It is challenging in the best of times for people to get themselves to the gym. Even with the best of intentions, life often gets in the way. If members have more “off” days than “on” days, this will eventually show up in your club’s bottom line. All of which means you need to help ensure they get to your fitness facility on a regular basis.
Here are some simple solutions to boost your member usage—and your club’s profitability:
1. Interact with your members. Interaction with members is key to retaining members and seeing a boost in your club’s profitability. The biggest attraction of Facebook and Twitter is the constant interaction between friends or businesses and their consumers. We are in the age of interaction and information. People are bursting to communicate, be heard and to learn. You can use Facebook for this or create a series of emails to stay in regular contact with members, feeding them valuable information from which they can benefit.
This tip sounds simple, but it is so often overlooked by many club owners. Regular (ideally weekly) communication with your members will place you firmly in the mind of your members and help boost loyalty to your club, ensuring an increase in profits long-term.
Action steps: Set up a Facebook page if you haven’t already done so. Don’t think you need a fancy, professionally designed Facebook page. Start small and build from there. Load your club’s logo onto the page, and then post at least one informational tidbit daily that will appeal to your members. Put your Facebook page link on all your promotional pieces to help boost your “like” numbers. When members comment on your posts, take the opportunity to interact with them. Use the new “question” tool on Facebook to ask your fans certain questions, perhaps related to what you sell, or get their feedback on what they desire. Create a weekly email series to go out to all members. Educate them about all areas of health and well-being, encouraging them to keep coming back to your facility. Drive them to your Facebook page to then discuss what you shared.
2. Up-sell through education. All the information people need is literally at their fingertips. This is the information age where consumers are hungry for information. Social media feed into people’s desire to have more and more information. Your club can benefit from knowing this.
Action steps: Use Facebook and Twitter to educate your members about certain products or services that you offer. Don’t just say, “Hey, buy this great protein shake.” Instead, educate them about why they should buy that protein shake. Mention on your Facebook page the key elements of the shake that makes it unique, why they will benefit and also how other people have benefited. Use your weekly correspondence with your members to tell them about these new products and services and really drive home how that product/service will benefit them. People hate being sold to, but they love to buy. Help your members buy additional products and services by educating them into buying.
3. Hold members accountable. Creating new habits is a tough task. People need a bit of help in getting themselves to the gym each week. By helping your members stay accountable to their own individual goals and boosting their reasons for coming to your fitness facility, you will see a boost in retention and your club’s profitability.
Action steps: Have all new members work with a gym instructor to establish their goals. Make sure the goals have emotional components to them and are not just the usual “I want to lose weight.” Some gyms have seen a boost in club profitability by regularly phoning members who have not attended the club in more than one week. Staying on top of your members, either via phone or email, is a great way to support them, keep them accountable and push them to attend your gym more regularly. Once they establish a regular routine of attending your club, you can use tip one and two to help boost profits for your club overall.
Nalisha Patel is an industry consultant helping clubs increase member retention and boost gym results for members. She has a bachelor of science degree in exercise science and psychology and uses psychology and persuasion to decrease membership attrition and boost actual results attained by members, resulting in substantial profit increases for clubs. Patel can be reached at [email protected]. She has written a free white paper, “Seven Wickedly Effective Ways to Get and Keep Members.”