If you’re like most studios, you experienced a lower number of new members during the summer months. This seasonal slowdown is commonly known as the “Summer Slump.” But, vacations are winding down, kids are back in school, and people are ready to focus on their health and wellbeing. So, how do you sell more new memberships and pick up the pace for your studio now that summer’s over?

 

#1: Host a Challenge

Everyone loves a good challenge! Reignite your members’ passion for fitness and encourage new members to check you out with a fitness challenge. Fitness challenges -- especially 30-day challenges -- have seen a sharp increase in popularity over the past few years. Committing to a fitness regimen for a set period of time can be a wildly successful way for people to hit their health goals (and for you to hit your revenue goals).

The rules of the challenge can be different depending on what kind of studio you have. If you’re a class-based studio looking to increase unlimited membership sales, challenge members to a certain number of classes in 30 days. This can encourage people to get in the habit of attending more often -- and motivate them to purchase more classes from your studio.

For larger gyms or businesses, a weight loss challenge can be a successful way to get people motivated too. Throw a “weigh-in” party at the beginning of the challenge period, host a series of group workouts or offer complimentary nutrition counseling, and then host a final weigh-in party with prizes and party favors.

Adding a little friendly competition to your members’ workout routine can get them excited about visiting your studio more regularly and utilizing the additional services you offer -- like personal training or classes.

 

#2: Get Your Members Thinking Ahead

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know 12% of gym memberships are sold in January. But, you may be surprised to learn that 80% of those people who sign up in January quit within five months. People have the best of intentions with every new year. They’re ready to commit to healthier habits and a more active lifestyle. But, if you can convince members to join this fall, they’re more likely to stick around.

Focus your marketing efforts and studio offerings on getting potential members to think ahead. You can offer a Plan Ahead rate -- where members who join before January 1st get a special discount. Or, you can promote your personal training packages as a way to get in shape for the holiday season. Who doesn’t want to show off an amazing personal transformation just in time for the company Christmas party?

 

#3: Leverage Social Media

If you’re connected with your members on social media, use those platforms to get people more involved in your studio. Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc. are great places to not only highlight new offerings to your current members, but also get potential members excited to check you out.

Use your social pages to inspire current and past members to get more active at your studio. Highlight a recent success story or share content from your popular new class. Posting regular, engaging content to your social media pages keeps your studio top of mind for your followers.

(If you could use a little more help designing engaging content for your pages, book a free marketing review with our team and we can offer some specific recommendations!)

You can also leverage social media to spread positive word of mouth. Encourage happy members to leave a review, or even offer a free guest pass if they share an honest review on Facebook or Google+. You can also leverage social media to get new members excited about your business, as well. Through Yelp and Facebook, you have the ability to run a check-in special for new or existing members. When they check in at your studio (and broadcast to their followers that they stopped in), you can offer a discounted class or free swag.

 

#4: Spread the Word In-Person

With a world that’s moving more and more online, it’s easy to forget about good, ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth marketing -- i.e. actually getting out there to talk about your business. Even with all of our review sites, social media forums, and online resources, the number one most trusted resource for making a purchase decision is someone just like your members. When you get out there and familiarize yourself with potential members in your area, they’ll be more likely to think of you when they’re searching for a new workout routine.

Every time you’re out in your community, have some offer cards on you. Simple business-sized cards that offer a free class or an exclusive discount are helpful to have on hand if you strike up a conversation about your studio.

You can also leverage your relationship with other businesses in your area. Partner with a local restaurant, retail shop, or studio with a different style of workout to offer mutual discounts to your members and their customers. For example, you could partner with a local smoothie bar down the street -- when your members show their key tags, they get 10% off their smoothie purchase. And when smoothie bar customers show their loyalty card at your gym, they get $0 enrollment.

 

Don’t let the Summer Slump drag your business down. Head into fall with fresh ideas and exciting offerings for your members, and get a headstart on the New Year’s rush.

Want more tailored ways to boost revenue for your studio? SWETI Services is here to help! When you book a free marketing review, we offer in-the-moment feedback on what you could be doing to better marketing your studio.

