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Fitness marketing and social archives and news

5 strategies to market your fitness business

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

How are you going to market your fitness business as you Get 2023 ready?

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our fourth blog post in the series, we looked at operating tactics to save time and maximise revenue.  In this post, we turn to thinking about promotion and how to think about marketing your business.

This post dovetails with a number in this series, especially Who are you targeting as new customers? What do they want from their fitness provider? and What incentives should you offer your current or target customers? Those posts include some internally focused marketing tactics for driving referrals.  Here we focus on what external, outward-facing tactics you can use to promote your business.

Fundamentally, to market your business successfully you need to deliver the right message at the right time to your target customer.  The first step to any marketing, therefore, is to ensure you’re clear on your messaging and brand.  What values do you want to convey?  How do you differentiate yourself from other fitness or wellness businesses?  Buyers want to see an authentic message, as much as possible, personalised to them.  Being clear on what benefits they’ll get from your services and placing that in context for them is often key in motivating, and indeed justifying the buying decision.  With your messaging clear you can move on to consider what marketing tactics are right for your business.

Focus on social proof

As you promote your business you’ll very likely need to offer credibility to your messaging.  The very best way to do this is with customer testimonials and social media support.

Think about how you can effectively collect a good number of testimonials with permission to use them (!).

It’s also worth trying to ensure your customers are following you on social media, and perhaps you can even incentivise them to do so – as you then have a more engaged audience to share content that you can post through your own channels.

Direct marketing

With everyone now so digitally focused and online for long periods of the day it’s tempting to overlook traditional marketing techniques.  However, it’s also important to remember that location is a hugely important factor in people’s decision to buy your services and, indeed post-pandemic with the shift to work from home, many will be spending even more time outside of city centres.

So thinking about direct channels, such as local listing magazines, coffee/supermarket bulletin boards and even leaflets in local businesses/health services can be a super way of generating awareness.

Local groups and associations

Building on local activity, it’s worth researching if there are any local groups that you may be able to join (which often have large and active Facebook groups too) or even sponsor to promote your business.  Examples would be business trade groups or sports clubs.  These can be a great way to both meet potential new customers but also a means to partner to cross-promote businesses while raising your local profile.

SEO

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the way in which you can be discovered via searches made on online search engines such as Google.

If you have a website building a strong SEO presence (even if you know what you’re doing) can take some considerable time, especially if there’s competition for the key search terms that you’d want to rank for (e.g. ‘gyms near me’).  There are a number of Google-driven ranking website ‘good hygiene’ criteria you’d want to ensure are added, as well as adding relevant content regularly.  In short, it’s likely to be something that if you’re going to focus on, you may want some expert support with (even if that’s small tweaks/directional advice).

As a result, building, maintaining and actually getting leads via a website can be far more costly and longer process than people envisage.  That’s not to say it’s not the right option for many – you have to start somewhere, and if done right can be terrific, but for many, it might not represent a good short-run return on investment.

There are, however, ways in which you can still benefit from SEO without having to have a full-blown SEO-optimised website.  For example, it’s worth checking if your booking system gives you a unique web page that is SEO optimised as part of the deal.

Paid digital ads

Depending on your budget, you may wish to look at either paid Facebook or Google (PPC – pay-per-click) ads.  The former are display based on people’s stated/revealed interests and the latter based on entered search terms on Google (so can be a way to shortcut SEO optimisation).  Whilst setting these up can be intimidating, like most platforms, if you invest a little time in understanding the basics you can upskill to run them both without necessarily needing a local marketing agency to help.

The great thing about both is that you can run limited tests without having to over-commit.  If you’re not tech confident, you may want to look at whether a local marketing agency could help.

The reality is that the entailed time, set-up cost and likely need to experiment in the early days may mean this isn’t for every business, but if you’re a larger business, with a strong digital presence (with a good digital way of converting customers from leads to customers) then they’re definitely worth considering. 

That completes our Get 2023 ready series.  We hope you have found it informative.  Please do follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to keep up to date with new business management content, offers and news!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company with monthly pricing starting at £/$10 per month.

How to manage booking availability and cancellations

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our third blog post in the series, we looked at how pricing tactics and how to think about using incentives to increase sign-ups, improve customer retention and motivate referrals.  In this post, we build on that topic to think about operational efficiency and specifically what booking availability and cancellation policy tactics you can employ to boost efficiency and revenue.

Manage when booking opens

Many businesses create, and publish their schedule and create a simple structure whereby anyone can book in immediately, right up to the start time of a session.  Whilst this may be fine if capacity isn’t a constraint, we think it’s still a good idea to consider a more refined policy because of the messaging it can send your customer base…

For example, if you note that bookings for a session open X amount of time before it starts (e.g. 1 week), then you can create (whether it exists or not) a sense of demand/urgency for people to book their space because they may fear on missing out otherwise, as they know others are going to be looking out to grab it.  This additionally prevents customers from booking too far into the future, decreasing availability when there’s a reasonable chance their plans may yet change and be unable to fulfil the booking.

Manage when booking closes

Perhaps less obvious is the idea to set when booking closes for a session past the start time of a session. How many times has someone turned up last minute, or a customer brought someone new for an intro session where admin is done in a hurry?  By closing bookings for a session at a set time after the session finishes you can enable anyone that turned up late or failed to book on to still participate and yet still go back and pay what they owed whilst keeping your and their booking records up to date.

If you record your sessions and want to have a timetabled set of pre-records for sessions (rather than just keeping it in a static on-demand library), this tactic can also be really handy for securing some extra revenue, allowing customers to book the session/pre-record long after it’s finished.

