A few days ago I shared with you the 3 big questions trainers ask me when trying to get more of those consistent, reliable clients in their business.
Through that we’ve learned that the answers to our questions are simple ones, although they’re not always the answers we want.
We learned that the best marketing tactic is probably the one you are already doing and that educating ourselves in a bit of copywriting is a better investment then learning a whole new marketing technique.
We also learned that when starting out, we will have to put ourselves out of our comfort zone in order to get more clients. And finally we learned that in order to make all of our clients feel welcome, we need to get better at planning and scaling our workouts.
When I was starting out, a part of me knew this is what I needed to do but to be completely honest the idea of scaling workouts, asking strangers to come try a session or learning copywriting all seemed either scary or like hard work.
The truth was though that by leaning into these activities my confidence and abilities grew which allowed me to take bolder steps in creating the business and lifestyle I wanted. ie. doing the things that scared me was a wise move.
But me telling you this doesn’t really help you make the transition from struggling trainer to thriving bootcamp business.
So what I want to share with you today is one small thing I did that made a huge difference in repairing my Leaky Cup Syndrome (LCS).
Finding Out What Was Wrong
I wanted to find out why I was working so hard and yet my bootcamp wasn’t growing.
I looked at my attendance and noticed that one of the big areas where I was losing people was in those clients who would come for 1-3 sessions and then disappear.
Sometimes I would follow up with them but mostly what would end up happening is that I would intend to follow up with them, but urgent things would come up each day and after a week I still wouldn’t have contacted them and then I would feel weird about calling or emailing them. Then another week would pass and I would feel even weirder. And another.
I’m ashamed to say that in a lot of cases I would never end up contacting them.
Then when the next round of bootcamp would start I would send out an email to all my clients, old and new, and, no surprise, those that dropped off didn’t sign up again. Which is fair enough. I had done a terrible job of making them feel welcome.
When it came time to fix my LCS I realised that I needed to take responsibility for this and do my best to make new clients feel that they were welcome and wanted. It wasn’t enough to just look after them at the sessions, I had to go the extra mile.
So I implemented a Client Induction System which sounds like something an accountant* would say, so let’s call it a Welcome Experience.
*My brother is an accountant so I’m allowed to tease them 🙂
How To Create A Welcome Experience
You’ve probably read before about how important creating systems in your business is.
The problem is that good systems seem hard to create. You have to take time out that you would normally spend getting things done to try and capture something that you may already intuitively do.
But it’s worth the effort because it works. I went from losing 4 or 5 new clients each round of bootcamp just during those first couple of weeks to not losing any most bootcamp rounds with the odd exception here and there.
And once I set it up, it barely took any time out of my week to maintain. Each part of the system was quick to do and I could often bulk together multiple clients and do them all at once.
If you want consistent, reliable clients, you need to have systems in place that keep your experience consistent.
Think of your favourite eating place.
Imagine if you went there and you had the most amazing meal ever but then the next 3 times you went back the food was awful. Now imagine you go there four times and each time the food was great. Not the best meal ever but pretty damn good.
People want a consistently great experience. Systems allow you to do that.
I also shared my system with other trainers and they took it and made it even better. They customised it for their businesses and saw a nearly instant change in the community feeling of their bootcamps.
OK, I’ll stop telling you have great it is and share with you how you can create your own system.
Like I said, I know systems can be a pain in the ass to make so I’m going to give you step by step instructions that will give you a Welcome Experience in about 10 minutes.
I know you can spare 10 minutes today so let’s do it! You can always come back and tweak it later. Remember, take imperfect action.
Your Welcome Experience is all about creating a consistent experience for your new clients. From the moment they sign up, to the end of their first month of bootcamp, you want to give each client the same awesome experience.
By doing this, clients won’t fall through the cracks and you can spend more time focusing on the parts of your business you enjoy. You just follow the system, checking off each client along the way. Our goal is to encourage clients to keep going long enough that bootcamp becomes part of their routine.
Step 1: After they sign up
At this point your client has just signed up and spent money with you. You want to reassure them that this was a good idea.
What to do:
- Email them straight away to welcome them. Include any forms they need to fill out and a short checklist of what they need to bring and wear to their first session. For example: I reminded people to wear sunscreen during the warmer months and also not to wear anything white because this is outdoor bootcamp and they may get dirty.
- On the admin side of things add their details to your client database. Just do this straight away and then it’s done.
Write down the steps you need to do to complete this.
Step 2: Before their first session
I found with my bootcamp that most new clients were getting back into fitness after a long break. So they were probably feeling very nervous about their first session. Will the trainer turn out to be this in-your-face screaming tyrant? It’s important the day before their first session to reassure them again.
