It’s always fun to talk about training. I can sit here and talk training for hours upon hours. However, if you don’t have people staying, paying, and referring their friends, training may have to take the backseat for a while. Don’t take that statement the wrong way. I am by no means saying to stop your education. It will help you get better results with your clients, but today I want to talk about 3 different strategies you can use to ensure that you always have a little buzz going around your training program. Not only do we want to provide them with a great, safe and effective workout, but we also want to get them talking, sharing their experience on Facebook, and creating a culture around your program.
- Transformation Contests – I’ve gone back and forth on transformation contests over the past 5 years. Why is this? The reason is that transformation contests generate amazing results; however, some people get absolutely devastated if they don’t win. They bust their ass for 6-10 weeks to get a close 2nd or 3rd, or hell…they may even get 5th. They take the “If you’re not first, you’re last” quote from Ricky Bobby a little too seriously. Some people will sink into a state of depression and put the weight back on right after the contest is over.
These are our outliers though.
This is not the norm.
While some people get upset that they didn’t win, most of the participants will get amazing results (better than they would’ve if there wasn’t a challenge or contest), have a good time working out, bring more intensity to each session, and start talking about things to their family and friends. This “buzz” going around is a great thing. You need to take advantage of this if you’re a trainer. Use the buzz, use the hype, use the results to help fuel your marketing and ability to get new clients.
During our 8 week challenges, the average weight loss is somewhere around 10 lbs. Some people drop 25-30 lbs. and lose more inches than your typical footlong sandwich from Subway. We need to capitalize off these results. We need to get that information out on social media, put before and afters on your web page, and build a strong sense of culture and community.
If you haven’t done a challenge or contest before, don’t fret. It can be a little overwhelming to put one together, especially if you’re all by yourself. However, the money you make from it, the results your clients will get, and the referrals throughout the contest will far outweigh the work it takes to set one up.
I’m a big fan of the saying, “don’t re-invent the wheel.” It’s already been done by hundreds of trainers around the world. Take what works for them and simply apply. If you’re looking to save time and still have a challenge that generates hype, check out the done-for-you transformation challenge product my friend Ryan Ketchum put together. Awesome product that gives you plug and play material for making your next, or first, challenge a breeze.
Whole Food Detox Program – A couple years ago, we decided to spice things up around the gym. We don’t like having workout-based challenges and contests too frequently. If you do, you’ll have deal hoppers trying to take advantage of every special you have, but shy away from actually working with you year-round. So after thinking about things for a while, we decided we wanted to do a challenge that was based around nutrition, and nutrition only.
This is where the 21-Day Detox program came into play. After hearing about the success my friend and SGT Advisory Board Member, Justin Yule, was having with his program, we decided to give it a shot.
Justin put together a detox program that is based solely around eating whole, unprocessed foods. It’s an elimination diet to rid the body of sugar and processed foods. I’m sure it goes a little deeper into the science than that, but to keep it simple…the detox dramatically changed the way people eat and how the think about food. It made our clients more aware of what was actually going in their mouths. Most people already “thought” they were eating well. It wasn’t until they went through the detox program before they realized the sugar content and processed foods were in their diet much more than they originally thought.
Just like the Transformation Contest listed above, you’d think there’s a ton of time needed to pull this off. WRONG!
Justin and his wife Jannell put together the program and decided to package it for other trainers as well. Overall, I think it took me about 2-3 hours to get this set up and enrolling people into the program. The 21-Day Detox is a done-for-you program that you plug into an autoresponder system. Basically, you cut and paste the stuff from their product, add it to an autoresponder email system, create a Facebook page, and that’s about it.
We typically do this twice a year. Once in the winter (after or during our transformation contest) and once again in the fall. To be honest, we’ve been running these contests for ourselves. Even as trainers, it’s easy to fall into the habits of eating like crap and not doing EXACTLY as you preach. By adding a detox into our annual calendar, we’re able to lock down our nutrition a couple times a year, and this generally spills over for much longer than the 21 days. Personally, after doing a detox, my nutrition habits are pretty much perfect for at least 2-3 months. By the time I start to slip back into old comfort food habits, we’re kicking the detox promotion back off again. Love this program…can’t say enough about it. Try it out. I guarantee you’ll make your money back, plus more, and have some “buzz” going around your gym.
Facebook Check-In Program – If you truly want to generate some buzz around your gym and develop a culture from within, you better be embracing the power of social media. I’m not a big Twitter guy personally, but whatever social media platform you and your clients use regularly, a check-in program will help get your gym’s name out there and constantly in front of people.
Everyone likes to get free stuff. Give people an opportunity to earn free stuff, and you’ll be surprised what they’ll do. Checking in on Facebook is a pretty reasonable request, so a heavy majority of our members check-in at our gym each and every workout. We probably have about 2/3’s of our members doing this. Take 2/3’s of 250. That’s 165 people checking in each week on Facebook. Now multiply that by the average number of sessions completed each week, we’ll be on the conservative side and say 2 workouts done each week, and you’re looking at a whopping 330 impressions each week. Stretch that out to the month, and we’re looking at about 1500 posts about our gym.
The beautiful thing about this one is that it’s not you promoting your own gym or training program. It’s your members! Harness the power of social media and give your clients a reason to talk. We recently changed our check-in prizes, but this is what we’re doing now, and will be doing for years to come 🙂
- 25 Check-In’s – $10 Whole Foods Gift Card
- 50 Check-In’s – Free Premium Tee Shirt (Gym Branded of course 🙂
- 100 Check-In’s – $50 Gift Certificate to the gym (no restrictions on this)
- 150 Check-In’s – One free massage or float
- 250 Check-In’s – Gym Swag Bag w/ Tervis Tumbler, water bottle, T Shirt, Bag, Hat, and Sweat Towel)
- 500 Check In’s – Polar Loop or A300 Activity Tracker
- 750 Check-In’s – 6 Months of massage or floats
- 1000 Check-In’s – All Expense paid vacation to anywhere in the domestic US
We obviously don’t have an issue with giving away this stuff. If it generates one client in the process of them getting 1000 check-ins, it pays itself off. You get a ton of exposure, you’ll probably get at least one referral if they’re signing in 1000x, and you’ll have a client that’s been staying, paying, and telling their friends for years. It’s a solid program that does a good job at getting your gym’s name out there.
So there you have it…three of my favorite things that we do to generate buzz and new leads coming in the door. Hope this helps spark some creativity, or at least gives you the resources to buy one of the plug-and-play options listed above. If you’re not doing any of these, try to work them in your marketing calendar. You won’t be disappointed.