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4 Easy Ways to Create Community With the Hybrid Model

January 5, 2021

We’re living in a strange time when some fitness boutique studios are closed, others are open, and others are a combination of both. Most studios are in a phase where they’re a hybrid model, meaning they have both online and in-person classes. Even if restrictions have been lifted or modified, there are a lot of fitness enthusiasts out there who are choosing to take some classes at home and do others in person. If you’re a hybrid studio that’s offering both, it’s important to keep the sense of community, even if your members are scattered all over the place.

Building community is a win-win scenario. You’ll build a strong relationship with your members and they’ll learn to trust you and others around them. They’ll likely stay with you for a long time, which will benefit their health and your business. A true win-win! Here are some tips to help you build a strong community with your hybrid business model during these crazy times.

Create Virtual Challenges That Everyone Can Participate In

The best way to get people involved in a community is to set tangible goals for people to aim for. That’s why challenges are such a great idea to foster the sense of community and get people involved in something that’s a little bigger than their daily workouts. When you incentivize members to hit a certain number of classes in a month, for example, you’ll see an instant spike in attendance and engagement. Plus, giving all your members something tangible to work towards will make them more motivated and dedicated to their health. 

There are multiple different ways to do a challenge. You can offer a virtual 30-day challenge that encourages members to fit in as many classes as they can. There’s also the option of offering a longer challenge that lasts 2-3 months with group classes, nutrition goals, and community events (virtual events work too!). With a hybrid model, you can accommodate members who are only working out with you online, as well as members who come to in-person classes.

Encourage Engagement on Social Media Platforms

Social media isn’t necessarily the place where you’ll gain the majority of new members and clients, but it’s certainly a place where you can encourage your already existing members to engage with each other and encourage one another to keep up with their workouts. Each social media platform functions a bit differently; when you understand their differences, you can start planning accordingly. 

For Instagram, it helps to create a hashtag for your challenge, event, or types of classes you offer. Set up a giveaway or another similar incentive to encourage people to post stories, photos, and videos using the hashtag. Others will be motivated to join in on the fun. On something like Facebook, you can do livestream Q&As that encourages people to ask questions and offer feedback. YouTube, for example, can be the place where you share short videos where you highlight some members, their hard work, and their success stories. Members love to learn about each other; it makes them feel like they’re a part of a tight-knit community.

Host Virtual Events

Events are a crucial part of the hybrid model if you want to keep up high engagement and a strong community. You have to give your members something to participate in other than their day-to-day workout classes. Not only does it increase the likelihood of a long term relationship between the two of you, but it increases the level of interaction members have with each other. The more time they spend together, the more friends they’ll make and the more they’ll hold each other accountable in their workouts and health goals!

Put Them in Pairs or Teams During Workouts

Your workout classes are a great place to reinforce a sense of community and build up the team spirit. Give them a chance to workout out in pairs or in groups. You can use an “I go, you go” philosophy, where one partner works while the other rests and then they switch. You can also split them into small teams and set goals for them to collectively reach. Doing these types of things on a normal basis in your workout classes will foster community and make them feel like they’re in it together.

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