No, Walt Disney wasn’t in the fitness business, but I dare anyone to say that they know of a businessman who was better at creating a brand that was recognizable all over the world, in any language. Disney World and Disneyland may have gone through some transformations and expansions since Walt passed away, but Disney will always be Disney and it will always dominate the amusement park field. No one can touch it. So I think there is something very important that Walt Disney could teach you about how to start a boot camp.
He would teach you that you need to focus on doing one thing and doing it better than anyone else, anywhere.
Think about the other amusement parks in the US. Busch Gardens, Six Flags, Knott’s Berry Farm or a bunch of regional, nameless parks you can’t think of off-hand. What are they known for? How many iconic images or names do you associate with them? Yet, say “Dumbo Ride” or “fireworks” and everyone knows which parks you’re talking about. Disney.
Disney Parks have rides, shows, restaurants and hotels, but they do one thing and they do it better than anyone else: they create magical family memories. When you walk into any other amusement park, you think, “Wow, cool rides!” When you walk into Disney World or Disneyland, you think “Magic!”
So how do you translate what Walt Disney and what he did with the Disney Parks into you and how to start a boot camp that emulates his success? You do one thing and you do it better than anyone else.
This is what has made Fit Body Boot Camps the fastest-selling fitness business in this country. We do one thing. We don’t do Zumba, we don’t do Pilates and we don’t run a social club. We do killer workouts that deliver maximum results in minimal time. We do this at a price that people can afford and we do it in a supportive, motivating and even entertaining way. Boom. That’s what we do.
Even if you’re not a Fit Body Boot Camp franchise owner, you can still take your cue from Walt when it comes to how to start a boot camp that becomes known for doing one thing and doing it better than anyone else in your area. (more…)
You’re not going to do everything right when you’re starting your boot camp business. You’re going to make mistakes, just as I have and just as every other successful boot camp owner I know has done. Nobody’s born knowing how to start a fitness boot camp business. That’s one of the purposes of the annual Fitness Business Summit – to allow very successful people to share what they’ve learned so that others can avoid many mistakes and do some things right from the beginning.
One of the most popular speakers at the Summit has been Corporal Sean Francis and one of the most popular talks he’s given was about working with what Bedros calls the 95/5 or the 5% Rule. What that boils down to is focusing your time, energy and attention on the things that are priorities in your business and also working as much as possible within your zone of genius, doing the things that you love the most and are best at. This is the key to constant growth of your boot camp business.
Granted, in some ways, this is easier to do once your business is established and your income allows you to hire a full staff of trainers and other help. But there are a number of things you can do now, to not only get your business started on the right foot but also go into it with a 5% mindset that will help you at every level of success in the years to come. So I’d like to share with you two important things about how to start a fitness boot camp business using the 5% rule, with credit to Sean Francis for many of the ideas he shared at a recent FBS.
Hire an assistant as soon as possible.
An assistant may sound like an expensive luxury that a new entrepreneur can’t really afford. But one of the smartest things you can do, even as a start-up, is find even one person to take care of less important or less demanding tasks so that you can focus on the things you really need to do, like getting clients signed up for your new boot camp. The more you’re able to market your boot camp and sell new memberships, the sooner you can afford more help, like great trainers. You don’t need an executive assistant, at least not yet, so you can find plenty of people who would rather make halfway decent pay in a fitness center than make it in a fast food place.
Start creating systems for everything now.
Once Sean hired an assistant, he started following great advice that he’d gotten from the summit. He started creating systems for every single thing that needed to be done, whether it was answering the phones, entering new members into the computer or paying the bills. Then he taught those systems to his assistant so that he never had to deal with those things again. (more…)
There are any number of mistakes that new entrepreneurs can – and will - make when starting a fitness boot camp. Most of them are fairly minor things that can be counted as part of the learning curve. What you really want to avoid are mistakes that cost you serious money or growth in the beginning.
My years running Fit Body Boot Camps and working closely with both Bedros and the FBBC owners has taught me that there are two really significant and really damaging mistakes to avoid at all costs when you’re starting a fitness boot camp. It could take months or even years to make up the lost opportunities and revenue.
Trying to be a fitness generalist
There are all kinds of fitness generalists in your area. The last thing you want to do is be one of them. There are a couple of really important reasons for this. First of all, if you’re a generalist, you have to compete in a field of many. Some competition will be well-established in the community or have big national brand names. All of them will be offering the very same thing you’re offering, which is general fitness help. Do you really want to enter this market?
Secondly, finding a niche or specialty market (such as athletes, new moms or Baby Boomers) means two very important things to your bottom line: a) You can target your marketing, which makes it more effective and less expensive and b) people are willing to pay more for the services of a specialist.
