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Virtual Initiatives for Retention


Our setting of service where our passions reside should not be underestimated. As fitness professionals, we are all privileged to be caring masters of preventative health, and our ability to impact extends beyond the four walls of our gyms. We can maintain a great level of resources for our community with simple yet unique concepts through technology. Below are a few effective operations we use as virtual services to remain connected to members when gym access may be limited:

At-Home Workouts

This idea may come to every trainer’s mind — however, there are best practices to give variety and be efficient. We know our clients can do bodyweight exercises, must maintain function, and want to (probably) work on their core. With that in mind, we provide each personal training client with a virtual at-home arsenal consisting of: a bodyweight workout, mobility routine, and core specific workout. Each workout can be modified or progressed, so we are giving customization while still streamlining the process.

To maximize service, we contact each client individually, leading off with, “Hi, Mrs. Bonnie, we miss you and we know you are unable to make it to the gym. We are sending you an at-home arsenal consisting of a bodyweight workout, mobility routine and core workout to still service you during this time. While we have you, how are you doing and may we ask what other equipment you may have access to in your home?” We communicate a solution first while showcasing appreciation for them and then we let them know further service will be provided.

What About Regular Gym Users?

I’m glad you asked. We keep track of our top users over 45-day periods, and whether access is limited or not, we acknowledge their constant commitment to their health and remain in communication with them collectively. Email and filters found within them are great for these specific combined strategies. 

PDFs of bodyweight workouts, video links, articles on healthy habits and more can be sent out while also including verbiage to encourage individual communication through your members responding to the message being sent. Also, for the masses, posting content on social media that can be beneficial inside or outside of the gym can be a great service. Stretches, nutrition tips, positive affirmations, all shown with personality and quality, will brighten the experience for your followers.

Tools for Quality

From all that is mentioned above, video remains king of content, while pictures and written text can also provide value. The two simple, user-friendly and (yes) free apps we use for content the most are Filmmaker Pro and PhotoGrid. Each offers great levels of customization for editing, encourages users to include music, and are posted with the quality intact.

If using pictures, PhotoGrid also offers features where you can enhance borders and backgrounds, and include your brand’s image for a vibrant and appreciated image. Regarding written text, have your verbiage flow consistently through your message while always relating to your main point with positivity. Separate each specific part of your communication in paragraph form and start each individual section with an emoji which best represents it. 

To maintain camaraderie and group communications, Zoom Meetings and Facebook Groups offer wonderful features for community interaction. You can also investigate your client management software to see what features can help you keep in touch inside and outside the gym. In addition, your brand may offer an app to consolidate operations while still being able to provide one on one communications. Remember — you got this!

Ethan Smoorenburg

Ethan Smoorenburg is a franchise business consultant with Anytime Fitness Corporate. He can be reached at ethan.smoorenburg@sebrands.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Jason S. May 6, 2020

    Really great blog with tons of actionable information Ethan!


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