Your Bootcamps Better ( and full) in 10 Simple Steps

 In Attracting Clients, professional development

The Beauty of Group is Inspiration and Energy tied into Time Economy and Increased Revenue

No arguments? I didn’t think so. Who doesn’t love a group? A few, ultra-introverts that don’t like to multi-task…and that’s OK. But if you’re of the 90% fitness pros who is or wants to … and wants to better (has to better, really, there are too many choices out there for customers)…here you go.

1.) Think Hard About Duration. Is this 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks? You and I know real change is going to take 12 weeks and we want them longer. We want fewer decisions to recommit.

Let’s think customer. Why aren’t most exercising? Because it’s too much. When they want to stick a toe in the water we want them to sign up for a 5k. When they walk in the door we want them to do personal training. Logical to have goals and guidance…but this new customer is already overwhelmed.

They just might have obligations that make it hard to get there. Maybe they want to see if they can manage it. So they’d try it for four weeks and yet 12 is too much right now. But hey, if mama’s happy everybody is going to be happy right? So you might get her for 12 weeks 4 at a time but not at all if you go for 12 right out of the gate.

So offer 4 weeks, or two 6 week programs with a big gratifying discount for those who register for 12 at once, and a small but OK buy in if Ms 4 week signs up for the second and third sessions after the first.

Then within those cycles of 4 weeks make some changes. Emphasize some shorter intervals and power. Next session, focus on body weight strength and core. Next session, focus more on balance, agility, reaction. When you mix it up you change it up. What happens too often is the “variety” in bootcamp gets to be the “same” variety again and again. You lose variety after all. That’s when you see people drifting out the door to the new bootcamp down the street.

2.) Create a Team environment. Collectively use your whole group. Reward not only inches and weight, and maybe not those at all, but reward habits and attendance. Reward change. If you realize that people come to bootcamp for the accountability as much as for weight loss or inches loss or body composition (what if they’re already doing pretty well but bored from their own routine and want a challenge?) then make sure NOT to overemphasize the very thing that sends people running from fitness centers in the first place – feeling too fat or like a failure if they can’t lose weight.

You can create small groups within a big bootcamp. You can ask groups to register – teachers from the local school, health care professionals from the clinic, corporate employee groups and attract a sub group within your bootcamp. Post results of groups. Create articles. Ask about taking before and after pictures. Again- know your customer. If the idea of having to do this would scare them away? Not worth it.

3.) Create a text-a-day program and get everyone in the group on it. As an alternative create a Facebook group (do that anyway) and use messenger to them. No one really wants another email everyday. But a text – a short 2 minutes at most to absorb text with a quote, a video of you telling a story… that’s not more clutter in the inbox.

4.) Create a Kick-Off meeting the night before or two days before the start. If you start on Monday hold the meeting early evening on Friday or late afternoon on Sunday. Chris and Kara Mohr first shared this idea with me and an IDEA conference and when we implemented it almost every single one of the attendees in our women’s groups showed up.

They got to know us, what to expect, how to be more successful, what to eat before their 5:30am sessions, how to prepare for after as they went off to work and other questions they didn’t know to ask yet. We kept high attendance through those sessions and because of that they had good result.

5.) Do a graduation day at the end. Give them something. It might be a t-shirt that serves as an advertisement for you. It might be a gift certificate from an affiliate company. It might be a breakfast smoothie or lite breakfast you’ve told them about in advance. The idea is to make a big deal out of last day. Do pictures and results. If you’re group is inclined do a cocktail hour or do a lunch somewhere offsite instead.

6.) Bring-a-guest days are ways to get referrals in the door and registered right then. Do it right. Have each guest sign a waiver with their email a prominent and not-to-be-skipped piece of information. Then follow up. Send them a small something…tip list, recipes, First time attendees rate … and be prepared to reward your referring member with $ or a check.

Timing is everything. If bootcamp is 4 weeks guest day is the end of week 3. Follow up and get them registered in week 4. If they sign up and would like to guest another day before they begin- simple bonus.

7.) Give More.The signed up knowing what they got for their registration. Shower them with additional valuable content during the session. Is it a nutrition log (you still do that?) or a collection of recipe links you’ve found full of vegetables for more green eating? Are they struggling to make dinner when they get home late from your bootcamp? Help them with a few family friendly crockpot recipes so it’s done. Or breakfast is a challenge after bootcamp in the am? Serve them up smoothies at the front desk as they leave.

8.) Organize extra sessions for a weekend challenge: snowshoeing, paddle boarding, biking trails…that’s optional but gets them out of the box. Try to arrange so rentals are free as a way to expose the rental place to your new. Or within your sessions offer some theme to change the energy.

Know your customer here too. Some will want a heads up and don’t want to be surprised spur of the moment. If you’r going way outside of their comfort zone be sure you know it will be a good thing.

9.) Connect with individuals in the bootcamp with a text or email – that’s personal. Let them know you noticed something new they could do today that they couldn’t do before. Timing is everything. Make it as soon as you see it. Even better, send them a note or tuck it inside their backpack, make sure the front desk catches him on the way out…the sooner the better.

10.) Make everyone of these things happen with a system. I just threw up 9 ideas here…but if they stay that or the one or two you want to implement …you don’t? It’s because you don’t have a system. Do you have file folder for every bootcamp you do or every bootcamp instructor? Does it have a new space for a fresh calendar for every launch? Then you can add the schedule for the kick off meeting, add the day you’re creating the flyer, know how you’re adding the group of emails to a list for reminders, set the text messages for every day in the weeks of the bootcamp. None of these “success” tips happens by accident. You have to manage your time and get it done.

The first couple times this could seem overwhelming if you’re already full- why bother? To stay full is the answer. If you’re not doing these things… a less knowledgeable and a less talented trainer who is… may just have your clients.

~Debra

P.S. Please add a comment. Is there something you would add or one of these points that you find most valuable?

[Credit for this content was from Frank Smarrelli who blogged similarly recently… I recalled some of the points I’ve shared with you before and freshened them up. We all need to give credit where credit is due…don’t be afraid to quote or thank a pro who inspired you. You’ll return the favor to them someday it’s almost inevitable.]