Building Relationships and Creating Community in Your Fitness Business –Part Two
Okay, yesterday in part one we talked about how and why it’s important to deliver an experience within your business that simply creates that WOW factor for your prospects, customers, and clients. Now it’s time to work on building relationships and creating community.
2) Build Relationships
Along with delivering an experience within your organization, you also want to be building relationships with your clients. The best way to do this is to try and get to know ALL your clients and customers. This can become tough when you have a larger clientele such as myself with over 500 clients and customers. But by getting to know your clients on an individual level it shows them you care. And when your clients know you care, it builds instant loyalty.
We build relationships through a number of ways including:
- Sending cards consistently (milestones, holidays, anniversaries, sicknesses, etc.)
- Attending their events (birthday parties, graduation parties, ball games, get togethers, etc.)
- Taking clients out to lunch or breakfast
- Stopping by their work and visiting them
- Client appreciation events
- Simply spending time and talking with them before or after their sessions
These are all great ways to build relationships amongst our clients. However, as we do these, one of the biggest things we have to make sure that we do is BE GENUINE! Clients can see right through the bull if we don’t come across as genuine.
Now let’s talk about events and challenges and the benefits they bring whilst creating community.
3) Community thru Events & Challenges
Some of the events that we hold throughout the year include:
- Holiday Parties – i.e. Christmas Party/QSA Awards (this is themed like the MTV Awards)
- Cookouts/Pot Lucks – Annual Cheat Day
- Minute-To-Win-It Days
- Mud Runs, Spartan Races, Warrior Dash (we put teams into these)
- Member of the Year Awards – we announce the winner at our annual Christmas Party/QSA Awards
- and many, many more
Challenges are a great way to get your clients and customers involved in your community. Multiple times throughout the year we hold Transformation Challenges. It’s a great way to get existing clients motivated for a new cause and get new customers and clients in the doors to experience the community you have developed. There’s just something about a packed house that gets people talking and stimulates referrals.
We also hold Themed Physical Challenges centered around holidays, calendar events, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Everyone likes a little competition, especially when there’s a prize to be won. We’ve done an Olympic Challenge, 300 Challenge, Baseline Challenge, Team Challenges, and more to both bring out competition and to encourage teamwork. It all depends on what you’re focusing on for that particular challenge.
Other ways to create community come through things such as Facebook Groups. These are different than your business’ fan page because you have to invite your clients into your Facebook group and only they can see what you post in the group. Making it ‘exclusive’. This is a great way to announce events, milestones, changes, testimonials, etc.
So remember, it takes far more effort to land a new client than it does to keep one. You must create community within your organization, build relationships with your clients, and deliver an experience to maintain and grow a lucrative business.
Vaughn Bethell is the Founder & CEO of Performance QSA, LLC in Greenville, SC. Bethell started his business right out of college in the summer of 2003 with 23 clients. Performance QSA has become the largest and most successful personal training only business in the Upstate of South Carolina and now serves over 500 clients and customers.
Vaughn is known as “Mr. Community” amongst his peers and colleagues in the fitness industry. He has grown his business to nearly a million dollars while spending very little on traditional external marketing. His specialty is building community within his business and driving referrals. This is what he teaches as “Growth From the Inside-Out”.
Bethell is a best-selling author and highly sought after speaker on topics relating to business growth, staff growth, and leadership. You can learn more about InsideOut Business Builder for Fit Pros Here
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