to do if you want to 10x that is bring in 10x the number of leads. As you do that you start to learn other stuff like how you can use live streaming and how you can use other ads and Google ads and YouTube ads. 

We haven’t really gone into that space yet but that other way to up level it is just new leads and new lead sources. That is something we’re playing around with in 2017. 

Amy: There are so many great ideas. I love that you are teaching a system that people can build on as their business grows an as their profits grow and they want to reinvest in their business with ads. I think it is a beautiful model. 

As I promised in the beginning, I want you to break down your results one more time but give us a little commentary about those numbers. Now that we understand the challenge, what you did, I would love for you to break it down with a little bit more detail if you’re cool with that. 

Zach: Yeah, absolutely. In total we had 1,292 people sign up. Almost all of those were internal. I am totally okay to tell you that. I think it’s better to be transparent than to give you a false hope you can get millions of leads if you’re brand new for no money down. 

It’s not a used car it’s leads. So it costs a little more up front. But we got about 1,292 people in. I told you we leave the enrollment open during the challenge to bring more people in because at the end we’re recapping and retargeting. 

We brought in about 150 people during the challenge. We’ve seen students actually double the number of people in a challenge just by leaving it open. It is a little hack that makes a huge world of difference. 

Amy: Meaning they can sign up on Day 3 and start with Day 1 even though you’re on Day 3? 

Zach: Yes. They can sign up on Day 3 and they will essentially get Day 3 and Day 4, but on Day 5 they will get everything they missed. 

Amy: Oh, got you. 

Zach: We adjust that first email to basically say, “On Day 5 we will give you everything you missed, just stick with us.” 

Amy: Oh nice. It makes the whole recap even more valuable. I’ve got you. 

Zach: We got about half of those from Facebook ads and the other half from organic marketing, from that external sign-up system where we let people come in back end from email marketing and we spent about $435 on ads. 

I want to say about 60% of that was our front-end leads. The rest was retargeting, running posts and live streams as a daily post that pushes our content into the newsfeed. One of the things we didn’t really get to go too deep on but that is really relevant is that we take our email and post it on our Facebook page and then run that post as an ad to people that signed up for the challenge. 

We know not everybody checks their email and I can look at my email open rates and see that is 100% true. 

Amy: This is big. This is something I haven’t talked about on the show because I was waiting for Rick Mulready, my resident Facebook ads guy, to come on. He shared this with me too. I didn’t know you did it too, Zach, but putting your email copy in a Facebook post and then turning it into an ad. 

Rick said he didn’t even add an image, it was just the text, but then it is so hyper targeted to those that are in your challenge. I heard those work like gang busters. 

Zach: Amazingly well. They work so, so well for us. 

Amy: Wow, I have not tried that yet but that’s a little tip for all of you hot off the press. It’s something that I’m seeing that’s kind of newer. I haven’t seen that a lot. I love that you tested that. 

Zach: We tested that and we always say that’s what we’re doing now. The basic version is to take the post and boost it to people who like your page. Generally speaking, the first email we have people send out is a “Make sure you like our page and make sure you’re following the live streams.” 

We are using the concept, you could do it the advanced way by retargeting with your list or, in this case, you can kind of just boost a post to people who like your page. But you don’t want to get too boost happy. I know that’s a whole can of worms I’m half opening but that’s the beginner and advanced version. 

Amy: I’ve got it. 

Zach: We do that as well. Then, of course, we run retargeting ads. We’re going to retarget them to the recap page, the sales page, and of course we’re retargeting the Day 5 live stream. 

In total we spent $435, which was exceptionally low. Not all of our challenges are that low or that high profit. But this was the first time we had done this type of promotion to our audience so there’s kind of a byproduct of every time you do something new your existing audience gets super excited. Let’s not write that off too much. 

We had some things working in our favor but, again, we’ve tested this on mostly cold audiences. We did a much larger launch with it and it still works. 