Manage prioritised access

You can also consider whether you want to give certain customers priority access to being able to book before others.

This can be a great way to reward customers for making a purchase.  For example, perhaps a benefit of booking a course/block is that you’ll get a priority buying period on the next course/block that’s released.  This can create good ongoing commitment with an incentive to maintain their spot based on knowledge may not be able to get it back if they don’t recommit.  By making that repeat buying decision, it can also reinforce a feeling of accountability and desire to attend, something that in our experience can naturally wain with standard recurring memberships.

Another option with this feature would be to offer certain sessions as ‘Member’ only, creating further value differentiation as against pay-as-you-go or shorter-term commitment packages.

Enable digital payments

If you’re reading this post, it’s perhaps unlikely that this isn’t taken for granted, but we think it’s worth noting nonetheless!

Some businesses decide to take bookings without enabling any payments, saving some transaction fees in the process.  Whilst this can work ok for some, and indeed Gymcatch can support this too, our experience is that this often proves a false economy.  Remember this gives people that cancel free access to your sessions and the potential to cost you both the money they would have spent, but also the money that someone else who could have booked the space would spend.

You’ll also have to spend time checking bank accounts against attendance and chasing for payment where necessary.  Assuming your time is limited, you should put a cost to this activity in a week – in our experience, even something at less than minimum wage more than pays for the related transaction costs (and in Gymcatch’s case, the software costs too!).

Sensible wait lists

Ensuring you use a waitlist strategy that maximises revenue for your business is important. Historic first-in-line methods can prove counter-productive, as they entail that those who were on them have had the most time to make other plans.  Indeed, the time it takes those on them to confirm or reject the take-up of their place further reduces the time others have to reply.  Far more efficient is to release any spare spaces on an equitable first come first served basis.

Use reminders and calendar sync

Reminders can be a double-edged sword – for some, if they’ve made a booking and it’s on their calendar, a reminder is an unwelcome interruption.  That said, they can be helpful if your client base are busy and decided to disable that setting/haven’t put it in their calendars and we’d always offer a customer the ability to configure their notification settings, so in moderation, they can certainly be value add.

Set a cancellation policy

Setting a policy is a delicate balance between ensuring you give your customers an incentive to book early / flexibility in case their plans change and the fact that you’re running a business and need the certainty of revenue and attendance to successfully deliver your services.

Our data supports the view that offering some flexibility for customers is a good idea and, indeed, now the market norm.  We’d strongly recommend enabling a swap should be the means of ‘refund’ rather than cash. This ensures you don’t miss out on the revenue whilst giving your customers some additional flexibility.

Clearly stating the cancellation policy at booking is evidently a good idea, and ensures any disputes or issues are kept to an absolute minimum.

In terms of what timeframe you’d allow a credit back/swap to a different session, factors such as what number of attendees makes a session profitable, the notice period you think alternative customers would need to be able to fill the space and a headline assessment of your ideal customer’s typical schedule all feed into this equation.

Generally, we see 3 hours – 24 hours before a start time as the norm but do remember you can set different policies for different sessions if you wish.  For example, perhaps you might be more generous with your 5-6:30 pm sessions than in-school/middle-of-the-day sessions because you recognise that work/traffic variables may be more of a worry for your target customers.

In our experience, as long as you build some flexibility into your model and clearly communicate the policy, customers are thankful for whatever you choose so be sure to think carefully about your policy and ensure you don’t encourage behaviour that ultimately costs you money.

With your operating tactics optimised in our next blog post in the Get 2023 ready series, we’ll consider when and how you’re going to promote your business. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company with monthly pricing starting at £/$10 per month.

What incentives should you offer to your customers?

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our second blog post in the series, we looked at how to set a pricing strategy.  In this post, we build on that topic to think about pricing tactics and what incentives you may consider both to bring in new customers but also to increase spending and retention from your existing ones.

Broadly these incentives fall into three types:

  • Incentives to try/join
  • Incentives to commit
  • Incentives to refer

Incentives to try/join

These incentives are well-known and would include ‘First class free’, ‘First month free’ or ‘Free PT consultation’ etc.

When thinking about these types of incentives it helps to think about three questions.

First, consider how long is needed to determine whether they’ll benefit from your services.  This also, of course, should take into account how long you’re asking your customer to commit. For example, if you’re requiring a yearly contract you may want to give a potential customer longer to decide than if you are offering pay-as-you-go classes.

Secondly, consider how long you think a customer needs to become an engaged customer. How long do they need to build a routine or habit that ensures you’ve converted them?

Thirdly, consider the cost to you of the offer.  Can you afford a strong take-up of the incentive?  The cost to set up and administer the offer should also be factored in.

It is also worth noting, that if you don’t feel a free or longer free period is justified, a discount can work just as well for many, especially in relation to more expensive services.  This approach can also place a higher perceived value on quality and demand which for less price-sensitive buyers may be desirable.

Incentives to commit

These incentives are more business model considerations and would include decisions around whether to offer memberships, courses/blocks and class packs etc.

The consideration here is how much you want to require or even incentivise a bigger upfront commitment as against short-run or even per-session payments.  For many smoothing and visibility of future income is desirable, but in an age where customers increasingly value flexibility, this can be a difficult balance to strike.

For some businesses with high demand or waitlists, the right decision here will be to not incentivise commitment at all, but rather just enable a regular full-priced (e.g. membership, or course/block) for customer convenience of buying or securing a space.

A second option where demand is strong or artificially creates that view is to incentivise commitment based on the access.  For example, you could give members or course buyers priority access to sessions, or an existing course buyer priority over a space on the next.  This can create an incentive to commit without costing you anything.

