5 Tips On Cultivating A Fitness Community
Humans have an innate desire to belong to a group. Everyone needs a community of some sort, and many folks find it at a local fitness club. That place may be a Crossfit gym, tennis club, or even a karate dojo. These places all have a powerful community aspect that is attractive to the human spirit.
Building a fitness-minded community at your gym will benefit you immensely once established. Your business will become more attractive to potential members and will keep your current member retention rate high. Cultivating a connected community is one of the main keys to success for your fitness club.
Here are five tips for cultivating a strong fitness community.
Have a Captivating Vision
Community can certainly happen on its own, but being intentional about building it will make it happen much faster. Communicating your vision is important because it invites your members ( and new potential members) along the journey.
Try adding community-focused wording to your branding and marketing, including taglines, website design, mission statement, etc.
Know Your Niche
Have in mind who you are trying to attract to your gym/community. Having a target audience will determine what you do for marketing and event planning.
It’s hard to be the “one-size fits all gym.” Be realistic; who is most likely to walk into your gym? Your gym or club will give off a particular vibe and attract people looking for that atmosphere. Make sure your class offerings and events represent the niche audience you want to attract.
Your workouts should also represent your mission statement. If your mission is “helping the average Joe not be fat,” then Joe should be the focus of your programming.
Create FOMO Through Social Media
For any business owner, having your clients regret missing a class or event is fantastic. Fear Of Missing Out can be a great motivator for people to show up. Ideally, you provide a service that people want to be a part of.
Social media posting is super important for showing everyone what’s going on in your gym. Posting lots of pictures of members working out, laughing, talking in the lobby, or anything else happening around the gym is a wonderful tool for creating FOMO.
Give people a visual reminder of what they are missing out on.
Do More Than Just Workout
We get it; you built your fitness studio to help people get healthy and in shape, not to be an event planner. But to be competitive with other gyms, you need to gather around more than just a barbell or yoga mat.
Extra things don’t need to take up a ton of time for planning. Oftentimes, there’s a parent or gym member who loves to plan and organize things. Put them on task for planning a monthly BYOB barbeque after a Saturday workout.
Here are some more ideas for non-workout related activities to help build community ties.
- Tail-gaiting before a competition or event.
- Invite local professionals to give short seminars on nutrition, recovery, wellness, meditation, etc.
- Have holiday parties.
- Diet challenges (try starting the whole30 diet as a gym)
- Family movie night.
- Picnic in the park day.
- Group hikes.
Build An Online Community For Your Gym
By nature, we are social creatures, so it makes sense that connections with other people are so necessary. Their local gym becomes their place for community and connection for many folks.
With the development of technology, connecting with like-minded individuals is easier than ever before. Make sure to start a Facebook group for your gym where members can talk with each other.
There are also some great apps available for gyms to build an online community. Plan2Play has a really cool app for members to connect with and organize activities such as mt. biking, running, or weekend tennis matches. There are also other cool features like the ability to create and share events. Younger people tend not to want to use Facebook much anymore.
A Fitness Community Doesn’t Happen Overnight
It takes time for your fitness community to develop. However, placing an emphasis on the community will pay off in the long run. People are searching for it and will want to be a part of what you created. Attract new members, retain current members, and keep your business growing, focusing on the people in it.