In total we got 104 sales of our program that we priced at $197, which was an 8% conversion from our sign ups. 

Amy: That’s very high! 

Zach: Very high. We tend to see a 6% to 8% conversion on our warmer audiences and we see a 3% to 5% conversion on our cold audiences. 

Amy: That’s still really high. 

Zach: When you’re crunching your numbers we recommend that you kind of work with a 3% conversion rate and that is a little higher than you see with a video series or even an email-based launch. Sometimes, not always but sometimes, that can be even higher than a webinar when you’re talking about your high-level numbers. 

We have to remember, especially when you’re starting out and you have less than 1,000 people, you’re emailing them on a regular basis and  that’s  permission marketing, not like a regular launch where we’re emailing them everyday and they don’t know if they want anymore emails. 

They are also in a Facebook group. We set up the Facebook group for the challenge so it feels very high touch. It’s not like a webinar or video series where I see the expert but I’m not engaging with the expert. We are actually engaging with them on a regular basis. 

Because we’ve structured the actual challenge to speak to a problem versus to speak to our authority we build the know, like, and trust around their problem and they are more likely to buy. 

That’s why I love recommending challenges for people who are just dipping their toe in the water. It has all of these things that work in your favor even if things don’t go perfect. 

We had an 8% conversion, which was a base revenue of $20,488. One of my mentors, 

James Wedmore, who I am sure a lot of your listeners know… 

Amy:  Should out to James, we love him.

Zach: Yes. He said I should be doing upsells.

Amy: Yes. 

Zach: So we did test out an upsell and now we use them on everything because they work so great. I know you’ve talked about them before and they are amazing and people rave about them. 

We did a $97 upsell that 18.2% of the people took, which is pretty much where you want to be. They say 15-20%. I know you blew that out of the water with your Webinars That Convert. 

Amy: Just my first one. You’re right. There’s something about it being super new. We had never done an upsell before so I always think that’s kind of magic. I kind of messed up because I didn’t tell people what you had sold in this challenge. Forgive me guys because I kind of glossed over that. 

You sold a program called Rock Your Live Streams. 

Zach: Yep. That’s right. 

Amy: That’s the program you sold for $197. Your upsell was a template  kit  for Periscope to YouTube, right? 

Zach: Yes. 

Amy: What do you mean by a template kit? I know we’re not going to get into upsells specifically, but people are always curious what they sell. Also, can you explain really quickly where that fit in to the system you put together? 

Zach: Absolutely. The upsell we sold was a template kit that James actually built when we did an affiliate with him. He was kind enough to let me retain that as one of his mastermind members, which was awesome. 

It is a set of Photoshop files that you can take your video from Periscope, drop it in, and rather than seeing ugly horizontal videos you see people take, do they know they are not using all of the valuable video real estate? It fills it in with links to your Instagram, calls to action. 

Amy: Oh nice! 

Zach: If you look up Periscope template you will see examples of them all over because they are super popular now. But that’s what we did. With upsells you want to make sure it is something they don’t need but it enhances the experience. 

We thought that was the perfect enhancement for people who want to take it to the next level. And, because James had done it we were able to say we had a YouTube person walking through how to do it and why to do it. 

Amy: You scored on that one. 

Zach: Slight advantage there. We have tested upsells that I built before anybody knew my name and those convert too. 

Amy: Cool. 

Zach: So they work. But that’s what we did. The way it fits in is that we follow a very traditional upsell model, the stuff you see from the Ryan Deiss and kind of the same way you’ve done it in your launches. 

But right after they buy we say, “Hey, right now you have an offer to add this to your order for $97.” It’s a super simple two-minute video. It’s me talking. I probably should have gotten a haircut before I did it. 

We basically hit three really key things. We tell them everything you paid for, you got and we’re not “Oh by the way, you needed this too.” We tell them they got everything they needed and everything we promised on the sales page is already waiting for them. 

We tell them this is a way to enhance it and we speak directly to them and tell them we know some of our students want more and so do some of their students. 

