It’s the end of summer, and either your clients are returning from hiatus—wanting to reconnect with you and their fitness programs—or you’re looking for ways to keep the wellness momentum going as fall approaches and the start of school and cooler weather threatens to throw schedules off-kilter. You’re in the thick of it now, and this transition is a prime opportunity to offer unique strategies to keep people fired up.

The following tips will help you welcome back clients, get them excited about the final quarter of the year, and maybe make a few new conversions.

Strategy #1: Attendance Challenges

To compel clients to participate, offer incentives that work! Here are a few ideas for running an attendance challenge:

Determine your goal. Do you want each client to show up 12 times over the next 30 days? Do you want people to come in 10 times? Will you be encouraging them to check in on social media? Have a clear objective going into your challenge.

Figure out your start and end dates. Produce eye-catching, professional posters to promote your program or class, and create skillful social media posts to generate a buzz. Announce your upcoming event in your regular classes and give details in your member newsletter. Hype it up!

Make a leader/participation board. Create a grid on a poster or whiteboard with all your clients’ names down the left side and the challenge dates across the top. Have clients put a star (sticker) next to their name every time they attend a class. This is super motivating for people, and it looks great when new prospects come in.

Offer prizes. Reward people for their attendance with designated prize levels. For example, maybe a bronze prize (10 check-ins) is a free water bottle; a silver prize (12 check-ins) is a free T-shirt; and gold (15 check-ins) is a free gym bag or a complimentary personal training session, massage gift card (donated, of course) or mystery gift! Another idea: Give out a raffle ticket each time a client shows up to class and then host a fun workout/party at the end of October (before the holiday crunch) to celebrate and draw the raffle prize.

Strategy #2: The Big Switch

Have you ever been to a class where the instructor played the same music every single time? That’s pretty boring, right? And when someone new comes in and shakes up the routine and the music, the workout feels so fresh and new it pretty much rocks your socks off! So, changing up your music can be a great tweak, and try a few other simple ideas, as well:

Take it outside! In late summer/early fall, it’s usually still warm enough to lead an outdoor workout in most parts of the country. Host a sunset yoga class or run a 5K as a group. You can even offer a free outdoor boot camp class in the park for your members and their friends (potential new clients).

Add fun and flair to your workouts. Don’t be afraid to lighten up! Host a Friday night indoor cycling party, complete with disco ball, DJ and themed music.

Create a ninja warrior obstacle-race challenge. Up the motivation and competition and watch your clients hustle to win. This option is a ton of fun and a great physical challenge for all clients. Simply create your own version of the popular obstacle race using your imagination and available equipment. For example, use tires for an agility task, have people leapfrog over stability balls, and place sandbags in strategic locations to be moved in creative ways.

If you’re thinking this looks like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. Keep it simple and have fun with it! If you get excited about it, your clients will get excited about it, too.

Strategy #3: Throw a Fitness Field-Day Party

This strategy involves fitness games and free food—people will do pretty much anything for free food. The idea is to throw a field-day party and barbecue in honor of your amazing clients. The event will boost their morale boost, and they will feel loved and appreciated . Here are a few suggestions to make the day a roaring success:

Extend the invitation. Invite all your members and their families for healthy, free food, a fun social time and, of course, field-day games.

Go heavy on the games. Include classic field-day activities like tug of war, three-legged race, crab walk, treasure hunt, speed-walk tag, hula hoop marathon, etc.

Prizes are a must! Incentives go a long way toward ensuring a successful event for game winners. Partner with other local businesses to procure gift baskets and gift certificates. This is also a great time to hand out awards for your attendance challenge or to recognize members who stayed engaged throughout the summer.

Set Clients Up for a Healthy Holiday

The end of summer is a perfect time to get your clients thinking about the fall and winter. Have your fall promo offers ready to promote at the field day. Encourage people to think ahead and get a head start on the hectic holidays. Your clients will be so happy with the love you’ve shown them that they’ll be excited to dive into whatever comes next.

Alicia Streger

Alicia Streger is a fitness business owner turned business coach who specializes in helping fitness business owners magnify their impact and streamline their businesses. She works closely with people to help them build businesses that give back to the world while creating BOTH financial and time freedom. Alicia has built multiple offline and online businesses from the ground up, and now teaches her success strategies and systems to other fitness professionals. Her website is

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