Let’s say you identify your target niche as middle-aged women. When you approach them as a specialist in anti-aging and metabolism boosting nutrition and hormone balance through exercise and nutrition, you suddenly become much more valuable than Bob over at Big Box Fitness.
Don’t try to be all trainers to all people. Start out targeting a specific group of people who want and need your specific areas of expertise and you’ll spend less time marketing and your marketing returns will be much higher. (more…)
The big box gyms in your area are advertising two-for-one sign up deals and forty different types of classes. So how do you tailor your boot camp marketing efforts to compete with them?
You’re not a big box gym. You’re an awesome personal trainer and what you have to offer is something the big box gyms can’t: incredible results. People join gyms because they want to change the way they look and feel and most of them want that change to be dramatic and fast. The big box gym isn’t the answer.
Very few people who sign up for a big commercial gym will ever get anything close to the results they’re seeking. Most of them will drop out of the gym with very little to show for their money or their time. Those people are absolutely primed for an intense body transformation program. If you can offer that, you won’t need to spend much time on boot camp marketing – your clients’ results will do the marketing for you.
So how do you create a transformation program that really stands out and puts you in a whole different category from the big box gyms? I have five tips from boot camp owners that have used these programs to propel their businesses to the next level.
Promise results and then deliver. This may seem overly simplistic, but nothing will kill your success like mediocre results. Nobody posts on Facebook that they lost ten pounds in just six months. Nobody brags about the personal trainer who helped them carve an inch from their waistline and that was it.
We live in a culture that expects everything right now, if not sooner. Use your skills and expertise to deliver the most dramatic results in the least amount of time. Give your clients the workouts and the results of their lives and they won’t be able to keep quiet about it.
Offer something unique. Don’t just advertise that you’ll help clients lose fat or build muscle. The fitness businesses that have excelled are the ones that found a way to meet a unique need. One of the best examples of this is the Body for Life program, which many consider to be the foundation of transformation programs. Body for Life made itself unique by saying it was a program that would work for anyone of any age. Another good example is P90X. That program stood out and sold like crazy because it’s uniqueness was that it offered a hard-core intensity workout that could be done at home in a short amount of time, yet produce great results.
You have to have something unique to offer. It might be a baby-to-bikini transformation for new mothers or fat burning for Baby Boomers. Find it, market it and then deliver it. (more…)
When you’re in the personal training business, you really have to sell yourself. The competition is fierce and it’s a fact that many people choose a trainer randomly. Maybe you’re the number one spot on Google, or it could be that they saw your sign in a tanning salon. Regardless of WHERE they saw you, the point is that you were visible. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one means of advertising; have many different balls in the air at any given time. Though there are a million different ways to get your name out there, here are my top 6 tips to selling personal training.
1. Use the referral system – When you sign up clients, require that they provide at least 5 referrals on your personal data sheet when they’re doing their paperwork. You can even take this a step further by offering an incentive to anybody that actually brings you another client. Offer a free training session and praise them generously in front of your other clients when they bring a guest.
2. Network with other businesses – Local tanning salons, hair salons, sporting goods stores, nail salons, daycares, clothing shops, nutrition shops and chiropractors are all great places to target when selling personal training because that’s where your clients frequent. Offer a few free sessions to the employees in exchange for letting you hang your fliers or leave your business cards. Many places will let you leave your cards for free, but if you offer a free session to the employees, you may just turn them into paying clients, too.
3. Build a killer website – We live in a world where people choose everything from their restaurants to their doctors on their mobile devices. If you don’t have a web presence, you’re missing out on a huge percentage of clients. Be sure to do some keyword research and optimize your content with those keywords so that you rank as high as possible. Use plenty of client testimonials, strong headlines and engaging content that really showcases what makes you the best. This is no time to be humble. Put yourself out there and sell yourself!
4. Offer Smaller, Specific Classes – Advertise classes of short duration such as a “2 weeks to flatter abs” class, a “21 day fat burning” class, or something else that’s popular in your area. Really put your best foot forward during these sessions by being friendly, passionate and enthusiastic. Show an interest in the personal success of each client and be available for questions before and after class. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself a bit; after all, selling personal training sessions is your marketing goal here. (more…)
If you own a gym or fitness studio and can never seem to get enough clients, your personal training marketing methods may be to blame. Marketing a business may seem like a lot of work or something that’s too expensive for your limited budget, but it’s well worth the trouble when it’s done right. It doesn’t cost nearly as much as you might think it does, but the truth is that it can be incredibly costly to try to get by without it. Personal training marketing can be done very effectively and inexpensively, if you use these four very important strategies.
