Fitness-conscious consumers share a common love for a great workout or fitness class. But with an ever-expanding range of options—from traditional gyms to boutique fitness studios and online classes—business owners must strive to create unique experiences in order to retain clients.
Here are four strategies you can use to create an environment that inspires your clients and keeps them coming back again and again.
Create a Community
Step back from the daily grind and take a few minutes to write down what’s unique about your business, focusing on the community behind it. Get to know your community by asking yourself a few questions, such as: Who takes my classes, and why? What do my clients value about my studio? What motivates my clients, and what are their goals? What defines my community?
Focus on cultivating these unique characteristics in your business to create a special place that clients can feel like they’re a part of.
Tips to try:
- Create an environment that fosters interaction between clients. Be proactive in chatting with your clients, and find opportunities to introduce folks who have common interests or lifestyles.
- Be clear about your company values. Make sure people know who you are and what you stand for. At our studio, we have a list of “studio rules” posted publicly in the studio. <image1.jpg>
- Host social events where clients can get to know each other and build their own sense of community. This might include trips to other events, friendly competitions, happy hours or ladies’ nights.
- Be philanthropic. Hold a food drive in the studio or go as a community to volunteer at a local non-profit.
Keep It Positive
As the business owner or manager, you’re fully in control of the “vibe” at your business. Keep it positive, warm and welcoming.
Tips to try:
Nurture an Online Presence
Make sure to build and maintain a fun, engaging and dynamic online presence. Social media is all about interaction. Instead of simply posting events, pictures and updates, engage with clients by starting conversations and posting interactive content.
Tips to try:
- Create a private Facebook group for your members. Include studio announcements, but focus on value-added material and conversations such as helpful information about nutrition, the history of your fitness form and exciting industry news. Invite clients to share their success stories or post for online encouragement.
- Highlight members of every fitness level and at every stage of progress. A “member of the week” is always fun. Sharing people at different places in the journey assures others that you have a welcoming and inclusive environment.
- Poll your clients. Ask for their opinions, make sure they know their voices are heard and implement changes by popular demand.
Incorporate Goal Setting and Rewards
Everyone loves a challenge or competition, and it will increase client motivation to work out on a regular basis. Offer prizes and rewards to increase engagement and create a playful environment.
Tips to try:
- Do something besides simply rewarding fitness. Not everyone will lift the most or run the farthest, so consider a contest that creates an even playing field. You might offer a reward for the most classes taken, or a people’s choice MVP. Prizes for improvement or change are also motivating.
- Encourage participation by allowing clients to choose their own goal or contest.
- Do a workshop or online article on goal setting and check in 1:1 with clients to see how they are achieving their individual goals. This will give you an opportunity to build stronger relationships, while holding clients accountable for their personal goals.