Where offering a price incentive to commit is desirable, matching that to your customers’ cash flow and own schedule is a good idea.  For example, if your customers generally have children, would it be a better fit to offer term-time blocks rather than year round memberships?  Or perhaps if you want to keep a premium pay-as-you-go pricing model just offering a small discount on class packs that expire based on a date from purchase may make more sense than a discounted membership.

Incentives to refer

Finally, we consider incentives you may wish to offer to customers or local partners for referring new customers.  These are often more costly than standalone free trial products, as it generally makes sense to also include your standard offer for the new customer.

Examples might be a free class pass when you bring a friend, a month’s free membership for a successful sign-up, a gift card on success or even straight cash.  Generally, it makes most financial sense to offer incentives where you can absorb your margin as part of the cost (i.e. it’s not an additional hard cash outgoing), but this of course is only the case if the incentive proves sufficiently motivating as against offering something more tangible like a gift card or cash.

Given their additional cost, we’d recommend carefully considering when and for how long these types of incentives are used, as well as meticulously tracking how successful they are.  The one big advantage they have is that it’s very likely that your existing customer base has good access to potential customers with a similar demographic and set of needs/preferences.  As such, whilst these incentives cost more, there’s every chance they’ll convert well and, indeed, may be less costly than other more outward-facing marketing initiatives.

Thinking more widely than your existing customer base for referrals can also be beneficial.  Perhaps there are local businesses with a large employee base, a service provider or even a coffee house/restaurant that has a client base that would match up well to your services who you could create a more bespoke offer for.  There’s every chance there are businesses that you may even be able to partner with to offer something in return to reduce or even remove the cost entirely.

With your pricing strategy and incentive tactics now thought through, in our next blog post, we’ll move to thinking about operational efficiency strategies, including cancellation policies. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company with monthly pricing starting at £/$10 per month. 

How to price your fitness services

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness industry archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

How to price your fitness services.  What are your customers willing to pay for your services?  How long and what are they prepared to commit to?

Between now and the end of the year we’re going to take a look at 5 areas to help you Get 2023 ready.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our follow-up posts.

In our first blog post in the series, we thought about how to define your target customer and how that should inform the services you offer.  In this post, we build on that topic to consider the evergreen topic of pricing. Here we focus on your pricing strategy, and in a follow-up post, we’ll get deeper into specific promotional tactics. 

Be aware of bias

Before we think about your business, it’s worth raising a couple of important human characteristics that invariably influence pricing.  The first is a psychological bias known as ‘loss aversion’.  This bias can unconsciously lead you to under-price your services.  The bias entails that we fear loss more than valuing potential gains, so as applied to pricing, it entails that it’s natural to take what you’ve charged to date, or what the competition charge, as a reference point, fear the worse with regards customers’ propensity to not pay or switch services, and undershoot what you could charge.  i.e. you fear the worse when considering a price change rather than accurately weighing that as against the potential upside.

Secondly, there’s an emotional element to pricing for many. One likely strength of your business is its sense of community and your relationships with your customers.  Many may be considered friends who you socialise with.  This can naturally lead to a desire to please/aversion to confrontation and impact your confidence in making price changes, especially in a scenario where you feel funds are tight.

Of course, both of these natural tendencies exist for a reason, they serve us well in many situations, and ultimately you won’t (nor should you) try to ignore them completely but being aware of them can help in driving a more objective assessment of your businesses’ pricing strategy.

Keeping those tendencies in mind, we move to assess two important inputs to your pricing strategy; your business and your customers.

Your business

As you think about pricing your fitness services, you need to start by ensuring you understand the costs that need to be met by the output of your strategy – i.e. to understand your breakeven point.

Your monthly breakeven point should include your desired base income and all venue and marketing costs.  If you know you’ll be quieter in certain months of the year (and have required outgoings for those months) you should factor this into your thinking for busier periods.  A good exercise during this time is to assess your costs for any efficiencies that can be made. This will help you identify the common costs you can reduce (insert link). This is to say, you’d increase your income target in the busier months to make up for the quieter ones.

A second business-level consideration is cash flow. This is really about the timings for incoming and outgoing cash to your business and ensuring that they are aligned.  Generally, there’s a trade-off between offering longer-term (e.g. monthly memberships, courses/blocks) and shorter-term (e.g. pay as you go, class packs) commitment-based products. 

The former strategy gives greater visibility of revenue but the latter, as it’s normally priced at a premium, would be, all things equal, revenue maximising.  The extent to which you want to smooth cash flow versus relying on regular repetitive purchases feeds into how you price the different products you offer.  Of course, what your customers are able and willing to commit also feeds into this.  Quite often the right answer is a blend, but every business is different and should think through the value to them of each.

Your customers

With your breakeven point and cash flow needs to be established, we’d recommend experimenting with different pricing and customer purchasing numbers on paper or a basic spreadsheet.  From this, you can begin to get a feel for what range of pricing and demand meets your breakeven point and generate some ideas from which to evolve your thinking.

You can now look at your pricing ideas from your customers’ (and target customers’) perspective.  Assessing willingness to pay is difficult but using your customer profile from our first post in the series and reviewing, if applicable, how customer retention changed after a previous price change will all feed into your overall conclusion.  Trying to place them (generalised) on a 1-10 sensitivity scale may help.  If you think they are highly sensitive then you may also want to consider what the local competition is doing and pay some attention to that. This is not to say you match or undercut, more just be sure that the value you offer can be clearly communicated in comparison.

Once you’ve formed a view on price sensitivity you can overlay that against your range of high-low pricing and product commitment (long v short-term options) models to conclude what makes sense for your business.

