40 Challenge Ideas

40 Transformational Challenge Ideas

This game is for coming up with win-win ideas for your health and fitness challenges. I’ve done it with 100s of people, and the awesomeness of the results always blows me away. But first up, a story about Halloween and why you want to plan your health and fitness challenges 6 – 12 months ahead of time.

Halloween is fast approaching as I write this.

I used to run a ‘222 Challenge’ at the gym I worked at. Members had a whole week to do 2km on the rower, treadmill and bike, back to back but in any order. At Halloween, it became the ‘666 Challenge’ with extra prizes up for grabs if you competed dressed in theme. Loads of members did it, often dressed as devils and ghosts. The owners let non-members come into the club to do the challenge, for free. All in all, it was a whopping success on a bunch of levels, inclusive of providing me with new clients

The thing about that challenge is it took a bit of prep. Not a lot, but enough for it to have benefited from being thought about a few months beforehand.   We did up a promotional leaflet with the rules which included boxes which people filled out with their times on and had signed off by staff.  Gym members knowing about the event months beforehand meant they could train for it, take the promo leaflets back to their workplace and rope in their buddies and obviously, organise their costumes.  As a result, the wins for everyone were far greater than if we have sprung it on everyone a week before.

Benefits to planning your challenges in 6 – 12 months in advance

  • More lead in time means: 1) more time for more promotions and the ability to have early-bird rates and other enticing deals, 2) extra time to design posters, brochures and social media posts, 3) enough time to gain sponsors, helpers and prizes, and 4) time to unite with any charities/good causes that the challenges are helping raise dosh for.
  • Your list of challenges will provide your existing clients with more reasons to get excited and more time to get prepared, which includes more time to rope in their buddies (your potential new clients) to join them.
  • People will pay to enter your challenges months in advance, which can help provide security of income and business.
  • They will show how organised you are because you are not just dishing out challenges last minute, which leads to frustration for everyone.  People get pissed they didn’t hear about it until too late, or without enough time to prepare for it, which means you get low numbers.  And it shows that you don’t just roll them out when memberships are getting low!  Small things but big things that help to create a great culture; oozing your long term approach of looking after your current staff and customers.
  • Saying all that, challenges are a great part to your campaigns to increase memberships. Newbies can find challenges an appealing way to test the waters with health and fitness professionals/gyms/programmes, etc. That’s because challenges are for a manageable time period and have a natural escape route. Their end date is perfect for if it turns out they don’t like the programme, the gym, etc., which of course they will. They just don’t know that yet.  These people may never otherwise enter your world.
  • A choice of challenges can better fill out the picture of what our business is on about and keep potential new clients in the loop with what you are up to.  If the only thing someone new to your business hears about is your’10 km a day running challenge’, and they are not keen on that idea, you’ve lost them.  Having alongside of it your ‘2 km a day challenge’ , Better Sleep Challenge’, and ‘Healthy Chocolate Challenge’ they are more likely to spot something that entices them to sign up for an experience with you.

The game

Things to remember along the way.

New ideas pass through three periods
1) It can’t be done.
2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing.
3) I knew it was a good idea all along!
Arthur C. Clarke

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas.
If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
Howard Aiken

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
Albert Einstein

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.
Ken Hakuta

This game is helping you to come with 40 + challenge ideas and have a recipe to use forever to come up with loads more.  If you would prefer to be given challenges that were pretty much done and dusted, without playing this game, that’s cool too. Read through the article for a few fleshed out challenge ideas, especially Part 2, then sign up to my monthly emails and you’ll receive regular challenges like my A K A Day, the 4 X 4 and the Love NZ Challenge.  If you need your pre-built challenges to be more specific to your aims and business, and uniquely built for you, you can join my course or feel free to get in touch.

Rules of the game

Rule 1: Everyone who plays wears a metaphorical ‘yellow hat’. While wearing the yellow hat  crazy ideas are welcome; indeed, they should be openly encouraged, with nods and lots of ‘yes, yes, yes’, ‘that’s brilliant’ type comments.  No answer is wrong or thrown out at this stage. This is not the time to think about why these ideas wouldn’t work.  That’s another game altogether and a different coloured hat, obviously.