- Send a short email telling them you are looking forward to meeting them and with a quick reminder about what to bring. Ask them to arrive early so you can have a little chat with them before the session starts and they can meet other campers one at a time as they show up for the session.
Add this step to your checklist.
Step 3: During their first session
A clients first session could be their first and last impression of your bootcamp. So you want to make it amazing.
- Try to focus on them a little more than the rest of the group. Use their name as much as possible to fix it firmly into your memory.
- If they are really struggling I try to get them paired up with someone else who also really struggled when they started. I would then ask my old client what they remember of their first few weeks and if it gets better.
Write down a new step ‘Make first session amazing.’
Step 4: After their first session
Here is the point at which I feel like myself and other trainers really drop the ball. We’re busy people. Maybe we work full time on top of running this bootcamp or maybe we have a bunch of one on one clients which we need to plan and run sessions for.
But you have to remember, we as humans are really, really good at making excuses about why we shouldn’t or can’t do something that’s uncomfortable. Here’s what to do:
- Around 24 hours after their session call your new client to see how they are feeling, make sure that the session didn’t aggravate any old injuries and give them some advice on stretches and walking to ease DOMS.
- If you haven’t aleady, enter their details into the database, email list, birth date and sync with my phone.
- If you use direct debit forms, create a check point to file their billing agreement with your direct debit company.
Write down the steps you usually complete after a client’s first session.
Step 5: At the end of their first week
At the end of their first week, a new client is probably feeling a bit sore and sorry for themselves. This is another point at which they might decide it’s just too hard to continue so it’s a great time to reach out.
- Send a short text message (SMS is more personal than an email) reaffirming how well they did this week and reminding them that they will get fitter.
Add this step to your checklist.
Step 6: At the end of their first month
At the end of the first month, no matter how you bill your clients, this is another point where if they are not already convinced, your clients might drop off.
- Send them an email congratulating them on completing their first month of bootcamp. Make it personal by commenting on something they achieved throughout that time.
- Ask them to fill out a short feedback survey.
Add this last step to your checklist.
I know this seems like a lot of work, but if you are struggling to get more reliable clients then you can absolutely find time to do this. If you are already busy, this process will save time procrastinating and make you more consistant. All you have to do is follow the steps.
Here’s what your checklist might end up looking like:
- Send welcome email and forms
- Add information to database
- Send reminder email (day before)
- Make first session amazing
- Follow up call (day after)
- Follow up text (week after)
- Follow up email and feedback (month after)
Some steps other trainers use:
- Give client welcome pack (info and maybe some goodies)
- Client welcome meet and greet. Meet with the client before their first session to show them around. (Great if you have an indoor location)
- Additional check-in text messages or calls to make sure their clients experience is going well.
- Up sell checkpoint if your clients all start on a trial.
If you are interested in small daily actions you can take down this path then you’re in luck. What I showed you today is day 13 of a 31 day course I’m running through the month of February.
Enrollment to the course opens Wednesday January 27th and begins Monday February 1st. It’s perfect for anyone who is looking for real actions they can take to improve their bootcamp or group fitness business.
Introducing 31 Days to a Better Bootcamp Business (31DBBB)
31DBBB will help you craft your business into a more fulfilling, fun and less stressful part of your life one firm step at a time.
This is unlike most bootcamp business products. Why? Because other products have you focusing on over complicated marketing techniques like Joint Ventures or inefficient methods like door to door and flyer drops.
Instead, I will show you the foundational principles and systems that a bootcamp must be built on to find success. I will show you how to run a group fitness business without working like a dog.
Make sure you are on my email list so you don’t miss out when I open the (virtual) doors to sign up.
More specifically, you’ll get:
- A 31 day email course. There are 31 tasks for you to complete on your business. Each email includes a daily action task, training on how to do the task if it’s needed and further resources and reading you can do. At the end of it you get all of the course in one PDF for you to refer to forever.
Which means: From day 1 and every day after for the challenge you will get a daily email with the days task so that you remember to do it and don’t have to keep looking it up in a PDF somewhere.
- LIVE weekly training and group discussion sessions. Each week I pick one of the tasks you are struggling with and dive into it with extra training via an online video classroom. Then we have a group discussion on anything you are having trouble with.
- Lifetime access so you can repeat the course whenever you like or join in next time we run it live.
- Access to our private 31DBBB community. Get support and motivation from other trainers doing course at the same time as you plus access to our active alumni.
- NEW: A printable checklist of the 31 days so you can get that awesome satisfaction of checking off each task as you complete it.
- NEW: Bonus Day Zero on a secret topic that will set the tone for the entire month.