In 2012 I was searching for a way to build some community among the Bootcamp Ideas readers and also to spread the word. At the time I had a new ebook coming out and wanted to find a way to promote it with out coming across too slimey-salesy.
Having someone’s attention is not something to take lightly these days.
The internet gives everyone the ability to market to everyone and that ends up creating a lot of noise. It can be tempting to think that the only way to be heard and to get someone’s attention is by being noisier than all of the other voices out there.
But this belief only leads us to one of two places:
- Creating fake hype in order to get more attention. Think clickbait articles and only sharing negative news.
- Deciding to stay quiet and opt out of doing any marketing because we don’t want to add to the noise.
What if there was another way though? A way in which you could keep your integrity and get some attention.
A few words on Great Marketing
Great marketing isn’t shouting through a megaphone. Great marketing is a conversation.
We don’t need to talk to everyone, we just need to talk to the people who want what we have to offer.
One way to start that conversation is by doing remarkable things. After all, something remarkable is, by it’s very definition, worth remarking on.
There are lots of ways to do this but in today’s post I just want to walk you through just one way: How to create some buzz around your bootcamp with a competition or giveaway.
Since 2012 I’ve gone on to run at least one competition a year as a form of marketing. It’s resulted in hundreds of sales and has cost me next to nothing. It’s very much the style of personal, underground marketing that I love.
I believe you can use it in your business too to generate more sales and clients. Even if (especially if!) you’re only running sessions online and virtually right now.
It’s also a lot of fun to do! You get to give people stuff for free which is always a blast.
How To Run a Giveaway (or Competition)
The first thing to think about is: What’s the point of your competition or giveaway?
Are you trying to get more email subscribers? Are you wanting to improve engagement? Are you promoting a new service or class or location?
It’s best to just pick one thing to focus on as that will decide what type of competition or giveaway you’ll do. We’ll cover more on this later but for now just pick one area of your fitness business that could use some attention.
What’s the difference between a competition or a giveaway?
A competition is where winners are selected based on certain factors that you decide. ie. The best thing or the person with the most points wins.
It requires more effort on the behalf of the entrant because they actually have to do something to enter. I find competitions best for selling or promoting a new product.
A giveaway is where one or more people are picked randomly from all of the entrants. This usually means more entries because it’s easy to enter.
I like giveaways for boosting followers or your email list.
I also like to combine the both with a combination of prizes, some giveaways and some for the ‘best thing’. That way effort gets rewarded but there is also a chance for anyone to win.
No need to pay for prizes
Running a competition should be a fairly low-risk piece of marketing. You shouldn’t need to put thousands of dollars on the line in prizes and then cross your fingers to hope that it pays off.
Instead of buying the prizes yourself, creating your prize pool can be a great excuse to reach out and connect with other local businesses and businesses you admire.
I would say that about 8-9 out of 10 times a business I’ve reached out to for prizes has donated them. For the odd physical prize I’ve simply paid the cost price, but in my experience even physical prizes are usually donated (including the cost of shipping).
Most people are flattered to be included and see it as a great way to get some attention themselves.
You should also include some of your own services in the prize pool, especially if you’re using it to promote sales.
Picking a winner
If you’re running a competition you’ll need to create some criteria for winning.
Be clear when you announce the competition what you’ll be looking for in a winner. The clearer you are the better. Help them be successful!
Here are some ideas for things you might want them to do:
- Attend a certain number of sessions
- Completing a daily or weekly challenge
- Share, tag or mention someone
- Create something (like a testimonial) and share it in a certain way
- Bring a friend to a certain number of sessions
- Leave a review in a specific place
If you’re doing a giveaway where you need a random winner you’ll need a way to pick them.
There are lots of fancy websites out there for picking someone at random, but I really like this simple website. Simply download a list of names or email addresses, then copy them over and have it select one at random.
Set a date
The last thing to do before announcing your competition is to set your dates.
You’ll need a start date, an entries closing date and a draw date when you’ll announce a winner.
Speading the word about your competition
There is no need to get fancy here.
Now you’ve got something that’s worth sharing you’re not longer just adding to the noise. So go ahead and share it!
Create one main blog post or social media post (Facebook or Instagram work well) with all of the details. Then share that link across all of the other platforms you’re on. Don’t forget about emailing your list too.
Be sure to also post reminders towards the end of the entry period. Some people will wait until the last minute to enter and need a reminder.’
DIY Competition Checklist
Before you go live with your competition, use this list to check you’ve covered all your bases.
- Choose what the goal of your competition or giveaway is.
- Based on that, will you do a competition or giveaway or both?
- What will people need to do to enter?
- How will the winner be chosen?
- When will the competition start? When will it end?
- What will they win?
- Brainstorm the different ways you’ll spread the word.
- Start sharing!
The most important part: Add Value
The most important thing about running a competition, or any marketing you do, is to make sure you’re adding value.
If you’re not adding value then you’re just adding noise.
One way I add value to the workout competitions on Bootcamp Ideas is by making the workouts available to everyone. That way, even if you don’t enter, you still get to enjoy a bunch of new workout ideas.
Another way is that everyone gets to vote to help pick a winner. People love expressing their opinion (especially by doing something as simple as voting on a workout) and it gets them engaging with my brand once more.
How can your competition add value to not just the entrants, but to your wider community too?
Ready to run your competition?
Do you run competitions or giveaways already? I’d love to hear about one thing that’s worked really well for you.
If this inspires you to run your own competition or giveaway, I’d also love to know. Leave me a comment below.
Speaking of giveaway,s at the moment we’re running a giveaway on BootCraft. Simply enter one of your favourite drills for a chance to win a year of free BootCraft.
You need to be a member to enter but signing up is easy. In fact, I’ll should you your first month. Enter the coupon code
SHARINGAWORKOUT to get your first month free.
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.