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'Challenge' Your Clients to Grow your Business in 2018

All members of your fitness business are connected through common fitness goals like feeling better and stronger, or just living healthier lives. Your studio or gym’s services, whether yoga/pilates, TRX, or anything in between, translate to a unique and personal connection that your community shares.  So if a strong connection with your customers is the key, what's a proven strategy to help boost this?  

Weight loss challenges. This provides that intra-community program that puts your members and participants on a fitness mission together. With these four steps, it’s a breeze to organize and launch your very own challenge.

The length of the weight loss challenge can vary, but the majority of businesses see success with keeping the challenge between four to 10 weeks, as supported by the American Council on Exercise. Once your customers sign up, it’s your job to engage them as they change their lifestyle, celebrate each win with them, and support them when they realize how great it feels to achieve a goal they set. Let’s dive in:

Step 1: Create Your Weight Loss Challenge

To build a manageable challenge, you only need four things:

1. The number of customers you want to include in your challenge. (Create demand by advertising a limited space, but of course let more jump in if they want to join.)
2. A “connection” using technology for your customers to track goals, nutrition, exercise, and progress.

a. There are free challenge apps like "Lose It” and “Diet Bet” that have been developed for consumers: however, this is great for groups of friends or peers, but doesn’t’t really provide value to your business.
b. Using technology, such as Evolution Nutrition’s professional and enterprise editions, enables you to directly connect with your members and provides you with insight into how your members are doing in the challenge. This keeps the challenge associated with your business, and the business resources can be used for weekly giveaways, promotions, and any social marketing.  

3. Guides and resources on healthy nutrition to help give the value of your program a boost! 7 Steps to Success

4. Rewards for winners: These can be directly related to your services, such as free sessions or passes, or even discounts for products/retail.

Step 2: Promote Your Weight Loss Challenge
How you decide to get someone’s attention makes or breaks your weight loss challenge. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hang banners in the facility.
  • Include it in your e-mail newsletter.
  • Promote it on all of your social media channels.
  • Reach out to current members directly as you engage with them on a daily basis.
  • Offer a referral program (include incentives for referral such as a 20% off coupon for next purchase, etc.).

Step 3: Launch Your Weight Loss Challenge
Now that you have created and promoted your weight loss challenge, you’re ready to set a date and launch! These key factors will help make your challenge a success:

  • Manage the challenge and monitor your clients’ results with a weekly check in and track progress by creating visuals in your business (such as a Challenge Tracker Board) that show how everyone is doing.
    • This increases the energy & healthy competition within the current challenge and is a great marketing tool to get others excited to join future challenges.
  • Leverage the power of the community through your social media channels by creating specialized weight loss challenge groups through Facebook where you can post updates, weekly progress reports, mini weekly challenge winners, etc. You’ll find that they’ll appreciate when you celebrate their wins!

Step 4: Watch Your Customer List Grow

The weight loss challenge is completed! Participants were engaged, successful with their weight loss, and excited that your business provided this program for them. This is where you can leverage what you learned from the challenge and make it a staple of your business.

  • Repeat the challenge at least two to three times a year to keep your customers engaged and motivated. With each challenge, you’ll learn any changes you want to implement in terms of the details, length, and rewards/incentives. The key is to find the best challenge for your business.
  • Once you do these challenges regularly, establish a constant connection with your community and contribute to the three R’s of success for your business: Retention, Referrals, and Revenue!
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