Have you ever wanted to try your hand at hosting a free challenge to sell more of your offer? A free challenge has such a great opportunity to massively grow your email list and connect with your audience at the same time.
Running a free challenge is definitely on my list for 2020. What about you?
If you want to try a challenge, then you’re going to love today’s episode, because I’m chatting with Shannon Mattern about how she sells her evergreen course through a 5 day challenge.
Shannon Mattern is a web designer, digital marketer, speaker and podcaster who has taught over 10,000 entrepreneurs how to build their websites with her signature DIY web design course, the Free 5 Day Website Challenge.
In this episode, we talk about how she uses two funnels to both grow your list and sell your offer, how Shannon figured out what to teach each day, how long the content is, how she delivers the challenge, and how she promotes the next step in the funnel.
Grab your FREE copy of the Sales Page Starter Guide >> http://amandagenther.com/guide
[inaudible] .Speaker 2:
Welcome to the inspired for action podcast. I'm Amanda Gunther and I'm here to share inspiring stories of online entrepreneurs who are killing it in their business and having fun. At the same time, I want to prove that there's no one right way to market your business and sell your offers online. There's only the way that feels good for you and that works for your audience. I'll be getting down and dirty with my fellow online entrepreneurs to share step-by-step stories and how they created, launched and sold their offers. I'm like , it's time to step out of fear and into action. How you guys welcome back to the podcast. Yes ,Speaker 3:
today is a good one. This episode is jam packed. I'm talking with Shannon Mattern , who is a web designer, digital marketer , speaker, and a podcaster who has taught over 10,000 entrepreneurs how to build their website with her signature DIY web design course, the free five day website challenge. So in this podcast episode, we are really talking at the core about how to create evergreen challenges to both build your list and to sell your offers. So as you'll hear when you're listing , she actually has two challenges within her funnel. So she doesn't just stop with the one. She actually created a second funnel because she found out that the first one was really good at building her email list, but the second one was necessary to actually convert them into sales for her core offer. So we're going to be diving into all of it like how she came up with what to teach each day, how long the content is, how she delivers the challenge, how she like then promotes the next step in the funnel, all of that stuff. And then she's going to tell you at the end what is the number one thing that you should go do today. If you want to create a five day or however many day evergreen challenge to either build your list or sell your offer. So there's so much good stuff here. I am going to just dive right in. So let's go. All right guys, I have Shannon here with me. Shannon, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Thank you so much for having me. Yeah. So for everybody who doesn't know who you are, can you go ahead and give us a little bit of an introduction on who you are and what you do? Yeah, so I'm from Columbus, Ohio. I used to side hustle for ever building my business and I have a podcast all about it called pep talks for a side hustlers. But the main thing people know me for is teaching them how to DIY their websites with WordPress through my free WordPress training. So I teach non-techie entrepreneurs how to, how to DIY and how to build their very first website for their online business. Awesome. And I met Shannon through a , a panel that I was on for an online summit that I just participated in recently and I'm so glad I was able to connect with you and we were able to do this. Yeah, I know it was fun kicking out with you about tech funny how like paths in or you know they cross and stuff. So really, really happy that I met you. And then I went and did a little bit of a light stocking and found the, what we're going to be talking about. The reason I asked you to come on the show was because I want to hear all about your sales funnel, which you use a challenge for. So we've had a couple of conversations on this podcast about different types of funnels we eat. We've talked about online summits, we've talked about trip wires, we've talked about all that fun stuff, but we haven't talked about challenges yet. And I'm personally very interested in running my own challenge soon. So I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get you on the show and have you just kind of break down what your challenge funnel looks like. Awesome. I'm super excited and talk about it. Yeah. So first let's start with the end in mind. Cause like whenever I'm working with clients and we're building out their funnel, like we always start with like what does that end goal? Because that's what everything's leading towards. So can you first tell me for this funnel, what is that core offer that you're selling? At the end of this funnel, what does everything leading to?Speaker 4:
So my , uh, my core offer is something called the website and marketing lab and that's where I really, I teach people how to actually leverage their website to get clients. And so that's the, that's the core offer that I, that I've been bleeding people to because I love building websites and all that stuff. That part is so fun to me, but the part that's even more fun is like getting the website to work for you and do all the things for you that you don't have time to do cause you're working or you have a life or all that stuff. So I really like to help people put their websites to work for them when it comes to their marketing.Speaker 3:
Yeah, love that. I started as a web designer. That was what my business was, that's how I first started it back like eight years ago. And so I appreciate that so much because I think there's, there's throwing a website up there and then there's throwing a website up there that actually is working for you. So [inaudible] home page an about page but actually using it to, to convert people into subscribers. So now we have our core offer and then as far as the top of the funnel, your using a challenge. So we're going to dig into like what that challenge looks like and everything. But I'm curious to know how did you actually decide to use a challenge as the first step of the funnel? So it wasn't very strategic at all.Speaker 4:
