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.