Get Students Committed To Your Org With Challenges

We've all seen the yearly challenges that come out, usually 30-days to some big transformation. While they may seem overrated or at the very least overdone, there's a reason we're still seeing them. They work. Having some form of yearly challenge in your Org is a great way to get students to recommit to their practice and to allow new students a chance to come into your Org with purpose. Here are our tips to running a successful challenge. 

Length of Time

A 30-day challenge is the bread and butter to these things. 90 days feels overwhelming and like you'll never make it. 14-days doesn't allow anything to stick. While you might want to make your challenge feel different from the rest we don't suggest doing that by making it longer or shorter than this. Students, whether a part of your audience or new to your Org, know what to expect from a 30-day challenge. It also makes it really easy if you want students to sign up for an intro offer which lasts a month!

Type of Challenge

Here's where the fun comes in. There are a variety of ways to build out challenges. But we'll break them down based on Online Only Orgs and Studio Orgs.

Online Only Challenges
For Union Creators the best challenge to create is a curated 30-day wellness program. Create a calendar on Canva and in each day link to a class in your replay library. Ideally you'd create a pass that you sell for this specific program, or offer it for free as a way to get new students into your sales funnel. Just be sure to make every video included in the 30-days linked to that pass so that students have access to everything. This is also a great way to showcase the variety of class types, lengths, and teachers you have to offer them and then market a subscription after the month is over to keep their momentum going.

If you want to add a prize to the end of this challenge you can do something similar as the studio challenge like each class is an entry into the raffle or you can choose the student who took the most classes. 

Studio Challenges
While studios can choose to do a similar challenge as above, usually the goal for a studio is to get more people in the in-person classes. So we change the game a little bit. For a studio challenge we like to offer a big prize at the end like one person will win a free year of wellness. Throughout the month, every class they take in-person will allow them to enter their name to win the prize. Even better? When they bring a new to your Org friend to call, they get a second entry to win. This way students are filling up the classes and brining in new friends that can be marketed your intro offer.

What makes this even more of a success, is that the month before the challenge you promote your intro offer. This way students can pay the $99 (or whatever you charge) for a month of unlimited wellness, get a chance to win a free year of wellness, and then hopefully fall in love and stay on as a subscriber.

If you're open to doing the postcard marketing, a challenge is a great way to entice people to try you out. For a small fee for a month of unlimited wellness plus the chance to win a free year, why wouldn't they join?

To keep track of everyone's progress, add a large poster into your entryway with a space for names and then a bunch of small boxes after their names that people can check off after they've finished a class. While this tracking system isn't necessary for your raffle drawing, it adds an extra level of competition and pride to the studio energy pushing everyone to try a little harder.

Marketing Your Challenge

Whether your challenge is online or at the studio it usually starts on the same day so you should be marketing your event at least 2-weeks out but preferably all month long. Make sure students register for it with a Union pass (whether free or paid) so you can keep track of how many people partook. It also makes sending out emails about the challenge so much easier because they're all in one segment under that pass name. 

Announce Winners

Announcing the winner is a great marketing opportunity so don't let this go unnoticed. Next year students will remember the year before and get excited. 

As a studio, we suggest having an end of challenge community party to celebrate everyone's accomplishments, make new friends, and of course, announce the winner. (Winner doesn't have to be present to win). You might have some runner up raffle materials from the shop or from local partners.

As an online creator, your announcement should be all over social. It's best to do an Instagram live to announce the winner and maybe share some stories from the last 30-days–emails of success you've gotten, how you did the challenge, etc.

Make it an annual Challenge

The more routine you can bring around your Org the better. Students like to know what to expect and can create their own rituals based on your yearly routine. Make your challenge an annual fall tradition to get back into the swing of a wellness routine after a crazy summer or choose to launch the new year with a challenge to help students hit their wellness goals. 

However you choose to do a challenge, know that this is a great opportunity to invite new students into your Org. So make it easy for students to sign up with a pricing option that makes it approachable (at least for that first 30-days!)


Katie Leigh is a Marketing Strategist for small businesses. She helps Orgs simplify their marketing, connect with their audience, and create work-life balance. Download her free guide to work-life balance here