Track and review

As you launch your new strategy, be sure to regularly review how it’s performing and consider whether the assumptions you’ve made throughout this process are holding true.

Having followed a logical process, you should feel confident in the strategy and launch.  That said, as the above has revealed, determining a sound pricing structure requires you to make reasonable assumptions across often inferred preferences, so ultimately you can’t be 100% certain on how a new offering or changes will land.  As such, how you communicate price changes is also important – our 5th blog post in this series will come back to the subject of messaging.  So, as you launch, stay close to your customers as you launch it and watch for feedback. 

‘Watch’ is the right word, because stated versus revealed preferences can be very different here.  For example, I might indicate that I’m upset about a price rise, but if I still pay/keep coming there’s perhaps a reality that I can’t be that upset about it.  Indeed, it may be that you’d weigh that type of feedback from customers more than others.

With your base pricing strategy now established, we’ll build on these considerations in our next post and look at how you can evolve your pricing tactics to add incentives for current and target customers.  Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter to see when it drops in the coming week!

Ollie is the founder of Gymcatch, a booking and customer management software company with monthly pricing starting at £/$10 per month.

Image for Referrals blog post

How to create a referral programme

By Dance, Fitness marketing and social archives and news, Gym and studios, HIIT and group, Pilates, Yoga

A referral programme is a very cost-effective and low risk way to reward your loyal customers for recommending new ones. It’s a very powerful marketing tactic to get existing customers to talk about you and help you acquire new ones.

According to a Nielsen report 83% of people trust their friends’ opinions. Although an old cliché, people buy from people, and that’s because there is immediate confidence and credibility to their testimonial. Led by trust, these future customers have the potential to quickly convert.

In summary, these are the key benefits to a referral programme:

  • Turns customers into loyal ones
  • Helps you build on your testimonials
  • Expands your reach and awareness
  • Converts leads into customers faster

If you are now ready to set up your referral programme and are looking for ideas, this blog is for you, and to make it easy we’ve broken it down into a 4 step guide with inspirational ideas you may want to consider.

  1. Set the goal you want to achieve with your referral programme
    Before you get started, decide on what you want to achieve with your programme. You want this to be clear and measurable. Acquiring new customers may not be your goal or what you want by the end of it. Some businesses will be looking at increasing sales or loyalty to get more advocates and improve on retention. Once you have decided on your goal, think about how you will be measuring progress and what are your referral sources.
  2. Decide on your incentive or reward
    The most successful way to get this right is to encourage insight from your customers to determine what incentive or reward will motivate them. Non-cash incentives such as in-store credits or priority access boost customer retention and sales. You don’t want to spend endless hours tracking and calculating incentives manually. Instead automate as much of this work as possible to save yourself valuable time. Choosing a conversion event, for example, the reward is applicable once the customer has booked a class or session with you and made full payment. This will eliminate any doubts and set the boundaries for when claiming a reward.
  3. Decide on your advocates
    The most critical part of the programme is choosing customers that are as passionate as you are about what you do and know your brand. Share your mission with them and draw some parameters. Work out the tags or hashtags and key messages you want them sharing.

    Consider the following:
    Who do you want to target?
    What do you need them to do?
    How can they achieve this?

  4. Promote your referral programme
    Tell your customers about your programme, chances are they aren’t aware and/or need reminding. Your most loyal customers should be your first place to get started. These are people that love your classes or sessions and have probably already advocated your business more than once before. However, make it easy for your customers to share your services and get rewarded. Social media has become a popular channel to share information and get the word out, but it has to be a simple process for both the referrer and referee, or they will lose interest.

A referral programme creates a win-win situation for all. Your existing clients get rewarded, feel valued, and you get quality leads for new customers. The more customers you get to tell their friends about your classes or appointments the more opportunity for new business you create.

Need inspiration?
Take a look at what some brands are doing!

Uber
Uber’s referral programme has 2 parts. Uber gives drivers and riders a unique referral code to share with friends interested in creating a driver or rider account. When a referral is successful a payment reward is made.
In parallel, they run a user referral programme too that works very similarly. When a user shares their code with a friend and that friend signs up they both get their next trip for free.

Dropbox
Dropbox allows you to earn extra free storage space when you invite friends to try it out. Basic accounts get 500 MB per referral and can earn up to 16GB. Plus accounts get 1 GB and earn up to 32 GB per referral.

How do referrals work on Gymcatch?
There are many ways to use Gymcatch’s features to run a successful referral programme and reward your customers. Our Discount Codes bolt-on, for example, allows customers to invite their friends and family at a fixed amount or percentage off. This is great when wanting to encourage loyalty and improve retention.

You can also use bundles and make them available for purchase for a limited time and remove it from sale at the end of the offer period. These are included as part of the base plan and although mean a little more planning are very easy to set up.

Our own referral programme means customers get rewarded with 2 free months and receive a cash reward when referring a new business. The referred business gets an extra free month directly into their account when registering with us.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

Image for How to raise your prices blog post

How to communicate your price increase to your customers

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news, Uncategorized

Raising the prices of services can be daunting. We worry that we might lose clients on price, that we make them angry, upset and disappointed at us. We also feel a duty of care toward clients and don’t want to raise prices when we might know they are already struggling. Sometimes, we can even question whether our services are worth the extra cost.

These are completely normal emotions and entirely empathetic response to a difficult situation.

But, and it is a big but, you are almost certainly going to have to raise your prices.

If you have been postponing it for a while, now is a good time to get into action and do it in the best way possible for you and your clients. So, take a deep breath, and let’s dive into the key steps to take to make the transition easier for you, and for your clients.