I too started off as a web designer and I was side hustling. I had a full time job and I was like, I don't have enough time to build websites for clients and work this job. I am not, I don't have enough time to make the kind of money I want to make because eventually I want to quit. So I decided to stop working with clients altogether and just start teaching people how to DIY. So that's kinda how the idea for the challenge came about. And I thought, you know, eventually I'll teach people how to, how to market themselves, but really I'm just going to use this challenge to teach people how to do it. And then I'll lead them into building their online course or you know, the next step after they, they build their website. And so my challenge was really designed to like, I didn't even have an end in mind, honestly. Like at the time I was like, Oh, I'm just going to like earn commissions from affiliate marketing inside this challenge. That's how I'm going to make money. And maybe eventually I'll have another offer. And so that's what I did at the very beginning just to, just to get started. So it was , like I said, it was just not a strategic decision at all in the future. The more I learned and the more I tested in, the more I tried and all the things it got very strategic. So you didn't actually have your core offer created before you created the challenge, right? No, not back in the day. No. I was, my whole goal was like, get people in this and then I'll earn affiliate commissions when they buy all the things that they have to buy to build in the website. Gotcha. So that was like, I was like, Oh, awesome. I don't have to sell anything. I can just give away everything for free and make a ton of money. While it didn't quite work out that way. Okay. So at the start it has an affiliate funnel. Yeah . Using a challenge as like the, the, the process. But then it turned into, did you, now did you decide what to create for your core offer based on what the people in your challenge were telling you? No, not back then. So I was like, well, I know what they need next. Right. You know, so of course they need to learn how to market themselves and of course they need to learn, you know, how to monetize and do all these things. And so I created the challenge. It was getting momentum. People were excited, they were signing up, they were telling people about it. Word was spreading and I was making decent money from affiliate commissions, but like nowhere near what I wanted to make to be able to quit my job. So I was like, okay, it's time to make the next day. And so I just like didn't ask anybody, didn't like do any research. I was just like, well I know what they need next. And so I built it, I built this course and it's very similar to what I am offering now. But the way I talked about it was very different. The way I walked everybody through the process was very different. And you know, I had, I had a decent size email list at the time I launched the course, so my email list and like nobody bought it. So that was like , uh , the, the kind of the aha moments of like these things I need to get way more strategic about this because these like I'm not connecting the dots with people at all . All right . So then when you, like you launched it to your email list, nobody bought it. Is that when you kind of shifted the way that you talked about the offer? Oh yeah. So, so at that point, well , you know, I had to like lick my wounds a little bit, you know, because we all see everything, you know, we see all the ads and all the webinars and all the things of like $10,000 lunch , $20,000 launch , all this stuff and all you need are these things. And I'm like, well, I have all these things. I have the email list , I've been doing everything right. What am I doing wrong? And so after I kind of licked my wounds and, and I tried a few more things, you know, I tried like just rebranding it, you know, you'd go, I did, I did all the things like, Oh, it must not be good enough. My branding probably needs to change. And I spent a lot of time after that really just on the wrong on the wrong things to , to move forward. And it wasn't until I figured out like, Oh, they never told me that this is what they wanted next. You know, they are talking about, okay, I have this website now how do I get traffic? And I'm talking about your next steps to build your email list. And that's not even on their radar, you know? So they're like, Oh, I don't need this. And so that's when I kind of figured out like I need to go. I need to throw every hour , everything I've been doing and go back to the drawing board and figure out how are my students who have built a website talking about what are their, what are they struggling with now that they've launched and how can I connect what I know how to do, you know, with that to , to help them to the next step. Okay. Yeah, I love that. So now let's talk about then what that challenge actually looks like. Because I'm really curious, like you're saying, the challenge is all about how to build their first website and then your core offer is basically how to get more traffic to their website to be able to then convert them into subscribers for their email lists . So can we talk about the challenge that you have set up and I'm very curious how you decided on what to actually teach. I know you started as a web designer, so I'm curious why you chose to take everything you knew and like put it into a free challenge. Yeah, so, well, the big reason that I chose to, I mean, and it is literally everything I knew, the big reason I decided to do that was just because I wanted to scale and I knew I could not continue working for clients one-on-one and make the kind of money and have the kind of impact that I wanted to make. So that was the big reason why I wanted more freedom in my life. And when you , you know, when you have clients and you have deadlines and a website's a pretty time intensive project that that takes up. Yeah . It's a big commitment to, to do a kind of project like that. So I really wanted more freedom but then the , the way that I kind of figured out, okay, how am I going to T like walk everybody through the same process. And you know when you think about how you build a website, it's very like the first part of it is all very similar. Everybody needs the same things up until the point of design. And I think this is where people get like really tripped up is they want to start with how the site looks. You know if you're new DIY you want to start with like painting the house before you built the house and that's when your , you get all kinds of confused and overwhelmed and everything. So I walked people through a process that that they don't even diverge to do their own thing until like day four of the challenge. And then they can like go off and do their design and all of that stuff. And then they all come back together on the last day and they're doing, everybody has to do the same things to build the foundation and then to launch. But like the only day where they're doing