The Biggest Loser gets attention. Good bad and ugly, people are talking about it and tuning in. You don’t have to agree with all it promotes but it is difficult to argue that it has created attention and it has created an attitude among people who are would-be audience members that they too may be able to do it. Viewers begin to root for participants and realize the life changing emotional strings tied to not being where you want to in life.
Run your own contest. Do it solo, do it in teams, run it as a challenge, a contest, or both. No matter what or how you do it though, don’t skip getting the maximum mileage from the publicity of it. Promote it in the paper, in businesses you partner or trade with, in those you have corporate memberships with. Invite applicants for two weeks to a month prior to the start. Screen the applicants with a questionnaire that lets them know what their commitment to the contest is and then interview them as you narrow down your field. Decide how many you’ll select based on what you can service well. You want them to be walking, talking, bill boards for you and a testimonial of your customer service and ability to help them through the tough times mentally and physically.
Have them agree to blog about their experience, to be videotaped. Then make those links available to your market through your newsletters, email blasts, any advertisement or promo piece you have out during that time frame. Refer to contestants obstacles in articles and brainstorm real life solutions so everyone who reads it understands they aren’t alone and that you can help them find a way to get this into a busy life!
Determine how you’ll choose a “winner.” They’ll want to know the criteria and so will your audience! Be thoughtful about that so that you’re promoting what’s healthy and well and not having them focused only on weight. The Biggest Loser comes down to the scale every time. If you agree with me, changing habits for health is more important. The healthy side effects will come, for some not always in their weight. Look at everything that contributes- are they getting the sleep that they need? Are they getting adequate fruits and vegetables ? Are they drinking enough water? Are they exercising appropriately in cardiovascular, resistance training and flexibility areas for optimal health? Have they been able to improve blood pressure, cholesterol, resting heart rate? Have they improved on their cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength and endurance? And then also have they improved their body composition and weight, inches? Did they need to change in those areas?
Work on how to declare a winner with your staff. They want to be involved even if they are not a trainer working with a contestant.
Think about how much you pay for advertising annually. Invest in paying a trainer an hourly fee to train a contestant – lower than their commission rate perhaps- but in exchange for publicity and exposure that could make their business boom and make them a requested trainer for a long time to come. You’re keeping your advertising dollars feeding one of your own and giving them an incentive to knock it out of the park as well. They’ll be honored to participate and have the opportunity to strut their stuff.
The possibilities are endless. Think long term if you’re really into health and wellness behavior change. Retest half way through to keep the attention on what’s next. The last thing we want our contestants to say is “when this is over…” We want them to have turned a corner and to have lain a foundation for owning the habit for a lifetime.
You’ll sell your services by promoting the results personal training offers. Your personal trainers will market themselves doing what they do best!