Vital Parts of Your Gym’s Branding

The way you brand your gym is one of the most crucial parts of being a gym owner. Without good branding, your gym might be forgotten in the noise, lose members’ trust, or be associated with poor quality.

Luckily, this can be averted by taking a look at different important aspects of the branding process. These are vital parts of your gym’s branding you should nail from the start.

1. Determine Your Target Group

Before you can actually start branding your gym, you need to know which group of people you’re going to focus on. Do you aim for a general crowd, or is are your members especially for experienced weightlifters?

Don’t underestimate this step, the target group(s) you pick will have influence on pretty much every step you take in the branding process. After having selected your target group(s) you have to adapt to them, otherwise people might not be joining your gym. Due to the changing nature of the fitness industry you should consider the unique ways you can target this audience at home. If another lockdown were to take place, what would this audience be doing? How would they best be reached?

Selecting your target group(s) might only be the beginning, but as the saying goes: a good start is half the battle.

2. Create a Visual Identity

After you have determined your target group it’s time to really start thinking about your brand. One of the first challenges you’re going to have, is deciding about the visual identity of your brand, since it has a huge impact on members’ first impressions and perceptions.

Think about the colors you want to use, your logo, but also textual elements such as a catchy slogan that fits your business. Try to make your visuals stand out in the crowd. This can be tricky with the vast amount of already existing fitness businesses.

Keep in mind that the goal for your visual identity is to have a place in people’s brains. Just hearing your slogan should be a cue for people to immediately think of your gym. If you succeed in doing that, you truly have a strong brand.

3. Correlating Your Brand Values with Your Members’ Values

As a gym owner you must have a vision, about the future of your gym, about your personal development and more importantly about the values you want to carry out with your gym. Your brand values define the kind of gym you have.

Do you want to inspire people to live healthy and stay fit or focus more on building their strength? Again, the brand values you have also depend on the target group you concentrate on.

But on the other hand, you started in this business because you have a passion, because you want to teach people about your values. Don’t forget that. It’s what keeps you going every single day.

To create the optimal situation, you need align your own values with your members’ values. Find a middle way in which both parties’ values are represented in your gym, so you and your members will be happy.

4. Be a Storyteller

One way of branding your gym is to tell stories. I’m not talking about your standard business story. Nobody enjoys reading a story about how good your business is. That’s why you have to tell enticing stories.

Gather some statistics and build a story around it or ask your members what they would like to read more. Develop your own voice by telling different kind of stories. You can also involve your members.

Maybe they have experienced something really cool in our gym, you could make a story of.  The emotions and feelings that your stories contain will help you build your brand’s personality. Next to that, good stories are likely to be remembered by your audience, thereby increasing brand awareness.

5. A Good First Impression

Your brand’s personality and your brand’s values are part of the core of your business. But for your prospective members to really find out about those, they have to dig a little deeper than just a quick look at the homepage.

That’s why it’s also important to make a good first impression. One experiment has shown that people form their opinion in the first few seconds of seeing something. Even after they have had the chance to take a longer look, most of the respondents in the experiment didn’t change their opinion.

So make sure that, for example, the first few clicks on your website are captivating. Not only someone’s online first impression of your gym should be good. When a prospect physically visits your gym, they should also be given a warm welcome. Have staff members greet everybody and have them explain more about your gym and your services. It will increase the chances of wheeling in new members.

6. Brand Perception

Once you have given shape to your brand, it is important to monitor your progress. Is the message you’re trying to send with your brand, actually coming through?

Is your brand perceived, by the audience, in the way you want them to? You can investigate this by analyzing conversations about your brand on social media. This will help you understand which aspects contribute on the perception of your brand.

7. Staff

Another key component of maintaining a strong brand is a well-trained staff. They have a big influence on the way your values are communicated. It’s crucial that you instruct them on your gym’s culture, your values and the way they deal with members. They should also be trained on how to interact with members online as we move towards an increasingly more hybrid way of working out.

As I already mentioned, your staff has a big influence on the first impression of possible new members. Seeing a friendly face is a lot more inviting than someone who is staring at their phone not paying attention to anyone. Your staff could also contribute to word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage them to spread the word to their friends and family. Brand awareness can get a serious boost if you have a committed staff.

8. Consistency

Every aspect of your gym’s branding I have mentioned above will fail if you are not consistent. Let’s take the use of your visuals, for example. Everywhere you come you should use the same colors, logo and symbols. Showing up with different things every time will cause confusion. The same goes for your brand values, always make sure you present the same, clear, message to your audience.

Otherwise your members will not know what your gym stands for and your branding efforts will not succeed. Something that helps you to be consistent is fitness software. For example, fitness software can provide your business with a custom branded app, including your own colors and logo. This will help you communicate a consistent brand experience.

Conclusion: Keep Optimizing!

Making your brand a success is a process that never ends. You always have to keep evaluating if the way you brand your gym has the desired results. Monitor how current members think about your gym, follow trends you can adapt your brand to and always keep making sure the message you want to send comes across.