something different is designed day, but it's still all the same. It's still you have to make, here's a checklist of all the things that you need to create and here's how to build a page and here's how to, you know, manipulate the page and make it look like what you want. So I was able to really systematize that whole process that I was already doing for my clients and put it together and just like a step by step challenge for, for , for my students. And I guess like the challenge part of it is that, you know, not getting hung up on your own perfectionism and letting that like completely stop you. So that's like, that's the thing is like, can you set aside the time and knock this out and five days not let your perfection get in the way. And that's really what I'm coaching people on the whole entire time. It's like, here's the tech, but like I'm also your cheerleader the whole way through to keep you going, getting below you, believing that you're techie and that you can do it. Because when you do overcome building the website, then you believe it's possible for you to grow your business. And that's what I want everybody to come out of the challenge belief . Yeah, for sure. Cause like that's to, to people like, and I , there are so many people who've started businesses without websites, right? But I think for people who are like coming into the online world who do have a full time job and they're doing that side hustle, the, the website is like that first piece of like, I own this. Like this is my thing. You know, like I'm a legit business because I have a website now so I can, I can see how like how much more confidence they would have after they finished in the challenge. So next we're gonna go into, like we're going to break down the challenge, but before we do, can we talk about numbers for this challenge? I really want people to understand like how many people have actually gone through this challenge so far so that we kind of know like you know what you're talking about. So first off, how many people have actually gone through this five day build your website challenge about 10,000 now. Okay. I knew it was, I knew it was a huge number so I was like, okay, we need to tell people this. And then did you actually start this challenge? Did you do it live first or has it always been an evergreen challenge? Always been evergreen and it's because when I first started I was too scared to do a live chat . I so I put it together evergreen because I really didn't have that confidence of like what if someone asks me something that I don't know the answer to? And you know , all of that stuff that it kinda like took a while to really build into having the confidence to do a live, which I love doingSpeaker 3:
live challenges now. But yeah, at the beginning, no way you wouldn't caught me doing the lounge . That's funny because like in most people would have stopped there that I don't think they would've thought to just put it on an evergreen challenge. Like right away they would have just been like, Oh, I'm too scared to do a challenge so I'm just not going to do it because I think we all think we have to do the challenge live first. So how did you tell your audience about it then ? First, since you didn't really have like that build up of it's going to be live, how did you actually launch the challenge to your audience? I didn't even have an audience when I created the challenge. So I had zero email list subscribers. My challenge was like the whole point of it was like, I'm going to build the list, I'm going to earn the affiliate commissions and eventually I'll launch, launch a product to it. I had no list. So I had to Google how to build an email list. This was like back in 2015 I'd heard on podcasts like you need an email list. I'm like, okay, I'll do that. I'll do tell me what to do and I'll do it. So I found Natalie Lucy's 30 day list building challenge and she had a Facebook group with it and I was like, Oh, Facebook groups are a thing. Like I didn't even, this is how like off the grid I was to like online entrepreneurship. I was just kinda like piecing things together. And then I went into her Facebook group and they were like, we'll share, share your free thing that you're giving away in exchange for the email address. And I shared the challenge and it like, it just kind of caught fire and took off from there. Everyone's like, Oh my gosh, I need this. Like I'm struggling. I, I hired a web designer, they ghosted me like, or it's too expensive and it just really caught on like wildfire. So I used the challenge to build my audience at the very beginning. Okay, that's awesome. And just like a , a lesson here is you didn't necessarily do this on purpose, but you found a group of people who would like, we're the perfect people to be taking this challenge by joining the Facebook groups. This was back in 2015 and I don't even think Facebook groups were at, I mean they're definitely not as huge as they are now, but I think that's one of the things like people ask like, Oh, how do I find my audience? How do I find my people? I'm like, there are Facebook groups for every imaginable topic. All of them are like, there are people that you can connect with and stuff and do it in like a non spammy way just by genuinely sharing. So I love that. That's how you kind of like built that foundation and found your people is, I mean you did it kind of accidentally, like you were just participating in this, this challenge that you are doing. And then yeah, it kind of just took off from there. So that's really cool. So, okay, let's dive into the details of the actual challenge then. So it's five days. Yup . Now, how did you come up with what to actually teach on those days? Like as far as like how much content you're teaching and like what are the actual things that you're teaching within the challenge? So I, I really just kind of out mySpeaker 4:
