A fitness class with students in Plank Pose.

Client retention: 5 Ways to Bump Up Your Class Size

Started from the bottom now you’re here.

Have you ever felt like you've been teaching at your studio for a little over a year and your class size is still wavering? You feel like you’re offering a solid workout, but that there’s still an imaginary wall between you and your students?

If you can relate, here are a few tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years that will help you connect with students and increase your following overtime (a.k.a. keep them coming back for more!).

  1. Optimize your teaching schedule.

    The classes with the largest following and occasional waitlist tend to be in the morning and the evening - before and after work. In third place, you could find a lunchtime class to be semi-popular, but usually, it’s a hit or miss. As an instructor, it’s important to expand your reach. Best case scenario: You snag a few prime-time spots where you can interact with more clients. Worst case scenario: You can pick up subs for prime-time classes, meet more clients, and at the end of class, share your class times so they know where to find you. Don’t be afraid to add a personal plug at the end of your class. If your students like you, they will follow you. There is always an opportunity to build the size of your class, which leads us to the next point...

  2. Seek out one-on-one conversations

    Whether you’re teaching to a class of five or 45 people, your students might feel a little invisible. Aim to get to class early to interact with students beforehand. Introduce yourself, ask them if they have any injuries or questions about the class, and provide words of encouragement before they begin. This sets the tone for your class and leaves a lasting first impression on the clients, improving the customer experience.

    READ: Driving Higher 1st Time Client Returns

  3. Call out your students.

    Want to give a student the equivalent of a gold medal? Call them out for their accomplishments or give them words of encouragement to reach their potential. “Good adjustments, Sam!” or “Can you turn up your resistance, Liz?” Just a few words of affirmation can go a long way and that will be a huge reason clients keep coming back to class.

  4. Celebrate your first timers. 

    Do you remember the last time you did something for the first time? It’s scary and intimidating—which is why we don’t do it very often. At the beginning of class, locate your first-timers and go up to them individually. Assure them that the class is catered toward beginners and that breaks are encouraged. More importantly than the introduction to the first timers is the follow-up after class. When you have finished teaching, find your first-timers and check in with them. That final impression is imperative if you want them to come back to class. Even better if you remember their names!
  5. Build connection outside of class. 

    Most classes range anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, which doesn’t give you a lot of time to connect with the clients. Without sliding into their DMs after class, give them a chance to slide into yours. At the end of the class you can offer your social media handle as a chance to connect.

    Bonus: If your studio leverages the FitGrid platform, you can send all of your students a personalized message after class. Sound like a lot of work? FitGrid teaches you how to send a quick message to your students in less than five minutes. Small effort, big reach.

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