Using Human Billboards in Boot Camp Marketing

For those of you who haven’t heard of the ‘human billboard’ concept to promote your business, it isn’t as literal as it sounds; I am not in fact suggesting that you get someone to walk around wearing a billboard advertising your business. In theory, I guess that COULD work. However, it’s not quite what I had in mind.

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The idea of this boot camp marketing strategy called the ‘human billboard’ is essentially a way of getting referrals. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say your friend who usually sports a fab (and totally out of date) 80’s hairdo, suddenly has a great new hairstyle. Wouldn’t you ask them when and how they somehow transported from the 80’s to the 2000’s? And if they said to you, “I went to XYZ Hair Salon, Jimmy there is a real wizard!” wouldn’t you be curious as to how Jimmy the wizard could improve your look? If your answer is yes, then your friend just acted as a human billboard. Pretty simple, right? And much less embarrassing than walking around with a billboard slung over your shoulders as far as I’m concerned.

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So here’s how to market your boot camp using human billboards:

  • Call, email, text, etc. everyone you know and tell them you are starting a fitness boot camp. You make them a deal that if you can get them into amazing shape, they’ll tell others about your boot camp wizardry. Make sure your expectations are made clear. Try saying something like this: “Bobby-Jane, as I help you get in the best shape possible can I count on you to refer me to more clients like yourself?”  Your goal is to get 15-30 human billboards.

  • Let them know that as a human billboard, they can come to boot camp at a reduced rate, (I suggest a 70% discount) however, they’ll have to pay for 6 months upfront.

So let’s say that at a 70% discount, each human billboard is paying $50/month, and you collect $300 from each of them as the deal was that they had to pay for 6 months upfront. If you have 15-30 human billboards, you’re already $4500 – $9000 ahead. Not a bad deal for anyone, hey?

boot camp marketing Now, each of your human billboards start coming to camp and slowly start shedding fat and inches. Suddenly, their clothes look nicer, their confidence goes up, their skin looks better, and so on and so forth. People will probably start to notice the improvements in your clients, right? And when asked about it, your clients reply, “I’ve been going to Betty Joe’s XYZ Boot camp, she’s a real fitness wizard!” don’t you think their family friends, coworkers, etc., might consider joining an XYZ Boot camp? See how this works?

Another strategy to promote your boot camp that I would suggest is getting a well-known local, i.e. a radio talk show host, a news broadcaster, etc., to become a human billboard for you, and take advantage of your boot camps for free. This is ideal because they have an extremely wide social network. As this person talks about getting in better shape, or merely LOOKS as though they are in better shape, don’t you think people might start to notice and inquire? Furthermore, you could consider giving your human billboards coupons or gift cards to pass on to potential new clients for their first ‘trial’ camp – everyone likes a discount!

It’s low-cost boot camp advertising strategies such as these that I recommend. In the end, my boot camp marketing system basically says that you just need to have a plan of attack that you test, tweak and track in an organized manner in order to know what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that failing to plan is planning to fail.

It is likely that you can think of a way to implement the human billboard concept in your business. In fact, it might just be the thing you need to get your business growing – something that is vital in any service oriented business dependent on getting new clients in order to grow.