In the words of Kevin Kelly

Separate the processes of creation from improving. You can’t write and edit, or sculpt and polish, or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invest, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creative mind must be unleashed from judgement.

Rule 2: If possible, play in groups of up to five people. As a result, the process will generate loads more ideas than you ever could come up with alone.

The crucial three pre-requisites here are that the people who join you are:

  1. At least as enthusiastic about health and fitness stuff as you are
  2. 100% up for donning the yellow hat, and
  3. Also up for sharing ideas

Rule 3: Use just two parameters to get the ball rolling (examples below).  As limiting as these initially seem, they will serve to make us more creative.  Think of those TV shows like ‘Who’s line is it anyway?’.  Players get given the word, or object and take turns adding in a few lines and some action which progressively comes together to build a humorous story.  Without those parameters, the real gems would never emerge.  This is same same but different.

Let’s play

Step 1 – Coming up with ideas

Below you will find two lists. These are your parameters.   Here are two ways to use them  Choose whichever sounds better.

a) Each person in the group comes up with a challenge idea that incorporates both the occasion on the left and the corresponding foodie word directly to the right of it.   Go around the group, taking turns, working down the list.

Or, alternatively,

b) Choose one occasion for each person in the group, and then come up with one challenge each for each of those occasions, using the word to the right of it.

For example, let’s say there was a group of four dietitians, and they chose option b). Each person then chose a different occasion, giving them four occasions to work with.  Mark chose MOvember (an event encouraging men to grow moustaches in November to bring awareness to men’s health issues), so each person then came up with a challenge for MOvember, using the foodie word ‘Italian’ as you will see below.  We would then do the same with the other three people’s occasions.  Those four challenges were:-

  • Moustache Shaped Italian Cookie Challenge (Mark)
  • Pizza, Pasta and Prostrate (Sam)
  • Grow Mo’s and Tomatoes (Lou)
  • A Mediterranean Movember (Joe)

 

Other ideas

Replace the lists

Replace either or both lists to suit whatever part of the health and fitness industry you are in. If you choose to write your own lists, do it without consideration of what word from the other list will end up next to it.

Other lists I have used include ones with durations, occupations, sports, numbers, colours, reps, target markets, and activities.  Below is one of those activity lists.

Joker card

Everyone needs a few joker cards.  These allow players to use Google if they get stuck, but only the ‘Image’ search results.  For instance, Mark Googled ‘Italian sweet treats’ and found a picture of  Pignoli cookies which he then based his Challenge on.  Dish out several joker cards to everyone if you’re okay with the use of phones and screens during the game.

Step 2 – Fleshing out the ideas

While still wearing your yellow hats, flesh out up to five of the ideas. Take turns to fill in the content a little without getting too bogged down in the details.  This is where you can toss in ideas about how the challenges will roll, how they may promote your product and services, what would be a good price, what type of prizes would be given out and why.  This phase is still very much about getting ideas on the table as opposed to saying ‘but nah, that would never work’.

Step 3 – BIG ideas

This step requires your group to pick one of the challenges from Step 2 and go huge with it. You most definitely all need your yellow hat on for this stage.  This is when we ask questions like; what changes would you make if the entry fee was $200 or $2000 instead of your first thought of it being $20? How could you attract in, and cater for, 100, 1000 or 10,000 entrants? How could you triple the prize pool? If there was a TV advert for this challenge, what would it look like?  If you were asked to run this as a yearly event, nationwide, how would you do it?  They don’t have to be those exact questions, just any use any that get your group thinking ‘big’. It should be a super fun stage, the benefits of which will trickle down into whatever size challenge you do and end up running with.

Part 2 – Loads more ideas!

  • Would you like to find how those MOvember challenges played out? Join the four dietitians as they work through Step 2 and 3 and come up with a national Italian MOvember Challenge!
  • Want to know what to do after the yellow hat stage?
  • And how does this all become relevant to the challenges you are currently running?

