Before we dive into today’s episode about whether to run webinars or challenges, I have a quick favour to ask you.

You may or may not have noticed that I don’t ever ask people to rate, review and subscribe to this podcast.

I did set myself an intention at the start of this year to remind people to rate, review and subscribe, but I found myself with a bit of resistance to it this year.

Part of that is because I don’t love asking people for things in return (#WorkingOnIt). But the other reason is that I always feel guilty whenever I’m listening to podcasts and I hear someone tell me to rate, review and subscribe, because I always forget.

Every time, I tell myself that I’ll do it next time, but then I hear it again and realise that I still haven’t done it.

I didn’t want to cause that feeling for anyone else… so I’ve got a solution!

I’m just going to ask this one time for now. I might ask again maybe in six months or a year, but I’m not going to ask you every time.

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This is a great time for me to get a bunch of reviews because over the holidays, I’m going to be releasing some bonus content as well. So it’s a win/win/win!

It’s a win because you won’t hear me ask you over and over again. It’s a win because I don’t have to ask you over and over again. And it’s a win because I’ll get some reviews which will be super amazing. Thank you so much!

It’s also a win for you because it’s an incentive for me to get that bonus holiday content out because I would have had an influx of new subscribers.

If you’re unaware, actually getting ratings and reviews is one of the most effective ways for me to find new people to follow the podcast.

If you are happy to help me out, I would love it if you could please stop reading this here, and quickly go rate, review and subscribe. THANK YOU!!!

Now that we’ve done that, I’m super excited to jump into today’s episode…

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Grow Your Audience free training:

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Recommended podcast episodes:

In today’s episode, I’m going to help you decide whether you should be running webinars or challenges. Which is better? Which is going to suit you more effectively?

If that’s something that you’ve been thinking about, especially as we step into the new year, this is going to be a really helpful episode.

I also quickly want to say that it’s no surprise to me that this is a question that I get asked quite regularly. Because people who teach challenges are very quick to present all the evidence of why challenges are better. And people who teach webinars are very quick to present all the evidence of why webinars are better.

The good news for you is that I teach both! I don’t have a vested interest in which you choose, so hopefully you find that very reassuring.

We can dive in and talk about the pros and cons of each and you can make an informed decision. How’s that sound?

Let’s dive in!

As I said, it’s a very common question that I get asked: Should I do a webinar? Should I do a challenge? Are webinars dead? Are challenges dead? How do we make them work?

I don’t have a vested interest. In fact, I think both of them have their place in business strategy.

In this episode, I’ll be diving into the benefits of each, some of the challenges and difficulties that you might face with either option, and how you overcome those.

Before we do all of that, let’s start by defining what a webinar is, and what a challenge is.

The term webinar comes from “web-based seminar”.

It’s anything where you’re teaching online, and in most cases, it’s in return for an email address or an amount of money.

Webinars can be free or paid.

I am not going to discern between a webinar, workshop, or masterclass. They’re all the same.

They’re all where you are presenting for about 30 minutes or more on a topic and you’re helping people to achieve something in a group environment online. And before it starts, they have to register with their name and email address, or they register by paying and giving you their email address.

That is a webinar.

Then usually you also have a recording of it that you send out to everyone.

A challenge is where you do something over a period of time.

It could be a three-day challenge, a seven-day, etc.

But a challenge usually has bite-sized pieces of instruction over an extended period of time. Again, it can be free or paid. Generally, it’s in return for the email address.

You’re usually presenting on something where people are achieving an outcome or going for a goal over an extended period of time. It might be a three-day green juices challenge, or a five-day client attraction challenge (that’s one that I run!).

A challenge is generally free, but it can also be paid for. In most cases, you’re doing something daily.

As I said, webinars and challenges both have benefits and difficulties. I want to make sure that we go through them all, but I just wanted to first make sure that we’re on the same page about what they are.

How do you decide then which is the most valuable?

In a lot of instances, the case for why you should do a challenge over a webinar is that you get better signup rates because it feels like it’s more valuable seeing as it goes for a longer period of time.

I find that is generally true. I do get more people signed up for my challenges than I get signed up for my webinars. However, webinars generally have a higher completion rate.

The completion rate is the percentage of people who, after signing up for something, actually do it.

When I run a challenge, generally about 20-30% of people will finish that challenge. Whether they’re participating live throughout the five days together, or they watch on the recap page.

I usually get about 20-30% of people who sign up for a challenge finish a challenge.

Whereas when I run a webinar, I generally have 60% of people watch that webinar, whether it be live or on the replay.

You can see there’s a big difference in the completion rate.

There are lots of factors that go into completion rates.

The extent to which your niche is excited and hungry for the outcome will often increase or decrease your completion rate.

How narrow the niche is will also have an impact on signup rates as well as completion rates.

I’m not saying that those numbers are hard and fast across all industries, niches and topics. But in general, I see higher signup rates for challenges but lower completion rates. And I see lower signup rates for webinars but much higher completion rates.

That is one of the big differences between challenges and webinars.

There are several other factors that go into deciding which is going to be the right fit for you…

Factor 1: Niche

Something to consider is what the niche is that you are focusing on when you’re creating this free live event.

If you are focused on a niche that is very short on time, then you will often find more hesitancy in signing up for a challenge. They’ll be more likely to sign up for a webinar.

For example, if you’re in the parenting space or if your ideal client has a job and is particularly strapped for time, you’ll often find that webinars are a better fit for that specific niche.

I find that I get better signup rates for my challenges, especially when I’m focused on people who are in business already. Not people who want to start a business, but people who have already started, already have some clients on board, and have the capacity in their week to participate in something like a challenge.

With my challengers, I also find I get much better signup rates and much better conversion rates when I give people lots of notice about a challenge.

