Created by Jamie Spoor
6 minute read
The festive season is now upon us and 2022 will be here before we know it. It’s a time of year when our usual routines, our regular way of life, falls by the wayside amidst the frantic last-minute dash to the shops in the run-up to Christmas.
Spare a thought for the personal trainers and fitness instructors out there when it comes to the festivities. At a time of year when everyone eats and drinks roughly their own body weight in calories, the holiday season unsurprisingly brings with it a lull in gym attendance and fitness regimes.
A strong fitness business will take the opportunity to up the ante and drum up the clients ahead of the new year. January is the calm before the storm as members both old and new lay siege to fitness suites across the land in a bid to shed the post-Christmas pounds.
So how can businesses get maximum potential for this? It wouldn’t go amiss to put together a holiday offer to entice members to either maintain - or start - an all-new fitness regime.
There are a few simple steps in which you could put in place to ensure your business is ready for the festive season. This can best be summarised by three keywords: research, build, promote. If you can stick to these three core principles you and your business won’t go far wrong.
You should start by working out how you can help your clients, and what you can offer them. Send out a survey, carry out interviews, talk with your members, find a general consensus! Liaise with your staff over what your members need and want most from your business.
Have a meeting with your staff to discuss any previous holiday campaign success, or find something which has worked well during the year and run with it, tailoring to fit the season.
It might sound counter-productive, but it won’t harm to look at what your competitors are doing - look into the fitness business raison d’être. What do clients respond to best? What do they get the most out of at this time of year? Be sure to include your direct competitors in your research too - if another local gym has hit on a winning formula, then use that as your starting point.
Success breeds success so don’t be blind to other industry trends around you but, when putting these ideas and trends into practice always consider the consensus of opinion you will have gathered from your clients.
Christmas has become so commercialised and money driven, at times it seems simply a case of who can spend most. It’s divisive, and becomes a two-tier society of the rich and poor. It’s not just the presents, it’s all the food and the trimmings to boot - the festive season costs a lot of money and we’re all feeling the financial pinch by the time the old year gives way to the new.
Fitness programmes and weight loss are often prominent features of your typical New Year resolutions so it will always go down well if you can entice your members with a joining fee discount. It’s recommended a discount of between 30 - 39% is the way to go.
You don’t want to sell yourself too short and you don’t need a huge discount (for example, a range of 70-80% off) to drum up some interest. Consider the middle ground - not too low but don’t overdo it - when it comes to what your offer in the way of saving and make sure you do so with purpose and clarity so your members know exactly what they’re getting for their money.
Fitness is, of course, all about motivation - and that doesn’t always mean simply having the wherewithal to pump some iron a few times a week. A motivating rallying cry will never go amiss and you can remain in keeping with the theme by putting an ultimatum on any potential offers. How about dangling the carrot by offering members a free joining fee for the first month if they sign up before a certain date?
Cut off dates are always strong techniques to help build your compelling holiday packages and will give your members motivation to act sooner and commit to your business - try not to put too much pressure on a long term commitment. Consider a money back guarantee as not only will this further entice potential clients but it also alleviates pressure on both members and the business further down the line.
Next you need to promote your offer. The most obvious way to do this is a blog exactly like this one, or the monster that is social media. For example, if your offer is for a pilates class, you could put together a blog post, and perhaps an instructional video, on the benefits of pilates with a plug for your offer now thrown in for good measure.
Be sure to post about your holiday offer, create stories and encourage engagement from your followers as this will help drive your promotion. Sounds simple but it’s essential for your success.
Send out emails to both existing and prospective clients, see how it goes and you can always adjust the campaign later to see what works best. Be clear and concise, and be easily visible with a strong message as time is short and members don’t want to go digging to find that mail!
An element of hardcore fitness fanatics will continue to get to the gym even at the height of the holiday season. They’ve shown you and your business loyalty and commitment at a time when money’s tight so you should show your gratitude through flyers - distributed throughout the gym - with the offer of rewards and discount codes, which you could incorporate digitally through embedded PR codes.
As a final thought, you can have staff spread the word through word of mouth - before and after an exercise class - for example and ask/encourage your front desk to drop the holiday offer into the every day meeting and greeting of clients and prospective members.
So there you have it - three simple steps to holiday success. Research, build and promote to boost your business and push through the post-festive blues.
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