This community-based marketing guide comes from our partners over at Boutique Fitness Solutions, a company dedicated to helping boutique fitness businesses make the most of their potential.
Want to learn more about BFS? You can do so here.
In the modern fitness industry, there is no motivator more powerful or influential than community. Community-based marketing can be the springboard that takes your business from “just getting by” to a thriving fitness franchise.
In a world where we can have everything we need sent to our doorsteps and have constant entertainment at our fingertips, it’s easy to find ourselves isolated and then yearning for the warmth of community. We are, at our core, social beings and there’s a wealth of evidence highlighting the profound impact of human connection on our overall well-being.
Prominent studies and insights reaffirm this phenomenon. For instance, Robert Waldinger’s extensive research into “The secret to a happy life“, spanning decades, or Kelly McGonigal’s perspective on “How to make stress your friend” (where, intriguingly, connection plays a pivotal role) underscore the significance of human bonds. Even in the realm of content creation, thought leader Ann Handley emphasizes that forming a one-on-one connection is the key to crafting “Ridiculously Good Content”. Catherine Price’s insights on “Why having fun is the secret to a healthier life” further validate the vital role of connection.
If you’re a boutique studio owner, you need to be thinking; “Our essence revolves around forging connections with our clients and community.” Creating connections is at the heart of the boutique experience.
However, a crucial question arises: Are you effectively marketing and promoting these connections and communities?
At BFS, we frequently invite our community to take an E-Myth assessment, and the results are enlightening. If you haven’t taken it yet, we strongly recommend that you do. (Take the assessment now). The assessment unveiled an interesting revelation. While a majority of studios are highly confident in their ability to provide top-notch fitness and wellness programming, most of them admitted that their sales and marketing strategies do not adequately reflect this excellence.
What you offer within your studio, whether it’s the physical four walls or the virtual boundaries for our online friends, is truly outstanding. Your programs, the experience you deliver, the connections you foster, and the community you build are undeniably strong. The challenge now is to extend your reach beyond those physical or virtual confines – to engage new prospects and rekindle the interest of inactive clients. The key lies in effectively conveying the power of these connections and community.
Before we embark on marketing your remarkable community, it’s imperative to garner specific feedback from your community members regarding what sets your studio apart. Before we dive into planning your promotional activities, here’s what we recommend you do:
6 Keys to Building a Loyal Fitness CommunityDiscover more
- Identify Your Target Client: Determine the ONE client you aim to reach with this promotion. This should be an engaged and active client who fairly represents your broader client base. Keep in mind that psychographics, the psychological characteristics of your clients, hold more significance than mere demographics.
- Collect Testimonials: Keep an ear out for what clients say about what they love at your studio. A simple feedback survey or anonymous feedback box at reception can do wonders for your business. Making your members feel like they’re instrumental in the growth and development of your business is a core pillar of creating a sense of community and inclusion.
- Deep Dive with a Client: Select one client to sit down with you for a brief conversation, delving deep into the solution your studio provides them. Probe beyond surface-level questions. For instance, if they say they come to your studio to “stay in shape,” ask them what “being in shape” means to them. Continue the conversation to explore how achieving their goals would make them feel, probably confident. Ultimately, the game-changing question arises: “Why is our studio the solution on your journey to find confidence?” This exercise will help you understand what truly resonates with your clients.
By anchoring your promotional efforts around your community, you’ll remind people why joining your studio will enhance their overall well-being and, not to forget, boost your business. It’s worth noting that a promotion doesn’t necessarily have to entail a discount; it can also be an opportunity to celebrate connections and experiment with refined marketing messaging.
How to Implement Your Community-Based Marketing Plan
Essentially, the best way of doing this is by putting your customers at the center of your marketing campaigns. If you have clients who are big fans of your business and love being in front of the camera, make sure to interview them and get some snippets. Progression videos are a huge tool in community-based marketing, creating a sense of empathy and connection with the viewer, leaving them with the feeling that they can achieve progress too. Reviews are one of the easiest ways of getting future members to see the love and appreciation for your fitness community.
Also, use events to your advantage. Invite the local community to your business for a free brunch, talk, or workout, and create an open and welcoming feeling throughout. That way, by providing a free and open service, your potential customers will feel a sense of community and belonging in association with your business.
Finally, don’t forget that faking it til you make it won’t work. If a customer comes to your business thinking they’re going to get a community-based fitness experience, you need to provide that for them. If they only receive a stale, half-hearted, or impersonal experience, they will cancel their membership before you know it.
Place community and belonging at the core of your business, and always keep your member experience at the center of everything that you do.
To wrap it up, harnessing the power of your community in your marketing efforts is a profound strategy that can set your studio on a path to greater success. By effectively conveying the strength of the connections and community you offer, you’ll not only attract new clients but also reinforce your bonds with existing ones. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on your studio’s bottom line.
Want to know how to build a loyal fitness community?
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BFS is the Premier Peer Network & Information Hub for businesses in an ever-evolving world. Our mission is to bring together the industry’s most forward-thinking leaders and best-in-class resources to help business owners build successful businesses, increase profits, and learn to adapt to their customers’ ever-changing needs. In short, our mission is to educate, connect, and empower boutique fitness & wellness business owners so that they can achieve their business goals—and in turn, create a healthier, more connected world.
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