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

When this page loaded (yes, this webpage with the article you’re reading now), what was the first thing you saw? We’ll bet you scanned the image, maybe you read the title, and then after your eyes adjusted to our colors, font choice, and sidebars, you started reading.

People are pretty predictable when it comes to website behavior. On landing pages, our eyes are attracted to the same places, we’re intrigued by similar tones, and most people are apprehensive of sites they’ve never visited before. That’s why it’s important to put some thought and strategy behind landing pages for your studio.

What exactly is a landing page? At its most basic definition, a landing page is a standalone page of your website accessed by clicking a hyperlink. Landing pages are commonly used for special offers, introductory sessions, and general lead generation. And since they’re such a vital tool for lead generation, it’s important to make sure people who see your page submit their information and connect with your business.

How exactly do you do that? Let’s break down the most important guidelines for building out a landing page:

 

Be Consistent

When it comes to converting visitors on your landing page, consistency is key. Try to keep your landing page consistent not only with your studio’s branding, but also with the wording and visuals on your original source -- i.e. the ad or post where people clicked to your landing page.

For example, if you’re offering a free trial pass, talk about it the same way in your social post or digital advertising as you do on your landing page. Using similar phrases, colors, and pictures assures the user they’re on the right page. Plus, if they clicked to your landing page, they were clearly a fan of your words, colors and images to begin with.

It’s also important to make sure the call-to-action is the same. If your email blast mentions a “3-day pass,” but your landing page calls it a “guest membership,” people may get confused and abandon ship. Keep your phrasing consistent between promotions and landing pages.

(Want an easy and effective way to drive more people to your landing page? We break down exactly what type of Facebook Advertising will work best for you in our blog, Facebook Ads 101.)

 

Be Concise

When visiting a new website, most visitors will navigate away within 10 seconds. That means you have 10 seconds to clarify what you’re offering, show the user what information you’ll need from them, and get them excited about what you have to offer. That’s a lot of things to accomplish in under 10 seconds!

That’s why it’s crucial to be concise on your landing page. Make your offer clear with a bold title and avoid long paragraphs of text. If there are multiple benefits people can get by taking advantage of this offer or a fairly complex explanation of your services, try bullet points instead. And if there’s information that’s not crucial or doesn’t need to be elaborated on, cut it.

And make it easy for people to take action. Keep your CTA specific, and try to only require the information you absolutely need from a potential client. The easier it is for someone to fill out your form, the more likely they are to actually submit their info.

 

Be Informed

There’s no “one size fits all” for landing pages. Depending on the type of business you are, what you’re offering, and the information you want to convey, your ideal layout will be different. That’s where A/B testing can be helpful. Try two different versions of your landing page and see which generates the most views and submissions.

If your landing page includes a call-to-action (and most good ones should!), do a little research on language, as well. How you phrase your CTA can make a big difference in whether people will take you up on your promotion. For example, a tone that sounds offering and generous can be more successful than a tone that’s demanding. Getting more leads on your landing page could be as simple as switching your CTA from “Book Now” to “Get Your Appointment.”

 

Never Underestimate Layout

Now that you know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it, it’s crucial to lay out your landing page the correct way. Studies have found layout to be a major factor in website performance, so take the time to make sure everything is clear and visually appealing.

Not sure where to start when it comes to designing your layout? Start with some rules of thumb:

  • Make the CTA button pop in a contrasting color or a clear font
  • Place your CTA button above the fold (i.e. users shouldn’t have to scroll down to see it)
  • Stamp on your studio’s logo somewhere easy to spot
  • Minimize the visuals. Don’t clutter your landing page with too many pictures as that can decrease click-through and also cause your landing page to load more slowly.
  • Try adding proof. If you’ve got some testimonials about what you’re promoting, you can add those underneath the CTA

And don’t forget to make your landing page mobile friendly! With over half of website visits happening on a mobile device, it’s important to make your landing page mobile-responsive so it’s still clear, organized and easy to read from any device.

 

When it comes to designing the perfect landing page, there are a lot of important points and strategies to keep in mind. That’s where SWETI Services comes in. We keep all of these guidelines (and more!) in mind when designing pages for your studio.

