This holiday season will look quite different from years before. Sure, we'll all be visiting with family and friends, even if only virtually, and we'll most definitely indulge in our favorite meals and treats, but when the time comes to get back into our fitness routine—most of us won't be hitting the gym.
If you've ever taught in a gym or studio, you know that the excitement and motivation are palpable after the holidays. With so many people committing to their health and wellness, it's an exciting time to be a fitness instructor. If you're teaching virtually this year, you can still re-create that energy through an online fitness challenge.
People love fitness challenges—it encourages them to prioritize their health and electrifies their competitive edge. These challenges also help you build sales both in the short and long-term.
Need help planning your challenge? Read on for our ultimate guide to creating an online fitness challenge that your clients will love.
Define the Goals
Without a concrete, tangible goal, you'll never be able to determine the success of your fitness challenge. This goes for both you and your clients. Before you start anything, sit down and map out what you want from this challenge. With each goal you write down, make sure you have a way to measure it. For example:
You are moving from in-person to online and want to get people used to the new format in a fun way.
Measurable goal: Get five of your past clients to attend your virtual fitness challenge.
You want to boost sales in time for the holidays.
Measurable goal: Sign up five people at $50 each by December 15th.
You want to expand and grow your audience.
Measurable goal: Grow your mailing list by 10% in the next three months.
But of course, this challenge isn't only about you. What do your clients want from the challenge? The easiest way to know is to ask! Grab a couple of your closest clients and quiz them on their fitness goals. Or post a poll on social media and gather feedback. Building a fitness challenge based on their goals will help achieve yours.
Some common goals that fitness challenges address are:
- Lose weight.
- Get back into a fitness routine.
- Eat healthier.
- Meditate more.
Once you define these two essentials, you're ready to move on and brainstorm execution.
Define Your Format
There are many ways to help your students achieve their goals, so consider how involved you want to be and how involved they need you to be. This will help you determine the format of your fitness challenge.
For example, a simple goal of '30 days of yoga' might not require too much hand-holding, so you you create a challenge solely based around attending live classes, While someone who wants to get into shape and eat healthier could benefit from more expert guidance in the form of one-on-one sessions, live classes, and educational material. Here are some common formats that you can choose from:
- Live group sessions
- Video-on-demand (great for different time zones/lifestyles)
- Email (weekly tips or PDF handouts, for example)
- Private sessions
- Phone consultations/check-ins
You can mix and match these content formats to create the perfect fitness challenge.
Make it Easy to Join
The next thing to consider is how you will deliver this challenge to your clients. There's nothing that will turn off people quicker than requiring them to jump from platform to platform to participate in the challenge, so choose your delivery method carefully. Some things to consider are:
- How will they pay?
- Where will they attend live classes?
- How can they watch VOD?
- How can they chat with others in the group?
- How will you distribute complimentary material, like handouts?
You can hack together a solution of several platforms, or use an all-in-one online fitness studio, like Moxie.
Secondly, consider the capacity for your challenge. Do you prefer to work with small groups or have a 'more the merrier' outlook? Whichever you choose, make sure you're able to provide value to every participant.
Help Them Commit
Intention is nothing without action. Think through how you will keep your students motivated throughout the challenge.
Just as you've set measurable goals for yourself, encourage your students to do the same. Vague goals like 'I want to feel better' or 'I want to eat healthier' become 'I want to lose 3 pounds in 1 month.' or 'I'll replace five high-calorie foods in my diet with 5 healthier options.'
Here are a few more ways you can help them commit to their goals:
- Require a specific number of sessions per week.
- Give homework (small tasks like 'take a weekly progress selfie.')
- Send virtual high-fives and daily doses of encouragement.
- Offer a prize at the end of the challenge.
- Create a chat group where you share content and keep each other accountable.
Hook Them with a Good Deal
The million-dollar question: should your challenge be free or paid? Both have their positive qualities.
Free challenges can be useful to give people a taste of your fitness style and build awareness. Free challenges also work well for on-going challenges, with no stop and start date, for example, a 10-day program where you'll automatically send an email with a fitness tip or video-on-demand.
However, when someone puts money down, they tend to feel more committed. And if you are putting in significant amounts of your energy each week, you, of course, want to be rewarded. So a paid challenge benefits all parties.
Pro tip: If you want to offer the challenge as a special deal or to a specific group, you can create a hidden subscription on Moxie and share the unique URL. Find out more about creating subscriptions.
Get the Timing Right
When it comes to the question of how long your challenge should last, think like Goldilocks. You don't want the challenge to last months on end, which can be unsustainable when trying to keep up excitement. But you don't want a challenge that's too short and doesn't give students enough time to see and feel results. Most challenges that we see run for a month, which seems to be 'just right' for clients and their instructors.
When it comes to promoting, you don't start too far in advance or too late in the game, either. If people are looking for challenges, they are ready to commit and want to start relatively quickly. Start promoting around 3-4 weeks before the challenge begins and ramp out outreach in the last two weeks.
Promote Your Challenge
You've done all of the behind-the-scenes work and put together a fantastic challenge! Now it's time to get the word out to the masses.
First, create a great description, curriculum, or overview of the program. Once you've outlined this, you can use bits and pieces of it in different marketing materials.
Be sure to include who it's for (beginners, pre-natal, the young-at-heart), what class is like (intense, zen), goals (lose weight, build muscles), what they can expect (3-5 workouts per week), the equipment they'll need, time commitment, and of course, who you are. Once you've created this outline, run it through a writing tool like Grammarly to make sure it's error-free (don't skip this step!)
Then, start promoting this like crazy! Here are some ways you can let the world know about your fitness challenge.
- Create a flyer to hang up in local spots, hand out at your kid's school, or stick in mailboxes. Use a free design tool like Canva to make it look awesome.
- Shout it out on social media. Create a short video intro and share it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and beyond.
- Join online fitness groups or forums and invite members to join you.
- Email your fitfam, friends, and past clients.
- Promote it after class to your regular attendees.
Keep the Momentum Going
By the time your challenge has finished, one thing is sure; your clients have developed a new fitness routine and healthy habits. Help them maintain their fitness level by offering ways they can continue to workout with you. For example, offer them personal training sessions or encourage them to sign up for a monthly subscription to your live or VOD classes.
Looking for more ways to increase your fitness offerings and revenue? Read about creating recurring revenue as a fitness instructor here.