Bootcamps are, currently, one of the most popular styles of training on the market. With so many providers for clients to choose from, it is essential that you offer something ‘next level’ if you want to stand out. Here are three key factors that differentiate a successful bootcamp from an average one.
1. Value Add to Regular Bootcamp Sessions
In the US, a number of bootcamp providers tend to have a pay as you go (PAYG), cash in hand system, where clients might pay $10 for a session or get three for $25, for example (in the UK operators tend towards direct debits/standing orders, although some do offer PAYG).
Some providers offer continuous bootcamps, meaning no end date, in contrast to others who offer the ‘traditional model’ of a fixed period of sessions.
For those providers offering the traditional model it is recommended to develop a structured 10 or 12 week bootcamp programme with a defined start and end point (meaning your clients are on a ‘mini contract’). Those offering continuous bootcamps usually offer 12- or 18 month, or even rolling, contracts.
Providers can create a programme around the 12 weeks, for example:
- Week 2 is the no sugar challenge;
- Week 4 might be the walking challenge;
- Week 6 is bring a friend week;
- Week 8 is obstacle races or a fun run or some kind of outing like rock climbing or a kickboxing class;
- Week 10 is the hydration challenge; and
- Week 12 could be a group party.
The idea is for it to be ‘more than just a bootcamp’ – because people can find exercise sessions for free online or with another competitor, they are coming to you for an experience that they cannot find elsewhere.
As well as offering a comprehensive programme, a successful bootcamp also has value add-ons (which can be presented as part of the package (free), cross-sell, or up-sell). For example, in addition to the training sessions, providers might offer things like:
- A 12 week home programme;
- An abs or stretch programme;
- Recipe books/ebooks;
- A 7 day smoothie programme; or
- Nutrition guidelines.
Providers might then, for example, charge $50 a week for membership, but offer so much more than a standard $10 training session.
2. Include a Range of Workout Styles/Methods
Circuit one session, tabata the next – sound familiar?
Many bootcamp providers overdo circuit and tabata-style training, which can get super boring super quickly if that is all you do for 12 weeks.
Instead, it is recommended that providers have a range of workout styles/methods, from the accumulator to AMRAP (as many reps as possible), the matrix, beach sessions, the phone number workout, the celebrity body workout and so on.
This way, each bootcamp session is not simply just a circuit (or a derivative) with different exercises, it is a completely different workout style.
As a side note, just because you are offering varied and interesting workouts does not mean you need to sink a fortune into equipment. It is about learning how to look at the workout and go, well if this has 15 people I really only need four kettlebells or some skipping ropes or a ladder. Aim to build your equipment up as you build your business and clientele, rather than overcapitalising on equipment first. When starting out, if you find you have more clients that envisaged you can always buy more equipment for upcoming sessions.
3. Master Smart Marketing
The third element that sets a successful bootcamp apart from an average one is marketing.
You can be the best trainer in the world but if you do not know how to market yourself you will be sitting alone in the park doing push-ups/press-ups.
It is recommended using social media platforms (for example Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest), but rather than just randomly posting a photo of your training environment or a motivational quote and hoping it will attract new clients, have a clear strategy behind your posts, particularly if you are spending hard earned cash to boost a post.
Your post might say something like “Our 12 week challenge kicks off next week, click here for more info”, then:
- The potential client clicks-through;
- Enters their details;
- Gets a follow up email(s); and
- A phone call.
The advantage of this strategy is that you are using social media to get clients’ attention, but then you are actually giving them a call and having a chat about their goals and how you can help them.
Even if the potential client does not sign up, it is still a valuable lead to nurture by adding them to your email list and community Facebook group, for example.
They might not have been ready to commit today but, perhaps, in 12 weeks time after receiving a few emails from you with useful content, watching a couple of live videos or workouts they will be ready to train with you.