If you notice your class attendance start to dip after Memorial Day Weekend, you’re not alone. Even the busiest studios start to feel empty once the warm summer weather hits. With shifting schedules, packed weekend plans and school officially out for the summer, it’s inevitable that even your most dedicated members won’t be showing up as frequently as they did all winter long.
One smart solution to keeping your customers coming to you for a workout during summer? Hosting a workout class where they already want to be: outside in the sunshine. But once you secure a spot, how can you spread the word and let your clients (and potential new customers) know about the new offering?) With a few smart strategies, it’s easy to get the word out to new and current members, and help them stay on track with their fitness goals all season long.
Make it fun
Not to say that your workout isn’t a blast during the other 10 months of the year. But as Michele Gordon (AKA Miss Motivational), creator of Cardio Sweat Party points out, the reason class members tend to stray during summer is usually due to plans with friends. So, why not have your members invite their friends along? “People are more apt to make time for workouts when it’s fun and with a friend/new friend,” says Gordon. “I love to do ‘bring a friend’ deals where you offer a free or discounted class/class package when a regular brings a friend. You get new people to experience your program.”
Get local influencers to take your class
Networking is a powerful tool — especially when it comes to spreading the word about your outdoor class offerings. Gordon suggests hosting a free class with local fitness enthusiasts who have a large following to get the word out about your fun outdoor summer workouts. “Invite people, whether they’re bloggers/writers/influencers or your friends, to come to your class and post about it,” she says. “Word of mouth is powerful, so get whoever you can and who you know already love your workout to come to class and tell everyone they know. You can foster this with a promo/discount code if you wish, either for the person sharing your class or for their followers to use.”
Partner with local businesses
When identifying where to spread the word about your outdoor classes, don’t forget to leverage the businesses near you, where potential new customers might be spending time. The pool store down the street from you is at peak season — why not see if you can work together on a promotion that benefits both your businesses? “Reach out to a business or organization and offer up a special package deal for them for just your outdoor classes,” Gordon says. “Personally, I like to work with women’s advocacy groups and offer a special promo code for them to use for my outdoor classes. It gets them to sign up, it gets new people into my classes, and usually these women invite a friend.”
Tie your outdoor classes to summer activities
The time slots that work well for your clients inevitably shift during the summer months. When promoting your outdoor workouts, think about timing your classes to be convenient for a post-workout brunch or day at the pool. Marketing classes this way can help your clients see how an outdoor class fits into their summer schedule easily. Depending on where you’re hosting your outdoor workout, you can even partner with nearby brunch spots to offer a discount to members who show up for class that day!
Host a free event
Your members are likely already searching for some free fun under the sun this summer — so why not offer an outdoor class on the house to get them hooked on working out al fresco? Use email newsletters and your social media channels to promote the upcoming free workout, and be strategic about the copy and call to action you’re putting forward on each post. Something like “tag your best workout buddy” or “your favorite friend to get post-workout brunch with” to encourage your followers to invite friends along for the workout. You can also see if local papers and publications are featuring any lists of free summer activities, and ask that your workout be included to get more eyes on your summer offerings.