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How to Run a Successful Bootcamp
Running a successful bootcamp means different things to different people. To me, running a successful bootcamp is not about earning a six figure income (although that is icing on the cake and I hope to get there one day), but it’s about how I interact with my clients and potential clients.
You can have the best workout routines in the world and the best education from the leading experts in the health and fitness field, but if you can’t interact and motivate your client at a certain level, then how do you expect to be successful? Your client retention rate will not be that flash and believe me, word of mouth is a powerful thing. Get a bad review and it spreads like wildfire. No clients – you’re out of a job!
So how can you improve the way you interact with and motivate your client/potential client?
Let’s get back to basics. Here are my six go to tips to run a successful bootcamp:
- Smile. Now don’t laugh, I told you to get back to basics! You would be surprised at what a smile can do. You have no idea what a person is going through in their life before they meet up with you. It probably took a lot of effort for them to keep their appointment with you, they could be under a lot of stress at home and/or at work. A smile from you can totally change the dynamics of the session you are about to take your client through.
- Be professional. No matter how bad your day is, you need to stay professional. Time and time again I hear personal trainers say things that are way too personal and inappropriate. Of course, it’s good to show your personality and talk about your personal experiences with health and fitness as it could help the client relate to you especially if you share some common ground, however, there’s a fine line and you can easily cross it. The client is there to train and get motivated and inspired by you. Don’t bring them down with whatever you’ve got going on in your life. Also, stop swearing! I don’t know about you but that’s a huge no-no in my books. Keep it professional!
- Be early. Show up early to the session. This gives you time for equipment setup if required and shows your client they are important to you. If you’re running late, whether it’s for an outdoor training session or in-gym, just give the client a heads up and that shows the client that you’re not ignorant, you’ve acknowledged them and know they are waiting for you. If you run a large bootcamp group, make sure you let everyone know via one message on your Facebook group and ensure that your clients know to check these messages frequently. It is annoying when your client does not show up to a session, but worse than that is when your trainer doesn’t show up or is super late!
- Always go beyond and above. Show your client that they are important to you and not just another person paying you $X. Always value add, print out an article for them, provide a free eBook, email at-home workouts when they miss a session, phone them when they miss a workout, take note of their birthday etc. Your client cannot just be another number. Show them that you treat them like a person and that you really care about them reaching their health and fitness goals. You are more than likely going to have a better client retention rate and they will forever be boasting about you to their friends and family.
- Find common ground. No, I’m not talking about dirt or a park here, I’m talking about finding something in common with your client that helps the client to relate to you and eases the tension a little. Keep in mind tip number 2, be professional. It doesn’t have to be much, it can be anything such as the town you were born in, the sports you played in high school, the school/university you attended, where your parents came from etc. Finding common ground is a great ice breaker with a prospective or new client and a great client retention method. Don’t forget to share your personal health and fitness story if you feel like it could benefit the client.
- Social media presence. It’s more than likely you have a personal social media account whether it be Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter and you probably have a business account too. That is great and I would recommend it. A lot of people find it too hard to maintain their business accounts. But to be honest, you don’t really have to do that much, especially if you are just finding it too overwhelming. Write a list of the types of things you would like to post and maybe just start off with 1-2 things per week. Keep it honest, real and show your personality. It doesn’t have to be fancy or include expensive professional photography. Remember, keep it real. I get it can be hard when you’re busy and if you can’t get anyone else to do it for you. I have two businesses that I run, three young kids and I’m not very tech savvy. I simply just started out posting a weekly weekend workout and one weekly recipe of whatever I cook. It’s up to you how much time and effort you want to put into it. Interact with the people who take the time to like/share/comment on your posts. I usually direct message them to thank them for following and/or liking my posts and showing their support. This creates a great community and allows people to see what type of trainer/person you are.
So that’s it! My top six tips to run a successful bootcamp. Most of these tips are “no brainers” but they are definitely being ignored by a lot of trainers out there. Often, it is the basics that lead to success but are often neglected and not implemented.
If you can’t follow these tips, you might be in the wrong game.
Blog Contributed By Nancy Callaghan
Nance Fitness AUS
Hi, I’m Nancy Callaghan. I’ve has been a personal trainer since 2008. I was an athletic kid and loved any sport but by my late teenage years, I started gaining weight. By the end of my first year at University I had enough of being overweight and wanted to regain my health and fitness. I had no money and was studying a double degree while living on campus. But I knew deep down that the solution to weight loss was simply to eat less and move more. I knew I needed to make better food choices without restricting myself too much which I had done so many times in the past. I lost 20 kilograms in 4 months. My newfound confidence and new vision to help others do the same are what inspired me to change career paths and become a personal trainer. This was almost a 10 year journey!
Another 10 years have passed, I’ve had three kids and a small break from the fitness industry so I can raise my little family. Each pregnancy was tough. I gained 20 kilograms each time, I was sick the entire 9 months, I had carpal tunnel, painful varicose veins, reflux, pelvic pain and back pain. Recovery after each pregnancy was slow and I experienced post-natal depression. It took me a minimum of one year each time to lose pregnancy weight and regain my fitness. I was completely shocked at how weak I was after I gave birth to my first child. Sitting up in bed was impossible and I had to rely on my husband to help me out of bed. Once medically cleared, it was a little daunting to start exercising again. I felt like I would never get back to the fitness level I once had. I had to convince myself that I just needed time, and that it wasn’t a race. It takes 9 months to grow a baby, so I gave myself at least 9 months to reach my fitness goals and didn’t put any pressure on myself.
My kids have inspired me to get back into the fitness industry and help other women with their fitness journeys. As a women’s trainer, I understand how hard it can be to lose weight and keep it off and I understand how hard it can be to start a new exercise program whether or not you are a beginner. I hope to inspire you and help you with your fitness journey. I want all women to feel stronger and confident and have self-belief no matter where their journey is starting from.