1. Build an email list - If you’ve lasted this long without building up an email list of all your current and potential clients… then props to you because the “list is king”- and without one it’s hard to keep any kind of business afloat. An email list is hands-down the most cost effective way to market your fitness studio because it allows you to connect with your clients in a more personal way than is possible with social media.
Sure you still need to have your social media marketing in place, but collecting the emails of your past, current, and potential clients is the number one best way to build loyalty with current clients, reconnect with former ones and earn the trust and the business of potential ne clients, all at the same time and all with the same dollar. Any time you can accomplish more than one goal at a time, you multiply your potential earnings and free up time and money that can be used elsewhere.
To build your email contact list, start by creating some type of free offer, something of real, tangible value, in exchange for their contact information. Use your personal expertise and that of your colleagues to write up a quick fat loss report, some healthy recipes, or an easy-to-follow workout video in an effort to get people to opt into your mailing list. Always think about the needs of the people you’re targeting, and tailor your free offer to meet one of those needs.
2. Get them to know, like and trust you - Once you have people opting into your mailing list, you need to make the absolute most of those contacts. You have essentially been given a golden opportunity with each email address. In order to maximize the income potential of these contacts, you need to focus on getting them to know, like and trust you.
Now, here’s where it gets time consuming- in order for your personal training marketing campaign to work, you’ve got to mail out twice (if not three) times per week. And when you mail out to your list, it’s got to be something that will help meet their needs and get them to their goals. This is your opportunity to let them know that you can be a valuable and even invaluable part of their fitness dream.
One important thing to keep in mind when you’re creating your emails is that your subject line needs to be informative and compelling. It needs to tell them exactly what your email contains and it needs to be something that they can see is valuable and usable right away. Your goal is to get them to open that email. No matter how good your email is, it won’t help you get more business if it never gets opened. Try to use titles like “The Top 3 Best and Worst Drinks to Get at Starbucks” or “4 Incredible Tips to Burn 500 Extra Calories Per Day” and then deliver on the promises in your subject lines.
Another extremely important thing to remember about personal training marketing campaigns is that you can’t overdo the selling in your emails. If people know that every email is going to be a sales pitch, they’ll automatically delete them and may even unsubscribe. Now you’ve lost not just them but every referral you might have earned from them. Don’t punish subscribers by pushing your promotions at them. You have to earn that through your awesome content. Use the rule of 4:1 - for every 4 pieces of great content you mail out, you’ve earned 1 promotional mail out. Following this rule will not only build your likability - it will also build your credibility. (more…)
Learning to love sales can be tough when your background is personal training, but if you’re looking to grow your business with new clients then you need to become an expert closer. Marketing will only take you so far, you’ve also got to be able to convert your prospects into paying clients if you’re looking to make the big bucks- and you can only do that by selling.
Selling personal training has gotten a lot easier over the years due to the fact that more and more people have taken a bigger interest in their own health and fitness. Because health and fitness are becoming more “front and center” in people’s lives, closing even the toughest customers is now a breeze compared to years ago when everyone was under the impression that you had to be rich or famous to hire a personal trainer.
Now that our society is a lot more aware of the harmful effects of obesity, more people are looking at getting fit as a way to curb medical costs- and they’re right to do so. Eating right and getting enough exercise can help anyone in almost any situation avoid costly doctors visits and not to mention help them feel a lot better, so it’s no big secret that most doctors will prescribe a patient a healthier diet and more exercise if they aren’t getting enough.
So what does all this mean for you and your personal training business? It means everything! Personal training, group or boot camp or one-on-one, is on the up and up meaning that more people are seeking a personal trainer to work with. They’re already easier to sell than ever before so all you need are these quick selling tips to get you on the right track with your prospects.
One of the best ways to gain a prospect’s trust is to offer them something of value for free or cheap. A week free at your facility will help them get used to your personality and your style of training, which will help you when you’re ready to sit down and sell to them. They’ll already be familiar with what you have to offer so your consultation will be more focused on them and what they want to accomplish.
That’s much easier than sitting down with a prospect that you barely even know, who doesn’t even know you at all, and trying to sell them a year’s worth of personal training for whatever price. The key is to get them to know you, like you, and trust you before you even end up selling to them because it makes the process that much easier for you and for them.
So if you’re not offering some free or cheap (a week free or two weeks at $45 or whatever feels right to you) trial at your fitness center then start doing so and promote it online, offline- pretty much everywhere you can to get people interested in joining. Your prospects will be much more likely to buy if they can take your training for a “test drive”.
Ask Questions, Then Listen
The secret to closing is basically this: ask questions, then listen- hard. Even the world’s best salespeople know how important it is to let the prospect do the talking. It’s where all the magic happens, it’s where you can pinpoint the exact reason they came to workout with you in the first place and that’s your golden ticket.
