The health club industry is rife with emotion. After all, everyday members are accomplishing amazing feats that tug at the heart strings, whether it’s running their first marathon, losing 100 pounds, doing a pull-up for the first time or being able to get off cholesterol medication after years of prescriptions.
Why is this important? Because these stories are powerful and strike a chord with consumers. Why exactly? The answer lies in my first sentence — they’re emotional.
Jonah Berger, the author of “Contagious: Why Things Go Viral,” said it best when he stated, “We share because we care.” Essentially, if people care about a particular product, service or story, they’re more likely to share it.
Fortunately the health club industry is full of emotional, moving stories that will strike a chord with the average consumer. However, you don’t just want to evoke any emotion. According to Berger, the most valuable emotion to evoke is “awe.”
“Awe is a complex emotion and frequently involves a sense of surprise, unexpectedness or mystery,” said Berger. As a result, it is the perfect emotion to encourage social sharing and word of mouth.
With this in mind, think about how you can use the awe-inspiring stories of members in your marketing to encourage the social sharing of your service. Did one of your members lose over 100 pounds? Ask if they’d be willing to share a testimonial detailing their journey and how it’s changed their life. Did one of your members find chronic pain relief through yoga? Ask if they’d be willing to write a blog about their experience to share with other members.
Through my experience as a journalist, I’ve found that people who’ve experienced success love to talk about it. And by giving them the opportunity to share that success, you can mutually benefit. You’ve given them a voice to share their success, given your members and prospects something inspiring to talk about, and hopefully experienced more word of mouth as a result.
Your members are doing awe-inspiring things every day. What are you waiting for?
Rachel Zabonick is the Editor of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.