5 Ways to Build Community and Get More Referrals

Quick: what’s the second best way to get more referrals for your boot camp?

Do you know it?Friends at the gym together

(I say second best because I’ve already told you the first best – deliver outstanding results.)

The second best way to get more referrals is to build more community among your clients!

This is how you create Front of Mind Awareness of your training for the friends and family of your clients.

Because sure, people are going to brag and rave when they get outstanding results…but you know that even the best training takes time. Those major breakthroughs don’t happen every day.

But what if your clients had something special to say about your boot camp every single day? What if they had so much fun and connection there that they just wanted to talk about it nonstop?

THAT is what I’m talking about.

And I’ve got some simple tricks you can use in your business to create that sense of community.

The great part is that you don’t even have to have a big, outgoing personality for these to work! You can still build community even if you personally are shy!

#1 – Free, Healthy Snacks


Ever notice how a lot of clients don’t have time to eat anything before or after their workouts?

If you just offer them some free protein bars before or after each workout, they will be HUGELY thankful.

If you just buy the bars in bulk, it won’t cost you that much, and the extra buzz you generate around your business will more than make up for it.

Also, if you already sell protein bars inside your business, you may still want to test out this technique. Those free protein bars might actually drive people who usually don’t buy them to start picking them up.

Of course, you can always substitute the protein bars for another healthy snack. If you can bring in something homemade, your clients will be even more impressed.

#2 – Create a Private Facebook Group for Clients


People Social Networking and Thumbs Up SymbolIf you don’t have this already, man, you’ve got to get on this.

One of the most powerful tools for keeping your clients around long-term is to give them room to develop friendships with each other.

People can walk away from a business.

People can even weasel their way out of their own hopes and dreams.

But nobody likes to walk away from a friend. That’s just way too tough.

Besides, having that private Facebook group gives you a huge opportunity to upsell your clients on special challenges, new products, etc. because to them it feels like such a casual, no-pressure environment.

#3 – Give Out Surprise, Public Awards


The key word is “surprise.”

You might already be giving out public awards as part of your challenges…but you should also have some sort of award that you can give to clients completely out of the blue.

It can be a medal, a special shirt, their photo on the wall…anything they can point to and brag about.

Obviously, you should give it to clients who actually deserve it, but don’t announce it ahead of time. Don’t schedule it either. It should be completely unpredictable and by surprise.


Let me tell you about a funny little quirk in human psychology called the Skinner box.

B. F. Skinner was a Harvard graduate student who was testing to see the best way to condition (AKA influence) a rat into pushing the correct button out of two.

At first he rigged up the correct button to deliver a pellet of food and rigged up the wrong button to deliver an electric shock. Both buttons were set to have the same effect every time.

As you might guess, the rat quickly stopped pushing the wrong button and started pushing the right button whenever he felt hungry.

Here’s where things get weird… 

When Skinner set the good button to only give out food at random (and at a fairly low rate) the rat went CRAZY on that thing. Even when the rat wasn’t hungry, he would just keep hammering the button relentlessly.

Turns out, this exact same trick works on humans too.Dices

People will work so much harder for a random chance of reward than they will for pre-programmed, expected reward.

Use this in your boot camp to get your clients to work harder and feel more committed to your training!

#4 – Give Out More Personalized Referral Gifts


First off, make sure you’re giving gifts in return for referrals if you’re not already.

Second, make sure you personalize the gift to each client.

What’s the easiest way to do that?

Simple: instead of buying a $100 gift card ahead of time, just let your clients know at the beginning of the referral contest that you will give them a gift up to $100 in value…of their choice!

The great thing about this is that a) you don’t have to try to guess what they like, and b) your clients will often use this as an opportunity to grab something that they really want, but are they are too “responsible” to buy for themselves.

And when YOU give them that gift, you’re basically their own personal Santa! How’s that for building rapport?

#5 – Mail Handwritten Cards for Special Events


Again, this is such an incredibly cheap, easy thing to do but it makes an enormous difference.

Ask your clients (or have your trainers ask) about their birthdays, anniversaries, and any other special events they have coming up that are worth celebrating.

Put all that stuff in your calendar and set reminders ahead of time for when it comes up, then mail out personalized, actual paper cards for each event.

The cards don’t have to be that long, they just have to feel personal.

If this tiny little gesture sounds like “too much work” for you…I guess you’re not really serious about getting more clients in your business.

And I guess you’re not really serious about delivering the best client experience possible.

And I guess you’re not serious about making a real impact in your community.

And I guess you don’t really need the money from those potential referrals…


Maybe you know exactly what to do and you need to stop making excuses and do it.

Committed to your success,