Whereas with a webinar, I can put a webinar together, promote it for 10 days, and still get hundreds and hundreds of people sign up. There far more people who are likely to turn up live with that late notice when I’m running a webinar.

Niche does play a big part in what is going to be the best fit, and what your signup and completion rates are like.

Factor 2: Topic

Some topics you can teach in a one-off session. Some topics just don’t fit in that way. They need to be spaced out with a little bit of action-taking in between.

If your topic best fits a challenge versus a webinar, that could also be a deciding factor in which one you select.

Factor 3: Budget

This is a big one because my completion rates for my challenges often are around around 20-30%. But that’s generally with me investing some ad spend in getting people to finish the challenge.

When I spend money on promoting a challenge or a webinar, I also need to set aside some money to ensure that I’m maximising my completion rate.

business start-up webinars challenges

Consider your budget when deciding between webinars and challenges.

Generally, if I’m running a webinar, I just put all of my money into getting people signed up for the webinar. Through the follow-up email sequence and some organic content, I can ensure that I’m getting a really good number of people watching the replay.

I haven’t seen a significant increase in my completion rate for webinars from putting ads into reminding people to watch the replay.

That is not the case with challenges.

When I run a challenge, I invest money in reminding people about the challenge once it’s started. I remind people to actually engage in what they’ve signed up to.

For example, on day three of the client attraction challenge, I run an ad targeting all the people who registered for the challenge to remind them what day we’re up to, what we’ll be doing that day, why it’s so important for them to do it for their business, and how they can catch up.

Those ads have a significant impact on the completion rate.

If you don’t have a budget for ad spend, or your ads budget is quite limited, then what I would generally recommend is to focus on webinars instead of challenges, because to be able to retarget my challenge participants, I need a good 300-400 people signed up.

If you’re not getting those kinds of signup rates for your challenge, then you’re going to need to invest money into getting people signed up, but then still have that money set aside to get people to complete the challenge.

In a lot of cases, the big deciding factor between webinar and challenge is simply ads budget and the number of people you’ve been able to get to sign up for previous free events organically.

If you’re not getting good sign-up numbers (ie. over 200 people signing up for your webinars and challenges organically), then I would lean more towards webinars than challenges because of the ad spend issue and not having the numbers that you need to be able to retarget those people to finish the challenge.

You also do want to think about what the skill set is that your audience has.

People who don’t have a lot of skill around technology may find it quite challenging to show up for the challenge each day, watch the videos wherever they are, find the recordings, etc.

Whereas most people these days know how to sign in and watch a Zoom webinar.

That’s generally also a factor when it comes to your niche and audience.

The last thing I just quickly want to say about this is that regardless of whether you choose to focus on a webinar or a challenge, remember that the job of that webinar or challenge is to move people closer to buying something from you.

In most cases, I recommend you have one specific thing you’re upselling them into.

If you’re not clear on what the upsell is, then you aren’t even ready to decide whether it’s a webinar or a challenge because you first need to know: In order to get the sale of the thing, what is the lightbulb that I need to facilitate?

If that’s the lightbulb you need to facilitate, then what are the people who are most likely to benefit from that lightbulb misdiagnosing it as, and what is the best medium through which you can move people through learning how to address what they think the problem is, then having that lightbulb and being presented the offer?

Most people are thinking about what the topic is that they want to present first and foremost, and then they chaotically work from there before deciding what offer to pop at the end.

But that’s not the strategic way to structure and create a webinar or challenge.

I would highly recommend that you start on the inside out:

1. What are you selling?

2. What lightbulb do you need to facilitate for those people to be ready to buy that thing?

3. And what are they misdiagnosing it as?
What do they think the problem is? What do they think the solution is? And how can you then create an educational experience live for those people to help move them closer to being ready to purchase?

That is generally my recommendation.

I will also have further podcast episodes coming out about how to structure webinars and how to structure five-day challenges, and I highly recommend that you check out some of my previous episodes on these topic:

Episode 249: How to structure a webinar for great conversion

Episode 223: Q&A: How do I deal with webinar gremlins and mindset blocks?

Episode 327: How to choose the best launch lead magnets

Then the final thing that I want to say on this is that regardless of whether you choose a webinar or a challenge, I’d rather you do something.

Just do something!

Whether you want to grow your list, get those sales coming in, or just have some practice.

All three of those things are accomplished by just picking a date, setting it up and getting it done.

Remember: Your audience will never be as small as it is today.

Today is the perfect day for you to set it up and get practicing so that you can build something effective, learn from what works and what doesn’t work for your audience, and get over that hump of the wobbliness when you’re not sure whether you can do it or not.

For most people, the fear of doing a webinar is far worse than the reality of running a webinar. The fear of running a challenge is far worse than the reality of running a challenge.

Regardless of what you choose, I just want you to choose something. Have we got a deal there? I just want you to choose something, get it set up, and start promoting it.

To go with today’s episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast, I’d love to share a free resource that I think will be very effective in supporting you to grow your audience ready for that webinar or challenge.

As I said in this episode, one of the biggest factors to help you decide between webinars and challenges is how many people you can get organically signed up for it.

If you’re concerned that you don’t have the numbers for that, the number one thing that we want to be doing is getting your list growth nailed.

I’ve got a free resource for you called Grow Your Audience.

It will help you ensure that you’re growing your list consistently, not just through running webinars or challenges, but through some stacked strategic levels.

Most people skip stages one and two, but they’re the two most effective ways to grow your audience with people who are hungry for what it is that you have to offer!

Make sure you grab that free training here:

Then you can decide whether a webinar or a challenge is the right way for you to be doing that at scale!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram or Facebook and let’s continue the conversation there!

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist