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.

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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

 

Maybe you already have a small retail shop at your studio, or maybe you’re thinking about giving it a try. Either way, promoting retail at your fitness business is a different ballgame than promoting your studio in general. But, it’s not as hard as you might think! If you want to sell products and goodies at your studio, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help make retail at your fitness business successful and profitable:

#1: Stock the right stuff

You may have the most genius idea for branded knee-high socks, but ask yourself this: Are your members going to buy it? Before opening up the retail side of your business (or even if it’s already up and running!), take the time to do some small-scale market research. Ask your staff and members:

  • What gear would they want to wear?
  • What do they forget most often when they visit your studio that would be helpful to sell, like a yoga mat or earphones?
  • What types of supplements do your trainers recommend most often, and is there a certain brand you personally endorse?

Selling the right stuff is the first step to successful retailing.

#2: Create hype

If you’re planning to offer some products at your studio in the future or you just ordered some new stuff, get people excited before the products get there. Make an announcement on social media to let people know that their new favorite shirt is coming soon. Or plaster promotional posters around your studio letting members know they’ll be able to cool off after a tough workout at your new smoothie bar.

Letting people know about your products before they arrive can help bolster sales right from the get-go, rather than having your awesome new merchandise sitting around gathering dust.

#3: Update online tags and descriptions

Make sure it’s clear online that you also offer products for sale at your studio. Build out a page on your website that displays some of what you sell, a menu of the food or drink items you offer, or even an online store where people can order right from your site.

But, don’t stop there. Most social media sites, like Yelp or Facebook, allow businesses to tag their page by what services they offer. Be sure to add retail as a tag on these sites so new visitors know you offer products for sale, as well. On Facebook, for example, you can see and edit any business tags in your “About” section:

 

Be sure to update the tags on your business description.

#4: Put it in the right place

Let’s face it: People probably aren’t coming to your studio just to buy the products you sell on the side. They’re coming in for a workout, class or personal training session. If they happen to buy something while they’re in, great! But don’t expect anyone to go looking for your retail items if they’re tucked at the back of the building by your office.

Set up your retail shop in a location that’s high-traffic and convenient for your members. The lobby is usually a good bet, and make sure the merchandise is close to a cashier to make purchases even easier.

#5: Use it as an incentive

If you sell products at your studio, you want people to get excited about them. And what better way to get people excited about your retail items than offering them as a prize? If you run regular competitions at your gym or participate in any sort of in-studio or charity giveaways, use your merchandise or products as awards. 

Take Orangetheory, for example. Winners of their workout challenge were awarded with Orangetheory gear. So, the winners feel great about themselves, and OTF has new brand ambassadors to rep their name around town and get other people interested in the gear:

Check out how Orangetheory Fitness leveraged their gear for an in-studio contest.

Don’t want to just give your products away? Offer discount incentives, instead! Entice new members at your studio by offering 10% off your products for their first month. Or surprise your loyal members by giving them a BOGO card after they’ve attended 10 classes. Using your products as a prize automatically makes people excited about them, and you can easily get members introduced to what you offer so they’ll get in the habit of coming back to buy more.

#6: Rep it

If you’ve got great gear with your studio’s name or logo, show it off! Get your staff or trainers to wear the latest gear you’ve got in the store rather than a standard uniform. Your members probably look up to your amazing trainers and will be more likely to buy a shirt themselves if their favorite instructor is repping it.

You can also motivate your members to show off your studio’s gear. Check out how SoulCycle inspired their members. They encourage members to share pics in SoulCycle gear with the hashtag #SOULStyle for a chance to be featured in a monthly email newsletter:

SouCycle inspires members to rep their gear on social media.

 

Still unsure the best way to market the retail side of your business? Or want a more in-depth analysis on the best way to market products to your members? SWETI would love to help! Schedule your free marketing review, and we can offer in-the-moment feedback and consultation to get the retail side of your business off the ground.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

 

For kids, summer is always the best time of year: no school, beautiful weather, and endless hours outside with friends. But for those in the fitness industry, the new season can feel a bit more daunting. At the average gym in America, new memberships hit an all-time low between June and August. With the warm weather driving people outside and more families scheduling their summer vacations, most studio owners out there have experienced the “Summer Slump.”

Here at SWETI Services, we’ve seen summer after summer in the fitness industry, and we’ve put together some surefire ways your studio can beat the Summer Slump:

 

Refresh Your Calendar

People may prefer to get active outside as the weather warms up, but that’s not always an option for people that are still working a 9 - 5 job. They may not have time to hit up their favorite hiking trail before work or won’t feel safe running through their town late at night after dinner. Update your class schedule to accommodate those people. Make sure you’ve got some early-morning options for members who want a quick sweat session before work, as well as some late classes for the night owls.

 

Motivate Your Current Members

Just because new memberships are traditionally low this time of year doesn’t mean you should focus all of your attention on driving those sales back up. Dedicate energy to motivating your current members to get more involved, as well. Try putting together a summer workout challenge, where members are challenged to hit the gym a certain number of times a week to win a prize. Or, they could compete with other members for the most weight lost or highest number of classes attended.

You could also get your current members more involved by offering great deals on some of your pricier services, like personal training or nutritional planning. It’s hard to pass up a good deal, so give members a little push to check out other things your studio has to offer.

 

Reward Regulars

If you’re successful in motivating your members, you’re sure to have some regulars you can always count on: The people who show up day in and day out. Summer is the perfect opportunity to show those people how much you appreciate them (while inspiring your less-active members to get more involved, as well, or new members to come on board). Highlight some of your regular members on social media with a “member spotlight” or offer some free swag to people who attend your weekend workouts. That little unexpected surprise can motivate members to keep at it during the summer months.

(Looking for other ways you can use social media to keep your members involved? SWETI breaks it down with 4 Ways You Can Leverage Social Media to Increase Retention.)

 

Focus on Customer Service

Customer service is important any time of year, but it’s especially crucial during the summer months. Think of it this way: If your members are coming in less frequently during the summer, that means you have less chances to impress them and show them why they love coming into your studio. Make sure your facility is cleaner than ever, always well-stocked, and remind staff to be gracious, helpful, and proactive. If a member has a great experience when they come into your studio and leave in a great mood, they’ll be more likely to come back.

 

Take Advantage of the Season

Don’t always fight the new season -- embrace it when you can! If your members are eager to get outside, help them do that at your studio. Take one of your weekly boot camps outdoors or organize a fun run that starts at your gym where members can invite friends. Taking advantage of the weather can create a nice change of pace and still provide a great option for your outdoorsy members.

 

The ultimate way to beat the Summer Slump? Make sure your studio has a well-rounded marketing strategy to keep members involved all season long. SWETI Services would love to help you put that together. Schedule your free marketing review today to get in-the-moment feedback and advice to drive revenue for your business.

 

 

Nicole Gartside, Content Marketing Strategist

So, you want to run a Facebook ad for your studio? Good choice! With over a billion active users, Facebook offers unparalleled ad targeting, which means you can reach more of the right people for less cost. But, if you’ve never run a Facebook ad before, it can feel daunting. That’s why we’ve broken down what you need to know about Facebook ads.

What is a Facebook Ad?

Facebook ads are sponsored posts that can be delivered to any desired audience based on location, demographics, interest targeting and more. So, if you’re hoping to promote a strength and conditioning class for high school athletes, you can set up your ad to display only to Facebook users between the ages of 14 and 18 who are interested in sports. Unlike traditional forms of advertising like print or television, you don’t have to waste money displaying your ad to people who aren’t going to attend your class. Facebook will only serve that ad to your target demographic.

How does it work?

There are multiple different types of ads, and they all display a little differently and serve different purposes:

App Engagement: If you want to drive traffic to your new app, this type of add is meant to generate activity and get people using your technology.

App Installs: Instead of just encouraging people to try your app, this ad can actually allow them to download it with just a few clicks.

Brand Awareness: If you’re a new studio looking to get your name out there, this type of ad is a great way to make your target demographic aware of your brand. You can use any type of content for this ad, so try to get creative and think of content your ideal audience would want to engage with.

Local Awareness: Similar to brand awareness, this type of ad helps to get the word out about your studio. But in this case, you can target only people who live close to your studio.

Store Visits: This type of ad works best if you’ve got a business where customers can just pop in anytime, but may not be ideal if potential members need to make an appointment or buy a membership first. With one click, this ad gives people directions to your business.

Website Conversions: If you’re promoting a special offer or want to encourage people to sign up for a free trial, the website conversions ad is a great way to drive people directly to a landing page on your website. The goal of these ads is to have prospects take an action by clicking the link, so make sure your call-to-action is clear.

Clicks to Website: While website conversions are about having potential members take an action on your site, a clicks to website ad is about driving website traffic more generally. If you have a killer blog or in-depth guidelines for healthy eating, this type of ad will be a great way to get your content in front of more eyes. (If you want to get even more people on your site, see how to Increase Your Website Traffic in 4 Simple Steps.)

Event Ads: Have a special event coming up at your studio? Use an event ad to generate more interest and get more people excited about attending!

Offer Claim Ads: Rather than directing people to a landing page on your website, offer claim ads allow prospects to claim an offer directly on Facebook. So, if you’ve got a discounted class package or a special on gear from your online store, this is an easy way for people to make that purchase.

Lead Generation (Full Form) Ads: This ad is going to collect the most information from your potential members and generate tangible leads for your studio. It does take a little more effort and commitment from your prospects, so it can be one of the most expensive types of ads. But by directing people to enter their information right on Facebook, it’s a surefire way to generate more leads for your studio.

