Step-by-Step Process to Host a Yoga Challenge
Are you thinking about running a yoga challenge to help you reach more students?
Challenges are a great way to grow your business so I wanted to help you by outlining the steps to take to host an effective challenge. In this episode I share the step by step process but if you’re looking for all the templates to make it even easier, check out my Yoga Challenge In A Box! It includes everything you need to run a challenge!
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Why Free Yoga Challenges Work
Whether you decide to call yours a “challenge”, an “experience”, or something completely different, the idea is that you guide your students through a series of daily tasks that over a period of time will help them achieve a specific win.
Free challenges help you grow your yoga business because they are (1) free and (2) shareable and (3) community-driven sometimes and (4) a great intro to how you teach.
All these elements are great to help you grow your business anytime but a free challenge puts them all together in a fun package!!!
Speaking of a fun package…..I’ve created a “Yoga Challenge In A Box” for you! This virtual box includes all the templates and plans you will need to run your successful yoga challenge. Seriously, all the templates you can think of — social media posts, images, emails, sign up page, and to-do lists! I’ve got you completely covered with this one!
Free — you can certainly charge for a challenge but offering a short challenge for free is a great way to grow your email list. Plus, you can always run the challenge for free at first and then if you start to see success and want to charge for it, you can. But free is a great place to start.
Sharable — when you host a free challenge it’s often something that people share with friends which is a big win for you! More people in the challenge and on your email list!
Community-Driven — you don’t have to have a community element to your challenge but it’s often a great idea. This can be a facebook group, an instagram account, or a private group in another platform. The idea is to have a place where your challengers can share their experience and wins with others.
Intro to how you teach — this is the best thing you can do to show how amazing you are as a teacher! Show up for someone several days in a row, providing value, guiding them and cheering them on in whatever way feels right to you. This is a great intro to you as a teacher so those challengers can hopefully become your students.
Steps To Run A Successful Yoga Challenge
For this example, I’m going to make some assumptions about your challenge because otherwise, there’s just too many moving parts. But you get to make this challenge your own so when it’s time for you to do this on your own, feel free to make modifications (just like you tell your students in your yoga classes).
Also, this example is based on a live challenge meaning you’re starting on a specific date and ending on a specific date. After you’ve run the challenge you can of course run it again at another time or you might decide to make it evergreen, meaning always available.
If you decide to make it evergreen, you would need to update your emails and processes but it’s definitely possible to do this so it can continue to grow your email list and bring in your dream student!
As we go through these steps, if you start to feel overwhelmed, remember that I’ve created a Yoga Challenge In A Box for you! You can buy the virtual box and there are templates for everything!
Step 1: Decide on Challenge Topic
There isn’t much you can do before you know a few things about what they heck you want to do. To kickstart this thinking, I suggest thinking about an offering you have or are looking to launch. From there, work backwards. We will walk through this in the example.
- Who are you creating the challenge for? (your dream student, not everyone)
- What is just one struggle they have? (narrow in on one, trust me, specific is better)
- How can you help them with that struggle? (start broad, then narrow down to a simple solution)
- How can you break that simple solution down into small, super tiny chunks? (3, 5, 28 days)
What’s a paid offering you have right now?
Saturday yoga class for long-distance runners
Who are you creating the challenge for?
Long Distance Runners
What is just one struggle they have?
Tightness in hamstrings
How can you help them with that struggle?
You know that over time a regular yoga practice is the answer. Break that down in a shorter solution; example: one full length class. AKA: your Saturday class! You know that a full hour-long class will help them loosen up their hamstrings but that’s not a challenge so you need to break that down some more. Do you know 3 or 5 poses that would help a runner loosen up their hamstrings after a run? I bet you do!
How can you break that simple solution down into small, super tiny chunks?
5 poses that will help runners after a long run
- Forward fold with bent knees
- Extended triangle
- Legs up the wall
- Staff pose
- Wide-legged forward fold
Step 2: Decide on Challenge Details
Once you know the topic, it’s time to figure out when you will host the challenge and all the other details like how you will deliver the information and what channels you will use. And of course your goals!!!
When do you have time to be ON for the 5 days (or however many days you decided to include when you broke everything down? Keep in mind that you will have to do quite a bit of work BEFORE the challenge so don’t start it too soon. Look at your calendar and decide the following dates:
- Challenge start date
- Challenge end date
- Marketing start date (one week before the start of the challenge)
What medium is best to deliver the content?
Depending on your yoga challenge, the best medium could be different. Would your dream student prefer to get the information in video, audio or text/image form? Keep in mind this is not what method YOU prefer to create but what medium is best for you DREAM STUDENT. What will help them actually take action and have a quick win? This is what you’re going after. Based on the type of content you’re delivering to them, you will need to use channels to get that information to them.
- Website/Sign Up Page — you will need a way for people to sign up for your challenge. You can create a sign up page on your website or use a template from your email service provider.
- Email — everyone needs this no matter what, you will need to send daily emails to your challengers
- Videos — if you will deliver video content, you will need a player for this. Use whatever you’re already using if you’re creating videos. If not look into your options: YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Audio — you will need a player for this too. Use whatever you’re already using if you are creating audio files. If not look into your options: Soundcloud, your website, etc.
- Text/Images — you will want to create PDFs if you will send text and images. For this I suggest using Canva templates for this and exporting as a PDF.
- Community — will you have a community element to your challenge so challengers can connect and/or share their experience?