Believe it or not, there are people waiting for higher touch and higher level offers from you. The moment you put it in front of them they know they are one of those people that doesn’t just want live streaming, they want to take it to the max and are willing to spend $97 to do it. 

The last thing we do is tell them we’re not selling the upsell on our website. They aren’t going to find it on the website. This is their opportunity to buy it. We validate their feeling that there is something else for sale by saying it IS something else; they got everything the NEEDED. 

We speak directly to the right buyer, “If you want more this is for you,” and then we throw a scarcity deadline on it and it converts really well. 

Amy: Nice. After all is said and done his total sales were $22,331. That’s so impressive. He’s gone on to then do a six-figure challenge, which is awesome. But I loved the specificity of this case study. I just couldn’t wait to get Zach on the show to talk about it. 

Zach, thank you so very much for being incredibly generous with your insights. My hope is that so many people today will listen to this and think they can do it and that this is something they really want to implement as a system in their business. 

I know you have a fantastic freebie. I know this because I’ve downloaded it myself. I got really excited about it. It basically breaks things down. What Zach went through here is going to be broken down at an entirely very tangible level where you see it in front of you, you take notes, and you build out your challenge with him. 

It’s totally free. It’s a guide and if you go to I will have it as the first link in my resources. Scroll down at http:// and the first link is going to be to his freebie that I want you to definitely get your hands on. It’s worth every minute of just sitting down when you’re ready to do this. Pull it up, print it out, and then get to work. 

Zach, thank you for offering that. I know people are going to find it incredibly valuable and it’s absolutely free, which is so cool. 

Zach: Of course. Thank you so much for having me. It’s always a blast. 

Amy: It’s always so much fun so thanks again. Take care. 

There you have it. I hope you enjoyed this interview with Zach as much as I have. Like I said, do you believe me now? Zero fluff. We got right to the nitty gritty of all of the details. It is exactly what I love from my episodes. 

I hope you enjoyed this mini training and I truly hope you do your own five-day challenge. I can promise you this, sometime during 2017 I will be putting my own challenges together. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to do it because I would like to link them to my automated webinars so I have to talk to Zach a little bit later about how that might look. 

I’m definitely going to be exploring this. I have a really good one in mind. I can’t wait to share it with all of you. But here’s something that’s kind of interesting. I have some projects that I’m working on right now. We’re automating my three online training programs and at the time of this recording we’re finishing up the rebrand of my website. 

I’ve had the same website since I started my business so it’s about time. I know some of you go to my website and think it’s a mess. We’re finally fixing it. But I have to get those projects done. When they are done you can be sure I’m going to switch gears and start thinking about these challenges. 

I think it’s really important that you always prioritize. Finish what you’re doing now and then move on to something cool like these five-day challenges. I know I can’t wait to do so. 

I want to remind you that I want you to go to and check out our show notes and some details about this episode. But, if you scroll all the way down, the very first link in the resources at the bottom will be a link to Zach’s freebie. 

I’ll also link to the blog post where he breaks this down in detail. I just thought it would be more fun if he did it where we can go back and forth and have a chat about it and that’s why I wanted to do this episode. 

Finally, before we wrap up, a quick word from our sponsor. If you’re currently a freelancer, coach, or consultant and you’re juggling multiple clients, I want  to encourage you to check out Fresh Books. They just released a new version of their cloud accounting software. 

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Fresh Books is offering a 30-day unrestricted, free trial to all of my listeners. To claim it go to  and  enter  Online  Marketing  Made  Easy  in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. 

Okay guys, thanks so much for tuning in. In next week’s episode #145, I’m going to help you choose a webinar title that is sure to be a huge success. If you’ve been thinking about webinars, if you already have a webinar title and don’t love it, if you want a little hand holding mini training on webinar titles and topics, meet me here next week. I can’t wait to dive in. 

Until then, have an amazing week. Bye for now. 


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