Starting a Bootcamp or group training program is a great way to leverage your income as a personal trainer. It often means you can earn more per hour (if you have the numbers) than training people 1-on-1.
To be able to create the busiest Bootcamp in your town you have to do more than just marketing and sales (although that helps). It's also about creating an environment where people get the results they want, enjoy being a part of it, and have fun. This will give them a reason to stay and refer their friends and family to you.
Here are 24 strategies I learned from running a successful Bootcamp for over 3 years. I really wish I had known them all at the start. You can use these if you are thinking of starting a Bootcamp or group training program or maybe you already have one and would like to improve on what you have.
How to Have the Busiest Bootcamp in Your Town
- Charge more than your competitors, it will make you stand out as better quality than all the ‘pay-as-you-go' discounters in your town.
- Sell your Bootcamp services based on results, not session or weeks. People choose a Bootcamp on the belief they will get results, so start by finding out what exactly what your members want, and help them achieve them.
- Don't call yourself a Bootcamp. Have a system or name for what you do (my Bootcamp was called a fit camp and our system was the Faster Fat Loss System.
- Have a low barrier to entry trial offer and make it easy for people to come and try you out. I used to have trail weeks once a month for people interested in my Bootcamp. I would then use these trials to show my potential members how I could help them achieve their fitness goals.
- Have a defined target market and know them inside out (so so important). A Bootcamp business whose target market is women over 50 will be completely different to a Bootcamp who's target market is busy businessmen in terms of marketing, how your business talks to your audience, and the fitness journey you take them down.
- Don't be afraid to turn people away who are not a good fit or don't fit into your defined market. People who don't fit into your defined market are more likely to leave your Bootcamp because they don't enjoy it or don't fit in with the rest of your members.
- Create a community your members enjoy being a part of. People come for the results and stay for the community.
- Make people feel special, reward them for hitting milestones. Certificates are great and so are gift cards for new jeans to fit their new body.
- Invest in acquiring clients and know how much a client is worth to you. If you're not sure how client investing works, get in touch for a chat and we can talk you through.
- Name your workouts so that people talk about them, we had one called the terminator. It was a progressive workout with increasing time and decreasing rest. Create excitement or dread, both will get people talking.
- Give your clients t-shirts. They will wear them with pride and it will make them feel part of your community.
- Charge your members monthly by credit card or Direct debit. This is easier than ever to do without a merchant account, even for small businesses and trainers just starting.
- Give new members a welcome pack when they join. Include things like nutrition and anything that can help get them closer to their goal
- Reward members for progress. Give gifts or even organise nights out with your members. This will not only show that you actually care about your members, but also strengthen the community you have built.
- Keep it simple silly (KISS). Things don't need to be complicated. My Bootcamp was me and 20 women in a park with a boom box. No equipment needed.
- Invest in a boom box for playing music The one I used was an Ion Block Rocker. Here is the latest version
- Learn everyone's name and use it at least once in each session.
- Always bring your A-game and be prepared.
- Plan your workouts and periodize them. You could create excitement by creating a fun/playful workout and limiting to once a week.
- Inspire your members every single day.
- Have a private Facebook group or online place for your members to hang out and be part of the community
- Take your members on the team and social nights out. Do this regularly.
- Encourage your members to enter events like 5k and 10k runs or team events like Tough Mudder.
- Let your members see the real you. Not the robotic personal trainer. Show them that you make mistakes in your diet sometimes as well.
So there you have it, 24 ways to build a successful fitness boot camp, helping you attract more potential members, and retain existing ones. When it comes to building a Bootcamp, building a community is always a priority. Without something people enjoy, talk about and look forward to, they may as well save their money and join a big box gym. However, if you can present fitness and exercise in a fun and enjoyable form, then you will have no problem building a successful Bootcamp.