For those answers and more just clickety-click here. It is member’s only content, but membership is FREE

Tri July – Monthly Challenges

Tri July

This is one of my favourite challenges. It was introduced to by Laura*.  Thanks Laura. Here are some ideas around the rules. Feel free to use them and the image or tweak to suit for your own clients and members.  And if by the time you read this July has been and gone, there are 170 Ironman events in a year.  Why not re-name it and tie your version of this challenge in with one of your favourite locations in the up-and-coming months.
  • Take the whole month of July to complete the distances.
  • Do a little each day or week, or the whole lot at once.
  • Indoor bikes and/or treadmills can be used for some or all of the distances, providing they record distance. No guesstimates.
  • Wheelchairs can be used for the walking leg and a wheelchair hand-bike for the cycling leg.
  • ‘Swimming’  means most of a person’s body is submerged in water, they are moving under their own steam (whether aqua jogging, freestyle, dog paddle, etc) and when their feet touch the ground, they can’t move forward and include that in their official distance. However, they can use flotation devices like kickboards, life vests and flippers.
  • If there is no pool within 20km, people can do a 5km kayak or 5km  on an indoor rower instead.

Become a Challenge Chic member and pick up other great challenge ideas!

*Laura was an entrant of the Catch Fitness 20 Week Challenge and trained by PT Amanda (Armitage) Baird.

Laura shared the challenge with our other entrants and a from memory a whopping 180 signed up to the first year we rolled it out.  The most fantastic pics and stories of people nailing out there distances came in all month.  It was such a success I rolled out every year since.

Tips From My Guests

My Guests

Join my guests for quick tips about workshops, fitness challenges or both. A huge thanks to all these clever people for taking the time to share a few minutes of their wisdom with us all.

Mike Catton

Mike has has delivered some of the best workshops that I’ve ever attended.  He’s also run a highly successful fitness business and delivered workshops to his own fitness clients, staff and other fitness professionals.  Those workshops have covered health and fitnessey topics as well as public speaking skills and team leadership.

Mike has won international awards for his work and primarily now designs and delivers programs for government departments, industry, academia, schools and community groups.

You can read more about Mike at Peak Performance.

Richard Ellis

Winner of the 2016 NZ Exercise Industry Personal Trainer Award, Rich has 20 years business management experience, running businesses from small to multi million dollar, including franchise set up.

In addition to running his highly successful PT business, Rich also provides a mentoring and coaching service for other exercise professionals around the world at www.theptmentor.com

In this short vid, Rich reveals essential tips and tricks to nailing a great workshop. A must see for anyone wanting to walk that road.

Kate Lugtigheid

Not sure if you should run health and fitness challenges? Wondering how you’d go about it? Then you can’t go past listening to Kate, the owner of Pumped who’s run heaps of them.

Kate was the Winner of the 2015 PT of the Year and Winner of the 2016 Small Exercise Facility of the Year at the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards. She represented New Zealand at the 2014 World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton, Canada. She also had 52 clients take out a winning position on the Catch Fitness 20 Week Challenge and 200 of them who made finalist! Yep, she’s an absolute legend.

Thanks Kate for sharing. You can read more about Kate here www.pumped.co.nz.

Get a monthly email chock-full of ideas for your fitness business and access to Member’s Only resources.

Get Published. Go On!

Get Published

Government offers a helping post-COVID-19 hand to the fitness industry!

The Government just announced they would fund a competition supporting the tourism and fitness industries called ‘I’m a Fit Tourist’.  In more good news, it’s set to help people get healthier and fitter and improve mental health!

The way it rolls

For every 5 x face-face visits, of 20 minutes or more, that someone has with a personal trainer or a group fitness instructor,  between now and December 20th,  that person will receive one entry into the ‘I’m A Fit Tourist’ draw.  And the prize? An all expenses paid, 14 day road trip to all the local hot spots within 3000 km of your home town.  Additional draw prizes include a 1 year memberships at the winner’s local gym or a 50 fully paid for sessions with their trainer!

That’s not true.

I wish it were.

Maybe the Tourism board or Fitness Australia or some other can-make-it-happen-entity will read this and make it true.

This is definitely the time when we need more ideas promoting those in this industry and as well as helping others to embark on the road to being healthy and fit.  So over the past few months, I’ve tossed out a few ideas, as I know many others have, to help this happen and here is another one.

