3 Ways You Can Engage With Your Audience Offline - Sports Instructors

Sports Instructors – 3 Ways You Can Engage With Your Audience Offline

The internet has had an incredible transformative effect on how we live our lives. It has changed how people socialise, have fun, work and solve problems. It has changed how you do business. But there is nothing like face-to-face interaction. So we have put together a few suggestions for how you can engage with your online audience, offline. Two of our suggestions you can arrange yourself. One would involved you joining someone else’s event.

Start Small. And Get Started

It can sometimes be the case that as soon as people plan a physical gathering, the scope gets out of control. Try, initially at least, to avoid that. The Glastonbury festival is a world-renowned event with over 175,000 people gathering together. But it started out with just over 1,000 people paying £1 each and getting free milk as part of the ticket price.

So try to minimise the barriers to getting your first event started (if you are going to organise your own). Or pick smaller events organised by other people to be part of. Starting with small and intimate events allows you to grow gradually and learn along the way.

Also be upfront with yourself and the people you are hoping to interact with about your event. If you are looking to find new clients, tell the people you invite. Something like: “I would like to show you how I coach because I am looking for more people to work with”. That way there is no misunderstanding or feelings of resentment. If your event is designed to celebrate with existing clients, resist the urge to turn that into a selling opportunity.

With all that covered, here are a few suggestions for how you can engage with your audience in real life.

Our Suggestions

1 Speak at Events

Try to find some events where your coaching would fit. That could be a fitness event. Or think about other interesting opportunities. For example parenting events, wedding fairs or food events.

Put together a pitch that clearly explains to the organiser why the attendees would benefit from hearing you speak. If you have a good following on social media and/or a mailing list, offer to promote the event to your audience. Make sure you understand the audience you will be addressing. Try to understand their needs and motivations and tailor what you say accordingly. Be upbeat, informative and entertaining. And make sure you practice plenty of times before the day.

For Sports Instructors - 3 Ways You Can Engage With Your Audience Offline - Awards Night

2 Offer Trial Boot-Camps / Group Sessions

If you tend to work one-to-one or with very small groups, arranging a boot-camp or group session is a great way to show a big group of potential clients what you do. If you imagine this as a way to market your business, then you could offer one a month. And depending on the logistics (see below) you could offer it for free. That way prospective customers can see what you do before they commit to working with you.

For Sports Instructors - 3 Ways You Can Engage With Your Audience Offline


Group sessions like this are also a great way for you to bring many your existing clients together. That creates a sense of community and strengthens the bond between you and your clients. And if you wanted to, you could give each of your clients the chance to bring a friend or relative along for free. This is another great opportunity to sell your services to a new (but related) audience.

3 Set Up A Mini-Awards Night

One of the ways you can further strengthen the ties you have with your clients is to set up an annual awards evening. This should be a chance to talk about the progress that the group of clients have made. You should also find something positive to say about each of them. And you could have a handful of individual awards, for example ‘Most Improved’ or ‘Most Inspiring’ clients. The key here is to make the event fun, inclusive and inspiring. If you are subtle about it, an evening like this is also a good way to encourage clients to sign up for another year of coaching or buy more sessions with you.

Remember what we said earlier – start small. You do not need to think about hiring an expensive venue, security, a band and catering. This could be a picnic that you arrange in the park. Encourage everyone to bring some food that you all share as a group. This will create a great fun atmosphere.

For Sports Instructors - 3 Ways You Can Engage With Your Audience Offline - Group Sessions


There are some practicalities that you need to consider. But don’t be discouraged – they are easily ticked off. The list we would suggest you think about is not comprehensive. You might want to add a few other items to this list;

Insurance – if you are organising a boot camp or a group session, check that your insurance will cover that.  It is also worth asking anyone that attends to sign a waiver to say they understand there are risks in what you will be getting them to do.

Health and Safety – as with insurance, it is worth being vigilant about this. Especially if you are organising a mass-participation event. In your training you will probably have learned about risk assessment. But if you are unsure about anything, check out what you should watch out for.

Timings – if you are arranging your own event, think about the best time to do it. If it is a group event outdoors then the middle of winter might not be the best time (or it might be, depending on what you do). As far as which day of the week and time of day is concerned, ask other people who have arranged similar events. Or better yet, ask the people you are hoping will come along – they will tell you the best time for them. Google Forms or Survey Monkey are good options for surveying your audience for the best times for them.

Having Permission – you might plan to have an awards picnic in a park or lead a group event on a local sports field. Both are great ideas, but be sure that you have permission from whoever owns or manages the space you are thinking of using. If you don’t, you could end up having an embarrassing encounter with the authorities or face a fine.

Refreshments – in the case that you arrange your own event, either think about providing some refreshments or make it clear to people there won’t be any. Remember that often the point of an event is to meet people who don’t know you, so be specific.

Booking Systems / Tickets – there are many systems that you can use for selling or offering tickets for your event. Eventbrite is a great option and if your event is free for people to attend, then the Eventbrite service is free. Using a system like this reduces your admin burden. It also means that you can control the number of people attending.

Promoting Your Event – once you have everything arranged for your event – the location, date, time, format, ticketing system – then you need to remember to tell people about it. So use your social channels to spread the word. Use your mailing list if you have one. And encourage your existing clients to spread the word.

All that is left is for you to have fun. Enjoying having the chance to engage directly with your audience and before you know it, you will be looking for more opportunities to meet them face-to-face.

About the Author Julie Freeman

Marketing @ OffPeaks. A Swiss expat to London, passionate about the mountains - hiking them, running them or biking on them. Also passionate about helping sports instructors grow their business.

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