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Engaging Members Through COVID-19


Bob Marley once said, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” In fitness, we mostly relate to physical strength — however, it’s possible the strength of our hearts and minds have never been more important to help us continue to serve and lead over the past few months.

It can be assumed all of us, when asked what motivated us to work in fitness, have answered along the lines of, “I want to help people.” Now, help seems to be the greatest form of connection. With all that is occurring, ask yourself, “How could my best self help those I am in a position to serve? Also, what help do I need in order to be my best self?”

Take some time to reflect on all that has been done to help our members and all that has been done that shows what we are truly capable of. While our stamina, fortitude and character have been tested, our industry has held true to the greatest value that gives us our oxygen: commitment to our members.

Below are five ideas to consider for continuing to engage with your members in the midst of this challenging time:

Get Outside

Consider communicating with your local government and parks and recreation department regarding potential allowable settings to host outdoor activities for your members and community. Weekly socially distanced sessions can be a positive environment for a much-needed amount of sunlight and smiles.

B2B Network with Members

Different perspectives working together can create innovative opportunities. Consider members who own businesses as well. Join in causes and ideas you share a common interest in that can engage both of your customer bases. Also, consider how you can potentially team up and each offer something special for your employees.

Stay Virtual

The ability to provide support and value from coach to client through technology has been one of the greatest creative innovations to equip owners, operators and employees to transition from survival to success during COVID-19. The play of virtual training can continue to be a service that is systemized within your operating procedures to create consistency for clients, added value and a unique layer to your programs.

Promote Cleaning and Sanitizing

Customer sentiment is of the utmost importance, and showcasing efforts to abide by cleaning and sanitizing protocols will build confidence in your current membership base and dissolve potential concerns from prospective members. Be unique in displaying how you are abiding by the conditions put in place to operate and exceed expectations.

Give Thanks

As stated in the beginning, take a moment to look back at what has been endured along with what you currently have. Take time to express your appreciation for your members, whether it’s through social media, individually as each person walks in, through email, or all the above. Feel gratitude for the struggles that have been overcome, the help you have received, the impacts you have made, and the ability to breathe in this moment.

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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