This one is designed to help promote Personal Trainers and Group Fitness instructors in Australia and New Zealand.  There’s no charge for anyone who wants to get involved and I’ll do the leg work. No promises it will fly, but I have done weirder things that have.

The grand plan

  • I am going to approach workplaces and publications with lists of healthy, fitness snippets/tips for them to use in their own publications, on their website and emails etc.
  • It will be free for them to download/access those snippets.
  • They can use any snippet on the proviso they also mention at the very least; the full name of the exercise professional that provided it and that they are registered.

For some of those workplaces and publications, I really hope having a healthy tip will become a regular new feature of the material they forward to their staff, customers and clients, regardless of what industry they are in. For others, I hope it replaces their use of clickbait ‘health’  articles and online workouts from dubious sources.

Example snippets. Rochelle is not real of if she is she did not write these. I did.

How to get involved

To get published, email me the following:

  1. Up to three healthy, fitness snippets
  2. Your full name
  3. Your fame name or nickname (optional)
  4. A headshot of you smiling (optional but cool)
  5. Your website address
  6. Your location – either broadly (country) or specifically (town/suburb)
  7. Which industry body you are registered with, i.e. AusREPs, REPsNZ or ESSA

Sill interested?

What to include:

  • Your healthy, fitness ‘snippets’ should be no more than 200 words, but as few as 20 words is also fine.  Some end users may only have room, or like, very short tips. Others will be sweet with longer efforts.
  • You can come at it any way you like, for example; a quote, a funny story, an amazing statistic, a useful tip.  More examples further below.
  • If you specialize in an area, for example pelvic floor, seniors, chronic conditions, new mums, Yoga, Crossfit, Zumba, etc.,  feel encouraged to focus on that area.
  • No pictures will be included with the snippets, so no need to hunt any down for inclusion.

Things to steer clear of:

  • Steer clear of giving specific technique cues on exercises.  The idea is that for technique guidance, people see fit pros, face-to-face. This will also avoid what could be multiple conflicting versions that different pros may come out with.
  • Steer clear of nutritional tips beyond what is mainstream acceptable.  Stay within scope.
  • Other than a link to your website, no links.  Just provide the full name of the book, the show, the article, etc., of anything you are referencing.

Examples

Your ‘Get Published’ ideas don’t have to be in a format like these below. Ooze youness.  Know also that a great tip can be flavoured in endless ways.  Lots of you may recommend staying hydrated, and I may include all of them, because each of you will say it differently, using different examples, stats etc.


1. Not sleeping too flash? Feeling a bit down? Maybe you need some rays.

Studies have shown lack of sun exposure significantly impacts our sleep and mood.  To combat this, take off your sunglasses and get out for a walk in the sun each day. In summer this may be for just 10 minutes a day but in winter, particularly if you are further south or have darker skin, aim for 30 minutes a day with the sun able to hit 30% of your skin. An outdoor exercise class would be perfect! Those with severe insomnia may well benefit from up to 2 hours of exposure. If that’s you, talk to your doctor about the use of bright light exposure.  Apenisa Smith (Smithy). Outdoor Group Fitness Instructor.  REPs registered.


2. A good laugh can lighten our burdens, connect us with others and provide us with profound health benefits.

In the book, ‘A Better Brain at Any Age’ author Sondra Kornblatt explains that laughter relieves pain by helping the pituitary gland to release its own pain-suppressing opiates.

Even if we’re not in pain, laughter strengthens our immunity system and helps us to sleep better, concentrate as well as lose weight. Giggle away for just 15 minutes a day, and you could burn off two kilograms over the next year!

Greek physicians were so sure of the benefits of laughter that they sent patients to the hall of comedians to be entertained as part of the healing process.

In the 7 minutes Ted Talk by Ron Gutman on smiling and happiness, we find out that those with a beaming smile live almost 5 years longer than those who slightly smile! Minjarra Smith. (Smiley) Accredited Exercise Physiologist


3. I also don’t mind if you quote someone else.  For example, you could send something like this to me.

One of my favourite quotes is “If you think lifting is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.” Bret Contreras said that. He’s a sports scientist.  As registered exercise professionals, we stay up-skilled with the work of exercise scientists like Bret and we know what it takes to train safely to be strong”  Arani Smith (Rocky). REPs Personal Trainer.