process of, you know, how do I go about building a website and then I kind of put myself in the shoes of my ideal client and like I stripped out like, okay , well they don't, what do they really not need to be doing right now? You know, because as web designers we can kind of see like picture, like the bigger picture and we're like, okay, well we want to set them up for this later and that later and that type of thing. So I kind of stripped out all of the unnecessary stuff that was going to confuse them. And then I also stripped out any kind of like jargony stuff or things that like, I'm like, I'm not gonna even start by explaining to you how WordPress works or how the internet works or web hosting works. It's like we literally just got to work on day one and it was just action step after action step after action step. It's like, I'm not trying to teach you conceptually how to understand any of this. I'm like you, the end result is that you want a website, I'm going to take you step by step by step, how to get there. And then I um , kind of broke it down into like, what's about an hours worth of work for them a day, you know, cause like back then I was kinda thinking like my audience is people like me, they want to quit their day job. They don't have a lot of time. They're probably sneaking doing this like at their desk , they're at work. So I wanted to break it down into things that were like going to be like a good amount of things for them to accomplish in one day that wouldn't require them to make a lot of decisions, you know, just like point and click and get it done. And that's kind of how I set it up. And then I left the decisions that I thought would trip them up to the end so that they could make a lot of progress. So it was like day one is just getting your hosting and domain set up and clicking through all the settings that you'd never have to do again or remember how you did and you're done. And then day two is just like connecting to Google analytics and you know, getting your assay , like all SEO set up and all of those other little configurations that you're never going to have to remember or do again. And then day three is getting your email list set up and connected to your website and kind of teaching them the concept of like if you're growing a business online, you know you want to have this set up. And this is something that trips people up so much is like, well how do I collect email addresses? So I demystify that for them. And the whole point of that is like kind of setting the foundation for what's to come when you start marketing. So I wanted them to really have everything that they needed in place to just step right on in to marketing their website and not have to go back and like add all this stuff in and do a bunch of work on their website to even be able to take my next course. And then day four is kind of where it's like, okay, now you have to do your design and you get to play and you get to be creative and you can take a little bit more time with that. Then a day if you need to, but like don't let perfection stop you, just get it done. And then day five is telling Google you exist SEO, optimizing your pages, learning how to make blog posts and kind of doing the things that you'll do ongoing to market yourself. And so that's really, there was some strategy in it at the beginning because I knew I eventually wanted to teach people how to market themselves. So I'm so glad that I actually had the wherewithal at the time to kind of think about where I was leading them next even though I didn't have the thing built and I didn't quite do it right the first time. But the challenge is has, has stood the test of time that hasn't changed. I updated every year and I keep it the same order of the same concept because it is like the foundational thing, it's, it's, it is what they have in place to kind of lead them to the next step with me. Okay. That's awesome. Yeah, and we're going to talk about that next step next, but before we do that, let's have a couple of questions about just like the logistics of the challenge. So first off, how much time do you think it takes your, the people that are in the challenge, how long do you think it takes them to complete the like the lessons each day? Did you limit it to like a certain amount? I know like day four would probably be a lot more than day one or day two. But did you like take that into consideration or have you noticed like a dropoff because of it taking too long or what's your experience with that? Yeah, so it's really interesting that this challenge that I created is, isn't what I would like recommend for a typical challenge for people. I think that the, the what I did after that for a challenge is like better for like a quick, not a quick but just like it takes them a long time to build their website. So my, the very first part of my funnel is really like a longer term thing because it takes them a while to build their website. They're getting the confidence, they are believing that they can do it , they're believing it's possible and then they're ready for the next step. So it could be a month before people are finishing the challenge because they're taking like five days, you know, throughout that month to really sit down and, and work on things. Whereas, you know, a typical challenge for someone who's not teaching something. So in depth would be like day one is like quick wins. Day two is quick wins that keep people engaged and taking action and motivated and excited. So for me, I do see drop-off with people like either right after day one they're just like, Nope, not for me. Or you know, they come back two and three months later and say I finally finish. I'm so proud of myself. Look what I did. And I have a Facebook group where they can come in. So it's kinda like a longer term relationship that I'm building specifically. But it's really worked to my advantage because in that time they're like anybody they talked to about a website, they're like sending them overSpeaker 3:
or to me , which is really cool too. Yeah. And I think like really, so what this challenge is all about is basically just a list builder for you because you're giving away so much value for free. And also it, I've noticed this and actually I was just, I w I went out for martinis the other day with my friend and we were just chatting and it , we were talking about how obsessed I am with Amy Porterfield. And I think that is because I found her so early on in my journey. And I feel like you, you find those people like early on as you're starting your business and you basically like, they're just like, you just look at everything they do and you're like, yes, yes, yes. Like whatever you, whatever you sell, I'll buy it. Because like you found them so early on and they, you look up to them so much cause you kind of followed them the entire time. So you're really getting people at like that really sensitive , uh , like , uh , space in their business that really, that beginning stage, you know, so like you're kind of grabbing onto them and being like, here, let me show you how to do this. And they're kind of looking to you through that entire process. So I think that's really cool. And , and also helps to your advantage like as far as longterm goes as well. Yeah. I've never thought itSpeaker 4:
