Either way, this is your year. This is your year to help more people and feed your family too. This list isn’t magic, it takes persistence and commitment, but we already know you have both those qualities.
So let’s get started. Grab your notepad and let the ideas flow with these 11 tips:
1. Take a gazillion pictures.
Sure, it might not seem like the best use of your time when you have a million other things to do, but it’s an opportunity to capture the essence of your box, how the workouts challenge your members, and the community that experience creates.
Make sure to capture these great moments on camera and encourage your members and coaches to send you their best pics too. You can use these photos to your benefit on social media because people love to see themselves doing cool things and you know they’re going to share it, their mom might even share it too.
It’s important to keep your gazillion photos in files and tagged with keywords that will be useful later. Like maybe the member’s name, the movement, the year, etc. That way when you need a photo for a marketing promo you can easily find the best one.
2. Be intentional about your social media posts.
Do you post daily WODs on your website? Great! Now post that link to Facebook. One post down, three to go! You’ll reach your members and followers who are potential members. But don’t forget about Instagram. You can post pics of the day there. Get in your members’ social space as much as possible. Soon they’ll be checking FB and IG just to see if there’s anything they missed from you. Post often and post positively… No negative tones or shaming. It’s also important to mix up your subjects. Don’t post about the same person or thing too often. Figure out who your best referral sources are. Those are the people that shouldn’t be missed.
To make sure you don’t run out of ideas or miss any great opportunities, try using a promo calendar. You can create this calendar to note any relevant happenings/holidays that you might do something creative for and competitions/events/challenges you anticipate members to get involved with. Then also schedule themes for each week/month that coincide with those events or stand alone as their own little promo.
For example: Nutrition tips, yummy member recipes , CrossFit moms who are stronger than ever, how people use their fitness outside the gym, masters athletes kicking butt, ex athletes, ex couch potatoes, etc. Make sure to write a blog for every promo theme and share it. The extra links to your website are excellent for SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Foster member friendships.
It’s incredible how many people try CrossFit or a new gym for the first time just because their friend or family member invited them. But how do you get your current members to love their experience so much that they not only stay, but bring new people with them? Keep your members engaged in your gym community as much as possible online and off.
Online: Start a members only Facebook group where they can post and get to know members that work out at different times. Our gym’s FB group has about 7-10 posts every day and range from Lulu re-sales, to looking for competition partners, to food finds, to funny memes. It’s also a great place for you to post announcements to members.
Offline: When your members aren’t checking your social media pages, make sure they’re planning to attend the next gym event. Every time they turn around there should be another reason to get involved. Remember, any reason is a reason to party. Is everyone talking about the big fight? Get it at the gym and have a pot luck. Taco Truck Tuesday for the month? Yes please! Members can chow down after their workout and fellowship. Host a hike or excursion, sponsor a members only softball team, you get the idea… do it ALL!
4. Respond to inquiries faster than you can do Fran.
No matter how big or small the question, your promptness makes people feel important. And following through seels the deal. Also, if you have the chance, use the phone often. That adds an even more impressive level of customer service and sets you apart from the “take it or leave it” owners out there.
If you have a lot of walk-in traffic, be sure you have a front desk area set up that is in the coaches or admin’s view at all times. Remember walk-ins are not interruptions, but opportunities. Engage with that person, make sure there are take-aways and invite them to watch the class for a bit if you’re doing double duty as coach so you can divide your attention between your class and this possible new member.
5. Take special interest in newbies.
They are trying to hide it, but they are intimidated. They are doubtful of their abilities. Everyone has super powers compared to them. Depending on what fits best, try carving out some time to give new crossfitters your undivided attention… You might set hours where a coach can be available for more personalized skill sessions or even to just talk it out.
6. Find out how you can improve.
Member retention (and their probability to refer), have a lot to do with what you know little about. It’s amazing what comes to the surface in member surveys. Being able to take criticism and turn it into a positive is a tactic that will give you an edge.
Survey Monkey is a great, easy to use, online tool that will make creating and analyzing the survey very easy. Make sure to keep it short, around 10 questions, so that members aren’t overwhelmed and actually participate. Ask specific questions if you want specific answers (you do) and don’t forget to ask for testimonials (although this shouldn’t be required).
7. Flaunt what you’ve got.
Ah testimonials. Often overlooked, but not to be underestimated. Testimonials are excellent content for your website or promotional items. You might even go as far as asking some of those who left testimonials on their survey to post their words as a review on Google Places, Yelp, and elsewhere. Google loves reviews. They play a big roll in how you’re ranked against competitors in a search.
8. Nooners with white collars.
This is the class time that busy business people attend. Make it your most profitable class. Use your resources and contacts to find out if there’s a nearby corporate business that might be looking to offer a fitness perk to it’s employees. A corporate account can be very profitable. Some companies even encourage physical fitness to increase productivity, morale and decreased sick time. In fact, many even pay their employees’ gym fees. Target a fitness oriented CEO or decision maker, offer up your ideas, a free trial, and the rest is history.
9. Make sure your coaches know their sh*t.
Encouraging your coaches to keep learning and growing is important if you want to keep growing as a gym. This could include sending them for additional certifications or occasional refreshers of past course materials. Coaches may also be provided with new research or studies that align with your box’s goals or niche and then meet as a group to discuss practical ways the information applies to coaching and member benefits. Kind of like a weird book club.
10. Tap into specialities.
CrossFit borrows from so many disciplines, you’ll find people who want to specialize or get better at specific modalities. For reference, a larger gym might have speciality coaches for olympic weightlifting, strength training, endurance, gymnastics, yoga and even CrossFit Kids. Depending on your target market, you might start with one or two of these and go from there.
Lest we forget your competitive members. This isn’t going to be a huge target market, but the right combination of competitive athletes could put a spotlight on your box and entice people who want to train with the best. Appointing a coach/manager for these athletes is a great way to keep the team accountable and also delegate responsibility for targeting specific competitions throughout the year. It’s important for this person to also play an active roll in encouraging members of all levels to also participate. This will help the gym as a whole play a supportive role for people looking to compete in the sport of fitness.
11. Think like a marketer.
You can do all this awesome stuff, but if you make a bad first impression on your website you don’t even have a chance.
Your website shouldn’t just exist, it should freakin’ make it rain. It should reflect your ideal image and help potential members make a decision to visit you in person by checking out your workouts, coaches, specialities/expertise, pricing, and even the ability to sign up for a free trial or drop-in.
Developing a professional look is growing more and more important as CrossFit boxes become as abundant as coffee shops. Show people what sets you apart.
Have anything to add to this post? Tell us in the comments.