Small niche facilities like CrossFit gyms, yoga studios and training centers are on the rise and here to stay. These boutique competitors are having a big impact on the marketplace because of their group formats. Regardless of what facility type you are running, you too can create a great community experience. Group fitness is the best way to deliver impactful member outcomes that generate enhanced retention and bigger sales. How can you improve your member experience to drive sales, retention and be able to compete with boutique facilities? Here are my five quick and secret tips:
1. Give ‘em What They Want
Rely heavily on programs that are well known and deliver consistent experiences and results. It’s easy and fun to attract current exercisers to new trendy classes, but to attract non-exercisers and to grow your base it’s important to provide formats that are simple, easy to follow and deliver great outcomes. Follow national format leaders and utilize what is working for others.
2. Quality vs. Quantity
Streamline your programming company-wide if you have multiple locations. Providing too much can get complex and will dilute the effort. Offer formats at least three days a week in similar time slots so people can build routines and get results. It’s not quantity it’s quality. Members can mix it up and take a cardio class three days a week and a weight lifting format three days a week.
3. You + Me = Community:
People crave connection and community. Creating an environment inside of your gym can be difficult, but group classes delivered well provide this quickly and seamlessly. Be the bridge for the new member and connect them to the environment. Make it an aim to be known for your community and culture.
4. Cha Ching
Instead of inviting members to “join your gym,” invite them to join a community of a group fitness class. Capitalize on sustainable and growing class numbers, and utilize the group schedule as a tool to attract and immerse new members into your club. When signing them up for a membership, plan out the first month of workouts through the group fitness schedule. The new fitness seeker will have a schedule and direction to help them move forward in their first month at your facility.
5. Sauce It Up With Social
For most people their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed is an ongoing social diary of what they are doing in life. Utilize social media as a way to connect people and market to your facility. No one likes the guy that “checks in” to the gym everyday with the tag “back and bi’s” and selfie in the mirror. But no one seems to mind a group of smiling faces having smoothies after a group fitness class. I think you see what I mean. Self-promotion can be distasteful, but more than one person boasting that they are having fun with others is consistently in style.
The fitness industry is changing lives through fitness. We’ve only made a dent in influencing lifestyle changes and healthy living. The room for improvement, and expansion however is vast. We can change millions of lives by introducing people to living a healthier, more conscious way of life. We’re going to have to get very creative and intuitive to reach people we have not reached. That requires marketing to people in a way that feels familiar and loving versus our traditional forms of judgment and promotional marketing efforts. People are seeking authentic and connected community experiences. You can create what they want and need while growing your business. Market to the spirit of encouraging people to join and experience your community via group fitness. Once they are part of your community, results will follow and your success grows from there.
Hope my five quick, secret tips serve you well. Thank you for reading.
Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry. She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping club owners all over the south central region of the united states propel their business forward via group exercise solutions. For more information about lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o