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Your Key Differentiator

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Now is the time! With all the small-box clubs opening up on every corner, if you have group fitness it is time to take the steps to highlight the power of classes and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Have you really taken a look at what goes on in your group fitness rooms? Are you aware of the powerful retention tool and attraction your group fitness programs have in your community? When was the last time you sat down with your group fitness director and had her/him take you through the program and the participation numbers? When was the last time you thanked one of your instructors for teaching an awesome class to 30 of your members? It’s time to do all of the above if you don’t already. Here are some helpful tools to differentiate your club and drive traffic through the door with happy group fitness members who won’t leave.  We certainly can’t fight low cost clubs on price, but you can show your community your value and expertise.

1.     Assess your program and your director. If both are great go to step two. If not, stop here and call me for a counseling session.

2.     Market your programs. Avoid only putting the name of a class on a marketing piece, such as “we have Zumba” — big deal, it means nothing. Highlight something great about your classes. Give a little sentence to WOW the recipient like: “Our members rate our classes the best in the community.”  “We won’t let you down with our classes — not only will you love them but you will get results.” Anything you say will be true, because if a member comes to classes regularly they will get results. How about, “We will take care of you every step of the way, join our classes today.”

3.     Run all kinds of summer specials and competitions in-house. “Bring a friend to class campaigns” are great. Have a “member/guest” tournament where members bring a guest in for an assigned group of classes, and whomever does the most classes together wins. If the guest joins at the end, the member receives free time or a gift. They are then highlighted all over the club as the tournament winners. Have a “summer stay-in-shape program.” There are a kazillion things to do to keep members motivated and bring in friends, but these kinds of promotions are only successful if your entire team is on board.

4.     Your director can run all of the aforementioned — that is, if your director has bought into the club, works and is a great leader. If your director is just a glorified sub-finder you need to rethink your director’s responsibilities. Who is managing your director? Take a step back and look real hard at all of these components. This way you can differentiate yourself and keep your club full of life.

5.     Facebook, Facebook, Facebook. Group fitness people are Facebook nuts and they highlight their classes all the time. If you do not have an active Facebook page get to work. We have an employee that does nothing except for manage our Facebook. The results have been amazing.

E-mail me if you need me or if you didn’t get past the first item on the list!

Lori Lowell is the President of Group Fitness Solutions, LLC, and owns 8 Fitness Facilities in Virginia and Wisconsin. Contact her at lori@groupfitnesssolutions.com.

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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