Attracting and Retaining New Clients in the Time of Streaming and On-Demand
It wouldn’t exactly be a stretch to say that we’re living in strange times. What it means to be a boutique fitness studio owner has changed immensely over the last several months. What used to be several consecutive hours spent at a facility teaching people how to deadlift has transformed into scattered hours throughout the day spent leading clients through a bodyweight workout via Zoom or Skype. You can’t use your hands to cue anymore. You have to find efficient ways to communicate that don’t involve physical touch. Even more importantly, the sheer fact that studios are teaching the majority of their classes online can be frightening to consider— because anyone who has run a fitness studio before knows that the hardest part is attracting and retaining new clients when you don’t even get the chance to see or meet them in person.
Don’t be discouraged if you’ve had trouble grabbing new long term clients in the world of COVID-19. Even if you’ve dealt with some obstacles recently, you can definitely make your way back into the green if you put some extra work into it. These 4 tips will help you attract and retain clients in the world of fitness online streaming.
Connection Really Is the Name of the Game
Business is strongly related to human nature, and any successful business owner will tell you that it’s crucial to develop a connection with your clients in order to foster a lasting relationship. Think about what differs you from other trainers. Consider what deters your clients from making a referral. People refer because they like to give helpful information and they want to help out a friend. That means you have to make a good enough impression on them for them to think of you when a friend talks about wanting to workout more. And that good impression doesn’t come from treating your clients like just another number.
Check in regularly with your clients and members and make sure you’re giving them what they need. Ask them how they’re feeling, if they need any extra support, whether they’re feeling like they’re on track to reach their goals. Let them know they’re a real human to you, not just another number.
Carefully Distribute Marketing Material
You need to have a strategy when it comes to marketing; simply dumping marketing material on your social media accounts isn’t going to cut it. When you’re considering what kind of material to use, always consider your most loyal clients and members—that’s where the long term business lies. Create marketing material that’s going to get in front of your loyal clients and distribute according to plan. For example, you can try something like sending out a one-day guest pass to the group of your closest clients. This free one-day pass could be the perfect reason for a stressed out friend or family member to sign up for a workout—and maybe even a membership.
But these types of marketing deals should be part of a greater marketing strategy. When the majority or even the entirety of your business is based on selling online classes and streaming, you have to put forth a comprehensive marketing strategy that’s going to help you drop a steady current of hints that will nudge your clients to bite. Besides, sometimes an act of kindness and generosity (like offering your clients a free day pass for a friend) is exactly what they need to be an even more loyal client in the future.
Provide All the Information They Need to Know Ahead of Time
Make it really easy for your clients and members, especially the new ones. Give them all the information they need to know so they don’t feel nervous about showing up for their first class, whether it’s virtual or in-person. There can be stress and anxiety about going into a studio class for the first time, so it’s up to you to ease those feelings. Your confirmation email should tell them what they need to show up with, what to expect, how long the class is, etc. If it’s a virtual class, give them instructions on things as mundane as being on mute when you enter the class, whether it’s mandatory to use your video, etc. Experts even say that all introductory material should be at a second-grade reading level.
Get All Your Ducks in a Row
When we switch over to training online, there are a few extra things we have to worry about from a housekeeping end. You’ll probably have to change your liability waivers if your in-person clients are now transferring to virtual training. Speak to your attorney on how the terms need to change if you’re not sure, but just make sure you don’t overlook it. The last thing you need is someone suing you because you failed to update your liability waiver. Additionally, make sure you’re not teaching online using any copyright music. Speak to your attorney about what capacity you can use music in.
All of these small details are important to keep in mind as your business is changing and growing. Protecting yourself from any potential legal issues is just as important as maintaining happy clients.