With a new year approaching, it’s the best time to think about your content plan and Q1 goals.
Confession: When I started my freelance copywriting business, I spent over $5k on online courses.
I tried to Frankenstein my business, piecing together 7-step frameworks, tried and tested templates, and proven systems that promised to get me the same results some big somebody got.
You know how this story goes, right?
Yeeeeeeeeeeah. That didn't happen.
No $2000 DIY course ever got me where I wanted to be.
Not even the ones I finished.
It's not that these programs didn't teach me something...
It's just that they were trying to approach my business challenges and goals from the same angle as everyone else's.
I'm happy to say that things look a lot different these days.
A couple of weeks ago, I hosted my first free 5-day challenge.
I surpassed all my goals for the #brandvoicechallenge AND crushed every stretch goal (save one).
But before you assume I cleaned up, unlike most 5-day challenges, my goal wasn't to make mad chedda.
There was no pitch at the end. (Some people were so weirded out by that, they emailed me to ask if they missed it!)
There was no popping a bottle of Cristal in the back of a Cadillac Escalade. (My version of celebrating involves a $5 Brooklyn pepperoni pizza and yoga pants.)
There was no 350% email list boost. (Most internet-famous people wouldn't want to share a less impressive story with you, so I'm gonna get as honest as Jessica Alba's company with you here.)
I only had one thing in mind for my free challenge: my audience.
Getting to know them, helping them, and letting them teach me.
Was it worthwhile? In every way.
When I randomly mentioned my process in a Facebook group convo, guest post invites rolled in and people PM'd me to understand how my challenge looked behind the scenes.
And since all the internet-famous people focus on how to use challenges as a "mini-launch" strategy, I wanted to give you a look at other ways you can use them too.
So today I’m sharing every single detail of my 5-day challenge experiment...
I recently switched almond milk brands.
Life-changing, I know.
But I walked by a Califia Farms product display a few weeks ago and read this on the back of their almond milk packaging:
"There are a lot of sweet things in the world; surprise parties, puppies, butterfly kisses. We let them do the heavy lifting when it comes to sweetness and keep it real on the sugarless side of life."
I smiled to myself and with a "SOLD!" - hustled that baby into my shopping cart after a quick once-over of the ingredients.
Honestly? It was comparable to the almond milk I was already drinking. And it cost about $3 more.
But the playful personality that almond milk oozed had me convinced that THIS was the brand for me.
Wondering how to read your customer's mind even if you're not psychic?
Tell me if your typical writing M.O. goes a little like this...
You corral all your wild ideas for your web copy or sales page into a Google Doc, ready to blow the minds of your future customers...
You J.K. Rowling out on that first draft of copy for 7 days straight...
It’s happening again. I’m in Google Docs, editing a client’s copy, and I see their cute little face icon pop up in the corner. My fingers freeze. Now they can see my writing in its not-so-sparkly splendor—the backspacing with self-doubt, the broken sentences, the weighing two words for 20 minutes before making a call. (I exaggerate not.)
This weirdly awkward and sweaty forehead moment happens often. My client will get notifications as soon as I start revising their document, and if they’re online, they might go Curious George on me and peek in before I'm done. And hey, I don’t blame them.