To learn more about how we can generate leads and drive conversions for your studio, schedule a free marketing review with our team.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

This blog was co-written with our partners at Club OS

 

Setting prices for your studio is arguably one of the most important business decisions you’ll make. You’ve built a great space, you’ve hired a killer staff, and now you need to get people in the door. Price your classes or memberships too high, and you’ll scare away potential members. Price them too low, and your business won’t turn a profit.

When it comes to setting prices for your studio, remember that less is more. Keep your membership and purchase options clear, condensed, and competitively priced. How can you make that happen? Let’s break it down:

 

#1: Look At Your Demographic

Look at who your studio is appealing to. Do you have an upbeat, high-energy class that millennials would flock to? Is restorative yoga for the aging body your specialty? Clearly lay out the age demographic of your ideal clientele as well as their average income. Honing in on who you’re hoping to reach will keep your pricing competitive and reasonable, ensuring you’re bringing in the right people who will stick around. Our partners at Club OS recommend that you create a digital lead form that every prospect fills out. This will allow you to capture demographic information, making it easier to define your prices.

If you’re appealing to a wealthier, high-end clientele, for example, consider a more expensive, all-encompassing price. Members with a bit more money to spare are less likely to be turned away by a higher price tag, but may get frustrated by regular additional charges or add-ons they need to deal with. Think about SoulCycle, for example: The price per class is around $25, but it includes your shoe rental, towel service, and use of the studio’s facilities before or after your class. Consider a higher class price or monthly membership that includes all the bells and whistles if you’re looking to reach high-end users.

That said, if your studio appeals to a mass market instead, a lower starting price may be to your benefit. A more expensive base price may cause a little sticker shock to folks just looking to hit the gym a few times a week. If your ideal members are younger, “price-elastic” consumers, consider an optional pricing model. This would mean that your regular or entry-level price is lower, but members can pay for upgrades like personal training, towel service, or group exercise classes. The low starting price point will get members to join, and then you can entice them with the additional services that come at an extra charge.

The more options you offer also allows you to be more specific in your marketing and communication. Our partners at Club OS know the importance that communication plays in keeping your members around, and if you know what they are interested in and willing to pay for, you can customize your communication around that.

(Memberships aren’t the only way your studio can drive revenue for your studio. Check out our Guide to Promoting Retail at Your Studio.)

 

#2: Do Your Research

Think of a successful competitor in your area -- one who you admire that appeals to a similar demographic as your studio. What’s their pricing model? That doesn’t mean you should swipe the exact membership and class options they offer, but it can definitely give you an idea of what people in your area are willing to spend. If a competitor’s prices aren’t readily available on their website, you can still get an idea of how their memberships are set up with sites like Yelp or Google+. See why their members stay.

Our partners at Club OS have seen gyms and studios find success in sending out surveys to their current members, as well. Send out a survey that has some questions about your gym, and include a question about price. Most people will want a lower price, but it will help you find a happy medium based on feedback.

Dig into the industry standard pricing for your type of studio too. If you run a yoga studio, for example, you’ll likely want to offer both a class pack and an unlimited membership to accommodate the dedicated yogis as well as the athletes who just want to drop in here and there. But on the other hand, if you run a gym that focuses on self-directed workouts in your open space, you’ll probably want to offer one or two membership tiers, as well as additional package prices for personal training or specific classes.

 

#3: Keep It Simple

Did you know restaurants that offer more than seven food options per category actually overwhelm and confuse guests? The same goes for fitness studios. If people have too many choices when it comes to memberships, it’s more likely they won’t choose anything at all. Make it easy for your clients to choose which membership will work for them and understand what’s involved.

Which types of class packs or prices you offer will likely depend on what kind of business you have, so refer back to your research to see what your industry standard is. There’s no magic number when it comes to how many options you should have, but see if there’s overlap in your offerings. Are two of your membership options pretty similar with only one or two differences? See if you can combine those into one option to simplify your pricing model.