By how much do you need to increase your classes, and in what timeframe?

Has inflation already started to bite you and by how much? Add up the additional costs that you now incur. That’s the minimum amount you need to make up by increasing your prices just to keep your take-home revenue the same. So, if your bills have done up by £100 / month and your monthly revenue is £1000 / month, you need to raise your prices by 10%.

You might decide actually that you can make some efficiency savings in your business which save £50 a month so you can actually raise prices by 5%.  But the thing to watch out for is that inflation doesn’t stay still. Inflation might add another £50 to your overheads in 6 months’ time and now there’s no more efficiency savings to make so you need to raise your prices again.

And here is your first choice which is do you raise your prices in a big chunk in one go to future-proof your pricing and keep your prices flat for a decent amount of time? Or do you raise prices incrementally through the year a little at a time?

The answer is probably that if you sell in long-term increments (annual memberships for example) you will need to raise your prices in one big jump now. Whereas if you sell more on a pay-as-you-go, or in weekly or monthly increments, you have far more flexibility to increase prices gradually.

 1. Communicate your price increase

Raising your prices without giving much warning and without clarity can cause unnecessary friction. The key is to communicate any changes to your customers effectively and allow for some time to adjust to the changes. People will understand you have to put prices up but for them, it’s just another increase so however understanding it’s not what they want to hear. Be as transparent as possible and provide them with a timeline that gives them plenty of time. If it’s practical, let them know individually or in small groups and in person.

People will appreciate that you’ve spoken to them and not just assumed that the increase will be fine or not care if the increase is too much for them. Once your customers know you can make an announcement but most of your clients will already know and appreciate the advance warning.

 2. Add value, foster loyalty, and build a community spirit

Adding value to your fitness services will aid with customer retention and acquisition. In general, people are willing to pay more if they feel they are getting more value for money. This can be anything form the service you provide, to the speed of your responses, to any free resources you give away, to the private groups you form etc. Adding value can put you in a unique position and help you differentiate from your competitors. At the end of the day, only you know what you do and how you do it, so be brave and consider yourself an expert in the field by driving conversations.

Are there a few little things you can add to your service which don’t cost you much or anything at all, but that your clients will appreciate as their prices go up. Checking in with clients a bit more to make sure they’re enjoying themselves, additional positive feedback, run little competitions and hand out little prizes (just tokens and silly things – not flat-screen TVs). This is all part of creating a mindset with customers that your services aren’t just an expense every week or month. Your services are an essential part of their physical and social routine that is essential for their mental and physical health.  Do everything you can to ensure your service isn’t a nice to have, it’s essential. You may want to read our top 5 tips for creating value for your customers.

 3. Pricing trade-offs

It might be with your business, especially if you’re still seeing a drop in numbers from Covid, that revenue right now is tight. You might therefore want to consider killing two birds with one stone and offering a chance for customers to avoid price increases in return for buying upfront. For example, you could offer a 1 year or 6-month membership where the client pays in full and upfront but at your current price?

Now there’s a trade-off – your profit margin on that customer is less than it would be if they were paying that in instalments at the higher price. But, you’ve got the money in the bank now. If you’ve got clients that fit the profile that can pay upfront, then it might well suit both you and them.

If your customers have been with you for a while, it is likely they can anticipate a price increase. Fitness professionals approaching price raises with attention and communicating the change successfully will likely not risk the customer relationship.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day fitness heroes

By Fitness marketing and social archives and news

International Women’s Day is a great excuse for us to pay tribute to the women empowering other women through fitness and wellness. Our fitness and wellness heroes come from all over the world, they lead, influence and inspire in different ways, but the one thing they have in common is that special ability to motivate others.

This years’ International Women’s Day campaign #BreakTheBias celebrates a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

We’ve gathered some of our favourite fitness and wellness heroes for you who live and inspire by doing it their way.

  1. Kayla Itsines

Kayla is an Australian Personal trainer, co-founder of @SWEAT and creator of the Bikini Body Guide (#BBG). She has made a name for herself in the fitness industry with championing body positivity and the release of #BBG, a 12-week programme with its own hashtag.

Her SWEAT app alone has amassed over 30 million downloads according to Techcrunch with over a million people using it on a monthly basis.

Kayla joined the body positivity movement very early on helping women recognise that everyone is unique and that there is more than one path to health and happiness.  She has been helping millions make health and fitness a part of their life and currently has one of the largest fitness communities out there.

  1. Brittne Babe

Former track athlete and now queen of home workouts, Brittne has helped thousands of women with her no excuses approach. In the past 10 years in industry, Brittne has partnered with STRONG by Zumba, Gymshark and Women’s Best to name a few. She launched an online 21 Day Challenge and the Brittcamp.

Brittne is an influencer who has gained her name due to her very impressive fitness skills. She showcases this well on her YouTube channel giving tons of inspiration for easy-to-do yet effective home workouts.

  1. Natacha Oceane

Youtuber and fitness influencer from London, Natacha has made a name for herself with the release of her science-based training guide, CUT, which has become very popular among her followers. She has now released 4 guides since.

Natacha makes plyometrics look super easy and shares her training routine including recipes, daily. The combination of her exercises has many benefits such as stimulating metabolism and increasing strength.

Last May Natacha donated all her May’s YouTube ad revenue to support causes fighting racism.

  1. Davina McCall

Former Big Brother UK presenter, Davina has been showing off her age-defying body across social channels with workout videos and recipe ideas. Her goal is to encourage everyone in the UK to be healthier and more active whilst having fun.

