While the shift to work remotely is a transition for some, for those of us in the fitness business, where success is built on interpersonal interactions, relationships, and individual results, it can feel like an insurmountable wall. Pushing members to meet their goals with the current restrictions might seem impossible … but don’t we look for the “impossible” challenge? And your members count on you for some semblance of normalcy. Here are ways you can continue to engage your members and help them achieve their goals and yours!

1. Consider Multiple Fitness Models

Hybrid fitness models are here to stay. Even as studios reopen, operators expect only 25% to 30% of people to go back to in-person classes, with the rest working out utilizing online streaming and on-demand videos. This provides your studio with a fantastic competitive advantage. You can now expand your market beyond your region, provide more class packaging options for those who have become more cost-conscious in the current economic climate, and offer flexibility and safety for your members
and staff. Consider multiple models like live-streaming classes where an instructor teaches a handful of people in person, while simultaneously broadcasting that workout to people logged in online. You can also provide access to pre-recorded classes that reside on the studio website.

2. Extend the Member Experience Beyond Your Four Walls

Because not all members will rush back into the studio, communication management must extend beyond the four walls of the club. It’s important to remember there is no ‘one right channel’ or ‘best time’ to communicate. You must be accessible to your members when they need you, where they need you. Utilizing automated communication tools allow studios to send reopening email marketing campaigns to introduce members to new class procedures, and updated waivers. Studios can now automate things they never expected via email, SMS, social media, and apps in order to target member and prospect communications.

3. Stay Connected Through Regular SMS Communications

Send a BCC Group Text to remind members to get active outside or any other important message to keep your community engaged. Send picture messages of trainer stretching or working out to keep their members feel connected to the studio and gym staff. Utilize templates to engage members. For example: “Hi [First Name], we are temporarily closing for the safety of our members. During this time, [Insert Studio Name] is providing online workouts within your Member Portal to keep our [Insert Studio Name] Family in shape. Please click the following link and login for a workout with our virtual trainers [Insert Link]”

4. Deliver a Contactless Experience Virtually

Just because you can’t greet members in-person doesn’t mean you can’t create the same concierge-level fitness experience you’re accustomed to providing. Notify members to new digital class openings or adjusted class schedules. Encourage check-ins and reviews on social media to drive brand awareness. Encourage registration and check-in of virtual classes via SMS or your app. Create and personalize SMS outreach to engage at-risk members. “How are you?” and “we miss you” can go a long way. Send picture messages of trainers stretching or working out to keep your members feeling connected to the studio and staff.

The Light Ahead

We know this won’t last forever, but we don’t know what the other side looks like. That’s why it’s imperative that you continue to engage your members regularly. Listen and understand where they are and where they’re going will help ensure that you are part of whatever does lay on the other side. For additional best practices, visit our resource center.