Keeping your pricing simple not only benefits your members: it benefits you! When you’ve got just a handful of pricing options, it’s easier to make sales predictions and membership goals for your business. When you limit the number of purchase options, you can get a better idea of which are most popular and how many of each you typically get in a month.

 

So, if you’re setting prices at your studio for the first time or looking to streamline your existing options, just remember: less is more.

 

Club OS is the leading technology solution for lead and member management in the fitness industry. With features such as texting, scheduling, automated follow-ups, email marketing, and more, Club OS is the tool you need to increase revenue.

*   *   *

If you could use help marketing your studio's memberships, SWETI Services can help. Book a free marketing review with our team to get in -the-moment feedback on your current marketing efforts.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

It’s not easy choosing just the right stock photo for a gym or fitness studio. It seems most fitness stock models are under-dressed (for the thousandth time, underwear does NOT count as shorts), over-excited (trust us: no one is that jazzed about Zumba) or have never stepped foot in a gym before (ummm that machine doesn’t...well...whatever, forget it).

But, there are some fitness stock photos that are just downright wrong. And to save you the trouble of going out and finding them, we’ve pulled together just for you -- the world’s worst fitness stock photos.

Enjoy.

 

Real life reaction to, “The whole front row of bikes is open -- why don’t you move up?”

Real talk: When was the last time you saw someone in an electric blue terrycloth headband? There also isn’t any context to this pose since the background is stark white. We’d avoid using an image like this for your fitness business. Choose a photo that’s a little less over-the-top and a little more relatable.

 

“I am a powerful businesswoman. This is my power pose.”

Real talk: When choosing stock photos, pick a believable scenario. You want an image about healthy habits in the workplace to look like you captured someone in the middle of their day, not like...well, this.

 

Working up a sweat, but mascara still on point.

Real talk: It’s a gym, not a Revlon ad. Pick photos of people actually getting active.

 

“Alright, Bryan, pose on that machine. Not that kind of posing, Bryan, just use the equipment. Oh forget it, let’s just shoot this thing.”

Real talk: We’re not even going to touch that tricep dip form. But in reality, overly-posed photos likely won’t appeal to people who are looking to get fit -- try to find photos that feel more natural.

 

DID NO ONE TELL BRYAN YOU’RE NEVER SUPPOSED TO MAKE EYE CONTACT ON THIS MACHINE?

Real talk: Don’t make eye contact on this machine.

 

“Oh hey, we didn’t see you there. Won’t you join us?”

Real talk: Let’s take a minute to talk about what is happening here. Nothing. Nothing is happening here. This model is literally just placing his hands on another model to make it look like he’s helping her work out. If you want an image that highlights personal training, be sure to use one that gives your audience confidence that your personal trainers are actually skilled and knowledgeable.

 

From the gym to the club. If you can make it out of the gym without breaking your ankle.

Real talk: As Austinites, we get it -- when you're working out in the summer, you want to wear less clothing so you can stay cool. But, when it comes to choosing a relatable image for your gym, there's a difference between dressing practically and dressing like literally no one in your studio is dressed. And if you know someone who can do any sort of workout in shoes like that, consider us very impressed. And nervous for their safety.

A poster for the Lifetime Original Movie, Carl, John, the Scale, and Me.

Real talk: What is going on here?? You don’t need to fit every healthy living visual into one image -- focus instead on one lifestyle photo at a time to really capture the image of healthy living.

 

“Throw the Precious into the fire!”

Real talk: We said it before, but we’ll say it again: Context is everything. Though this may give off the “intense” and “powerful” vibes, it’s a little too literal.

 

The title of this photo is, “Two Women Making Exercising.” We did not make that up.

Real talk: If you’re trying to convince an audience that working out will be enjoyable and rewarding, you’ll probably want to choose a photo where people actually look like they’re enjoying themselves. And can we agree at this point to just not use photos with an all-white background? Ok, good.

We’re not gonna lie -- we just added this one in here to make you smile. #FriendshipGoals

Real talk: Yes, this photo is adorable. But, if your goal is to target a more mature audience, it’s better to choose an image that shows the safe, effective and assisted exercises they’ll be able to do with your studio.