about it like that, but that's, that's exactly right. It's like I want to take people under my wing because I know how bad I wanted it. And I listened to Amy Porterfield and Pat Flynn and all of that and I had the luxury of knowing exactly what to do to make it happen. I didn't have anything stopping me technically, you know, because that's, that was my skill set . And so I, that's like kind of the mission behind the free five day website challenge. I have tried like it's a product in and of itself, right? It's something that I could sell. I have been told by people like you're crazy for giving this away for free. I've been told by people that I should like give away day one and two and sell day three and on. I have tested things with it and made it like free for 30 days and then you have to pay afterwards. None of that feels good to me because my mission is to really like remove that tech barrier for people who want to do what you and I do. And so I keep it free and they fill it commissions, help keep it free and all that stuff. But somewhere along the way, my, my vision of it changed and I think you just really articulated something that I've never been able to really articulate is like, I want to guide you from the moment that you've figured out like, I want to build this business. I want to make sure nothing's going to stop you. Like not the tech, not how to like anything like that. And so yeah, I mean when I launched my website marketing lab earlier this spring, the first person that signed up was like one of the first people that signed up for challenge like four years ago. She's been hanging around and now it was the right time. And I thought that was so cool. She was probably just waiting for you to come out with something. Yeah. She's like, Oh, you finally said it in a way that made sense to me. Good job.Speaker 2:
So awesome. Hey friend, really quick, I just want to interrupt it , this podcast episode to tell you guys about a brand new free thing that I have for you and it is called the sales page starter guide. So if you are an online course creator or membership site owner, or if you have any type of offer that you are planning on launching or relaunching in the near future, then you need a sales page. And I know how intimidating it can feel to open up a blank Google doc and just stare at it hoping that the right words come to you and it never happens, right? So I put together the sales page starter guide to give you a headstart on writing what could be the most profitable page on your entire website. So inside of this free guide, you're going to learn the exact 14 sections that you need to include on your sales page. And I'm going to walk you through every single section from the opening headline to the final call to action. Then we're going to talk about how to pick the perfect platform to build your sales page on. Plus I'm going to share what my favorite is and I'm also going to give you my eight secrets for designing a long sales page that people will actually reach. So if this sounds like something that could definitely help you, that I want you to go grab it right now for free firstname.lastname@example.org. Forward slash. Guide. All right, let's get back to the episode.Speaker 4:
Okay. So a little bit more like nitty gritty stuff. So yeah, how are you actually delivering the challenge? So at first I literally put it on my website with a nonsense link. Um, because I was like, I don't want to build a membership site. I'll be at work. I don't want to deal with people not being able to get logged in and , and all of that stuff. So I put five one hour long videos on five different pages on my website and then I set up an E MailChimp, just, you know, an automation in MailChimp that when they sign up the day one email with the nonsense link to day one, it sent them there and then 24 hours later it would send them the link to day two. And then day three, day four, day five. And so I kept it so simple at the beginning. I think the thing that took me the longest was I edited the heck out of those videos from the beginning because I was so nervous. I went through and I like edit out every, I'm like in awe and made myself sound like a robot so people would take me serious. And so that was the thing that took me the longest is a sanitizing my personality on in videos. But the rest of it is a pretty simple set. I , yeah, I love that. Then how do you do it now?Speaker 3:
So now it is a membership site where you get a free login. Um, I use the access ally membership plugin and so it's still delivered. It's still gets stripped out over five days, but it's adapt . It's like a dashboard. And they also get to see the other courses that I offer when they log in to the five day challenge. So I'm just kind of priming them like, Oh Hey, there's a website marketing lab, you know, I wonder what that is and , and all of that stuff. But so and then it's instead of being like five one hour long videos, it's, it's short modules. So day one is like six less than seven minute modules. So people had told me like, you know, it's hard to find where this was in the video or I'd have to rerecord chord the whole video if anything change . And so I really listened to them on how they wanted to consume that content and so it's really helped me as I go to create my other courses to make sure like I'm doing them that the way they they want to learn and it's keeping them engaged in the five day challenge to buy, you know, kind of saying Oh yeah, I'll break it up into modules, make it easier for you to find stuff. They're sticking around longer with those changes. I love that. So I did try but with Stu McLaren this year and he teaches that as well. As far as like when you're recording videos for people that it's better to do in like super like short, like short and sweet, just like tiny little videos like under 10 minutes long because it then gives people like, they feel like they're like being able to accomplish things. It's like checking things off your planner, right? Like they're like, okay, Mark is complete, Mark is complete, you know? And it kind of like creates that little bit of energy that they need to continue going rather than sitting through a, like a full video. Like you were saying like an hour long video and they're like, Oh my gosh, like how much longer do I have? Right, exactly. Yeah. And then be able to find like, wait, where did he say that? Or where did she say this? You know? So yeah, that's, that's really cool. And I , I definitely would prefer that version versus the hour long video . So that's really cool that you were able to like listen to what people were saying and then, and then make that change. So I think no matter what you're doing, if you're doing a challenge, if you're doing a course, a membership site, whatever it is, I think that's a, a good thing to learn is that it doesn't need to be just one take. It also is easier for you because then you can just teach one thing, stop the video, teach one thing, stop the video, so you don't need to, it's a lot less edited on your end as well. Oh yeah. And like if you're creating that training, like it could be overwhelming for you to even get started creating it. If you think, Oh my gosh, I have to sit here for an hour and edit this together and all this stuff. It's like you can break up recording those short modules over there. You know the amount of time that you need to to do your production just as much as the people who are consuming it can kind of like stopSpeaker 4:
