Military-style fitness boot camps are one of the most difficult to market in the world of fitness. But, with so many trainers and gym owners experimenting with various fitness activities, boot camps are gaining momentum across the globe.
Recent research study from Austria suggests that physical activity outdoors promotes better stress recovery and helps to improve anxiety and mood more compared to indoor exercise.
If you are a personal trainer who already runs similar, military style bootcamp sessions, you will know that recruiting clients is not easy, especially during winter months. Excuses often include weather conditions, getting dirty or muddy or simply the perception of not being fit enough.
Here are 7 easy tips to promote your bootcamp services, recruit new clients and establish a community that will take your business through the dry months.
1. Run a Free Trial Offer
Having a trial session with interested participants is a great way to showcase your boot camp training skills, the outdoor exercise experience and to gauge how many sign-ups you can expect.
Plan to have as many people on that first free session as possible. It's much easier to create amazing team workouts in the great outdoors with bigger numbers, not to mention the fun factor will also be higher. Structure the workouts so people will have no choice but to bond and feel they belong there.
Schedule your timetable in a way that you have time at the end to have a conversation with everybody and even if they don't sign up on the spot, getting them to commit there and then verbally will increase the chances they are coming back.
If you already have an established client base as a personal trainer, get them to attend that first session and bring their friends or family members too.
One of our Managed Website subscribers, the Superdad Fitness Project, use a free trial offer on their website.
Once you are running bootcamp sessions regularly, make sure you offer the trial option for new prospects and create a community that is very welcoming and helps the newbies to fit in. Everybody starts somewhere.
2. Showcase Your Success
In other words, let your audience know your background:
Make sure, your personal trainer website mentions all of that on your About page and your marketing materials contain the highlights.
Nothing speaks better for you than the results your clients achieved by working with you. Make sure you collect testimonials and showcase them on a Success Stories page of your website and on your Social Media platforms. Encourage your clients to leave reviews on your Facebook Page and Google My Business Account too.
3. Give Out Gift Cards and Coupons
Network with local professionals in your area like hairdressers, coffee shops, physiotherapists, beauticians, barbers, etc and offer your coupons to their clients. In exchange when your clients ask for recommendations, you can send them to those professionals.
What you offer on these coupons is up to you and what you think will fit in with your business model. Besides offering free trials, you can roll out seasonal offers. For example in September you could run a 10% discount offer if they pay upfront for 3-6 months, etc.
Make sure you don't undervalue yourself, but also have strategies in place to keep your client base and ideally get some new clients during the tougher months too.
4. Show Off Your Arsenal
From sledgehammers and tires to battle ropes and weight bags, there are multiple outdoor equipment available for boot camp training. Most of this equipment is seldom found in fitness centers, making them exotic and interesting for fitness enthusiasts.
If you have the equipment, why not flaunt it? Tell people about the tools of the trade and share pictures of the equipment on social media and on your fitness website.
You can even invite some of your existing clients to use this equipment and ask them to post pictures of themselves using the equipment on social media (chances are you won’t even need to ask, they’ll post it themselves). Ask them to tag you or your company page in their post.
Now, when your client’s followers ask about the boot camp, you can directly engage with them, thereby getting access to new customers.
5. Market the Launch
Start promoting your boot camp on every marketing channel well before you start the classes, we recommend minimum 3 months.
Use all the marketing tools you have at your disposal to send out the message far and wide to your local people. Create a registration form on your website and make sure to include that on every form of marketing.
Use your own profile to let your friends, clients and acquaintances know what you are up to and encourage them to share the opportunity with their friends and family.
Hang out in local Facebook Groups and give out advice to their fitness related questions wherever possible to build your reputation. If group rules allow, feel free to promote your upcoming free trial.
If you haven't started yet, create a Facebook Group of your own and put out valuable content on a daily basis to engage members. Make sure the group is about support, exchanging values, helping people and only promote the bootcamp where it can be a solution to a problem.
Create a Facebook Event, add all the details, pictures of the equipment and the park and ask your peers to invite anybody who could benefit from it.
Take pictures of you and your clients using the equipment in the green outdoors having much fun. Make sure you add the link to your landing page in our bio and tell your followers they'll find it there for more information.
Sharp, short and valuable weight loss, fitness, nutrition or exercise facts with a link to your landing page should do the job. Make sure not all your Twitter posts are abut promotion. If you post 3-4 a day, make 1 of them about your bootcamp.
Use your local network to get the message out to a wider audience. Leave flyers in coffee shops, supermarkets and health stores. Speak to your peers and other professionals on a daily basis and whenever a fitness topic comes up, mention your upcoming venture.
Ensure you don't become one of those guys or girls who can't talk about anything else, but make sure you plant the seeds well.
6. Blog and Vlog
Use your blog to slowly build interest in bootcamp style training among your readers with topics like: health benefits of training outdoors, how HIIT can help lose weight faster, bootcamp training to prepare for athletic performance (marathon runners, obstacle racers, etc) and so on. Make sure you include a CTA (Call-to-Action) that links to your bootcamp landing page.
You can go further by starting your own YouTube channel and showcasing your skills as a boot camp trainer. If your clients agree, you can even publish their videos and testimonials on your YouTube channel.
These videos then will make great blog material with a transcript. Using the right keywords in the video title and description will boost your website's SEO. Getting your website to rank high on Google for bootcamp related keywords in your local area will help people who are already looking for your services to find you.
7. Get on the OCR Bandwagon
If you haven't heard of OCR yet, I urge you to do some research. OCR stands for Obstacle Course Racing and there are many races both international and local taking place in every corner of the Earth nearly on a weekly bases.
There are people who take it very seriously and are running at a competitive level, however race directors know well that the general public's attendance what keeps these races alive, so there are many Janes and Joes each year who decide to take on a challenge like the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder, then there's the OCR World Championship series which each year has qualifying races across the globe in each participating countries.
You can position your bootcamp as the go-to obstacle course race training solution in the area helping people to get through their chosen race without injuries to complete their challenge. You can also pick one of these races that have an event nearby, set up a team, recruit participants and get them to join your bootcamp for training.
Promoting a bootcamp business is harder than any other indoor fitness class, because there will only be a fracture of potential clients who will be ready to train no matter the weather.
However, using the right keywords across your marketing materials and tools will put you in front of the people who are already ready for it. In all other ways, marketing a bootcamp is exactly the same as marketing any group fitness program.
We have heard of clients of bootcamp providers who started out with the mindset of not being able to train in rain or cold. However, as their body got fitter and more conditioned they didn't care about the weather after a while.
Time your launch to the spring when the weather is getting nicer to get more traction and by the time you get to the autumn, as long as you did a great job, majority of your core clients will stick with your through hail and snow.
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