Consistency is another key thing you need to have to maintain your brand. Whether you have to keep an eye on your staff, adjust brand values or pick a new logo, be consistent in everything. Then you have a chance to build a powerful brand.

How to Generate More Leads for your Personal Training Business

You’re just a few strategies away from generating more personal training clients than ever before.

We’re about to show you how to generate fresh leads, convert them into paying customers and optimize your whole fitness business today.

Social Media

  • Facebook and Instagram are some of the most powerful tools in your kit when it comes to attracting new leads. Why? It’s where most of your potential members like to hang out. So, you need to be where they are! Start by identifying which platforms your members are most likely to use regularly – these might be Facebook or Instagram, or another platform entirely.

The idea behind social media is to build brand awareness and engage your audience with content they actually want to see (read: don’t try and sell to them all the time). Once you’ve built a good following, you can start to trickle a few promotional and sales focussed posts into their feeds, as well as running Facebook or Instagram ads.

Video Content

  • Youtube is used by many for online coaching. You can sell your services and add some tips and tricks. It’s a large market and an even larger audience. If you create some really high-quality content, you even have the possibility to get some extra income. However, the time it takes to create and edit the videos will be quite consuming. So, only consider this if you have the resources.

 

  • Podcasts are the perfect media for your on-the-go clients as they can listen while they work out, when they drive to work, or when they’re cooking dinner. They can be created very easily and it’s great for brand awareness.

Written Content

  • With over 3.9 billion accounts, you can build a huge audience with e-mails! You can inform clients about up and coming competitions, your referral system, training plans, schedules, free health tips, and so on. Start by collecting addresses in person and then with an email signup form on your website. Make sure to keep emails consistent with the tone of voice, frequency and the template used. Include social media buttons at the footer of the email, and a call to action (CTA).

7 ways to promote livestream classes and workout videos online

So you’ve taken the initiative to move your fitness business online. Maybe you’re starting to livestream workout classes via your app or perhaps you’re giving instruction videos from your social media accounts. In this essential article, we’ll explore how to promote these new aspects of your business on social media and answer questions like, “How do I advertise my fitness class?

Whatever method you’re using to create and distribute your online offering, the main thing is that you’re reaching the right people. You could have a workout video that would give Jane Fonda a run for her legwarmers, but if nobody sees it then it will fail to help you and your business grow.

So, how do I advertise my online fitness class?

When used well, online workouts can help engage your clients and members, increase the capacity of your classes and they can help grow your audience. The beauty of posting livestream classes and workout videos online is that they can reach people from just about anywhere – be that five minutes from your studio, or five hundred miles from it. Read our 7 tips to promote your business on social media:

1. Reach out to your current contact base

Start at home. That means reaching out to all of your current members and clients and explaining exactly what you can offer them while they have to work out from home. For most, this would mean sending out emails to your contact list, advertising your new offering. These emails could include things like class schedules and a summary of your new virtual classes.

If you’re a smaller business it may also mean sending out very personalised messages via Whatsapp. You can also use a community feature built into your own personalised branded app (read more here) – this is a great way to encourage people participating in your workouts to share their thoughts and progress.

2. Use your class booking schedule to provide a link for members

By putting livestream classes or workout video links into your regular booking schedule (in your app and on your website), you’ll provide easy access for anyone that would like to give them a go. Update your pre-pandemic schedule to include all of your new online offerings.

Learn more about the integration with Zoom, YouTube and your Virtuagym App

How to do online fitness classes
Jacob Lund || Shutterstock

3. Create (or repurpose) content around it

People are looking for information right now. They want to know how to stay fit at home and how to back-up the livestream classes they are taking with nutritional guidance and fitness advice.

If you have a blog or social media pages, now is the time to get creative. Create videos in which you share your daily routine or best nutrition advice during lockdown and then be sure to promote your online offering when you do.

4. Promote your online offering on social media

Of course, this had to make the list! Every personal trainer and their grandma know that if you want to effectively advertise your fitness classes, you have to have a strong online presence. That means, creating and developing an account on sites such as Instagram or Facebook.

These virtual spaces can not only be used to upload and distribute workout videos but they can also be used to promote them. This promotion could come in the form of graphics that trailer the videos or Instagram stories that direct people to a link at the right time of day. Think creatively with how you can use social media to appeal to your unique audience.

5. Try running a fitness challenge

Social media sites can also be used to run fitness challenges online. Are you a yoga instructor running a live streaming headstand course? Encourage your followers to send before and after pictures. Share these online to encourage more and more class participation.

You could also run a fitness challenge via your app itself. Apps like Virtuagym have a community feature that can be used to track progress and run challenges. You can award members virtual awards and keep them motivated and engaged by growing a sense of competitiveness with other class participants.

6. Offer rewards

Try offering rewards for a certain amount of class completions. This doesn’t have to be expensive and could come in the form of 1-1 sessions or additional nutritional or fitness advice. Try considering the ways you could create some additional incentive to keep members coming back to your online classes.