and start as they need to. Yeah, that's such a good point. So. Okay, let's kind of shift gears a little bit and go into what happens after this five day build your website challenge. What does that next step for them? Cause I think this is where you added in, you were kind of learning like, okay, if people aren't really converting from this challenge into my paid product. So you had to go in and add something in between. So what does that look like now? Yeah, so I was trying to take them from, okay, you have a website now let's start getting traffic. Or you know, now let's start building your email list. When they were like, they weren't ready for that. They weren't even thinking about email as they're just like, okay, I have this. I'm supposed to get customers now. What? Why isn't that happening? What's now I need to redesign my website. And it's like, no, no, no , no, no. So I started doing, I have a Facebook group that goes along with the challenge and I started and I sent some surveys and I started asking people like, what is the biggest struggle that you're having with your business? And they all said some variation of, I have no idea how to do marketing. I don't know how to market myself or getting found online. And so I was using the words traffic lists , building conversions, like whatever. And they weren't even saying those words in any of the things that they were talking about. And so I was like, okay, so just like I needed to get them to believe that they could build the website, I now need to get them to believe that they are capable of marketing themselves and that it's not, it doesn't mean what they think it means. Right. And so that's where this kind of transitional challenge, I guess, you know, it's a transitional thing really came in and, and this is why I'm so glad in day three I introduced the concept of an email list, but a lot of people resist that. They're like, that wasn't even in my plans. I'm not even gonna. I'm just, I'm not even gonna do it. Or I'm just going to put like a newsletter form up just to check all the boxes. And so what I did was I introduced the concept of a freebie in , in day three and then the new challenge was a five day freebie challenge. And so I really helped them understand over the five day freebie challenge and very short, short, short, actionable lessons that weren't designed to have them have a whole freebie built in five days, but just really help them understand like, Oh, here's what I could build two for myself, for my audience. And like just get them, give, give them the idea of like, Oh, I could do this thing and it could be this format and now I know what I would do and give them that like belief in the momentum to to move forward. And so at the end of that I pitched my website marketing lab and that was super successful. So I just needed that a little piece to get them from, I don't know how to market myself, I don't know how to get found online to, Oh, a freebies , how I market myself and how I get found online and I know what I'm going to do for it. Okay . Inside the website marketing lab, Shannon's going to teach me how to use it, how to build it, and how to use it to get traffic. And so that kind of completed the whole picture for me. Okay. I love that. So we are going from a free, pretty intensive five-day build your website challenge and then how are you inviting them into this, this next challenge. So at the end of the five days, you know, so on my dashboard for the five day challenge, I have day one, two, three, four, five graphics for that. And then I also have a little graphic for like the jump your website web jumpstart, your website traffic. So it's like they're kind of in that mindset and it's like, Oh they click on that and then they're invited to that free challenge. So they can click on that anytime, you know, anytime that they're in, in the five day challenge, they can opt into this, this evergreen, evergreen thing. I've also done it as live challenges where I have invited my whole list to participate in a live challenge. I, you know, had a special Facebook group just for that challenge. And it was just Monday through Friday at 7:00 PM I would teach something, I would give them a little bit of homework, I'm an action step that they had to do that night. And then they would post in the Facebook group , um, pictures of their homework and then we would talk about it the next night and I'd answer their questions. And that was hugely successful. I had so much engagement with that. People got personalized help from me and it really was like showing them what kind of support they were going to get inside my training. So that was super fun. I still do the live challenges throughout the year, but then I also have the evergreen, it's like an email version of the same thing, but they're not getting that like one on one feedback from me and in that challenge or in that version of it in the evergreen version. So that's, that's really interesting. So , um, the way I kind of look at it as is the first challenge, the build your website is really like that lead generator right? Like, yes , getting people on your list. And then this build your freebie challenge is really more of your sales generators . So this is what's actually converting people into the website. What does it website marketing lab, this is what's actually converting them. So when you like promote this to your entire list, do you find that there are people that go through the freebie challenge that have never gone through the first version because maybe they didn't need that first a the build your website challenge but they're interested in the build your freebie challenge? Oh yeah, totally. Totally. And then, and then what it's doing for me too is now I'm able to market my website marketing lab to people who already have a website, didn't ever need to sign up. So now I have like two paths coming into my website marketing lab instead of marketing just to people inside my five day freebie, five day website challenge, which is what I used to do. I used to just go from website challenge to , it wasn't called the website marketing lab. It was a different version of that training to that old course and it wasn't converting. So this step really is kind of giving me more freedom to go outside of my lists and use it as a lead generator and a sales generator.Speaker 3:
