Follow the RunBOw
You go to a 40-minute workshop organised by your ‘Happy Harriers’ running group coach, Bo. It is Bo’s first workshop, and it’s for those Harriers who want to improve their running times and avoid running injuries. Bo has had a lot of questions on both these topics and has decided a workshop would be an easy way to address them.
In the workshop Bo takes you all through four strength training exercises. Bo comes around and makes a few adjustments as each of you attempt them, correcting technique, making some of the exercises harder for some of you and some easier, occasionally using a rubber band to show advanced options. You really enjoyed it. It’s always a good laugh catching up with the Happy Harrier crew and you feel confident the exercises will help you with your running.
Now, which of the following would you prefer Bo to do at the end of the workshop?
- Say “Thanks for coming along, I’ll see you at our next Harrier run on Tuesday night”, or
- Give you all a handout with the four exercises on it and a rainbow coloured pen. The pen says ‘Follow the RunBOw’ and has Bo’s new website address on it and phone number. You use the bright pen to write down the adjustments Bo had suggested for you. On the back of the handout is a list of five other possible topics, ‘Barefoot running – the pros and cons’, ‘Training for your first half marathon’, ‘Sprint training, techniques and benefits’, ‘Why massaging your butt is important’ and ‘Shin splints’. He asks you to circle any that you would like to attend in the future, to write down on that page any other topics you would be interested in and to then text him a photo of your answers, sometime in the next few days so he can put together some more workshops if there is enough interest. In the hope of getting more numbers along to those future workshops, Bo also asks you all to make an encouraging comment on the workshop photo that he will upload that night into your Happy Harrier’s private Facebook page. Someone asks him where they can get one of those strengthening bands from that he used in the workshop. He tells you all the name of the shop, but that he also has half a dozen on him available for purchase, and you can pay him for them next week.
I hope your answer was b).
Let’s now assume Bo runs a second workshop the next month and encourages many of his existing Happy Harriers to bring buddies, which they do. Bo is in a situation where he may only have the contact details of half the people at the workshop. Ideally, he wants to have the contact details of everyone, as these are people who are obviously interested in the workshop topic and may be interested in future workshops.
He could seek to get their contact details via his original workshop tactic of having people text him a photograph of topics they would like covered. That would give him their cell phone number and he could then send them a thank you text back with a link to a page on his website where they could register for future workshops.
He could also set up a prize draw on the night where people could win their choice of a gait assessment with a local podiatrist or a massage from a local therapist. They just need to put their contact details in a box on their way out. The next day Bo would make the draw. He would then send them all an email saying who won and advising that as a consolation prize, for taking the time to enter, the remainder can attend two more workshops for the price of one, if they book into them before the end of the month.
Bo is careful not to encourage people to join his running club and makes a point to talk up the other running coaches in his workshops if the opportunity emerges. He realises a lot of those attendees already belong to Harrier clubs in his region and would be very happy with their existing clubs. Many of the coaches are also Bo’s friends and people that he sees at races. He wants to stay on side with the other Harrier clubs, which means they will be more willing to encourage their people to attend his workshops and maybe even join him in organizing some bigger workshops, or join in on some workshops for running coaches, which he would love to organise in a year or so.
The feedback from Bo’s first workshop was great with lots of topics proving popular, so Bo has listed six upcoming workshops, one each month for the next six months, on his website. He offers a discount to anyone who buys a ticket for all six. There is an online booking form and the whole process is working very smoothly.
Bo then approaches a few local businesses for giveaways. A running store, a massage therapist, a health food store and a chemist will provide a few little giveaways at the workshops. In exchange he has provided them each with free tickets to his workshops to give away to their own customers.
Bo has also managed to get a hold of a stock of the strengthening bands as well as some massage balls and quick no-tie-shoelaces, all at a slight discount, that he can sell on to anyone at his workshops who wants them.
Bo also offers his local podiatrist, dietician and physiotherapist the chance to be guest presenters at his future round of workshops, which they are all keen on. All three of them have now put up a poster in their workplace promoting Bo’s workshops as well.