The holidays are over, the mad rush to start the New Year off ‘right’ has begun, and the resolutioners are breaking down your doors. Seemingly, everybody and their mom wants to shed the holiday pounds, giving health and fitness the number one resolution spot. It’s become a universal concept, and fitness studios can always expect a January bump in traffic. However, what goes up must come down, right?
But this isn’t your first rodeo. You know once January 31st rolls around, you’re going to see a significant drop in attendance due to plummeting motivation and waning priorities and come February 1st, the tumbleweeds will start rolling.
We both know the key to staying motivated at any time of the year is building healthy habits. But how can you keep your New Year’s resolution crowd hyped once they’ve lost the thrill of setting the goal in the first place?
Here are a few key strategies to implement in the New Year to keep members engaged through February and beyond:
Set challenges and reward with swag and recognition
People love swag, especially if it’s free; it doesn’t matter what it is. Even better, though, if it’s the cute pair of workout leggings that have been hanging in your retail area or the muscle tee sported by your instructors. After January, create fitness challenges that your members can participate in. Maybe it’s challenging them to take X amount of classes in one month or a new personal record on their treadmill sprints. Whatever it is, set the challenge, encourage participation, and reward your members publicly.
Many studios have recognition areas as a part of their studio year round. For instance, some studios celebrate members with 100 classes taken and reward them with exclusive merchandise and a wall of recognition. Post-January is a great time to run these types of challenges because your members are going to need an extra push to get past 1/31.
Participate in community events
All studios talk about the communities they build within their four physical walls, but what about your actual community? Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities to participate in philanthropic and neighborhood events within your city. These types of opportunities not only introduce you to potential customers, but your current members will see you outside the studio and may even want to help you represent.
You can even take it one step further and tie the community event to something fitness-related, such as a 5k, triathlon, or a local charity supporting something health-related. This gives your members the opportunity to get involved, thus giving them the motivation to reach another fitness goal.
Bring a workout buddy to class
We all know working out with your buddy is way more fun than going at it alone. Encourage your members to bring new people to the studio by way of a first-time special. By bringing an outside buddy to participate in classes with them, they are held accountable to keep going and develop habits.
By you opening your doors to more people, you have the opportunity to introduce your studio and classes to potential visitors already connected to your current members, thus taking the strain of additional marketing off your back.
Run long-term specials
We at Peerfit do not encourage any kind of discounters or aggregators because we know that this is not a viable long-term solution for steady traffic. However, when you offer long-term specials, like a discount on monthly memberships purchased in advance, you encourage your members to invest in their fitness journey while still maintaining your value. Running these after month one, or even during your summer slump, can kickstart the motivation your members need to keep coming regularly.
The biggest thing to remember is extending your reach outside of your 60-minute classes. Keeping your members engaged and motivated has to happen outside of class. They come to your studio not just to workout, but to build healthy habits and reach goals, and everyone needs encouragement along the way. Taking opportunities to develop strong relationships with your members will help contribute to a steady flow of traffic year round and thus, the potential for steady revenue.
What successes have you seen with keeping your New Year’s resolution crowd engaged?