You could also encourage current members to advertise your live streaming classes and online workout videos to their contacts too. A referral programme is a great way to keep current members engaged AND attract new customers.

7. Ensure your business is visible online

Finally, you should make sure that your fitness business is easy to find on Google or other search engines. Now that your classes are all virtual, it’s more important than ever to be seen this way. After all, you wouldn’t open up a studio in the middle of a field with no flyers pointing in your direction.

Try developing your website and optimize it (as well as your social media pages) for Google. That means integrating the search terms that you think prospective class members will be looking for and ensuring that everything is complete (including all contact details) and makes sense.

SEO can be a little complicated, so invest some time into understanding the processes. You can use this time in lockdown to develop your digital marketing skills too.

Surviving 2020 – How to Build a Highly Adaptable and Highly Resilient Fitness Business

What’s in this guide?

Coping with COVID-19 has been hard on everyone. But it has also been an opportunity to explore how to digitally transform your business and engage with your clients combining technologies with an online coach.

While during isolation and social distancing fitness app downloads hit record highs, every studio, gym and personal trainer had to think on how to invest in a proper online coaching offering that would help survive the coronavirus outbreak and be future-proof.

This eBook explores how businesses can use this time to adapt their business strategy not just to survive a recession, but to grow the business with happy and engaged clients.

7 Instagram hacks to boost your fitness account

Nowadays there are loads of ways to promote and market your business – free of charge! This is especially true for those operating in the fitness industry, which has been on a rapid incline for the past decade. Apps such as Instagram have transformed businesses for the better. Ever-increasing competition in the business world means it is necessary for companies and brands to connect to their audiences in the most effective way.

Currently, Instagram is one of the best social media for gym or fitness studio owners to market their brand. And while we’re all living in this current state of isolation, utilizing social media for marketing (and to deliver workouts to members that are unable to access your facility because of the coronavirus) just became more important than ever.

How to make your Instagram profile look cool

Even before the current crisis, Instagram attracted more users than any other social media website, with numbers reaching over 150 million. As a fitness studio owner, you have probably invested a great deal into your gym’s Instagram. Build on that by following the advice below and you will generate exponential growth for your fitness business. If you want to know how to become Instagram famous, have a look at these 7 tips for all gym owners that want to develop a successful Instagram strategy.

How to make a good Instagram profile
Bolyuk Rostyslav || Shutterstock

1. Open a business profile

In 2016, Instagram introduced a new feature: the business profile. This gives you access to further tools and features such as Instagram insights, contact information, Instagram adverts and more. These features bring in many benefits for your business, free of charge. Instagram insights will give your fitness business all the essential data regarding your account and how your posts perform.

This allows users to see which content works best; it also offers a clearer picture of what content is most successful, so that you can continue to post content that works. It also includes a contact button, usually through email or direct message which is convenient for new followers that might want to join your gym community or have questions about it. An indispensable element of having a business account is the contact button which allows users to contact you more easily.

2. Make sure your profile looks professional

Fill out all the areas on your gym’s Instagram account. Ensure that the picture you use is professional, that you have a catchy bio and a link to your website for any curious followers. Your bio should be clear and give prospective followers a clear idea of what your business is all about. Why should they follow you?

Perhaps you could give them some idea of what they can expect if they do. Remember that making your page look professional doesn’t mean it has to be dry. If possible, try to incorporate some humor – don’t be scared to throw in a funny emoji or a play on words. In order to make sure your picture is professional-looking, make sure that it is high-quality and accurately represents your brand. You could use a company logo here or a headshot of the face of your brand.

Although your profile should look professional, don’t spend too much time worrying about perfecting everything. Especially in the current climate, creating useful content that people can use while working out from home is more important than creating extremely aesthetically pleasing posts and videos.

3. Aim for the best quality pictures and videos

High-quality images are the recurring theme among all well-performing Instagram feeds. So ditch the grainy selfies and the blurry mirror pictures and invest in a great camera or smartphone.

Editing your posts using apps like VSCO and SnapSeed automatically gives them a “bling”. Nowadays, many brands adopt themes for their Instagram feeds which attract many different types of audiences, and this is why it is important that you learn how to create a consistent Instagram feed. Invest time into editing your posts so that anyone who lands on your profile is automatically “wow-ed”.

4. Create home workout videos and other useful content

But making sure a post is “Instagram-worthy” doesn’t have to mean that it’s as visually appealing as a curated art feed. The key thing is to ask yourself what value your content brings to your followers. Sometimes the value will lie in visual appeal but ultimately, the best posts are those that inform and entertain.

If you’re a fitness professional, it makes more sense for you to focus on the informative element of your feed – in particular, right now, during the current coronavirus crisis. As more and more people turn to digital workouts and learning how to #StayHealthyStayHome, it is the perfect time to expand your digital offering both via live streaming services and a personalised app AND by using Instagram stories and posting videos and informative graphics or photos to your Instagram gallery.

