If you’re like me, you recently did a double take at the sight of “back-to-school” sales already blowing up store shelves. There’s just something about seeing those school buses everywhere that brings a collective psychological shift. In a few short weeks, people across the U.S. will hunker down and re-establish their priorities as the busier fall months begin.
For those of us serving in the fitness industry, exciting times are ahead! When it comes to giving people a destination where they can de-stress, shed some excess BBQ-weight, and gain strength and stamina to carry them to the end-of-year finis
h line… we are the it thing!
If the wheels on your Q3 marketing bus are not already in motion, sharpen your pencil and get to work. Here are three areas that may help spark some ideas with specific actions you can take today:
1) Change Your Schedule – Yes, change can be painful for members, but without change, your business will inevitably become stale and predictable. Poke holes in your current schedule—Ask yourself: What classes could you add, remove or evolve to better meet the needs of your members this September? It is time to introduce some new talented instructors? Is there room for a 6-week small-group training program that’s packaged and priced differently than everything else? How about offering a FREE, limited time boot camp class for those who are brand new or simply too intimidated to start an exercise program?
Today: Let the polling begin. Call/email ten of your most loyal members and find out what interests them most. Then, reach out to 10 members whose faces you miss seeing—people who dropped off for whatever the reason--and learn what would be most valuable to them.
2) Be Social (damn it!) – Most small businesses use social media to advertise and promote their brand’s offerings and services. This can become quite the snooze-fest day after day. Like a good party, social media should feel like mingling with people while sipping fancy cocktails and chatting about interesting, inspiring, fun and relevant topics.
Today: Approach your next social media post differently. Instead of thinking: “How should I word this so that will gain the most ‘likes’?”Ask yourself, “How can I be most helpful to people?” or “How can I bring a smile to someone’s face?”
3) Optimize Your Database – Do you have a database full of names, but only 30% are currently active members? What could you do to revitalize the other 70% of your database and get them back into your facility this fall? How could you grow your current active-member database—either by cross-promoting with other complimentary local businesses, creating an exciting referral rewards program or other creative solutions? So often we look outward to build up new memberships, but it takes far more time, energy and financial investment to recruit a new member than retain a member.
Today: Go digging for treasures—aka: people you can help--in your own computer. Listen to their needs, notice any trends and make it your personal goal to reunite with them in class today.