I love it. Okay. So yeah, you , I mean I D like realistically you could have just dropped the website challenge, but with that you are like again grabbing onto this whole group of people that are just going to like migrate towards you because they have nowhere else to look and they're kind of, again, you're like taking them under your wing, showing them and that's more of like that's a longer customer journey that they're with you versus the people who maybe found you through somewhere else. Sign up for your email list, get on the freebie challenge. That's a much shorter customer journey for them because they've already learned all that stuff beforehand. So you're really able to to market to those two different audiences and you have two different free things but, but yeah, they're really just one funnel is just like two different entry points.Speaker 4:
Exactly. It's two different stages in the entrepreneurial journey, really. You know that I'm, that I'm letting you through the door at the very beginning and helping you get ready for me. And then I'm also letting you knowSpeaker 3:
[inaudible] through the door when you're already ready for me. Okay. Awesome. So let's talk about the evergreen version of this freebie challenge now. So can you break that one down for me as far as like what are those days look like? And then how long, like what's the time commitment for people each day?Speaker 4:
Yeah , so the evergreen challenge is it's email only. So the very first lesson is, is called the very first step to getting traffic. And so I talk about all of the things that people try first, that they really, that that kind of work against them, I should say. And so I help them get really clear on why they're gonna put the time in that it's going to take to market yourself online and who their ideal client is. So that's what we really get clear on in the first lesson. And then we move into and I give them really small action steps, like really quick. Like literally they could do it in a minute, but they need to have it done in order to move on to the next email. And so then in the next email to be like, Oh, did you do that thing from yesterday? No, do it now. Like you'll need that for this, this piece. And so we really walk through the concept of what people think marketing is and how to do it too , really what it is and how to do it. And then I give them some action steps that anybody can take to start getting the word out about their website, like really quick wins that they can take. And then at the end it's like, you know, Oh, if you want to go deeper, if you want to learn more, I'm going to share with you, you know what the next step is. Okay. So, and you said this is email only? Yes. So no videos or anything? No videos. Okay. So obviously that was a lot easier on your end create . And did you, did you just not feel the need, like it just didn't need videos or were people not watching the videos or what was the reason you decided to just do email? So I really, I just feel like personally I personally don't like to watch a whole lot of video. I know that videos where it's going, but I'm never in a place where I can be watching video, but I can be scrolling and reading an email, you know, really quick and just kind of getting through that. So what I really wanted this, I wanted to like remove any barrier for people to consume this information. And so that's really why this one is like an email only work like text only challenge. And then you know, the live one is like way, way more in depth. Okay. And then have you noticed a drop off in this freebie challenge and have you done anything to like change that so that it was not as much of a drop off? So there's always, I mean, there's always a dropoff by, you know, by the, the final day, you know, people are real excited on the first day, but it's, it's always like I'm always there whenever you're not present for an evergreen challenge, you know, trying to keep people engaged is, is part of it. So I asked them to hit reply and tell me things and I will reply to those emails to let them know like, Oh, I am a real person. I'm here. This isn't just some thing that's running behind the scenes that , that there's no, no one attached to. So like on day one, when they hit reply and share their action step with me and I reply back, I feel like that keeps them more engaged throughout the rest of the training. But I try to, you know, I try to use really compelling subject lines so that they're , they continue to open. And just the, I think the other part of it is that, you know, just catching them when they're ready for it too and making it, making it really clear, like at the end of the five day challenge when they're on day five, you know, like here's your next step. And they're really motivated to, to move into that. Okay . Awesome. And then , um, once they get to the end of this challenge, how are you inviting them to join the website marketing lab? Yeah , so I have, once they get to the end of the challenge, I have another series of, of sales emails that like really help them to understand, you know, if they're right, if this is the right next step for them, help them like understand what the opportunity is for them. So it's, it's, it's another like almost two week long, you know, the first week is the challenge and then the second week is just the sales funnel for , for the website marketing lab. And then just really the whole goal is just helping them understand, help them make the decision if this is the right next step for them. Okay, perfect. And then are you offering them any sort of like incentive or is there any sort of urgency or anything like that to encourage them to purchase the website marketing lab during that sales , uh , email sequence that you have? So the first 24 hours in the sales email sequence, they can get special pricing on it. So it's about a 20% discount if they purchase within the first 24 hours. And then in the middle of that, I offer a bonus that's kind of designed to help them overcome one of their biggest objections, which is like how am I going to find time for all of this? So I have my planning method that I use to keep myself like from spiraling out of control and my business that's worked really well for me that I share with them to help them really get organized around how to do their marketing. And then I have another bonus that I offer at the end of the challenge too, which is a different course that I created called the website monetization masterclass, which teaches like commoditization concepts. So offering those three bonuses throughout [inaudible] has really helped convert people instead of just saying, well you have a whole week to decide whether you want this, I'm just going to keep sending you emails about it. So you said you have three different bonuses and they're dripped out throughout the, the sequence? Yeah. Two bonuses. Well, yeah, I guess three because the first is a discount, you know, and