Three Common Mistakes in Running a Challenge and What To Do About Them

Common Mistakes

Last week I finished running my first challenge. It was 30 days, and for each day I had a blog post and an email message for my participants.

Overall I learned a lot, especially about what not to do. So today I want to share with you three mistakes I made, and what should have been done instead.

Mistake #1 – Not having my content prepared ahead of time

I’ve never been a stockpiler of content. Usually it’s a good deal for me if I get a post done the night before it’s due. That is not the way to work things if you know you have to do 30 posts and get them out on time every day of the challenge. I never had time to get the Instagram posts or the videos done that I wanted because I was usually finishing up the daily emails at about midnight the night before.

What should have happened:

I should have given myself plenty of time to get all 30 blog posts, emails, social media posts, and videos done before the challenge started. Everything should have been pre-loaded and ready to go so that all I had to do was promote the challenge and engage with the participants.


Mistake #2 – Not having a marketing plan

Again my lack of planning came back to bite me. I didn’t promote enough. My own lack of confidence showed in the fact that I never really told anyone outright that I was running a challenge.

The challenge really started out as something I put together for a giveaway and other than a few blog posts that I shared on social media and with our PAC community members, the only place it was advertised was the giveaway itself.

All totaled, I ended up with about 30 participants, and that’s really not enough to make a challenge like this work, especially if you’re using a Facebook group to communicate. But it’s also not a bad turnout for the very little promotion I did.

What should have happened:

I should have created a complete marketing plan, and started promoting at least 2-3 weeks before the challenge started. The plan was always to use my Facebook group as home base for the challenge, so I should also have created an event and invited everyone on my friend list, and all the contacts on my business pages. Paid advertising should also have been used in order to reach a larger audience. My social media strategy could have been better planned as well, so that my followers on all platforms knew what was happening. I can honestly say I really dropped the ball on that one this time – or maybe I was just too unsure of myself to pick it up in the first place.

Mistake #3 – Not getting out of my own way

This is probably my biggest mistake and the one where I need the most work. I wanted to do a confidence building challenge because it’s one of the topics I enjoy writing about the most (outside of content marketing, of course). The more I write about it, the more I boost my own confidence, and I needed that too. And I really enjoyed the writing part and even the emailing part. But I shied away from the group interaction because I didn’t have a vision for how that would work. I had wanted to do a live video every morning, but could never work up the courage or the confidence to actually put myself on camera.


What should have happened:

I should have had a clear vision for what was going to happen. Was the challenge going to be fixed or ongoing? Was I going to do live video every day, or host conference calls? Even as the month progressed, I wasn’t sure which way things would end up going.

In the end, I decided that this would be an ongoing challenge – meaning you can sign up any time and work through at your own pace. It’s a good way for me to build my list and introduce people to my blog. It’s the first step in the know, like, and trust process. The biggest thing that needs to change now is that I need to be more active on social media and not hiding away in my little writing cave.

As for the video portion, I’m going to start with creating slideshow videos using PowerPoint or Lumen5 and gradually work my way up to doing live daily videos. Since the actual posts are done, I can focus on repurposing them and creating additional content that complements the original series.


Was the challenge a success?

For me, personally, I consider it a success because I got through the whole 30 days without giving up or giving in to my own insecurities around whether people were liking the content. But, in reality it was okay for a first effort, and can only get better from here. As for whether the participants enjoyed and got what they needed from the challenge… we’ll have to wait for their feedback to find out. 🙂

Join the 30 Day Confidence Challenge

Thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know …




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