Jessica Thiefels by Jessica Thiefels

You need to stand out in a crowded fitness space, and creating your own 30-day fitness challenge is a great way to do that. There are a lot of moving pieces when creating a program like this, but in the end, you’ll have a chance to engage with a wider audience and, if the challenge is successful, you’ll show potential clients that you are a results-driven trainer.

Use these tips to build your 30-day fitness challenge, which can boost your brand, help you attract more clients, and even provide you with a new stream of income.

Determine Your Theme

Themed 30-day fitness challenges are ideal because they make the program relevant for the user. This benefits you in two ways:

1. Relevancy can lead to urgency. 

For example, a 30-day Beach Booty Challenge, created and marketed in April or May, might be more effective at that time than something generic because, as summer approaches, people are thinking about buying new bathing suits and spending time at the beach.

2. Themes help you organize ideas. 

With a theme, it’s easier to write and package your 30-day fitness challenge. If it’s all about booty, you’ll be focused on glute and lower-body exercises and a summer-themed design. If it’s all about running, you’ll be focused on mileage and cross-training for runners, along with running-focused support materials. This styling will dictate how you market your challenge, which will be part of what entices people to try it.

Organize the Pieces

There are many small details to consider when building a fitness challenge, and once you have your theme, it’s time to make some decisions. Ask yourself the following questions as a brainstorming exercise:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What will be the daily time commitment? How many days per week will participants need to work out?
  • How long will it last?
  • Will you create a calendar print-out?
  • Will there be supplemental videos, images and/or explanations?
  • Can you facilitate it through an app that makes it easy for users to track their progress?
  • Will you charge or will it be free?

One of the most important details is time limit, which will motivate and engage participants. Creating a deadline makes it easier for people to stay focused and on track, whereas an open-ended challenge can make it easy to lose motivation and skip workouts.

Create a Supportive Environment

As a personal trainer, you know that social support is one of the most critical elements of fitness success. In fact, a study of 193 adults found an online support network to be important to success in the weigh-loss program within the study. This is why you should plan to make community an important piece of your program.

This can be accomplished through a variety of approaches, such as weekly check-in meetings or a private Facebook group, where participants can provide each other with support and you can offer healthy lifestyle tips.

Develop a Marketing Plan

The only way people will know about your challenge is to market it. This means using all platforms available, including email marketing and social media. The trick is finding the best way to reach potential participants. Will you do videos? Will you post testimonials from clients? Will you do the challenge yourself and use your results as marketing fodder?

The key to making your marketing efforts work is consistent engagement with your participants, regardless of which methods or platforms you choose to use. As you develop your own marketing plan, keep the following details in mind:

  • You need to be active and engaged before the challenge even starts, allowing you to drive interest, trust and excitement.
  • Be consistent; post regularly or send weekly emails leading up the event, for example.
  • Use your marketing materials to educate and excite, remembering to market to friends as well as clients and your general social media followers.
  • You need assets to drive interest. This can include informational blog posts, testimonials with past clients, eye-catching imagery and videos—focus on what you know your audience likes.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Depending on how engaged you plan to be, this will be a time-consuming project, from development to rolling it out and managing participants during the challenge itself. To mitigate this, have all your marketing materials ready and scheduled (use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule social media updates), and all supplemental materials in a folder where they’re easy to grab and share within your challenge community. This will allow you to execute from start to finish, while maintaining your regular life and client flow.

Don’t forget to ask for testimonials and feedback at the end; obtain permission to use testimonials and marketing, and let the feedback guide your efforts on the next challenge. Once you’ve completed one challenge, you will have a built-in audience for your next one, allowing you to turn this into a regular stream of income while potentially attracting new clients.

Deliver the individualized fitness challenges people need to adopt long-term, healthy behaviors with ACE's Personal Trainer Certification. For a limited time, save up to $300 on ACE's personal trainer study programs.