The other week I received an email from one of our fellow trainers, Vicky. I thought I would share it with you along with my answer as it’s a question that I get variations of regularly.
I moved to a new area last year, had my baby boy but wanted to get back to work and still be a mum.. so I have set up a buggy boot camp Friday mornings and a normal boot camp on a wed evening. I’m finding it hard to recruit.. I have a Facebook page and have given out lots of flyers. I guess it takes time but do you have any tips on gaining more clients?
Also any help in how to structure a session would be great. I think I try to pack to much in one session.
Thanks for your time,
I have beefed up my response a bit to explain things in more detail.
You are right, it does take time to build up a bootcamp. Especially if the clients you are getting in are long term, dedicated clients.
There are however some things you can do to speed up the process like:
- Letter box drops – This tends to work best the first time and then trails off unless you are offering something new.
- Reach out to businesses – Offer employees of local businesses a special onetime discount on your bootcamp. This is a great way to start relationships with local businesses.
- Google adwords – People are searching for you online, you want them to find you.
- Conventional advertising – This includes billboards, newspapers, local magazines/papers, etc.
The problem with the above is that they are all fairly time consuming or expensive. Particularly for someone who is juggling family and a new business.
So I recommend just one overall goal. Get visible.
If you are about to do something for your business, think ‘How does the effort I have to put into this compare to how much attention I will get.‘
For example, buying an A-Frame sign and putting it up where you train takes very little effort, but if you are in a busy park gets you a lot of notice.
Another good example is offering your hairdresser and their co-workers a deal to come along to your bootcamp. You already have a good relationship with them and hairdressers talk to dozens of people everyday.
Some other ways to get visible that I enjoy doing and are very simple are:
- Get a spot at local community markets/fairs
- Offer one month of your bootcamp as a prize for school and sporting club fundraisers
- Approach local Mothers Groups
- Find the local community noticeboard (look around public libraries) and put up a flyer. (Make the flyers ugly, more people will read them then a professionally designed flyer.)
- Keep using your Facebook Page. Make sure you are posting useful stuff regularly. Try starting with just two posts a week, every week.
Also a big thing I recommend, although you will need to test this and see what works best in your area, is running your bootcamps as a course rather than a drop in class.
Get people to commit to 4 to 12 weeks at a time. Clients are much more likely to stick around when you give them a goal to reach for (an end date is a goal). Running courses will also help with your other question about planning.
Pick one thing to focus on that day. Trying to make the ‘perfect’ workout which encompasses every aspect of fitness is going to drive you insane. It’s comparable to trying to be liked by every person you meet your entire life.
So pick one thing – a sprint based workout, a strength based workout, a high intensity workout.
If you find yourself writing 5 or more drills to fill one session, have a look at the best ones and see if there isn’t some way you can expand them to take up more of the workout.
For example: One of your many short drills might be a circuit of push ups, squats and step ups which will take 5 minutes or so for clients to do 3 rounds. How about upping the ante and turning it into a partner AMRAP for 12 minutes. One person does the circuit while the other rests and then they swap. Now you have 15 minutes (12 minutes + 3 minute rest) of exercise rather than 5 minutes AND it’s far more enjoyable and the challenge element of it will get them working harder.
While running your session, be prepared to modify things as you go. For example, if you feel like you have planned to much, don’t worry about getting through it all, perhaps just do some extra rounds of the early part of the workout.
All this stuff takes time to learn as you gain more experience. I should really dig out some of my old workouts and put them on the site just so people can see how much my workout style has changed.
Just remember KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly
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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.