I’ve spoken to literally hundreds of different trainers about how to make money in the fitness industry, and while many of them are extremely qualified, very few have ever considered the fitness workshop as a possible revenue stream. Fitness workshops could provide an enormous boost to your fitness business, and here I layout a step by step process for creating your first one.
To those trainers I always say the same thing: if you have useful knowledge that could help people improve their lives, it is your duty to get it out there. Sounds a little dramatic, but consider the alternative. What will most likely happen is that less qualified people (or completely unqualified people) will get their information out there instead. While you’re busy fretting over whether or not people will accept your views and ideas, some other person is blasting their BS all over the place. You need to man/woman up and get out there!
The same thing happens when trainers can’t seem to write an article; they overthink their topic and try to include every aspect of their system in one shot. This is an impossible task and will inevitably lead to the same conclusion: putting it together is too complicated, so the workshop never happens.
Here I’ll outline a few different ways to create a basic fitness workshop that you can use as a marketing tool to get new clients or simply make some money on the weekends. Remember, don’t over think the situation! Just get it done.
I bet you thought picking a topic would be first; WRONG! Chances are that you will think too long and hard about creating the first workshop topic and the workshop won’t happen. Instead, pick a date first, and don’t make it too far out. Pick a Saturday that is 6-12 weeks out and make sure that it is not on a holiday weekend or some major event that might effect attendance (i.e. Super Bowl, etc.). If this is your first workshop and you’re not going to compete with Jesus on Easter weekend. Give yourself enough time to create the contents of the workshop, but not so much time that it doesn’t feel “real.”
Now that you have a date, time to pick a topic. Again, if this is your first workshop, don’t pick something that will take 20 hours to explain. A bad topic would be, “50 Steps to Discover the Meaning of Life.” You want something that is 2-4 hours and will get your idea/system off the ground. If you’re all about kettlebells, something like, “How Not to Kill Yourself with a Kettlebell” might be good, or “10 Kettlebell Exercises You Can Do in Your Living Room.” You need bite sized chunks, not a massive meal.
You will learn a lot from the first event, so don’t think you’re going to nail it on the first shot. Your goal is to get as many people there as possible so you can learn as much as possible. Just like training a client one on one, you’ll find that every person has different issues that you’ll need to address.
Now that you have a topic you can write your summary. This will be the sales copy that you’ll be using to get people to the event. I recommend doing this before you actually outline the workshop because it will give you some direction in writing it.
Write 3-5 sentences summarizing what you’ll be teaching, how people will benefit from the content, and who will be interested in it. I’m currently planning my first fitness business workshop, so I’ll just give you the exact summary I’m using:
If you’re a personal trainer or small fitness business owner, I’m sure you’re tired of spinning your wheels online attaining no or meager growth. Your social media following is low, your website traffic is insignificant (and you’re tired of waiting for all those promises from your webmaster to come to fruition), and you’re confused by the fact that you have awesome information but no one seems interested in it. The solution to your problem is the same one that you give to your clients when they want to attain their fitness goals; you need a consistent program, attainable results, and a long term commitment to a specific strategy. At this workshop you’ll learn the basics of branding, content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing, as well as the system that ties them all together. It’s time to create a workout plan for your business.
Now, I’m a little verbose, but it’s my article so I’ll do what I want. Again, the point is to say what it is, who it’s for, and the benefits that can be gained from it. The next step is to write a list of benefits that people can attain from coming to your workshop. Again, here is the list I’m using for my workshop:
Finally, you’ll want to make the target of this workshop even more clear so there is no question in the reader’s mind who the workshop will be good for. You’ll notice that I already told you to do this in the summary paragraph, but this will make it even more clear.
Who can benefit from this workshop? If you answer yes to any of the following, it’s for you:
If you have a gym, do it there (even if it’s a small space). Worst case scenario is that you fill that bitch up and it looks like your first event was an astounding success. Plan on clearing out a sizable space so you have room for everyone to move.
If you don’t have your own space, try contacting local gyms. You could use your house of course, but I don’t recommend it. My experience is that people will be put off going to someone’s house if they don’t know you, and your goal with your first workshop should be to reach out to new people. I would just contact a few local gyms (smaller unconventional gyms if you can find them), and offer a 20-25% hosting fee or a flat amount. If they’re reluctant you can guarantee an amount to save the space, say $100-$200. Again, if this is your first event, it is probably to market yourself, not make a million bucks. Consider this as an advertising expense.
The outline of your workshop is completely dependent on your topic, but it is possible to give you a basic structure to build on. Here it is:
II. Main Content
You’ll want to have your outline before the next step so you could competently answer the questions of potential attendees.
I recommend posting all of your workshop information in three places: your website, your Facebook fan page, and EventBrite.com. Each one will serve a specific function. Your website post will ensure that the people that regularly visit your page will know about your workshop and will drive traffic there (something you always want to be thinking about), as well as provide a landing page for your email campaigns. Your Facebook event will ensure that all of your friends know about the event, even if they don’t currently follow your website or subscribe to your email list.
The EventBrite.com listing serves several functions; it provides an easy, secure place to facilitate transactions, your event will be listed in their database of events, and it has a unique affiliate program component that will allow other people to receive a commission in return for sending you attendees. All of this can be incorporated into the ticket cost of the event, or you can simply eat it on the ticket price (I recommend eating it). I’ve personally used EventBrite.com on multiple occasions and I highly recommend it to everyone.