I’ll share some of my tips, but I teach dance-based workouts so they may not work for everyone. One good thing to do is to encourage social activities that makes them workout buddies, we chat, we laugh, I would bring up a topic for them to talk about when they go to change after class. I make little choreographies where they have to exchange places, interact with each other, so they learn each other’s names.
Another thing we do is we make our videos, of course I make sure they are all OK with it, and we agree not to post it everywhere, it’s just for us, just for fun and we make our little workout video, just like professional video programs. They love it, it makes them work harder and stay focused, and it makes them feel like a team doing something together.
One of the fitness clubs I worked at had celebrations where we would do presentations, and my clients would know about it in advance, they’d sign up to participate, and we’d be preparing our 5-10 minute workout course to present to other club members. That was one of the major things that made my clients very friendly with each other, preparing for a big event together really worked the team spirit in them.
I also learn their birthdays, so when a birthday is coming up, I do something new and present it like: here’s something new and this one is for Jane, for your birthday, so let’s make it special! That makes everyone smile and they sometimes go for a birthday latte later.
One thing to watch out for, when you have a close-knit group of clients, make sure newcomers feel welcome and comfortable.
Once your clients have a nice peer group in your class, they really appreciate meeting each other. My clients exchange phone numbers so when one of the clients disappears for a while, they would call him/her to chat and see what’s going on. If a client has a baby and takes a while to get back to working out, they have their little social network and they’d encourage her to get back sooner. So that’s my recipe: create a friendly interactive environment, get to know them, care for them, have fun with them, but also trust to let them go, they all have their reasons, respect that as well.