If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I have written a few previous posts on how I personally use Trainerize to run my online fitness challenges. You’ll also know that I have no qualms telling you how amazing challenges are for a personal training business.
For me, challenges have turned out to be a great way to bring in new clients for both my in-person and online personal training business and have added a healthy bump in my revenue.
But, as always, nothing good comes easy, and with challenges, the main…well, challenge is getting people to sign up.
With some many competitors out there, promoting their challenges all over social media, how do you set yourself apart? What can you do to connect with clients and encourage them to join your challenge?
The obvious answer here is marketing, but you can’t use just any old tactics. You’ll need to give it some careful consideration because the way you market is the way you ensure you’re reaching the right people,
Here are my top 5 tips for bringing in challenge participants:
1. Know your niche
When marketing any product or service, you should always start the process by thinking about your niche and its associated target market.
Your target market is the audience you’d most like to reach and engage with and can include current clients, new clients, or both. You can define your target marketing in a lot of different ways including demographics (such as age and gender), geographic location (important if your challenge has in-person or hybrid elements), shared goals (weight loss vs. bulking up vs. toning, etc.) and fitness level.
So as you start to plan the marketing for your next online challenge, consider who you think is most likely to sign up. If you’ve run similar challenges in the past, you can draw on that experience and the information available to you about past participants to help define your target audience this time around.
Personally, I have found that women between the ages of 26 to 55 were the most interested in my online challenges, and I leverage this knowledge to get more people to sign up by gearing my marketing materials toward and targeting my ads to this demographic. Knowing my niche helps me spend my marketing energy (and budget) on the right things, and increases my ability to reach the right people. Without identifying your niche, you’re kind of shouting in the abyss. Maybe you’ll be heard by someone interested…but maybe you won’t.
Find your niche and leverage it to grow your business.
2. Price your challenge correctly
This is always a tough call. You don’t want to price your challenge too high so that no one signs up (or goes for the “cheaper competition” instead), but you also don’t want to price too low and not actually make any money.
A lot of work goes into the challenges that I run, and I know I’m not the only trainer out there putting their heart and soul into their challenges. At the end of the day, depending on what you’re putting into the challenge (workouts, meal plans, motivational emails, etc.) you need to feel like you’re getting a fair return on your investment. Know what your time is worth and make sure you’re actually making money once all is said and done.
Personally, I have had to use trial and error to find a good price for my challenges. If you’re just starting out with your online challenges, testing the waters this way is usually best and will give you a real sense of what your target audience is comfortable paying.
One tip to remember, as tempting as it may be to bring in challenge participants with crazy deals or discounts, sometimes pricing too cheap can actually make people question the quality of service. Know your worth and charge accordingly, if you are confident your challenge is solid and will get people results, make sure that confidence is reflected in the price.
3. Leverage your client success stories
One of your most precious tools for attracting new clients is your past client success stories.
Progress pictures have been a HUGE help to me in selling online challenges. Now, I understand you have to have past client transformations in order to use this technique, so if you don’t already have some of these squirreled away, make sure you get some from your first challengers.
You could start to build up your collection of success stories by offering a few people the opportunity to join your challenge or become your client for free in exchange for a testimonial and before and after pictures.
And of course, this goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway), always ask client permission to use their progress pictures in any social media or website posts. If they let you, tag them in posts to reach their audience too and expand your reach! Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family, or clients if they are willing to share your social media posts to their audience on social media either, you will be surprised how many people are willing to help if you just ask.
4. Make sure your marketing material is eye-catching and relevant
Are you designing your marketing posters and ads or are you paying someone to do this for you? I think that it is important to create eye-catching, professional-looking marketing material to post on your social media and website.
If this is not your specialty, there are many websites that allow you to hire freelancers at extremely affordable rates who can create posters for you (I use Fiverr.com or Upwork.com but there are plenty of options out there). Using a freelancer will not only save you time but will ensure your challenge doesn’t come across as “cheap” or “low quality” due to a homemade poster.
One last tip on creating eye-catching marketing material is to make sure you use images that are relevant to your niche market. For example, if you are trying to attract middle-aged women, do not have an image of an 18-year-old girl in booty shorts on your poster (just an example…lol).
5. Use paid ads on social media—wisely
Paid ads on social media can be very useful—if done correctly. If you do not have a lot of experience with paid social media ads, be careful with how much you spend. If your ads are not designed and targeted correctly, you could end up spending a lot of money without getting any sales in return.
As above, if this isn’t your forte, I would recommend hiring a freelancer through one of the many websites available to help you create a successful social media ad to promote your challenge. There are also online courses you can take if you’d like to up your digital marketing knowledge.
Another idea is finding someone who is really good at social media marketing and offer them free personal training in exchange for help. Surprisingly, it might not be that difficult to find someone interested in this kind of deal.
Try using Trainerize’s Group Training feature for your next online fitness challenge for an organized way to build your challenge and monitor your clients’ success. In the end, a successful online fitness challenge is only really successful if you get enough people to sign up that you make a significant profit. The second determinant of a successful challenge is if clients who do sign up get results! When you’re just starting out, even if you only have 5 people sign up, make sure those 5 people get great results! Once you have proof that your challenge works, the hardest part is done.