4 Reasons Why Short-Term Online Challenges Can Get You More Clients

August 02, 2019

Have you noticed the 7-Day Diet or Exercise Challenges on social media?

Take a look and you’ll start seeing them everywhere. The well-balanced challenges, the bad ones, and the ugly ones that mask disordered eating and exercise behavior. As health and wellness professionals, we feel skeptical about any claims that promise significant weight loss based on clean eating in such a short period of time.

There is a lot of dangerous advice out there (the Morning Banana Diet, anyone?) that can cause more harm than good.

But what about the good advice?

It’s out there and coming from reputable sources! A growing number of wellness professionals are creating and sharing 7-Day challenges on their websites or social media. Based on safe, nutritional advice, these challenges can be an excellent way to attract new clients. The experience that 7-Day Challenge clients have with your program can dictate their next steps and if they’ll continue a relationship with you.

Here are 4 major reasons why these Challenges can get you more clients, along with tips about how to make sure they come back for more.

They Kickstart Client Progress and Build Momentum & Motivation

Anyone who runs their own practice knows that a week just flies by. The secret is that a week feels incredibly short for most working adults. Because of this, many people feel like they can put up with almost anything for a week — even if it’s begrudgingly.

Seven days is the minimum amount of time to see some results by changing diet and eating habits. Seven days counts as starting small. If your Challenge recommends certain food intake, that’s just one or two grocery shops for clients throughout the week; that’s one Saturday night without extra buttery popcorn at the movies or an extra glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed. It’s doable.

This is not to say that it won’t be a challenge. After a few days, many Challenge participants may be feeling cranky and possibly even resentful of withholding their favorite treats. But by day seven, they’ll likely have noticed a difference in either cutting back on or eliminating certain foods or drinks. This works for caffeine, alcohol, sugar, simple carbs or meat.

When marketing your Challenge, you should set expectations clearly: “This week’s results will not be life-changing but will show you that you’re ready to make changes that are.”

It’s important not to promise big changes. As we know well, seven days is not enough time to create healthy habits, safely lose a significant amount of weight, or make a lasting difference to one’s health. But it does show people what they can accomplish and gives them a taste of how it will feel if they wanted to make these changes long term — which is where you come in! Make sure to give them a prompt — or even a discount code for your services — at the end of their Challenge.

They Show Clients What it Would be Like to Work With You

Online Program in Practice Better

In addition to giving clients a taste of the results they can experience in a long-term partnership, you can also give them an excellent idea of what it’s like to work with you. This is an opportunity to show off your expertise, communication and motivation styles, and to get to know the type of community you foster. It’s time to set the stage.

You will need to set up your 7-Day as an easily accessible online program in Practice Better or as a downloadable PDF. Both the content and layout need to be precise and intentional. First impressions are meaningful! The design should fit your overall branding, it should be clean and easy to understand, and it should anticipate any questions your clients might have and answer them clearly. Ask a trusted friend or family member (okay, a guinea pig) to try out your Challenge (or at the very least, read through it) before publishing anything. This will help to highlight anything you’ve missed — like a recommended shopping list, or a contingency plan for business dinners.

You also have the opportunity, depending on how many hours you can spend on this Challenge each week, to be more hands-on or hands-off for these clients. Being hands-off would mean publishing the Challenge for purchase on your website occasionally posting about it on social media (perhaps with an advertising boost to attract new clients). Group Services can be added to your programs created in Practice Better as an excellent place to support participants. If you’re able to be more hands-on, you have the opportunity to show Challenge participants a more personal touch.

Using Group Chats, for example, for everyone doing the Challenge in a particular week, can give your Challenge participants access to you — and each other — to share questions, stories, and feedback.

Practice Better Group Chat

There are is a wide scale of how much time you can put into this on a weekly basis, and you should price your Challenges accordingly. Consider what experience you would need to give each client that would make it impossible for them to say no to an ongoing relationship. That’s the experience you can aim for — the above and beyond.

They’re a Low-Cost Entry Point for Clients to Access Your Expertise

Go on Pinterest and you’ll find countless fad diet Challenges for free, but many smart consumers know that experienced and practiced advice comes with a price — even if it’s a small one. By creating a 7-Day Challenge, you’re giving access to those who might not think they can afford your more personalized services. This low-cost commitment is a way to share your expertise with more people, both helping others and increasing awareness of your practice and services.

Put a personal spin on your 7-Day Challenge with a unique name or plan that includes a specific calling card — say, a particular kind of supplement, smoothie ingredient or time saving/mindfulness tip. Your challenge shouldn’t be based on diet trends but should be an extension of the personalized advice you would give in your practice — condensed into a week.

Week-long challenges are typically priced anywhere from $9.99 to $89.99 for a downloadable PDF and a wide range of support options. Consider how much time you’re willing to give to these Challenges each week, knowing that close support could end up paying off in the long run.

They Increase Social Media Followers/Newsletter Subscribers

Even if participants don’t sign-up with you right away after completing the challenge, all hope is not lost. In order to receive the downloaded information for the Challenge, the clients had to give you their email address and also follow you on social media. You still have access to these potential clients and they are still in your sales funnel. It’s an opportunity for you to provide more value through your newsletters or social media that will keep them coming back for more.

To add value, you want to find a middle ground between posting too much and too little. If you post five times a day on Instagram and send out a newsletter every day, Challenge followers might unfollow or unsubscribe, no matter what content you’re sharing. But if you post once a day and release a weekly or monthly newsletter filled with tips, news and offers, more of your Challenge clients are likely to keep you around.

Consider making an ad group or newsletter email list segment specifically for Challenge participants who haven’t signed on for more work right away. They won’t want to be bombarded but will want to hear about possible deals or other short-term challenges.

We’ve covered the four major reasons why 7-Day Challenges can be an excellent revenue stream or an easy entry point for new clients — but it’s important to remember that these Challenges are not just set it and forget it. They should be taken seriously and will need additional time and effort.

As health and wellness professionals, we have the knowledge to help people live better and healthier lives. Because of this, it’s important to provide only the best information possible for each paying or pro-bono client and be upfront about what the Challenge is and isn’t.

Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Streamline your practice and begin your 14-day free trial today.

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