 

One more real talk for you: If you own, operate, or work at a fitness studio, schedule your free marketing review with us today. We’d love to talk with you about how we can take your studio’s marketing efforts to the next level. And we promise to never use any of these photos.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

 

It’s hard to undercut the value of having a presence for your studio on social media. Nearly half of consumers say it’s important that the brands they engage with have a strong social media presence. But, with tons of social media platforms gaining popularity and more platforms cropping up all the time, it may leave you wondering: which social media sites are best for your business?

That will likely depend on what type of business you have, who your target demographic is, and what goals you’re hoping to achieve with social media. That’s a lot to consider! So we’ve broken down the important stats you need to know know for each major social media site:

Facebook

Best for:

  • Promoting regular events
  • Regularly sharing images, graphics and other tailored content
  • Live video and video content
  • Building a community with your members
  • Aggregating reviews & check-ins

 

Long story short: Whatever type of studio you run, you’ll probably want a Facebook page. With over 3/4 of internet users (and more than half the population!) on Facebook, it’s generally expected that a business will have a Facebook presence. Count this platform on the must-use list!

Twitter

Best for:

  • Multiple updates a day
  • Taking part in trending conversations using hashtags
  • Following influencers in your space
  • Easily and regularly sharing content from other users

 

Long story short: Because over half of users log onto Twitter daily and users take in so much bite-sized content in every visit, it’s common practice to be posting multiple times a day and regularly engaging with your followers. If you don’t have time for that, it’s likely your page won’t take off.

But, it’s a great platform to use if your team takes part in national events, fundraisers, or community happenings so you can use hashtags and retweeting to get your brand in front of people following that event. For example, if you’re a CrossFit box that regularly participates in the CrossFit Open, you can share images of your members with #CrossFitOpen -- and therefore reach more people than if you just posted the picture alone. Plus, it’s a great place to keep up with the latest trends and news in your industry.

 

Instagram

Best for:

  • High-quality images
  • Regular video updates via Instagram stories or posts
  • Following influencers in your space
  • Getting your content in front of a relevant audience using hashtags

 

Long story short: The point of Instagram is simple: People want to see great photos. Whether these are photos that inspire them, make them laugh, or just remind them it’s time to get back in the gym, Instagram is a great place to get in front of people all over the country who are interested in wellness. This platform is perfect if you’ve got regular photos worth sharing.

LinkedIn

Best for:

  • Selling a business-related product or service
  • Connecting with professionals in your industry
  • Recruiting talented team members
  • B2B marketing

 

Long story short: The fact of the matter is no one is going on LinkedIn to find a gym. They’re visiting LinkedIn to find a job, network, or connect with professionals in their industry. Business portfolios make up the bulk of users’ profiles, so the platform is primarily business-first. However, if you’re a larger business that’s regularly recruiting new hires, having a presence on LinkedIn may help you find talented trainers. Or, if you’re a one-person business, you can network with people in your industry using your own personal profile.

 

Pinterest

Best for:

  • Visually appealing images
  • Tips and tricks
  • Motivation
  • Graphics and high-quality images
  • Curating content based on type and theme

 

Long story short: If your target demographic is women in their 20’s, you’ll probably want to be on Pinterest. That age group makes up the bulk of Pinterest users, so being active on that platform can regularly get you in front of that audience.

If your business offers any sort of coaching -- nutrition, exercise, wellness, etc. -- Pinterest can also be a great place to highlight some of those tips and tricks to show people you’re knowledgeable and have a lot to offer. Pinterest is also a great platform to highlight merchandise you may offer. If you’ve got gear with your studio’s logo, take some photos of your trainers in the swag and pin some of those images to a dedicated “Swag Board” on your Pinterest page.

 

The Long & Short of It

When building your social media presence, the most important question to ask yourself is this: Who am I trying to reach, and how much time and resources do I have to put into this? Use those questions to guide which platform you dedicate time and resources too.

If you want to get really SMART about your social presence, schedule your free marketing consultation with our team today. We can offer in-the-moment tailored recommendations for how to build your own brand online.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist