Motivation can be one of the toughest jobs for both in-person and online fitness coaches. Often, when people seek out personal trainers or fitness studios, they’re seeking the extra support and accountability that comes along with working with a coach or with others in a group fitness atmosphere.
But even the most dedicated clients can start to waver a bit in their commitment to their fitness—especially during the summer, or throughout the holidays. So how can we motivate our clients and increase their engagement? Enter challenges!
I speak from experience when I say that fitness challenges work like a charm. I don’t mean put your clients on a strict smoothie diet for four weeks. Nor do I mean having them work out seven days per week for a whole month.
The challenges I have found to be most beneficial, for both client motivation and business growth, are the ones that make clients aware of their fitness habits and help them establish a routine. This routine will build accountability… plus, a bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone! Here are three handy tips to make the most of your fitness challenge.
1. Get as Many Participants Signed Up for Your Challenge as Possible
Market this challenge to both your current clients as well as other prospects. Your prospects include your social media followers, your newsletter subscribers, and your website visitors. This will help you get a few new clients signing up, which then hopefully turn them into future clients post-challenge.
It is completely up to you whether you charge money for the challenge or not, but personally I find that if people pay money to invest in a challenge, they are more likely to commit to it than if they got it for free. The price you charge should be based on how much time you personally will be putting into the challenge, and the value of the new leads you’ll acquire.
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2. Create a Group for the Challenge Participants
Take everyone who has signed up for the challenge, and add them to an online group, either through Trainerize’s group messaging feature (my personal preference) or through Facebook. Group communication will give people a sense of community and help them feel more supported throughout the challenge. They’re not alone!
As the coach, you should engage in the group as much as possible by providing helpful tips, motivational videos and messages, and by providing challenge updates on a regular basis. This will encourage conversation from the participants and keep the challenge at top of mind.
3. Provide Rewards—and Talk about Them
Create badges or establish milestones that your challenge participants can work towards and eventually reach throughout the challenge. These milestones will help to keep them motivated all the way through. Badges could be something like “First person to complete 10 workouts,” or “Week 2’s Most Positive Group Member.” Milestones could be “20 Meals Tracked” or “Week 1 Complete!”
Being recognized for their hard work will encourage participants to challenge themselves and stay motivated. It’s your choice if you’d like to offer prizes, but personally I find that the recognition is enough for people… and they’ll feel much better about themselves when they reach those targets.
Fitness challenges are something I offer both online and in person at my fitness studio and have had a significant impact on the growth of both businesses. Plus, they have a big impact on getting better results for my clients.
Through my challenges, I teach people how to live a healthy, balanced life. My clients learn that they don’t have to starve themselves and work out seven days per week to see results and feel great. There is so much inaccurate information in the media these days, so it really helps clients to learn about healthy habits!
I have noticed the best results—and by results I mean clients that stick to it after the challenge is over—in my eight-week challenges. Eight weeks is a perfect time frame to build healthy long term habits!
Need to motivate your clients? Find clients are falling off track at certain times of the year? Looking for more tools to keep clients accountable? Give challenges a try.