One of the biggest challenges faced by studios is turning first-time clients into regulars.
Oftentimes, the easiest way to bridge this gap is by using the one tool that almost everyone has: social media.
As an instructor, a good way to market yourself and connect with all of your clients is by leveraging social media in a way that puts your target audience at the forefront. Clients want to feel like they are more than just a number, and giving them a little extra attention could strengthen their connection with you as their instructor.
Social media is a great retention tool that not only makes first-time visitors feel like their presence is appreciated, but could attract more students to your class (and followers to your profile!). Use in-person interactions with clients to fuel your connections on social media as well.
Here are some smart and easy ways to use social media as a fitness pro:
Give Sneak Previews of Class
Posting glimpses into your classes at the studio gives potential new clients an idea of what to expect, and can encourage more students to sign up for your classes. At the beginning of class, let everyone know that you are going to be live streaming/making a story with your social media platform of choice. Students can show off their moves or wave to the camera during the workout, and you can tag everyone who participated at the end of the session. Not only will they get the recognition of taking your class, but it’s a fun way to get to know you as their instructor!
Another way to spread awareness about your classes is to repost UGC (User Generated Content) from students. Your clients all have a unique voice — whether it’s an after-class selfie in the studio mirrors, a group photo with their fitness squad, or a transformation photo. Ask for permission to repost if a particular photo catches your eye, to show your support and give followers a different perspective on what it’s like at your studio. You can even add a personalized hashtag to your posts to give a special name to your workout squad and so clients can tag you in their posts. Social proof illustrates the strong influence happy clients and peers can have on others considering buying into a product or service (in this case, your workout). People are more likely to trust the opinions of their peers when it comes to choosing a fitness studio or class, and sharing positive reviews from clients through social media builds your credibility and adds social proof to the equation.
* Make sure to check with your studio owner on company policies before filming class. If approved, let your class know ahead of time so that if anyone is uncomfortable with being recorded, they have the chance to tell you right away, and you can avoid putting those individuals in the video. If need be, have clients sign waivers before recording.
Feature Superstar Clients
Use your social media platform to shine a spotlight on a client every week. You can highlight all of their accomplishments thus far, and motivate them to keep up the good work! This provides recognition for their hard work and shows that they genuinely have a support system within your studio’s community.
Before and after photos are also a great way to motivate those just beginning their journey with you. Showing newer students the progress they could attain with (a lot of) sweat and determination is inspiring, and seeing the results you helped these clients achieve strengthens your impact as a fitness professional.
* Tip: just because a client is new to you, does not mean they haven’t had a personal fitness journey; be sure to touch base with your first-timers when picking someone to feature!
Educate and Update Clients
Using your profile as a one-stop-shop for your clients to know what’s happening in your classes is the best way to keep them connected. Post your class schedules, contact information, and important announcements, such as when you have a substitute for one of your classes. Make an Instagram Highlight Reel to showcase this information permanently at the top of your profile, so clients can double-check your schedule with the tap of a finger. At the end of class, always offer your handle to new clients so they can be in the loop.
You can also post about things beyond the studio that still tie into your role as a fitness professional, such as nutrition and wellness. Use your knowledge of these areas to enhance your followers’ experiences working out, and increase the impact of their efforts. This not only boosts your credibility in the fitness world but establishes a sense of trust and mentorship with your followers and clients. This not only boosts your credibility in the fitness world, but can open up for discussion with clients, and help them align their workouts with the rest of their lifestyle to reach their goals.
Use Tools to Strengthen Connections
If you use the FitGrid Pro app, you can send follow-up messages to your first-time clients to build deeper connections. You can customize your standard messages to include your social media handles, which means stronger connections with clients and more followers for you — a win-win situation! The notes feature allows you to record notes about each individual client to improve their experience. Keeping track of each client’s specific preferences and personal events (injuries, birthday, milestones at the studio) facilitates stronger connections and better interactions that they will appreciate.
Speak with your studio’s owner or manager about implementing FitGrid tools at your location to start boosting retention and achieving your profit goals.
Why limit your interactions with clients to the studio, when there are so many opportunities to strengthen your bonds on social media? Keeping clients in the loop about your classes and making them truly feel included and valued, only adds to the long list of reasons they’ll want to keep coming back!
BONUS: We all receive tons of emails, automated messages, and notifications every day. That’s why it’s so important for instructors and studio owners to know how to craft effective messages to send to clients. The team at FitGrid decided to dig into their data of nearly half a million messages, sent by instructors, to see what's most (and least) effective. The results are really cool—and useful! In our Guide to Effective Client Interactions, you’ll find out what specific emojis result in higher response rates, how question marks impact the effectiveness of subject lines, the most effective keywords, and much more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level