My promise to you

I promise to give this ‘Get Published’ idea a good shot.  That’s pretty much it.  There’s no promise I’ll use what you send in (but I’ll try to) and there’s no guarantee that if I do include it, that it will get used by any of the workplaces or publications, or that you will get any more business because of it.

But at the very least I hope it shines a light on more of us, puts more faces to facts and encourages all business to share regular healthy tips to people in their world and maybe someone might call you and ask you to do regular stuff for them.

In good news, I have an okay track record of getting things published, of my own and other trainers, and I do have a workplace wellness website which I’ll be promoting them on. If your snippets are included, I’ll send you a copy so you can forward it to anyone you want to as well and regardless, I’ll update you with how it all rolls.

FAQs

Q: I do online training only now.  Can I be part of this?
A: Yes, totally but you must currently live in Australia or New Zealand

Q: What countries will you be promoting these lists in?
A: Australia and New Zealand.

Q: Will you use the same lists for all states in Australia?
A: At this stage, yes.  I will use the same lists for both Australia and NZ

Q: Is there a form I use?
A: Nope.  Just email me – catchfitness@gmail.com

Q: Can I send in more than one?
A: Sure. Awesome.  Maybe limit yourself to sending a max of three at this stage.

Q: I don’t have a website
A: I can’t use yours until you do, but in good news, it’ll only take you an hour to throw one together thanks to WIX.

 

Bet I’ve missed out some other crucial info from this Get Published idea haven’t I?  Flick me an email if yes Broni – catchfitness@gmail.com and I’ll answer quickly and come back and fill any gaps here as need be.

Powerful Testimonials

Testimonials

Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing – 89%!  Placed alongside more expensive items, testimonials have been shown to increase conversion rates by 380%!  

The reason for their success is because they allow people to build trust quickly. Indeed, 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family.

In a nutshell, testimonials are a powerful piece in the decision making process for most purchases inclusive of everything sold in the health and fitness world like joining your club, going to your class and employing you as a coach. Everything.

If you don’t have any to flash around yet odds are lots of people in your world have lots of positive things to say about your service, and it won’t be hard to pull a bunch together.  If you want to know how to get about collecting them and where to post them, this is the article for you.

  1. Short and snappy testimonials
  2. Ways to collect testimonials
  3. Where to put them
  4. Other types of testimonials worth collecting

Short and snappy

Short testimonials say a lot quickly.

They are also the easiest ones to collect and share with the world.

Who to ask for a short and snappy:-

Clients and class participants: Bit of a no-brainer, but start asking the people you are training, coaching or consulting to.

Anyone you have worked for or with:  You can always ask employers, employees, fellow staff, volunteers, etc., even  if outside of the health and fitness industry. Their words may, for instance, be about your professionalism and good character, your ability to motivate people and listen, all great qualities that cross over into every field.

Teachers, coach, mentors:  Ask your sport’s coach, your personal, trainer, teacher or mentor to vouch for your health and fitness, your knowledge, dedication to training etc.

Well known and respected people: If you’re friends with Meg Lanning or Richie Mccaw, Adam Goodes or Valerie Adams, or anyone else that we all know and respect, then hit them up for a few kind words about what a champion you are.

How to ask

Wait until clients have had a few sessions with you.  People may not have had enough of a taste of what you do to feel confident saying anything after just one session with you, and in a lot of instances, it may come across as a little desperate. Wait until they have done a few sessions with you or they are a converted client.

Provide a few examples of what you’re looking for, so they know you’re not chasing anything that requires too much time or effort, like:

“(your name) is incredibly motivational.”

“I would highly recommend (your name) group fitness classes.”

“I’ve belonged to a lot of gyms, but this one is the best.”

Check with your workplace. If you are an employee, then talk to your owner/manager about what you want to do.  They may already collect feedback you can use, or be able to do it easier than you, or need to check it off.

