Now that the hype of the new year’s resolution is coming to a halt, new-member retention is on top of of every fitness trainer’s mind – or at least it should be. The sad truth is that, even though “losing weight” is the most popular (ever) new year’s resolution, only a small percentage of the new members that join during the first two weeks of the new year, actually follow through and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
It’s a challenge, really. To approach new fitness trainees going after a shiny new goal or those who might’ve failed at continuity before and try to keep them motivated to work out. Luckily, there’s lots of things you, as a trainer or gym owner, can do to keep new members coming in, exercising and beating the statistics.
Help Them Set S.M.A.R.T. Objectives
The methodology of creating specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based objectives applies to pretty much everything in life. New members usually come into the gym thinking “I want to lose weight”, the goal is to help them arrive at something closer to “Lose 5 pounds by April 3rd”. Find more thoughts on goal-setting here.
Follow Up, Constantly
Just because they know where they’re going, it doesn’t mean they’ll follow through. After establishing clear objectives, create a regular follow up plan. As a suggestion, schedule check-ins no longer than 1 month in between. This will, not only help them feel accountable, but also realize once they’ve hit the goals. Make sure you are tracking your client’s goals and giving them appropriate recognition when achieved.
Personalize Their Experience
Figure out the activity for each user and make sure it aligns nicely with their goals and particular interests. No matter what your specialty is, if you want to retain clients, don’t ask them to perform activities that may be too difficult for a newbie. Making new users do complicated exercises (especially if they are working out by themselves) can be frustrating, intimidating and highly demotivating.
Ask For Feedback
This is the time to ask new members for their feedback! They’ll feel you care about them personally and will be more likely to stick around. Also, by now they know what they like and dislike about your methods. Use the information you gather to understand how you can improve their experience. Whether it is adding a water cooler or changing trainers, there’s always something you can do, and they’ll tell you.
Create a Referral Plan
First of all, this is a super win for you as a trainer or gym owner because you can get new users even now, closing the first quarter. The real win, though, is for the user as they’ll be able to join with their partners, families or groups. This helps keep them motivated.
Create a Community
When new members get wrapped into and feel part of the community, the network makes it more difficult for them to disappear. We’ve talked plenty more about building your tribe at your gym or studio.
Put Together Extraordinary Activities
By this time of the year, your users might start feeling like it’s a lot of the same routines. Create a few marathons, hikes, challenges, special training classes among others to help you boost attendance and keep users engaged with fun activities.
Make a Workout Playlist
Off-site trainees don’t get to enjoy all the perks of actually going to the gym. A simple and easy thing you can do for them is to create a workout playlist and share it so they can pump at home or outdoors with the same tunes you would use at the studio.
Assign a Workout Buddy
If your users are up for it, pair them up with a workout buddy, not just to share their fitness routines with but also to keep them accountable on their daily exercise regimen.
Cross-Sell or Jump on Partnerships
There might be many reasons as to why gym members might feel demotivated at any point. To tackle this challenge from all sides, think about partnering with individuals or other companies that may offer complementing services like nutrition, mental health and others that might entice users to stay active.
Beating the odds when it comes to gym trainees sticking to their new year’s resolutions isn’t just about your gym or business, it’s also about helping a fellow Tribe member reach their fitness goals. Seeing that personal gain and sense of achievement, is so absolutely rewarding! So, what will you do to help your new members reach their fitness goals this year?