So you’re excited to launch your first challenge. Woohoo! 🎉
But how do you choose which challenge to do? And how long will it run? And how much will you charge participants?
In order to easily answer these questions and others, it’s important to first get clear on the purpose of your challenge.
Below I share the four main reasons why a trainer may decide to run a challenge along with answers to the question above for each one:
1. To Attract New Customers
Oftentimes, instructors offer a free trial in order for potential customers to give classes a chance.
This is a great example of creating a low barrier to entry for a customer to choose you. But this offer may still be too intimidating for some potential clients to bite. In this case, a challenge can be the perfect way to engage folks who are on the fringe to try your group!
Challenges with the goal of attracting new customers are often low-or-no cost. You want to make these challenges simple and fun and probably no longer than 1-4 weeks long!
This is your chance to show yourself off as a coach, as well as to let the community aspect of your group shine. Participants might all be doing their own thing at home, like Jess’s Bingo Challenge, but be sure to keep up the encouragement and banter online so new folks can feel a part of the action. When a potential customer feels successful with the challenge and connected to you and the group, it may be just enough for them to take that next step and give your classes a try!
Example: Walk To The Beach Challenge
I calculated the mileage from our city to the nearest beach and placed all participants in groups.
Over the course of the challenge, participants were invited to “walk to the beach” with their group, adding up their accumulated mileage and turning it in on a weekly basis. I would then post each group’s mileage as a leaderboard in our community Facebook group.
Everyone LOVED it, even more than I imagined!
The beauty of this challenge is that many people who don’t regularly exercise are already at least walking a little and feel capable doing so, yet they still appreciate the accountability and camaraderie the challenge provides. And since many participants brought their friends and family along, I was able to make a lot of new contacts.
2. To Keep Existing Customers Motivated
Challenges can serve as a great way to either infuse some new life in the mix for existing customers. Or to bridge a time when people are likely to be away, such as over the holidays.
These types of challenges can often double with enticing new customers as well.
Oftentimes, if I run an at-home holiday challenge, I might offer it as a no-cost perk for existing folks, and choose a low price-point for anyone else to join in the fun.
Some examples of motivational challenges I have run have been Holiday Bingo or other similar games (I once did a “Trim the Tree Exercise Challenge” where everyone had a print-out of a Christmas tree with blank spaces for ornaments. Each time clients exercised at home, they added another ornament to the tree).
A calendar of at-home exercises can also work well here, where clients have a list of things to do each day or week.
3. To Entice Prospects for an Even Bigger Program
Perhaps you’ve been working on a shiny, new online program for months.
You’ve put a lot of work into it and know it will offer customers a big payoff, but due to the amount of work/payoff, it deserves to have a higher price tag on it.
In this case, it can be a great idea to create a “mini” challenge for prospective clients to engage with first.
This type of Challenge does a number of of things:
- Allows prospects that ever-important lower barrier for entry. You are asking something small of them before inviting them into something bigger,
- Allows you to demonstrate your coaching chops,
- Gives potential clients a taste of what the program entails so they want to have more.
As an example, instructors sometimes run a small 5-Day Challenge with the same theme as a larger, more expensive 8-12 week Habit-forming or Transformation-type challenge.
Participants then have the chance to sign on for the bigger challenge at the end.
4. To Add a Revenue Stream
This is you bringing out your big guns. Perhaps you are looking to build a challenge that will help bring in a significant amount of money for you over a long period of time.
In this case, you’ll probably want to put in more time and effort into making this challenge something worthwhile and evergreen, ie. a challenge you can launch again and again and bring new people into it.
If the goal truly is to add another revenue stream, you’ll want to make sure the price tag is one that will actually affect your bottom line in the way you want. So be sure to crunch the numbers and figure out how many people you need to attract at what price point in order to make it worth your time.
Last year I created a program like this that I called “Scrappy Wellness” It was a 12-week online challenge that gave participants practical ways to implement basic nutrition practices.
It included three online “master classes”, recipes, a weekly focus, games to keep things lively, online group and trainer support, and an exercise component.
It was a lot of work to create! But I plan to offer it at least once a year (and will continue to tweak it based on feedback from past challenges), so it was worth it for me to put in the effort.
Creating Your Challenge
What do you hope to accomplish with your Challenge?
Whatever the goal, there are a few things any challenge can help you do: show off who you are as a person and a coach, offer others a fun way to engage with fitness, and provide added meaning for your group.
So get out there, Coach, and give challenges a try…I challenge you!
Niki J. Torres is the owner of Folk Fitness where she specializes in helping everyday folks come together to build healthier, stronger lives. A personal trainer for over 9 years and nutrition coach, she believes there is strength in numbers, power in fun, and that the smallest changes make the biggest differences. With a background in theatre and a love for board games and all things silly, Niki loves finding ways to build community and make fitness enjoyable. Folk Fitness currently offers virtual classes, online programs, and in-home personal training in the Raleigh area.