When someone comes to one of your sessions for the first time they are probably freaking out just a little bit.
They might be expecting a bunch of fit, model-looking people doing every exercise perfectly while making it look easy. Or a drill sergeant-like trainer barking orders at them. Or a fear that they are going to get smashed and be so sore tomorrow. Or that they are not fit enough to participate.
Your classes probably don’t look like that, but until someone attends one of your sessions their expectations are almost always going to be out of alignment with what the reality is and that could be the thing that’s stopping them from signing up.
We can try to repair this in two ways:
1. Create accurate expectations
Do everything you can to show what a class involves and what kind of people attend it.
Some ways to do that are:
- Pictures and videos of your sessions including the people who attend your sessions
- Testimonials from your clients, both written and video
- FAQs page on your website
- Great copywriting that resonates with the type of clients you want to train
- Posting what you do in your workouts online
2. Blow their expectations out of the water
The next part is key. The first time a client comes to a session they are probably still going to be nervous AF.
Your job in that session is to make that client feel so special, so wanted, so included that they can’t imagine not coming back again.
Here’s some ways you can do this:
- Before the workout get in touch to confirm that they are planning on coming. A personal message works best.
- Use their name. A lot. You’ll learn it quickly and your other clients will too.
- Pair them up with someone who has been coming for 3-6 months and loves it. They are new enough to remember the nerves of starting but also a good role model.
- Give them extra attention in regards to helping them with their form, but also give them space to engage with the other participants.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore them or pay little attention to them. Don’t tell them to do an exercise they don’t know how to do without showing them. Don’t pair them up with a difficult client. Don’t pair them up with a super fit client who is going to feel handicapped. Don’t give them a dangerous exercise for their fitness level.
Those don’t’s seem really obvious yet we’ve all seen other trainers make these msitakes so it’s worth remembering.
Tip: If you run your bootcamp in rounds, most of your newbies will start on the same day which makes it a bit easier to create a great experience. If you have new clients joining all of the time, you need to make sure you know when their first session will be so you can be ready for them.
Remember that the first session is scary to a new client. You’ve already done so much marketing and work to get someone to try out your class so do everything you can to make sure they keep coming back.
Further listening and a congratulations: Long time Bootcamp Ideas reader and 31 Days to a Better Fitness Business alumni, Theresa Prior, was recently interviewed for ABC’s Baby Talk podcast about returning to exercise as a mum. It’s definitely worth a listen if you train new mums. Listen here or when it goes to air live on ABC digital radio on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 1:00pm.
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.