3 Ways to Keep Resolutioners Motivated at Your Fitness Studio
By Denise Prichard
Now that 2021 is here, you’ve probably noticed an influx of new fitness clients at your studio or attending your virtual classes. The resolution rush is real, folks.
Even though the way your clients conquer their fitness goals may look a little different this year, their hopes for staying healthy in the new year remain high. In fact, half of Americans say they want to work out more in 2021—which means fitness businesses have a huge opportunity to grow their customer base with these inspired fitness warriors.
However, the reality is most people give up on their resolutions after the first two months of the year. Why? Well, a variety of factors contribute—but it often boils down to a lack of accountability and motivation. Also, some resolutions just aren’t built to last—especially when it comes to fitness.
What can your business do to prevent the seemingly inevitable drop-off? Develop a plan that sets “resolutioners” up for success and keeps them as engaged throughout the whole year as they were on January 1.
Not sure where to start? Have no fear, we have a few tips to help your clients stay on track.
1. Create a sense of community
It should come as no surprise that one of the most effective ways to turn a new client into a loyal one is by making them feel like they belong. The good news is, there are simple ways to make sure each client feels like they’re a part of your fitness family.
To start, train your staff to greet every client and remember their name either when they step foot inside your studio or when they log into a virtual class. When a client is consistently recognized, they’ll feel special each time they interact with your business and its offerings.
The same goes for each one of your trainers or instructors. There’s nothing more motivating than having an instructor shout out your name in the middle of a group fitness class (especially when you’re crushing it), right?
Finally, encourage clients to connect with one another—in the studio or virtually.
Here are some ways to do that:
Introduce new clients to existing members, in-person and/or virtually
Create (socially distanced) partner-based workouts or challenges
Encourage clients to connect with a virtual workout buddy to help them stay motivated
Host (socially distanced) community events outside of your studio and/or online happy hours for your virtual clients
Creating a connected community can have a huge impact on your client retention strategy.
2. Host fun and achievable challenges
Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Creating challenges for your clients offers a fun in-studio or virtual experience, encourages a sense of community, and is likely to boost client retention rates.
The goal is to help clients commit to a consistent workout schedule. Creating challenges throughout the year, and awarding prizes to those who complete them, can help clients stick to their fitness goals and keep classes full. Just make sure the rules to these challenges are obtainable.
For example, if you’re doing a 30-day challenge, it may be next to impossible for clients to take a daily fitness class. After all, life gets in the way. Plus, you don’t want to encourage your clients to overtrain—even if it’s just for a month. This can lead to burnout and/or injuries which will prevent folks from coming back to your studio.
Instead, award clients who show up at least 10 times for an in-studio or virtual class that month with a discount on their membership for the next month. Or, set up a tiered rewards system based on how many times people show up for class.
Come to at least 10 classes and receive 10% off next month’s membership
Come to at least 15 classes and receive 15% off next month’s membership
Come to at least 20 classes and receive 20% off next month’s membership
Bonus: Does your studio use FitMetrix by Mindbody in your facility? If so, you can set up your own in-class competitions that build community and encourage extra effort during workouts. Clients can view their results in class and even receive rewards for their performance.
3. Keep clients on their toes with new classes or workshops
As a studio owner, you know that fitness and wellness trends are always changing. One day we’re sweating our butts off at our favorite HIIT studio, the next day we’re taking a relaxing yoga class in the comfort of our own home.
One way to keep things interesting at your studio is by adding new offerings—both in-studio and virtually.
To get started, survey your community and ask what types of classes and workshops they’d like to try. Then, have fun experimenting. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your existing schedule—start off small.
Let’s say you own a yoga studio that primarily focuses on high-energy Vinyasa classes but have noticed some of your new resolutioner clients talking about wanting to try something a little bit more relaxing like Yoga Nidra or a Candlelight Flow class. Add one new weekly class and if attendance remains steady, keep it on the schedule. If not, try something else.
Consider offering workshops, too. Whether in-person or virtual, educate clients on wellness topics that supplement your offerings and help them build a solid a foundation. Bring in experts to discuss topics like proper nutrition and recovery. The more sustainable their fitness routine is, the more likely clients are to stay engaged, long-term.
Plus, variety is the spice of life—and can be your ticket to retaining (and attracting) more clients throughout the year.
Retaining resolutioners is no easy feat—but these tips can help you engage with your clients and encourage them to stay loyal throughout 2021, and beyond.