The Quick Start Challenge started four weeks ago (see my post Quick Start Challenge – Is it too challenging?) and finished in the early hours of this morning with a bonus webinar. As promised here is a review.
Each week consisted of a webinar that ran for at least 90 minutes. If you could not be present during the live transmission a recording was available shortly after. The end of each presentation included actionable steps based on the webinar.
For those who had never built a blog or started an email list there was a certain amount of self study involved. This is not a criticism of the course. The specifics of setting up WordPress, choosing a theme and so on can be found in videos on YouTube. Choosing and using an autoresponder is probably best done by visiting the websites of the options mentioned in the course.
The QSC followed the topics outlined in the sales page, except week 2 when the challenge was to create a video and put it on your blog. This was in place of the list building topic advertised, though that was covered in week 3.
I saw this deviation from the advertised plan as an early wobble and may have unsettled some of the participants, giving them the impression that the course as being put together ad hoc. However video is an important element in internet marketing these days so worth making a part of the challenge.
We were given two traffic strategies for getting people to blogs, both of which involved commenting on other websites. These are time intensive methods which need continual effort, but probably one of the easiest ways for those with basic online skills to reach and engage with people who might be interested in reading their blog posts.
The real challenge with these methods will come in the months ahead as people try to maintain the effort required while trying to build more into their online business.
Each of the first three challenges included an incentive. Access to Dean’s high ticket course and a secret Facebook strategy were used as a ‘carrot’ for completing tasks. The winner of each was announced in the following webinar.
The course also used the power of incentivised deadlines to force you to make decisions quickly and get things done. The philosophy of get it online, not get it perfect means you don’t waste time wondering which theme would work best or which colours to use with your optin form. You are encouraged to make improvements later.
The 4th week challenge was simply to continue on the course we had started, i.e. posting on our blog and building traffic by posting on other sites.
Interestingly, a number of participants said that it was harder to stay focused and do the work in the fourth week with no new task to accomplish. This points out one of the problems of challenges. They can act as an accountability partner, which is very important when starting something new and unfamiliar and to keep the level of effort going. However, once the challenge ends some people may not have the self motivation to keep it going, especially if they hit problems.
The Challenge included access to a dedicated Facebook Group which was a great resource. Perhaps it could have been used to set up accountability partners before the end of the challenge to keep the momentum going.
The course ended with a bonus webinar. Unsurprisingly it was an opportunity to promote an upsell. This is Dean’s iPro program which is essentially a ready-made sales funnel that offers commissions, including $1000 for the high end product. At just under $2000 I thought it was a bit of a leap from a $20 challenge aimed at first timers, but I presume Dean is only interested in a highly targeted and motivated customer base.
However I suspect this leaves many who completed the challenge without an affordable, natural progression and I can’t help feeling an opportunity was missed here. Firstly, despite a bonus webinar that lasted over 3 hours I am somewhat unclear as to the products in the iPro sales funnel. Even if I was prepared to invest the money in iPro I don’t know anything about the products I would be promoting.
It may be that one of the lower price point products in the sales funnel would help people take the next step after the challenge. Could just one of these have been offered to those who finished the challenge but didn’t want to invest in the $2000 upsell?
According to Dean Holland over 1000 people joined at the start of the challenge, but less than half took action. This is not unusual for online training. Many of the hundreds that stayed the course now have their first blog online, are driving traffic, building email lists, and some report they have begun making money using affiliate marketing. It seems the sales page description of the challenge as a “4 Part System That Gets You Traffic, Builds Your Email List And Banks You Cash In 28 Days Or Less – GUARANTEED” is accurate as long as you do the work required.
Many people in the Facebook Group reported getting results quickly. Some mentioned they had made more progress during the challenge than they had made in a long time.
To answer the question I posed in my first post: there was a lot of learning and work involved if you were a total newbie at this, but many seem to have kept up with the schedule despite hitting challenges along the way. But then it was called a challenge, and technical difficulties are part of the deal with internet marketing.
For myself it helped me regain some momentum and using the traffic methods this blog has received just over 150 visitors in the last 9 days of the challenge. Would I recommend it to anyone wanting to start internet marketing? Yes. It may not be for everyone, but it seems to have worked for a good number of those who started and kept working at it.