Conversation gems People will often be telling you verbally about the awesome session they just had with you, or how fabulous they feel, are sleeping, running, etc., since working with you.   This is your chance to say ‘Do you mind if I use what you just said? To inspire others into taking action?’  Say it back to them to clarify send them a follow-up email/text confirming the exact words and check they are still all okay with it. Then fire them off a link to where it ends up appearing (in case they want to share it) and a thank you note.

Via online feedback. When you send out your online feedback form link, asking your clients and customers about your services, tack on the option for them to provide a short and snappy testimonial about you, that you can use publicly.

Ask your testimonial giver if you can put a photo of them and their full name next to it.  If they’re not keen on that idea, what would they be comfortable with?  Their initials and age? Occupation and gender? How long they have been training with you?  All these added identifying details can add authenticity and provide another way in which people will find the testimonial relatable.

Where to put testimonials

Testimonials go everywhere that you want to make a positive impression!

  • Hard copy material. Brochures, leaflets, posters and business cards.  Try and squeeze in one or two on to everything you print out.
  • Website:  Websites using testimonials has been said to generate a 45% increase in traffic compared to those who don’t use them. Create a page on your website for them, or if your profile is on someone else’s website ask if you can add a few testimonials to it.
  • Social media: Whichever one you use, post the occasional one as it comes in, particularly if the person has had great results.   Ideally link your posts back to your website, i.e. where they can read the full story of your client, but also where they can find out about your prices, booking form, timetable, quals, articles etc.
  • Newsletters:  Include in your regular email to your tribe. If your workplace does the newsletters, ask if you can have a snappy testimonial and a pic about your clients included.
  • Your starter pack:  Include something with your testimonials on it in your starter pack or goodies bag. They may be on the back of your contract or down the side of your class timetable,  printed onto your  training diary or a drink bottle.

Aim to collect half a dozen short, snappy testimonials to get started with.   Once you’ve done that, raise the bar, widen the net and consider the other types of testimonials below.

Other types of powerful testimonials

Having an array of testimonials can be valuable so let’s take a deeper dive into what your options are.

  1. before and after pictures
  2. videos
  3. audios
  4. surveys and poll results

1.Before and after pics

These can work brilliantly as a testament to your work.  I am a huge fan of them when they are done well. I have written a guide about them which if you’ve signed up to The Challenge Chic you’ll get access to.

For now, my advice is: start taking all sort of before pics. They don’t have to be for the purposes of showing body-shape changes.  They can be to reveal improvements in people’s flexibility, posture, squatting technique and a whole bunch of other stuff that will be important to those considering using your services.

2.Videos

Video testimonials get high engagement.  Check out these stats.

  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
  • Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.
  • 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video.
  • Social video generates 12 times more shares than text and images combined
  • An initial email with a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%.

The video recipe

An entrant happily agreed to do a video testimonial which you will find here. She did it in one take, off the cuff.  (She wasn’t my client by the way but was trained by one of the many great PTs involved in delivering the 20 Week Challenge). I think most of you would agree it’s an awesome video and that your clients/members could all do something similar.  The recipe is simple.

Tracey talked about her pain points first.  She then spoke about how she discovered the Challenge (substitute with you).  Next up, how much better she felt and finally, how the future now looked bright.

In a similar vein, videos can sometimes be the only way to show the types of changes people experience effectively.

To explain, one year, I had a bunch of entrants in a challenge trying to improve their balance over 20 weeks.  Many personal trainers filmed their before and after efforts to submit to the judges.  That footage of clients balancing on swiss balls, and on one leg and doing handstands etc., was gold.  I hope the trainers involved use it in their bag of testimonials.

3. Audios

I haven’t used audios but would have if I had thought of it and likely will in the future.  I love the idea that people can click on a pic and hear the voice of a real person, without all the extra layers involved in doing videos. There are less viewing glitches because of internet speeds. There’s also less work for me and the client. It’s also less daunting for clients, and yet it has more richness than a short written statement.

Go on, click on the smiley guy and hear some Aussie birds!

Gym guy

In this scenario, it might be handy to give people some prompts like these questions.

  1. Describe yourself before you started using my service?
  2. What was the obstacle or hesitation you had about using the services of someone like me/this club?
  3. What happened as a result of using my service?