that stay one. And then I'm a bonus planning method short course to help them learn how to plan out all the work that they're going to need to accomplish in the training. And then a website monetization in masterclass . Yeah. Where are you putting those other two bonuses? So the first one comes on, so the 24 hours is first and then after, like right after that expires, the next bonus comes and then on the last day the final bonus comes. Gotcha, okay. Sweeten the deal a little bit. Yeah, that's like that last little draw like get in now to get this bonus. And if they do that they only get that one bonus. Right? Exactly. Yup . Okay, perfect. And then how were you just like technically I know people are going to be like wondering, well how , how do you do that? So how do you actually limit like say someone signs up because it's an evergreen trail, is that like when you were doing like live launches and stuff, it's so much easier to be able to track who gets which bonuses depending on when they signed up. So because this is an evergreenSpeaker 3:
challenge, how do you actually figure that out and how do you deliver the right bonuses to the right people?Speaker 4:
Yes. So with the, with the discount, I have timed offers like the access ally CRM is, is a timed, I can set up a time to coupon that's like exclusive to them based on when they come in that they can, that they can enter in. It expires, there's like it expires based on when they, when they entered the this second sales funnel. So that one's pretty pretty straightforward to set up and then you know those people, the people that get in at the beginning, of course they get everything and so then removing, removing the things after the challenge gets a little bit trickier. So it's just a matter of showing and hiding products on, on the page based on when they come in. I know it's kind of technical, but access ally, let's see , you lets you do like an offer toggle, not toggle, that's not the right word. You know, show them this, show them this product based on this criteria of when they came in and then show them this based on this timeline. And so the offer looks the same, but like the tags that I have set up for them behind the scenes are different. I don't know if that was like very clear at all.Speaker 3:
No, I think, I think this is all just something that's built into access allied . I think the only, yeah. The only other way that I think you could do this, you're not using access ally is I know what I've done in the past is I've used a different checkout page or something like that too , where you're just pointing them to a different checkout page at the very end of the challenge where when they signed up through that checkout page, they get access to a different , um , like offer bundle versus if they sign up through the first checkout page that, you know, has everything included. So a way simpler way to do that than what I'm doing. Yeah. And of course that's, again, that's still tricky because people could always go back to the other page or whatever, you know. So there's, there's definitely a work around for that to happen, but it does get a little bit trickier when you're doing evergreen to be able to make sure like the right people are getting the right offer . So I say like it's simple as you can possibly keep it doing, like that fast action offer, that fast action bonus, whatever it is. And then maybe doing like the end of the cart, some kind of end of the cart bonus and then eventually adding them that middle of the cart bonus. But just keep it as simple as possible and let the tech do it for you. Cause like you're using access ally and it has those features built in. So like choose something back and do that for you. Cause the last thing I want is people, they'll be like manually sending bonuses to people.Speaker 4:
Exactly. Or or you know, giving bonuses away to people that really didn't qualify for them and then it's, it seems disingenuous to the people that were that got in early. Yeah, for sure. Okay. So let's wrap this up and I would love to know like if someone wanted to go create an evergreen, like a five day evergreen challenge, like you have to put at the top of their funnel for their offer, what is the first thing that you would tell them to go do today? The first thing I would tell them to go do is figure out where your ideal client is at today, what they're struggling with, and then think about where they want to be. You know, when they don't have this problem anymore, when they've, you know, when they've solved it and start mapping out the steps to get them from you know, where they are today to where they want to be. And like talk to people who are your ideal client. Find out the words that they're using. Because the biggest thing that I, that I figured out along the way of learning how to do things is I was, I was talking about things in the way that I thought about them and, and it wasn't landing with my ideal client. And so if I could just say like, put yourself in their shoes instead of your own shoes when you're figuring out what you want to do for your challenge and then if you can actually talk to people even better. I love that so much. So this has been awesome. I've learned so much from you during this, so I know everybody else is going to learn a ton as well. So thank you Shannon for being here. And where can people go to learn more about you? Download any freebies, sign up for the, for the website challenge. Where do you want to send people? Yeah, so you guys can just go to my website. It's wp-bff.com so that's stands for WordPress BFF and there you can sign up for the five day website challenge. Once you get in there you'll see how to get into the freebie challenge. And then I also have my pep talks for side hustlers podcast, which there's a link on that page too to get to that as well. Awesome. And I'll include everything in the show notes as well so you guys can access all that .Speaker 2:
That also a link to connect with Shannon on Instagram. So Hey, I just wanted to say thank you really quick for sticking around and listening all the way til the end if you need them. We've got all the links for this episode in the show notes, which you can find email@example.com forward slash podcast and if you really enjoy today's conversation, make sure to subscribe to the show so that you get new episodes downloaded as soon as they come out. And if you're an Apple user, I'd really appreciate it if you took a few seconds to leave a quick rating or review your reviews. How I choose of this is a podcast worth listening to, which can help me and my guests reach more people and in turn help more online businesses. So that's it for today. I'll be back soon with a brand new episode, but until then, it's time to get back to work and take some back .