Page Likes: Want to bolster your presence on social media? This ad encourages people to like your Facebook page with just one click right on the ad.

Post Engagements: If you created a post on your Facebook page that did really well with your audience, consider running it as an ad, as well. Giving prospects content they can engage with can encourage them to check out your brand and give your name more visibility. (We’ve got your covered with some content inspiration, as well! Check out 5 Content Ideas for May.)

Where do I start?

If you read through all the options available to you for Facebook ads and thought to yourself, I have no idea where to start, that’s okay -- you’re not alone. It’s important to create an ad that will capture your audience’s attention, but it’s even more important to give context and make your desired action clear. So before you start, make sure you’re 100% clear on what it is you’d like your audience to do. Do you want them to sign up for a class? Come in for a free intro session? Knowing what exactly you want to promote can help you decide which type of ad will be best.

And let your audience know what they will be receiving if they click your ad. The biggest mistake businesses make when running Facebook ads is making it complicated for a user to perform the call to action. Setting up complex landing pages with multiple steps is going to create drop off. Make your add attractive, easy to see what you’re offering, and simple for someone to complete the call to action.

Do they work?

Short answer: Yes. The average person spends just under two hours a day on social media, and users like, share, and comment on posts 4.1 million times every minute. There’s ample opportunity to reach people who could become members at your studio. Putting a little money behind your pages on social media will help get your content in front of the right eyes, and therefore drive more leads to your business.

Plus, Facebook offers extensive insight into how your ads are performing. Imagine knowing exactly how many eyes were on a billboard you purchased. With Facebook advertising, you can see how many people saw, clicked, or completed an action on your ad. This allows you to quickly and easily know if your ad killed it or flopped, so you won’t waste money on ads that aren’t going anywhere. With Facebook ads, you can spend smarter and drive revenue to multiple aspects of your business.

 
At SWETI Services, we’ve helped numerous clients set up high-performing Facebook ads that draw in more prospects and keep existing members coming back. Set up a marketing consultation with our team today to learn about how we can do that for your studio too.

 

Kelly Engle, Digital Marketing Specialist

After owning and operating a group fitness studio for years, SWETI Services founder, Joe Berti, soon learned marketing was the most difficult part of owning a studio. He tried finding an agency to help but they were often too expensive or didn’t have the expertise he was looking for. Shortly after, he launched SWETI Services. Through running a studio of his own and working with hundreds of studios across the country, Joe has learned a thing or two about effective branding and marketing.

Here, he shares some tips and wisdom on how you can market yourself to increase new memberships:

 

What would you say is the #1 most important part of branding and messaging for a gym or studio to increase revenue?

The ideal branding or messaging appeals to someone’s emotions or something that matters to them personally. They have to be able to see themselves working out at your gym or studio. They don’t care as much about what your logo looks like as you do -- they are selfish, thinking about themselves. Does the class schedule fit when they are available? Are the instructors someone they would want to work out with? Is the vibe of the studio what they like?

 

What are some ways a gym or studio can stand out with their messaging?

Being clear is important -- something that’s easy to remember, descriptive of what you do, and is catchy unless you have a ton of money to establish your brand. Create a list of fitness businesses you know are successful and then ask yourself, what about their name or messaging helped them on that path to success? Need some examples? How about SoulCycle, OrangeTheory, Lifetime Fitness or Core Power Yoga?

 

What are some ways you can set your staff up for success when talking to prospective members about your studio? Learning what is important to an individual is key. From there you can communicate your message or offering in a way that relates to them. What time of day do they work out? What types of workouts do they like? What is important to them? Are there any barriers to them getting started? I have seen membership coordinators jump right into discussing a free week or a discounted first month, knowing that the person they were speaking with was a multi-millionaire who did not care about money.  

 

How do you best communicate your brand in various mediums? (In marketing or in person) There needs to be a mix that covers the multitude of ways people will interact with your brand. Mix in some success stories, pure branding messages, images of people in your target market, offers to attract people who are enticed by an offer, and messaging for people who are having a hard time getting started with a workout routine.

Build a profile of your target customer and determine what is important to them. And remember, some messages work better in Facebook ads, for example, than they do in email marketing so be sure to do some testing and don’t be afraid to mix it up! Just make sure everything matches your overall brand and tone.

 

What would you say is the best forum to turn a customer into a member after a potential customer has expressed interest?

In person is always best, followed by a phone call if they originally called or emailed you. Individuals are getting too many emails, reading less than 30% of the emails they receive. Email marketing is still a critical part of your marketing approach, but realize that not all emails will be actually read.

 

Let’s say a potential member turns you down. What next?

Ask them why and then listen to them, responding only after you have fully heard what they have to say. Empathize and connect with them personally to hopefully help get them over the hump of joining, or to at least keep you in mind for when they’re ready down the road.

Want even more help effectively marketing your studio? Schedule your free consultation with us today!

Joe Berti, SWETI Services Founder