Some ideas of informative Instagram content that isn’t necessarily picture-perfect might include:

  • Nutritional advice videos
  • Nutritional graphics – e.g comparing foods/ top tips for eating healthy in isolation
  • Instagram live classes
  • Instructional videos – they could instruct viewers how to do the right form in a given exercise, or teach viewers a routine

For an example of an Instagrammer who is doing this well right now, check out yoga instructor, Frankie Ezelis. To engage her audience during quaratine she is running weekly Instagram live videos and encouraging her followers to share their progress photos.

Hacks for using Instagram as a fitness professional

5. Create a content calendar

To maximize reach and to guarantee variety, create a content calendar where you schedule the different types of posts you want to share. Some popular examples include:

  • Monday: Motivational Quote with the hashtag #mondaymotivation. This can be a quote or even a client story. Remember to align these motivations with your target audiences’ fears or obstacles. Inspire them to follow you.
  • Tuesday: The fitness industry loves #transformationtuesday and gives you an ideal day to post a customer before and after photo. You could also opt for Tips and Tricks on Tuesdays and offer your clients a good drill, or just a little hack!
  • Friday: #FridayFitness – now is the time to share all of your workout related posts in order to get the attention of the online fitness community that are ready to workout with you at home.

6. Share success stories

Even if you are posting “#transformationtuesday”‘s already, everyone loves an inspiring and motivational solo success story. Share your client’s journey using before and after pictures with their permission, of course. This will encourage aspiring people to begin achieving their own goals and engage in your fitness business. This acts as social proof of the popularity of your business and has been proven to encourage more engagement.

7. Engagement is everything

Write humorous and talkative captions on your Instagram posts that encourage people to comment and help you engaging with your audience. Ask questions or your follower’s opinions on certain things such as diets, workouts, and how they are finding the switch to working out at home.

Instagram’s algorithms are moving away from number counts such as followers and likes. That means engaging with your audience is much more important than simply encouraging them to double-tap.

 

Business Strategies – How to deal with the Corona outbreak

What’s in this guide?

Due to COVID-19 we’re left asking what the future holds for our industry and how clubs, gyms and studios, that rely heavily on physical attendance, can weather the storm.

This paper explores the current fitness landscape brought on by COVID-19 and will highlight how businesses can use this time to adapt their business strategy. This includes, how to best serve customers in new ways via digital training solutions, innovative content and much more.

How to successfully start your first yoga retreat center

Yoga is soaring with popularity right now – which means it’s a great time to invest in developing the yoga retreat center you’ve always dreamt of opening. That’s not to say it will be as easy as a post-Vinyasa child’s pose. There are a lot of retreat organisers and specialist travel companies competing to attract your target clientele.

This means if you want to build a yoga retreat that is successful and results in a return of interest that is high enough to make all of your hard work worth it, there are a few things you should be sure to consider:

  • Develop a business mindset
  • Offer value and more than what clients expect
  • Use social media to your advantage
  • Prepare to work hard
  • Maintain excellent communication skills
  • Estimate funds
  • Invest in the ambience and decor of the center

Develop a business mindset

Even though this seems like an obvious concern for anybody wishing to start a business, it’s important to consider the business side of your yoga retreat endeavour. Any Yoga instructor planning to open their yoga retreat center must have business and accounting skills or even just know the basic rules. Do some research or bring on board partners that have a sound business mind. Hiring people with the same values and dedication as you is also necessary if you want to successfully start your own yoga retreat center.

Do your homework and research while building a business-minded team

Many well-seasoned Yogis advise aspiring yoga instructors to take their time in choosing the right support team. Many people don’t get what they expect and this could lead you to lose out in the long-run. It’s important to do your homework and research while building a business-minded team and make decisions over time – much like a yin yoga class, it’s best when taken slowly.

Offer value, dedication and more than what clients expect

When you open a yoga retreat center, it is useful to know the language of the people you need to interact with, and this will help with more fluent instruction delivery. Especially in the Yoga industry, students often have a deeper connection with their instructors. That means that value and dedication are required from the Yoga instructor. Your future retreat center should have a friendly, warm and welcoming vibe to it – and this begins with the staff.

Fostering a positive atmosphere will help the Yogis or yoga students to feel at home and well-cared for. Yoga instructors should make sure they have everything on the menu that their clients enjoy eating. Encouraging Yogis to eat healthier and organic foods should also be done, but they shouldn’t feel like they’re being pushed into it. Overall, a very relaxed, calm, and soothing vibe should be sought after. Staff and organisers should embrace this to make sure the student’s experiences are memorable.

yoga eagle pose woman forest retreat center

Use social media to your advantage

A yoga retreat center has the potential to be economically rewarding if you use certain tactics to gain maximum business benefits. Social media plays a huge part in any successful yoga retreat. It all comes down to this question: why do people go on yoga retreats?

Some reasons may include:

  • For a change of scenery
  • To embrace a healthy lifestyle
  • To be surrounded by nature
  • To escape their busy lives
  • Simply because they LOVE yoga

So how does social media come into this? First, make sure you don’t miss out on any of the best practices to build a website. Since our world is dominated by the internet, Yoga instructors should take advantage of conducting free marketing on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Facebook also allows people to review and rate their experience which builds a good reputation for any business, so make sure your yoga retreat center has a Facebook and Instagram link as well. It’s also a great way to connect with potential Yoga students and inspire them to begin practising Yoga. Having maximum social media coverage will definitely provide a successful kick-start to your yoga retreat center.

Although breaks, weekends and holidays exist, you must be prepared to accept the fact that most of the “off days” will be spent preparing, bettering and improving your Yoga retreat center

Prepare to work hard

Owning and starting your own Yoga Retreat Center is certainly different than just working for one. When working for an organization, Yoga instructors have the luxury of taking a few days off and some time to themselves. However, you may not have this luxury when it comes to running your own retreat business. You could be on your feet for more than 18 hours a day, and dealing with people with varied mindsets. Although breaks, weekends and holidays exist, you must be prepared to accept the fact that most of the “off days” will be spent preparing, bettering and improving your Yoga retreat center.

As a Yoga instructor aspiring to open a yoga retreat center, you should expect busy schedules, long-drawn out and hectic days and long periods where you’ve felt like you haven’t taken a break in forever.

Three women doing yoga gymnastics

Maintain excellent communication skills

If you’re planning to open your very own retreat center, you must know already that your communication skills should be at their best. Be prepared to construct brochures, cold-call emails, ads, and even personal meetings with interested clients. It’s also important maintain a positive attitude, no matter the personality of your client – so where possible, always remain calm, pleasant and upbeat.

Emotional bonding with clients will make them come for more, attend retreats and look up to you as a teacher and a guide.

While the retreat is taking place, people may face difficulties in their personal lives. As yoga acts as a release for many suffering with mental health problems, you should ensure that you are sensitive to these issues. Try to take an empathetic approach to relate to their issues. Emotional bonding with clients will make them come for more, attend retreats and look up to you as a teacher and a guide. But always refer clients to a professional if you think the need arises.

Women yoga classes meditate

Estimate funds and your budget for the center

While it may seem like an obvious piece of advice, any Yoga instructor wanting to begin their own retreat center must consider the monetary aspects of the trip. Laying the foundation of your dream venture costs you money and not having adequate financial flow is a major reason for small businesses failing at a premature stage. Some things to analyse are permits, rent or hire costs for the location, general facilities like electricity and water, insurance, legal support, financial/human resources, permits and security.

Once the adequate investment is done, all Yoga instructors can do is wait for their sales to boost up and reward them.

Invest in the ambiance and decor of your center

Any yoga instructor knows this is very important and essential to a successful yoga studio or a retreat center. Although it is natural to be excited for the very first Yoga retreat venture of your life, you should remember not to get carried away with the decor. That covers things like the the wall paintings, the decorations and the furniture. That’s not to say you shouldn’t put a little effort in. These elements all lay the foundation for the ambiance which should be subtle but comforting. Your attendees are searching for a sense of tranquillity and time-out from their regular lives. This means you should try to make sure that every part of the retreat center hints at calm and serenity. Aromas can be useful in achieving this.

Another way to achieve the perfect ambience could be to host classes outside in nature. You could run a class in a field, forest or even on a beach.

Beach yoga woman sunset

Last, but not least, is investing time to work on yourself. After all, you will have a determining influence on the ambience of your retreat. Adopt a ‘you-centred’ approach and do not behave in a way that people would expect you to or superficially. Try to be open and don’t try to put on too much of a show for your audience. Authenticity is always best, so be true to your style of teaching and provide honesty and clear communication and no doubt you’ll have a waiting list of attendees.

The 2020 Gym checklist – are you ready for the first quarter?

It’s the first month of a new year and in order to prepare for the first quarter, there are a few things you should consider in order to make 2020 a year of huge growth for your business.

One of the biggest January cliches is that gaining and attracting new clients is the most important thing you can do this season.  Yes, getting more people through the door will lead to more sales. But don’t overlook the importance of engaging with your current customers and making sure they stay with you even as the new-year-new-me January crew pour in. And of course, you also want to make sure that your brand new customers like your gym enough to stick around.

This checklist will help you find new ways to engage with your customers and give them an experience that will make them glow as though they’ve just exited a 7 am spin class. Get yourself ready for new years with the latest update of our gym software.

1. How to attract new customers

Okay, so let’s deal with this biggie first. Attracting new customers is the best way to scale up your business. Luckily for you (and thanks to new year’s resolutions), every Instagram influencer and his uncle will be hitting the gym extra hard at the start of this quarter. This is the perfect opportunity to bring in new leads and score yourself some year-long memberships. Now is your prime time to get those customers in!

Step one in attracting new clients is to implement an effective social media strategy.

This could be as simple as regular posting and could be as advanced as paid advertisements. Around 45% of the world’s population use social media, with an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes spent per day on social networking platforms. Use incentives such as discounts, giveaways or a referral system to make your advertisements stand out. For more information on how to improve your social media marketing strategy, click here.