Other options could be:-

  1. What did you like most about my service?
  2. Would you recommend my service? If so, why?

And always ask at the end:-

  1. Is there anything you’d like to add?  This is often where the gems are!

4. Survey and poll results

All the data for the graphs below were collected using Survey Monkey.  We asked entrants about the areas they had improved in, and this is the percentage of entrants that responded positively to each of the categories.   Survey Monkey turns the data into a graph at the push of a button.

Pics like this are even more appealing to me than before and after photos and simple statements, but everyone is different on that front.  Just know, some people, people like me, love graphs and they are easy to do.

Graph showing improvements from challenge

5. Stories 

All our testimonials tell a story.  A story that reassures a reader that we will be able to help them.  Sometimes a few short and snappy ‘stories’ are enough to do that. Other people like a story with pictures.  Sometimes a more lengthy and personal story can be helpful.

Below is an excerpt from Corey’s page  with a longer story and a combo of elements.  People’s eyes will be drawn to what matters most to them.   There are some kind words from his trainer in their too.

If you head to that website (click on Corey below), you can check out heaps of other ‘Entrant Journeys’ and see which ones impress you and mirror them.

There’s also a real mix of short and long-form written testimonials in this list of 500 achievements!  I think the concept of having people share their ‘achievements’ is great.  My effort is not pretty, and I’m not sure I’d do it that way again.  I still tear up when I read them though, and once I read one, I feel compelled to keep going, ….500 later!

Note, I don’t run the Challenge anymore or the Catch Fitness workshops so I’m not trying to persuade any of you to sign up to them and I also feel okay dissing my own efforts at not nailing how I have showcased them – especially my early efforts!

What now:

  1. Collect half a dozen snappy short testimonials. Pop them on your website, business card and social media pages.
  2. Take ‘before’ photos and videos, not just of people’s physical appearance but also of what they can do, like balancing on one foot, or touching their toes etc.  Sign up to The Challenge Chic and you’ll be in to get my guide around perfecting before and after pics!
  3. Ask for feedback about your services regularly and include the option in it for people to provide testimonials for you to share publicly.
  4. Share this article with someone else if the health and fitness industry who you know could do with some reassurances around collecting testimonials.  Maybe send them one with it to help them get started 🙂

Do it! Virtual Workshops

Virtual workshops

and other Plan B options

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown some gyms, personal trainers and group fitness instructors went virtual and online with their training sessions and classes.  I want to say most did, but the stats say most didn’t.  According to Fitness Australia, at the time of writing, just under 50% went online. Less than 10% of clients transitioned to virtual platforms or one-on-one training. 81% of exercise professionals lost their job or main source of income due to gym closures and social distancing restrictions.*

Could it get any tougher!

And doesn’t it make us all wonder what we could do differently next time?

Beyond running virtual one-one sessions and group fitness, (both of which are great, but possibly only 10% transitioned into them), was there other services that could have been offered virtually or online?  Services that would have helped our clients, members and our businesses stay healthy and fit and even been enticing for newbies to our business to pick up on?

While COVID-19 is kind of, almost in the past, outbreaks like this could well happen again, and regardless, there are plenty of other causes of businesses being forced online. It’s not an issue we should be putting on the back burner.  Indeed now is the best time to plan for it and weaving in our solutions with our face to face options, so we have a diversity of offerings that allow us to shift which we emphasize?

What could Plan B ideas include? Apart from the one-one and group fitness classes?

A) Challenges.  I’m a huge fan of good health and fitness challenges, and lockdown to me seemed like the perfect time to be rolling them out.  Thin on the ground challenges aren’t ‘good’ though. An example would be a ‘do 100 sit-up a day’ type challenges.  ‘Good’ challenge take thought to put together to ensure they physiologically hit the mark and meet the motivational needs of the people they are targeted at.  Now is the perfect time for putting together a content-rich, online one, that you can test and try and then use.  Use it whether we are in lockdown or not and keep perfecting it. And if you want to know about running your own challenges  clickety-click here.