Asking important, qualifying questions like, “When is the last time you felt good about the way your look and feel?” or “Tell me about the last time you felt good about your fitness” will help you figure out just what it is that’s holding them back from (more…)
If you’re constantly on the hunt for new clients to bring into your boot camp, then chances are… your marketing may need some work. As a personal trainer and a boot camp owner, you’re probably stretched pretty thin with not only leading and teaching each session, but with operating ins and outs of your business.
So, how are you supposed to find the time to focus on marketing? Fortunately, we’ve laid out 5 different ways for you to up your fitness boot camp marketing game without making you spend a ton of time and money.
1. Raise Your Energy
This quick tip is simple and easy to implement. Just amp up the energy during your workouts or teach your trainers to amp their energy up when they’re leading a boot camp session.
Making sure that your clients are having a good time while working out helps your marketing game because you’re creating an environment that your boot campers can really brag about. They’re having fun AND getting fit.
Most people don’t really like exercising, even though they know they have to in order to stay in shape and feel great, so if you create a fitness program that’s fun and high energy then you can’t go wrong. Look, no one likes working out with a boring trainer who doesn’t seem interested in helping them achieve results.
Clients want to workout in a fun and encouraging environment. They want to know that you care, and you can do that by showing them how excited you are that they’re there and willing to get sweaty with you.
2. Spoil Them Rotten
Spoil your clients rotten and they’ll never leave. Think about it: fitness is something that you’ll work on for the rest of your life. As soon as you get the results you want, you have to maintain them, right? Your body doesn’t just magically stay in shape- you’ve got to train to keep it there! So why would a client leave if they know they need to workout on a consistent basis to keep the results they just earned? They’re not getting spoiled enough!
Show your clients you care about them by spoiling them whenever you get the chance to. Spoil by getting to know them and what they’re all about. Send them small gifts like Starbucks gift cards, movie tickets, reusable water bottles, or bracelets, or anything of that nature. Mail them a birthday card for their birthday with a special hand written note. Your clients will remember and appreciate it, and who knows- they’ll probably want to return the favor!
3. Offer Free Sessions
One great way to get people interested in joining your boot camp is to offer free sessions or a free week of unlimited limited boot camp. Giving prospects an option to come in and try out your boot camp helps to get them used to you, your style of training and your facility. (more…)
Most personal trainers starting out don’t have a lot of resources to market their business with and that can cause a huge problem down the road. When you’re looking to grow your business and get new clients- marketing is your best friend, and without it you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.
Marketing a personal training business with a limited budget means getting creative and trading your “time for dollars” so that you can eventually end up trading your “dollars for time”. One goal you should try to accomplish with your gym or boot camp early on is to be able to afford to pay someone to do the day-to-day work for you, if you don’t already have a staff on hand so you
But don’t think that you have to go out and hire a giant marketing firm because when it comes to fitness marketing, there are tons of ways to get the word out without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a marketing plan from these big wigs. You really can do this on your own- and when you’re a business owner, a lot of the time you’re a marker first, and a business owner second.
You should really try to make marketing a part of your daily operations because you’ll only benefit that much more from it. So with that being said, here are the best low-budget marketing strategies that you should start implementing today:
Building authority is important when you’re a business owner. You want people to know you, like you, and trust you and building authority will help make that process easier.
Speak at local health and fitness events and if there aren’t any in your area, then look a couple of towns over or maybe think about hosting your own seminar on health, fitness, and nutrition and invite other health professionals in your area to speak as well.
Write for local newspapers too. Get in touch with the top newspapers and their editors around town and ask how you can contribute. Same with radio, if you know anyone in radio- ask how you can offer fitness tips and other health related content for a morning show or what have you.
Don’t forget to start blogging. Blogging about health and fitness will easily build up your authority, especially over social media. Starting a blog and updating it consistently with useful content will help you gain attention from those in your area, and that will make them more likely to seek you out when they’re ready to get into shape.
If you’re not confident in your speaking or writing skills, then brush up on it and start practicing. As a fitness business owner- you should aim to be the “go-to” expert in your area because it will help you pull in those customers who have probably tried everything in the past and couldn’t get results.
In addition to contributing to newspapers and starting your blog, you should also start posting Youtube videos of yourself demonstrating different exercises and workouts or sharing a favorite healthy recipe of yours. Those who know you will more than likely share your videos, especially if they’re any good.
What makes a good video? Anything that is helpful, valuable, and compelling to your clients and prospects. This is where “knowing your niche” really comes into play. What does your ideal client do for a living? What keeps them awake at night? How old are they? What gender are they? All of these questions will help you to create amazing videos tailored specifically for your target audience. (more…)