Here’s a great example of a fitness brand that is getting it right when it comes to online advertisements. Ashley Galvin has built her brand as a yoga instructor that runs online fitness classes. She perfectly exemplifies how social media can be used to target an audience and drive them to subscribe to classes.

Ashley yoga advertisements on Instagram collage

These images feature a video advertisement created by Ashley and shared on Instagram. The short video shows a combination of yoga poses and then cuts to bold white lettering that tells viewers they can achieve goals such as to ‘tone and define’ their whole body. It also invites the viewer to watch a longer video to get more information.

This ad is shown to a target audience as they scroll down their Instagram newsfeed. While a video may require more budget to produce, this method can also be used by creating attractive graphics for your target customer profiles to view instead.

Remember that creating a call-to-action is key

You should make it easy for social media users to sign up to classes or for membership directly after seeing the ad. When viewers click on Ashley’s page, they see that her bio also includes a call-to-action. She provides a link to her website, details her latest class launch and the paid ad also means that a link to watch more on the website is also provided at the bottom of the page. It’s easy to focus on lead generation. But remember that the flow of potential customers quickly increases management and conversion costs.

This is where Lead Management comes in. This will help you figure out how to communicate and who to communicate with. It will determine your messages and when you send them. Understanding leads and effectively managing them is a great way to increase profits and drive more sales.

The moment a person subscribes to a membership they should receive an email of confirmation with information on your gym and how it works there. Leave a week before sending a secondary email so that you don’t inundate them with marketing.

In this second email, you should redirect them to another point of sale. That could be premium membership, classes or a point of sale online such as a webshop. Include a call-to-action button and links in your email so everything is easier for them.

Use a lead management tool to keep track of your actual and future members so you can focus on marketing and sales. You’ll have the data of all of your leads in one place. You can also easily interact with them via automated emails and messages – saving you a ton of time in the process. And we know your time is worth GOLD in January.

2. Engage the customers

Once the new customers have arrived, you have to offer the best service possible so they stay in your gym and don’t go running off to your competitors.

You can have the best marketing strategy possible but if the service you offer doesn’t live up to the hype, you’re going to lose your clients faster than you can say ‘power snatch’. For starters, having the right and most qualified teachers for the job is essential. You could also try offering advanced personal training. If you pair this with tracking to encourage motivation, it could place your gym above the rest.

Engaging customers is all about motivating them to keep going to the gym and the best way to do this is to allow them to keep track of their evolution and see the results for themselves. For this, you need a complete app that can offer full tracking of what you are doing at the gym but also exercise plans that you can customize. This means your teachers can focus on motivating clients, while they are equipped with the best tools to drive results (and keep people coming back for more).

3. Create a smooth client experience

Creating a seamless client experience is paramount to keeping clients motivation up. This will keep them coming back to your gym and they will act as social proof, telling their friends and family about their positive experiences.

You need to give the best tools to work out so your gym becomes a second home to them. You have to make it as easy as possible for them, which will end up making it all easier for you too.

That means implementing great equipment inside the gym – but also great equipment outside the gym. That’s where software comes in.

Utilize up-to-date software tools like a QR code check-in. This means that gym-goers don’t need a card to check themselves in (which means no forgetting cards), making the experience simpler for both customers and staff.

This is just one great example of how you could improve your customer experience. Another way is by implementing a system of credits to book classes. These credits can be bought on the app to have a clear system of payments, for both the client and for you.

The system of credits is compatible with an online schedule, which allows clients to book classes directly and have it marked on a calendar.

Small adjustments like this will make you stand out in your local market. Creating an easy, enjoyable experience will drive customers to your gym or studio. Show them what unique features you can offer will encourage them to stick with you, rather than head for the other gym at the end of the street. Implementing your customer experience vision in your business development plan is one of the most efficient ways to retain clients.

4. Create customer loyalty

Bringing in new customers is great – but studies have shown that retaining customers instead of acquiring new ones is actually 6 times cheaper. That means that working on building customer loyalty and keeping the customers you already have is the most effective way to build a business.

This is because there is more probability that an existing customer will generate a sale and so they also have a better conversion rate.

Although that doesn’t mean giving up on attracting new customers altogether. It just means dedicating more of your resources to retaining the loyal gym-lovers that you already have.

To improve brand loyalty, you should also try to build a community within your gym and outside of it. This can be done by making sure that engagement doesn’t end when your client exits the building. Encourage your customers to talk and share things between them but also with you.

Group class inside a gym - Virtuagym

This can be done using software such as an online community feature, which helps build a stronger relationship with your clients, keeps them motivated and engaged with your club 24/7, and increases retention as a side-effect.

Ways to interact with customers include mass communication, targeted communication (e.g. only members interested in specific classes), or one-on-one messaging. This is all accessible via your web portal or mobile app, so you can engage with your clients anywhere.

We believe that you never leave a gym that is filled with people you care about.

