Since early March 2020 Irish fitness businesses have been forced to close their doors for almost 15 months (depending on their venue) due to Covid-19 restrictions. Because most gym, fitness clubs customers stayed home, high rents many fitness businesses have struggled to survive and some never reopened their doors (Hope you’re not in this category).
However, there’s good news as Gyms and Fitness Centers Industry is expected to recover from the economic disturbance. Below I am going to list 10 tips that hopefully will help your fitness business get more customers in and increase your brand trust and authority.
#Tip No1 – Have Strong Online Presence
Did you know that 97% of customers rely on the social media when researching for a product or service in the local area? To accomplish this you need to spread the word out there and be visible on your current or prospect customer social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook).
To keep them engaged you need to post content (text, images, videos,) regularly. You can use your own or curated content. It is also highly important to interact with your customers. Reply to their comments on social media posts, blog posts, and reviews. Show them that they are important to your business. In fact they are every business lifeline.
If you’re just starting up you can avail of the social media advertising benefits. Every social channel now allows you to easily promote your business at relatively low price (compared to Google’s or Bing PPC). Create engaging ads where your customers can see your latest offers and promotions.
#Tip No2 – Go One Step Further
Don’t stick with the basic training, fitness programs. Be flexible in your approach and offer different services. We know that most gym goers opt out for muscle building and weight loss. Offer them other services too, for example, nutritional advice or mental health counseling. I know you may say is not in your duty to offer those services or you’re not skilled to do that.
But you can easily bring once a month, a week a nutritional or mental health counseling expert for a meeting with your gym, fitness club members. That little step shows your customers that you care about them and it build your brand trust and reputation.
You can also print (inexpensive) flyers, brochures with information about services provided and other tips your customers might be interested in.
#Tip No3 – Be Active In The Community
One way of doing that is look for gatherings, events, challenges that takes place in your local area. Once you have identified those try to involve your brand, business into those.
Something like sponsorship (money, products) won’t break your bank but it will have a great impact on the perception of your business in the community. Show them that you’re not only there to charge a fee (for your membership) but to help them too.
This way you’ll increase brand awareness and build trust amongst the community.
#Tip No4 – Offer Online Virtual Classes
This is a great way to keep in touch with customers who travel or can’t come to your gym or fitness club location regularly. All big fitness centers have now free or paid online live or recorded fitness classes.
Social media is huge (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok ) and represent a great opportunity for your brand to increase reach, awareness and grow. Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Team, to name just a few allows you to connect with your customers from virtually anywhere in the world at anytime. The idea is to be flexible and to embrace all new technologies available at your disposal.
Another way to keep engaged with your customers is to build a fitness app. It might be costly but it worth. Statistics shows that millennial (born between 1981-1996) use fitness apps more than other age groups, with women using them twice as much as men.
#Tip No5 – Don’t Exclude Senior Customers
Baby Boomers (born between 1946- 1964) are one of the type of customers you should actively marketing for. I know, you will say that they don’t have the drive, energy as the young generation. But if your fitness business focuses on bringing senior through their doors you got yourself the most loyal customers.
Not to mention that this generation has all the available time and they got stable income to support themselves (don’t rely on family support to pay for membership). They enjoy socializing and they will always refer you to their friends if your business provides them a friendly environment and a great experience. If your business does not prospecting for this market segment you’re missing out.
#Tip No6 Diversify Class Offerings
Recently WHO – World Health Organization reported that more than 26% in men and 35% in women have insufficient levels of physical activities in urban areas.
90% of gym goers’ primary goal is to lose belly fat but not everyone fits this category. Try to be flexible, diversify the type of class offerings.
Adding classes like yoga, indoor cycling, strength conditioning, HIIT, CrossFit, Boxercise, Kangoo Jumps, Pilates not only will get you more customers but it will increase your brand loyalty and authority in the field.
Every customer has different needs. Try to anticipate those needs and offer a service for them.
#Tip No7 – Regularly Create Special Offers
Customers like to feel pampered. Things like first class free, unlimited classes for “X” amount, buy 1membership and get 2nd half price, 1, or any type of incentive provides customers an impulse to step your business door.
Did you know that more than 12% of new gym members join in the month of January?
These types of offers will get your business more customers and then it’s up to your outstanding quality of service to keep them. The more customers steps your door the more chances you have to prosper.
With all the problems, stress people experience on a daily basis and the amount of unhealthy, junk food available in the market, there’s no wonder why fitness has been growing in popularity. In fact it has become a part of a lot of many people’s lifestyle.
This is “good news” from the fitness Industry business point of view. As a gym, fitness club owner or online coach, you need to make sure that your business is visible out there on any social channel (be aware of new channels too).
Diversify your class offerings, run promotions, cater for different segment of population, get involved in the local community and have a strong online presence is essential for business survival.
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