Over the past few years, Davina has become a UK fitness influencer and has gone to launch Own Your Goals. Most recently she announced a partnership with @Actionmedres for her charity ride Davina’s Big Sussex Bike Ride this July, raising money for sick babies and children.

  1. Cassey Ho

Creator of Pop Pilates, a fusion workout consisting of highly-focused movements, Cassey has helped over 5m people transform their bodies online. These days Pop Pilates has become a global sensation and has one of the largest fitness communities out there.

Her mission to get people stronger hasn’t changed since she launched her YouTube channel and she has been claimed to modernise Pilates, making it truly accessible to everyone following her.

  1. Cat Meffan

Ex-gymnast and dancer now turned yoga teacher, Cat first launched a fitness and travel blog named Imperfect Matter before launching My Soul Sanctuary. My Soul Sanctuary is a platform to inspire yoga practice and personal growth where she shares daily affirmations or mantras and yoga poses.

She has had collaborations with some big fitness brands including Nike, Sweaty Betty and Zico Coconut Water.

  1. Tara Mia Simich

Founder of The Jungle Body a global movement-to-music company offering a range of soul-igniting and beat-driven fitness programmes for everyone in 20 countries around the globe. Tara became addicted to group fitness whilst living in New York and attending fitness classes. On her return to Australia, she was determined to create a fun and sweat workout programme and Konga was born.  A total of eight programmes have since then been created The Jungle Body’s mission is to empower women to feel good about themselves.

  1. Rachael Brathen

Originally from Sweden, Rachael attended her first meditation retreat at age 18. From there she continued visiting yoga studios very week looking to get rid of some the begative memories from childhood.

She then went on to found in 2010 the Yoga Girl®. A movement looking to provide support for healing and expand self-love. The Yoga Girl culture is to allow each person to be who they truly are and it has now a vast community of dedicated practitioners from all over the world.

  1. Charlee Atkins

Charlee is a New York City-based fitness expert, certified by both ‘Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist’ and ‘Certified Functional Strength Coach’. Her time at SoulCycle led her to set up Le Sweat, and what initially started as a fitness blog quickly evolved into a community of fitness enthusiasts.

She inspires thousands of people to move daily through motivational posts and informational videos. In 2020 she launched Le Sweat app TV.

She has been featured in top magazines such as Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan and Men’s Health.

  1. Wendy Ida

Wendy pushes the standard to prove that age is just a number. At 65 years old she holds two Guinness World Records, one for the Oldest Active Instructor and the other for the most burpees in one minute, a whopping 37.

However, Wendy didn’t start her fitness journey until she reached 43 years of age in a quest to lose weight and overcome a past abusive relationship. Today she holds an incredible record with top awards at NPC Body Building and Figure Championships.

  1. Svava Sigbertsdottir

Icelandic-born Svava is an advocate that if you want things to happen, you must step up and make it happen. She released The Viking Method after trying many different fitness concepts and realising that a combination of them all would give her the lean tight body she was after.

For Svava however is not about looking a certain way but rather feeling confident, powerful, agile, strong and quick. A bold warrior at heart, Svava brings her Viking roots to her training and encourages people everywhere to show up for themselves.

  1. Brooke Siler Pilates

Author of The New York Times’ best-seller The Pilates Body and creator of Tensatoner™️. Fitness trainer to the stars include supermodels Kate Moss, Liv Tyler and Amber Valetta.

Brooke is at the forefront of the Pilates community having trained with protégée Romana Kryzanowska at Drago’s Gym in New York.

  1. Nadia Alkoc

Zumba®️Jammer and personal trainer, Nadia brings great energy to her social media accounts with her vibrant style flying the flag for all Zumba enthusiasts in Scotland and beyond.

  1. Claire Burlison

Founder of one of the biggest fitness concepts in the UK, Clubbercise a dance class with neon lights and uplifting club anthems.  Claire set up her business in 2013 and what started with 2 friends now has around 100,000 people train every week to the biggest and best dance tunes.

Claire is an inspiration to all those women out there who start a business from scratch and have the vision and determination to make it a success.

  1. Rachel Holmes

Group fitness educator and presenter, choreographer, coach and mentor. With over 30 years in the fitness industry, Rachel helps fitness professionals build a successful business and teach amazing fitness classes. Rachel has released over 50 instructional DVDs and many fitness programs for the fitness industry.

Rachel’s extensive knowledge in both the applicable fitness world and the operational aspect of growing a business means that she can be a valuable resource for anyone looking for the next steps.

For more information on Gymcatch and how it can help your yogapilatesdance or personal training business. Get in contact to book a demo or start a free month.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to get your fitness brand to stand out

By Fitness marketing and social archives and news

How to get your fitness brand to stand out from the crowd using social media

 

Social media has become the hub for fitness and wellness-related content. It is the place to be for all fitness professionals who use social channels to effectively broadcast their brand. However, with social media becoming ever so crowded, how are some fitness professionals able to grab people’s attention and stand out from the crowd?

In this article, entrepreneur and fitness professional, Anna Martin, shares her top 5 strategies to stand out from the crowd and get your fitness brand noticed online.

‘My biggest reach on any post is always if I have shared something about myself. It goes deeper than a couple of photos of a night out and a three-word caption with a couple of emojis.’

Anna Martin
Owner AMF and Anna Martin Fitness

We all know the feeling of staring at the phone thinking “what the hell am I going to write this time”. The world of social media has become overwhelming in the last few years. Gone are the times of sharing a grainy screenshot of a logo and seeing the class bookings roll in. Social media has become a whole business of its own, and one that it can feel difficult to keep up with. It doesn’t have to be quite the labour-intensive production that it first seems, however.