Conclusion

So while gaining new clients might be at the top of your priority list this for the new year. Remember not to lose sight of what the whole picture.
Giving your current clients a winning service and building a real sense of community within your gym (and outside of it) are sure-fire ways to foster a business that will see exponential growth in 2020. Making sure that the customer journey is seamless from the start will ensure that your customers stay with you much longer – so that money spent on a Facebook ad won’t be going to waste. Check our all-in-one software that could help you to tick all the boxes and get your free demo today.

5 ways to target new fitness studio members outside of your local area

Here in the Virtuagym sales team, we speak to hundreds of studio owners every day. Whether they are existing customers or prospective customers, we do our best to not only understand the biggest challenges in the industry but also try to help them overcome these challenges.

Interestingly, 60% of all studio owners cite marketing as their biggest challenge. And when it’s not topping the list of setbacks, it’s still coming in close behind as the other 40% cite marketing as their second or third biggest challenge. Basically, everyone is encountering challenges when attempting to market to prospective members.

Marketing is a tricky business and is essential in order to bring in more members, retain those you already have – and ultimately grow your business.

If you are an established business, you’ve been around for a few years and have invested a few thousand dollars in marketing then the second of the above is probably your bigger issue. The chances are you’re either losing these prospective customers because:

  • You’re too expensive and they can’t justify the price point
  • Your fitness studio sits outside of 4-mile radius and other competitors are more appealing
  • You’re losing to competition

Pins on a map aerial view 4 mile radius

So how can you be more appealing to these customers?

Expand your product offerings

If your facility is offering small group training, PT, classes and/or open training days, congratulations you’re offering the same services as your competition.

One trend we’ve helped our customers capitalize on and get ahead of the competition on is to implement online or hybrid training. This allows you to counter two of the setbacks detailed above and helps our customers to break the 4-mile radius and offer a more flexible service, at a lower price point.

Here is how some of our customers have done it:

features virtuagym

With the help of some of our most successful studios, we created an overview of some in-depth and proven online business models that have allowed studios to break through the 4-mile radius and also appeal to customers who are more price-sensitive while increasing their profitability.

Build your brand

Building up a distinctive brand image and voice is essential in marketing yourself in a way that encourages clients to travel the distance to your fitness studio.

Users typically travel around 5 and a half miles for high-end fitness centers such as Equinox and Soul Cycle. Marketing your club in a way that makes it unique, memorable and stands out from the other studios out there is an effective way to encourage members to travel.

When growing brand awareness you should consider exactly who your audience is and the best ways to target them

Some important things to think about are:

  • Developing a branded tone of voice
  • Creating a website and strong social media presence
  • Supporting this with additional technology such as an app
  • Consider content marketing

Create a community

People travel past the four-mile radius to visit friends, go to work or clubs that they care about. If you effectively create and engage a community of people that care about one another, you’ll have far more success in encouraging them to sign up for your studio.

resistance bands woman gym class working out

The best ways to develop a sense of community are to:

  • Put on events such as competitions and encourage participation
  • Post about members and their achievements on your website and social media
  • Use a community-based software system such as Virtuagym
  • Put on interactive classes and actively engage with all members – encourage them to partner up
  • Feature a studio member every month/week – create a member-of-the-month and make your clients feel special, highlight their achievements and goal realization

Check out the competition

If you’re losing customers both current and prospective to the competition in your local area or even just outside of it, it’s time to figure out why.

Conduct your own market research and approach the studio as though you were planning on joining. Get to know their onboarding process, equipment, style and class schedules. Figure out what it is about their company that draws in new clients.

Try and think from the perspective of clients and prospective clients.

You should also assess their shortcomings. What do you want from a studio that the competitors cannot offer?

Perhaps the heavy machinery and dark furnishings are intimidating to newcomers and older people that may prefer resistance training. Or perhaps the class schedule doesn’t cater to a particular group. Figure out what your competitors are missing and you will be able to develop a unique position for your fitness studio in the local market.

man on rowing machine gym

Reevaluate your price point

After conducting your market research you will have a good idea of what other studios in your area are charging for membership. If you feel that your prices are scaring people away, then it may be time to reconsider.

On the other hand, a higher price point paired with great facilities could position you as an elite training space and pull in more revenue in the long run. Take some time to research the best approach for you and your brand. Remember that a business is always evolving.

payment system someone buying with card debit

Conclusion

Ultimately, your brand is more than capable of breaking through the 4-mile radius and appealing to customers who are more price-sensitive while increasing their profitability.

Don’t just compete in your 4-mile radius, go out and break through it! For an example of a studio that has smashed their business growth, check out The Motion Room’s story.

7 important practices to help build a website for your fitness studio

Websites are essentially a portal that bridge the gap between business and client and allows visitors to access your business at any time of the day, whether you’re available or not. Your website is the number one representation of your brand online and should be optimized to land you new clients and provide current clients with all the information they need to better understand what goes on in your gym or studio.

If you already have a gym management software, it may include website managing and allow your clients to purchase memberships, session credits, services and goods through your website.

