Your clients may be knee deep in wrapping paper at the moment, but soon enough they’ll be watching the ball drop—and setting their New Year’s resolutions. While it’s easy to bask in the merriment of the holidays, don’t forget to capitalize on the most wonderful time of the year for the fitness industry.
TAILOR YOUR MANTRA
It’s time to formulate your messaging for 2016 now. Starting in late December, develop a tagline, hashtag it in your social posts, and hang signage around your studio so the New Year is on your clients’ minds.
Laura St. John, owner of Denver-based Pearl Street Fitness, says, “Our mantra is, ‘I can, I will.’ That’s the mindset we want our clients to have.” She explains, “With resolutions, people physically know how they want to change themselves. Sticking to goals is the hard part, so we integrate a lot of mindset training into our workouts.”
To help her clients accomplish their fitness goals, St. John is launching a hashtag campaign around the mantra—#icaniwill—and plans on doing weekly giveaways of Pearl Street swag like hoodies, water bottles or a free class, based on members tagging or retweeting the studio. The mantra will also be discussed by trainers in class, which serves as a reminder to keep the emphasis on the future and to give props to students for coming in and working on themselves.
DON’T LET THEM PASS ON CLASS
Hitting the gym after the holidays isn’t easy, and resolutions can be a distant memory by mid-January. In many parts of the country, it’s cold outside and motivation can be hard to find. As a gym owner, your best retaliation is to load up your class docket.
First up: New Year’s Eve. Be sure to schedule multiple classes on this day—a morning session for those who want to set a good intention for their last day of the year, as well as an early evening class for the client who is going straight from the gym to a night on the town. A midnight class is also a great idea: it gives your clients a non-boozy alternative for the evening and still gets them out of the house and interacting with others. Make that class especially fun and over-the-top—incorporate a countdown (while jump roping, or lunging with kettlebells) and add festive elements like noisemakers or confetti.
Next up: January. If there ever was a month where you need to bulk up on classes, this is it. Your clients are going to be looking for an excuse to skip out on a workout, so don’t give them one! Early morning classes, lunch hour quickies and post-work late night sessions are imperative. The phrase “new year, new you” applies to your studio as well! Freshen the lineup by adding classes you’ve wanted to try in the past, or by tweaking fan favorites.
A 30-day challenge is another great way to get clients hooked in January. Incorporate social media into the promotion, and offer incentives (like the best bike in class for super attendees!) or prizes (discounts on merchandise or a high-tech water bottle). Suggest they incorporate the challenge into their resolutions, as well.
WORK THOSE SALES
Early January is the time to push retail that didn’t sell over the holidays. Slash prices (just like the big box retailers in your neighborhood) and offer general discounts, like 20% off of everything. A new workout wardrobe or fresh gear can be a way to get clients excited and inspired to stick to their plan.
January is also the time to take advantage of prospective clients’ resolutions by offering a promotional membership rate or a first-time student discount on classes. Newbies are always going to be hesitant to try something new, but a reduced price is the best incentive out there.