You need to know what success looks like for you with this challenge. I want you to think realistic but don’t underestimate yourself either. If your current audience is 100 email subscribers, 200 followers on Instagram you wouldn’t want to set your goal at 1,000 people in your challenge but I also wouldn’t want you to say 10. I also suggest that you set Good, Better and Best goals so you can celebrate along the way.
- Challenge start date: December 7
- Challenge end date: December 11
- Marketing start date: November 30
- Email: using ConvertKit to send emails
- Medium: video hosted on YouTube as an unlisted video
- Community: Private Facebook Group
- Goals: G = 30, B = 50, B = 60
Step 3: Outline Your Content
You’ve already done some of this when you broke down your challenge to determine how many days you needed included but this step will help you clarify exactly what you will deliver each day. This can be a simple google doc to help you get organized. **Again, this is all included in the Yoga Challenge In A Box.
For each day in your challenge, you want to outline:
- The action you will ask them to take that day. Make sure it’s 5 minutes or less, you need it to be a quick win unless you’ve otherwise specified this.
- What you need to do to deliver that message to the challengers.
Ex: Day 1 in Runner Challenge
- Action for challenger: practice the forward fold with bent knees pose for 5 minutes
- Action for you: record the video, edit the video, upload video to YouTube, write and create daily email, schedule email, write daily Facebook Group post
- Message: explain why forward fold is helpful for hamstrings and show how to get into pose (all in 2 minutes or less)
The goal for this step is to make ALL the decisions about the daily challenge information so you aren’t making them when you’re creating the content. I want you to use a Google doc or whatever you choose so when it’s time to record or create, all you have to do is look at your ‘script’.
Step 4: Map Out Your Pre-Challenge To-Do List
Based on all the things you’ve decided: your delivery method, your channels, your daily content, create a Pre-Challenge To-Do List. While it’s possible to feel a little overwhelmed at this point when you see the list grow, remember that it’s worth it. Make the list and start checking things off.
My goal for your Pre-Challenge To-Do List is for you to have as much done as possible so that during the days of your challenge, your main job is to show up live. Answer questions in your community, email inbox, and continue to promote the challenge by engaging with current challengers. The less of the content you have to create during the challenge, the better.
Step 5: Map Out Your During-Challenge To-Do List
Based on the things you’ve decided: your community, your daily content, create your During-Challenge To-Do List. Remember, the less that’s on this list the better.
Step 6: Get It All Mapped Out On Your Calendar
You need to dedicate time to get all this done. From creating the daily content to creating the promotional content to get people signed up for the challenge. It’s all needed and important so it needs to be done and that means it needs to be on your calendar. Whatever type of calendar or task management system you use, it needs to go in there!
Pro tip: look at your pre-challenge to-do list and prioritize tasks based on what needs to be done first, second, etc. For example, you might be tempted to record your videos first but really, the sign up page is the first thing that needs to happen or no one can sign up for the challenge. So the sign up page and welcome email are the critical pieces!
Step 7: Get To Work & Make It Happen
This is the tough part. Planning can be fun but it’s when you have to do the work that it can feel like too much. Keep the end in mind my friend and keep going. You’ve got this! And if you need some encouragement, go back and listen to episode #39 on the podcast. It’s worth it and you can do this! One step and one task at a time.
Step 8: Promote the Challenge
For 7 days before the challenge starts it’s your job to invite people to join the challenge every day. Every. Day! You have to be inviting someone every day. This can look like posting to social media, emailing your list, personal messages on social media, inviting your students in your classes. The key is you’re talking about the challenge every day. And don’t forget to encourage them to invite their friends too! They know more of your dream students!!
Step 9: Host the Challenge
You’ve done all the hard work by creating all the challenge content and promoting the challenge, now it’s time to show up for your challengers. Support them, answer questions, show up live if you decide to. Wow them with the value you’re giving them!
Step 10: Invite them to Your Paid Party
Let’s call it out — — they’re going to love you by the end of your challenge! They are basically going to be begging you to know how they can work with you more. They will be curious how to keep going so don’t leave them hanging. This is why I suggested to start your challenge thinking with an offering you already have so you can easily invite them to that offering.
Ex: Running Challenge
On the day 5 of the challenge, you’re going to mention to them in the video that if they enjoyed the challenge they are invited to your Saturday class for runners. Tell them how to sign up and that you hope to see them there. You will then want to send some reminder emails too.
I know it can feel like a lot but if you take it one step at a time, one task at a time you can do it. I promise! And once you do this once, it gets much easier to run a challenge the next time around. That I promise too!
And like I mentioned earlier, you can even turn this into an evergreen challenge that continues to bring in your dream students. In this instance you will need to go through your emails and content to identify what you need to update so it’s not date specific.
Don’t forget that I’ve created templates and plans for every single step in this process in the Yoga Challenge In A Box. This will save you tons of time and you won’t have to guess “am I taking the right step now?” because it’s all mapped out for you. Plus I have encouraging messages all throughout the process too, because it wouldn’t be from me if I didn’t do that.
⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ Just look at these templates that will save you HOURS! ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
Your next step
Plan and host your yoga challenge! Take these steps and make it happen in your business. Whether you DIY it or use the Yoga Challenge In A Box, you’ve got this! I believe in you and I can’t wait to hear your results!!!
Until next time give yourself permission to host a challenge and grace along the way! I’ll talk to you soon!
For more stories like this, listen to the Marketing Yoga with Confidence Podcast.
About Amanda McKinney (Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers)
Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach with a passion for empowering yoga teachers to earn more money doing what they love. She does this through her podcast: Marketing Yoga With Confidence and Online Offerings. All of which focuses on building confidence and community with an extra dose of encouragement every step of the way.