How to start a website from scratch

But if you’re building your website for the first time there are five major practices to adopt that will make your site an effective addition to your business. They are:

  • Making it visually appealing
  • Keep clients up-to-date
  • Allowing your clients to book appointments
  • Marketing digital products on the website
  • Building a sense of trust through interaction
  • Making your site stand out with tools or apps
  • Ensure your website is informative and convenient

Ultimately, taking these steps will work to build better engagement with your clients. This is the key to retaining your current clientele, attracting customers and keeping them happy.

The best possible option for creating a space of high engagement is to use both a website and an app to optimize your online presence.

fitness studio software management program members virtuagym

Make it visual

Remember that your image online reflects you and your brand. By using old and outdated visuals and graphics, you portray yourself as a brand that is not relevant. Humans are visual creatures with short attention spans (shorter than the average goldfish in fact). So make sure that newcomers landing on your site understand the message of your brand immediately.

Use bright, light templates or sites such as Canva to create impactful graphics that deliver your branded message. They should compliment your social media and any software app that you are using. Try Virtuagym for an app that you can design yourself.

Allow your clients to book appointments

Allowing your clients to book appointments for classes or check schedules online is a huge relief. It will save fitness studio owners a heap load of time as they won’t have to sit by the phone and manage appointments manually or manage things on paper. Fitness and gym owners may also choose to install gym system software that includes tools such as appointment scheduling.

Integrate software into your website that allows your client to make bookings on any device, at any time

Let customers book you according to your availability, instead of arranging your appointments one after another. With appointment scheduling, you can plan your appointments weeks in advance. It will also help to save your clients time too as they’ll have their bookings done in an instant!

Market digital products and more

If you really want to increase activity and create a website that has an impact, you should spend some time marketing your digital products. This is a great tactic for making additional revenue from clients that are new to fitness. These fitness freshers often need to work on their form and technique and what better way to do it than to watch digital guides and instructional videos.

Clients can purchase any goods they need, all from your website!

Other than marketing digital products, fitness business owners can also choose to sell a variety of supplements and extra gear for the gym. Using a gym system software in this scenario would make this much easier.

Gym software allows your website to channel various sources of selling products and services for clients to observe. Not only will your client be able to book and schedule appointments, but they’ll be able to improve their form during workouts and purchase any goods they might require, all from your website!

Blonde woman working out with dumbell

Encourage engagement

To build your fitness website into a stand-out site, fitness and gym business owners definitely require a review module, which makes it easier for the customer to read about others’ experiences with that business. Encourage your existing clients to leave reviews about your business on your website. Or since the fitness topic is very common on social media like Facebook or Instagram, fitness owners can choose to post progress journeys, and real-life statements from actual clients. Let them share their success stories and add before and after pictures to prove your reliability.

Make sure your website allows people to comment on your service so your fitness community can grow

This way, any potential client that lands on your website immediately understands that your gym service is worthwhile and produces results. Make sure your website allows people to comment on your service so your fitness community can grow. Allowing people who visit your website to interact with other people who have opted for the same service allows them an insight into what their experience could be!

And while we’re on the topic of engagement….

Keep clients up-to-date

While you don’t have to undertake an in-depth content strategy to drive traffic to your site, you should make the most of your website by creating a blog page in which you can share all the latest news that relates to your gym or studio.

Entering a Box competition? Share it on the site! Have a client that completed a marathon or is looking for sponsorships? Share it!

Another great way to do this is to combine your site with an app that integrates a community element where users can share progress and comments.

Pair your website with tools and apps

Creating an adjacent app to go along with your fitness website can also improve activity rates. Fitness and gym business owners should invest apps since apps are being taken in the gym more and more often, and are becoming an essential tool in fitness circles.

Use your website to help clients track their fitness and even nutrition

People are constantly looking for items and tools to help track their fitness, improve their technique and form, and add new workouts to their fitness routine and your fitness website’s app can do just that! Many gym system software includes apps for your fitness business as well so implementing such software can also help build a website for your fitness studio.

Ensure your website is informative and convenient

There is nothing more annoying that going to a website and having a bunch of pop-ups and ads be thrown all over your screen. Such a set-up looks cheap and instead of actually reading pop-ups, clients will be tempted to press the “X” in the right corner. Find a happy medium of promoting your services without driving potential customers away. One simple pop-up to promote a current promotion or collect an email address is ok, but that should be it.

You could offer an initial consultation for free and advertise this on your homepage

Make sure your website is informative and does not contain any false or negative information. Many fitness and gym websites include blogs and articles that could catch any potential clients attention and helps them learn new things to incorporate into their healthy lifestyle. The majority of health and fitness businesses also offer a free initial consultation. You should make this a key feature of the site with prominence on the homepage if possible.

If you have the time to dedicate to content creation you could also write blog posts about the latest news in your fitness niche.

gym members software

The above practices are guaranteed to boost engagement and as a result help you to develop stronger client relationships and retain more customers. You’ll also have the added bonus of encouraging new customers to join your club or fitness center.

For an example of a brand that is getting it right when it comes to utilizing the web and apps in order to grow their business, check out The Sweat Equity’s story.