B) Recommendations. Do you have a page on your website of affiliate services and products?  Stuff you love and would recommend whether you got a kickback or not? Of course you do, and now’s the time to get all that on your website. It could be books, heart rate monitors, podcasts to listen to, a certain brand of equipment, skincare range, a local grocer who’s roasting their own organic coffee beans, locally made hemp workout shirts with your cool brand on it and which raises dosh for Kids Cancer.  By shooting for ‘local’ stuff, you’re also supporting your community and it’s all part of differentiating yourself from the influencers and celebs who don’t have that capability.  Be different 🙂

C) A plan B website landing page. Since I am talking websites, while not an additional service as such, do you have a way to easily update your website with when and why you’re closed? What other services members and others can tap into? Out of the 40 websites I visited, only 4 had anything on their website about being closed and COVID-19, and that was 3 weeks into lockdown. Only two of them  provided information about alternate offerings.  Understandably fitness business owners may have had bigger things on their plate than updating their website. They were also were likely conversing with existing members through email. But what about all the other people looking to their local club’s website for ideas and solutions, who didn’t find any and moved on.   What an ideal place to have listed your virtual workshops!

D) Virtual workshops.  How many workshops, conferences, seminars, webinars, courses, etc., did you attend during lockdown?  Lots I bet. The FitEx Lite conference I virtually attended, had over 300 people participate online this year. That’s twice the number that turned up in person last year. Arguably numbers were up because the first year’s one was so dang good anyway, but still, who’d have thought?

As a PT club manager, I’d be thinking this would be a no-brainer way to support your personal trainers, clients and club members.  Helping PTs put together workshops which could then be packaged up into VIP kits – a series for the clients of PTs only, and another for members.   Easy to pull together they could have included other local health and fitness professionals in your community as well.

Whether the world is in lockdown, or not, virtual workshops offer a plethora of opportunities to add value to membership and PT packages, as well as providing a new way for non-members to be introduced to your team and connecting with other professionals in your community.

It’s not like you need to do one a day. It’s not like they need to go for hours.  Just doing one regular workshop a month, 30 minutes long. could open the door to whole other stream of business that you didn’t know existed.

10 benefits of virtual workshops

  1. Referrals. Your clients/members now have an easy avenue to invite new people into your world especially if the workshops don’t require people to exercise, which also means newbies don’t have to worry if they are fit enough to get through one of your workouts. You also don’t have to worry about their technique, pre-screens etc.
  2. Anonymity. It’s an option. Good for those situations when Dwayne Johnson wants to join in, and you don’t want everyone to get distracted by him being there.  It also means my boss will never find out I’m doing a workshop with you on managing my stress levels at work.
  3. Plan B work.  Virtual gives exercise professionals an offering if they get homebound due to an injury, or while your gym closes to get a reno. This alone is 100% a reason why every pro who relies on being physically active and mobile for their income needs to get started on dreaming up a few workshops.
  4. Longevity. Since workshops can be recorded, they provide a resource that keeps giving and giving.
  5. An ‘add on’ for special people. Workshops can form part or all of your ‘VIP’, ‘Travellers’, ‘Newbies’ or ‘WFH’ memberships /packages.

6. Staff support. Workshops could incorporate staff that weren’t keen or able to fly solo with other forms of online/virtual delivery.  Do the hard ‘techy’ work for them and allow them to fill a piece in the jigsaw that they feel comfy with.

7. Up-skilling. It provides PTs, GIs, and whoever else dives with a unique opportunity to work on their presenting skills and/or techy skills.

8. Stay out of the limelight and connect with other pros.  You actually don’t have to present the workshops yourself. You could ask a local Physio, Doctor, Dietitian etc., to do workshops on your fav topics and you just co-ordinate them.

9. Zero travel required. Apart from appealing to people in lockdown, virtual workshops will  be appealing to clients and members who are sick or injured and away on holidays.  How have you catered for these people in the past?  Frozen memberships?  And let’s not forget those who have heard great things about your club, maybe their grandkids or friends train with you, but they can’t get there in person, ever, like older people or people on the other side of the country.

10. Low cost.  Workshops are something you could offer at a lower price point knowing heaps more people can attend them and in that way you can better cater for people that are financially struggling without losing out on dosh yourself.

What now?