Here I share my top tips to make social media work for you and your fitness business. 

1. Bring your quirk and tell your story

It’s easy to spot a copy and paste caption or status a mile off. It sounds nothing like that person’s usual posts and will do nothing to improve their reach or status. The best and easiest thing to do is to first understand who you are as a fitness professional and why your clients come to you.

Ask your clients, find out what it is about you that is appealing. If you’ve been through a difficult journey, then share some of it. It doesn’t have to be a warts and all diary entry to connect with people. In fact, sharing your story and becoming unique in that way will attract your ideal clients. 

2. Understand the algorithms

Social media companies didn’t create their platforms to be nice. They created them to make money. We get to use them for free, in return of our data. They then use the data for businesses to run well-targeted adverts. The more adverts placed, the better it is for the social platform.

Spending time in the platform contributing and engaging is key too. If your content makes people spend longer time on social media, the algorithm will see us as a positive contributor. Facebook and Instagram measure engagement using things like DMs, comments, likes, saves, and shares. They even zoom in on pictures, or rewatching the same videos.

The more interesting your content is to your target market, the more people you will reach. It sounds so robotic, but that’s what is in it for them. We don’t need to create content specifically with this in mind, but it’s good to know when it comes to evaluating why our ‘Come to My Class’ graphic didn’t get great reach. 

3. Get personal about your fitness journey

My biggest reach on any post is always if I have shared something about myself. It goes deeper than a couple of photos of a night out and a three-word caption with a couple of emojis. If I write about my journey with scoliosis for example or my journey with teaching group fitness, those interactions are much higher. It’s easy to forget that social media is a relationship-building platform. It’s like chatting to someone on the gym floor, or someone coming up to you on the high street. If we think about it like that, then it’s easier to decide what kind of content you want to put out there. 

4. Be consistent

It’s about showing up. It might not be every day but if it’s regularly rather than sporadically. Once you set your frequency your followers/friends will start to become excited about your posts. Gradually it’ll feel less like an effort and more like a conversation which is the ultimate goal!

You’ll be told things like ‘post 6 times a week’, ‘post 3 times a day’ but the truth is, it needs to be a schedule/routine that you can stick to and build from. Don’t let yourself be pushed into something that is too hard for you to maintain. We are all different and so are our clients, that’s why we will gradually work out how much is too much for them!

5. Use unique visuals

Use your logo and brand colours to make sure you are easily recognisable from your social media posts. It can be as simple as overlaying a transparent png of your logo onto a video, especially if it’s not of you. Once you have your brand colours nailed down, use something simple like Canva to give your social media posts that personalised look. Once you have templates set up, the time is taken to get the content made will rapidly reduce, leaving you more time to do what you do best – flex in front of large roomfuls of people. 

There are times when we all feel like we are shouting at an empty room, but going back to basics will help you get in touch with who you are talking to and what they want to hear from you. Although the latest trend might work for some people, for other’s it’s not the way to go and it’s far better to understand who is listening to you and how best to help them achieve their goals. 

Build your own community using Gymcatch!

How to price your fitness classes online

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news

The global pandemic has changed the way most of us do everyday things. People have been introduced to Zoom meetings, podcasts and grocery delivery slots, and online exercise classes have become part of the norm. Virtual exercise has welcomed a different group of people into the fitness community – those seriously pushed for time, folks with caring obligations, the self-conscious and the gym curious.

For fitness providers, now is the perfect time for offering online tuition of all kinds. But if you’ve never held a virtual class before, or you’re adding to your repertoire, you’ll need to know how to price your service.

Here are 5 things to consider when you are working out what to charge for your fitness classes online.

Class size

Think about how many participants you want to teach. If you offer one-to-one classes then the costs will be passed onto a single client, but smaller group classes would lower the cost per person and potentially give you more income.

How does that work? Well, for a personal 1-2-1 class you could charge £40 as an example, but if you offer small group sessions for just 4 people at a time and ask £12 each, each client pays less and you earn and extra £8 a time.

Large classes with limitless participants can be offered at a lower cost per head, but think about how many you’ll need to make your target income? You could think that being cheap will encourage larger numbers, but is it really worth it to you? If you have 20 people logging in at £4 each, it’s the same to you as 16 logging in for £5 per head but you need 4 fewer clients each session which might be easier to achieve. So you need to consider if you’ll be able to fill the class at your selected price to get the profit margins you want.

Check your competitor prices

Sounds like a basic thing to do but checking out your competitors is key. Make sure you understand what others charge for the same service. Make a comprehensive list so you can make a good comparison, don’t just stop once you find one. There are no set rules when it comes to online classes – you will probably find a wide range of prices but you’ll notice a trend to give you a ball-park figure to work with. Take note of what others offer for their price such as the length of class, frequency, number of sessions a week and if there is a cap on the number of participants.

Block booking and packages

Consider whether you want to offer courses or block bookings at a discount. To get clients to pay upfront for a package of 5, 6 or 10 classes will help you with your finances but be aware that this comes with some complications.

Will your customers have to use their sessions for the same class each week or can they log in for your full programme of sessions? How much of a discount will you offer for booking multiple classes at a time and will this still give you the income you need? Clients will want to have the option to miss a session due to sickness or have a refund if they cancel.

Your cancellation policy must be clearly displayed and carefully thought out before you choose this option. There is no reason that discounts like this won’t work well, they simply require some planning.

Uniqueness and popularity

Be aware of the uniqueness of your classes. Straightforward HIIT sessions are more commonly found online so, without an unusual hook, you can’t charge much more than your competitors. But if you specialise in Kundalini Yoga, for example, then you are offering a niche product and can charge a premium rate.

