That’s right! We see it frequently in clubs. No one knows that you’re out there and those that do don’t have you at top of mind.
Many clubs are only doing a couple things to drive guest traffic and most do not have a specific plan for retention. They vastly underestimate what it will take to avoid obscurity and attract attention to themselves.
We received a call from a gym owner recently. He said he had been going back and forth to our web site and considering hiring us to help him get his gym back on track. When asked what finally prompted him to call, he said a guest came into his gym the previous evening, was very impressed and joined. Upon joining, they said, “this club is the best kept secret in town.”
Is your gym the best kept secret in town?
Here are some simple and easy ways to avoid obscurity and to attract attention and stay top of mind;
- Get an app and then use it. Too many clubs don’t have a club app…and those that do aren’t doing enough to get people to download it. Include a paragraph in your new member letter letting your new member know this is your primary communication tool with members…such things as inclement weather, class changes, special offers, etc. For people who do not join, let them you provide information on the club app on how to lose weight and stay in shape.
- Twitter. One of the first things we suggest is to follow all the local media in your area; newspapers, magazine, radio stations, television stations and companies you would like to have an association with. When appropriate tag them, send press releases and generally let them know that you’re available.
- Street Team. In most clubs, this may be one person whose job is to drive guest traffic and attract attention to your club. Getting out print work every day, one-on-one referral presentations in the community, working your lead box program.
- Follow up. So much effort goes into getting a lead, don’t drop the ball by not following up. You must get creative with your
- Resource Center. This is a great follow up tool for those that don’t join your club right away. Provide daily tips on exercise and proper eating for those that travel, have limited time, are trying to do it on their own. This will help with member retention along with staying at top of mind for prospects that may eventually join your gym.
- Motivation. Daily affirmations to help keep everyone excited and focused on getting results at your gym
- Sell a membership (or anything else). Of course, links to sell membership, personal training, etc.
Now, go attract attention to your gym!
Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and turnaround firm specializing in the fitness and health club industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars and workshops across the country on the practical skills required to successfully build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.