Setting the price

The last thing to be aware of is that people will make an opinion of your classes based on the price. Offer your services too cheap and it will be considered an inferior product. Set your fees too high and clients will expect much more from you, and the extra cost will put off a large group of clients. There is a sweet spot – you just need to find it.

Luckily, you don’t need to think of everything by yourself. Gymcatch has made life easier for online fitness class providers with software that is simple to use. Take class bookings, manage waiting lists and collect payments with ease. If you’ve decided to use promo codes, passes and bundles to get things off the ground, then you can set all of these too – you have complete control. Get in touch for a free demo.

How to gain more clients through yoga marketing

By Fitness business management archives and news, Fitness marketing and social archives and news, Yoga

Yoga is quite amazing. People rely on it to transform into better versions of themselves. It helps people to heal. And those are some of the reasons the yoga industry continues to gain more popularity in the UK. However, running your own yoga studio is not a walk in the park. Like any business, the yoga industry has a lot of challenges and competition. Therefore, you need to embrace the best yoga marketing strategies to stay ahead.

Let us have a look at some of the most effective yoga studio marketing strategies that you could employ.

Come up with loyalty programs

If you wish to increase your client base, an easy way to do it is to create loyalty programs for clients who frequent your yoga studio. So, why are loyalty programs important? Well, they will make your clients happy, which means that you will retain most of them. Happy customers can help you sign new clients faster by recommending your studio to friends and relatives.

You, therefore, should make the loyalty programs a priority; they don’t even have to be complicated. Something simple such as a point system could work. This is where a customer earns points every time she/he comes to your studio, and these points add up to some real redeemable value.

Entice your customers with value

Another great way of getting more clients coming to your yoga studio is by enticing them with value. What does that mean? Simple. Come up with viable ideas on how to create special promotions for your customers. For starters, you can offer new clients free trials. If you wish to retain the clients, however, then you’ll have to come up with something sustainable and much better than a free trial.

For instance, you can come up with incentives such as reducing the rate of the first few classes. Additionally, you could come up with a great pricing model that is easy for your customers to understand. That way, your customers will have an easier time selecting a package.

Target your audience

Another great way for you to grow your client base is by knowing your target audience. Once you define the customers you’d want to come to your studio clearly, then you can come up with yoga advertising ideas. Ensure that each ad you put out there focuses on a particular audience. You could even use your current customers to determine the people within the same demographic.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to advertise your business. One of the most effective platforms includes social media. You could post Facebook ads targeting different audiences. You could also send out emails to people who seem to share the same interests with your current students. That way, you will be able to reach a wider client base.

Rely on yoga studio software

We live in a technological age. Long gone are the days where you had to stack files to maintain your database. That is why you need to start using yoga studio software to streamline tasks in your business. If you have the proper management software, then your instructors will have an easier time managing your clients.

But that’s not all! Having the proper software in place could also improve your booking procedure. In fact, clients will find it easier to schedule studio sessions because the software provides versatile booking procedures. Additionally, the software will save you and your customers a lot of time, and there is nothing more enticing to a customer than saved time and flexible solutions.

Hire great instructors

Hiring great instructors counts as one of the best yoga marketing ideas. How come? When a client comes to your studio, she/he looks towards bettering themselves. As a result, clients will want to be under a trainer who can help them achieve their fitness goals effectively.

Besides, your staff contribute to the success of your business greatly. So, whenever an instructor takes your clients through a particular structure or yoga style and it works, there is a high likelihood that those clients will recommend your business to others. The opposite also applies.

To get a good instructor, you have to make sure that you are thorough during the hiring stage. Besides hiring the skilled instructors, you should also come up with ideas to promote them. By doing so, you create a good rapport with them, and they will be more likely to take care of your clients as expected.

Connect with local businesses

Yoga studio marketing should involve creating partnerships with local businesses, especially if you set up your business in a small town. You should make an effort to know the owners of the businesses around you, especially those that you can benefit from.

For example, if there is a coffee shop within your location, you can organize an event whereby the coffee shop will serve as the caterers in your studio parties. This will benefit both parties, and that is how other business owners will recommend your business to their clients.

You must ensure that any partnership you get into will benefit both parties. Otherwise, your efforts will be futile. Moreover, ensure that any dealing you have is both time and cost-effective.

Sell products in your yoga studio

Frankly, anyone coming to a Yoga studio is looking to stay fit by embracing a wellness program. Therefore, if you want to gain more clients, then you should try selling wellness products in your studio. That will not only entice your customers but will also help you engage with them much better. Furthermore, you get to boost your source of income.

Apart from wellness products, you can also sell beauty products, nutrition supplements, yoga clothing, and fitness equipment. You can even go a step further and brand these products with your business’ logo to increase awareness.

Host a free workshop

One of the best and most effective ways of gaining new customers in a yoga studio is by hosting a free workshop. However, you must ensure that the workshop focuses more than just your current yogi students. There is a high likelihood that there are people in your locality who have never considered yoga as something they would do. As such, you should tailor your workshop to focus on them as well.

The primary purpose of your free workshop should be to create awareness. Use it as a platform to educate those people who don’t know a lot about yoga and to clear out some myths that surround the practice. Be careful, however, not to make it so overwhelming.

Like any other business, the yoga industry is a competitive one. Therefore, you may want to employ the yoga marketing tactics that we’ve listed above if you want to stay ahead of your competition. Proper marketing strategies will not only get you more clients but also increase your revenue.

To take your yoga offering to the next level check out how Gymcatch can help you. Book a demo today!