By Liz Callham, AFS Community Expert

You got away with social media deals, giveaways online, and New Year’s resolutions to drive traffic into your fitness business this past month, but now, as you enter into February, March, and April - how do you keep your momentum moving forward in regards to driving traffic into your studio?

Below are a few ideas to make these months just as great as January.

Roll out an incentive program 

Inevitably people begin to lose momentum after January regarding their commitment levels and motivation. Pitch a program that is tied into number of visits or measuring overall activity classes instead of measuring weight loss or inches lost.

When that new member or client signs up, have them fill out a brief questionnaire that outlines their goals.  Questions should include: How long they've had their fitness goals? How will their life change when they meet their goals? Why is now the time they decided to make a change? 

The purpose of this exercise is to get them into the mindset of actually making a lifestyle change. We all know if you can get someone to come into classes a few times per week for more than a month they are going to see some results.

Personal touches

Hand out raffle tickets as people check in for a big class and incentivize small prizes such as water bottles or headbands. Use social media to announce the winners so that you can keep these spontaneous and motivate people to come to class more often in anticipation.

Other great touches are handing out cups of hot tea or fruit following class. This also allows for relationship-building among the clientele.  Even better, do a "meet and greet" each Saturday morning after your morning classes.  Get bagels, juice, yogurt and some healthy options to encourage your members or clients to engage with each other and build a sense of community


Recognize successes 

Did you know the best time to ask for referrals is when your members/clients are in a heightened emotional state?  Whether it's them reaching a goal or receiving good news, this is the perfect time to get feedback.  Additionally, seek out these opportunities and make sure you are announcing these on a "wall of fame" in your newsletter, on social media and on your website.  RESULTS ARE THE BEST FORM OF MARKETING.

People want to learn not only about how great a class is, but how happy someone is after coming to 10 classes and who's ready to sign up for a race they never thought they could do, or completed 10 push-ups versus just 1 after only 4 weeks.

Don’t forget, we are in the people business! In order to drive business, people want to feel recognized and special. Make your first quarter great by making your clientele feel great about themselves.

Liz Callham received her Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University in Exercise Science and Public Relations and also completed a Masters in Business and Administration from DePaul University. She holds certifications as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from NSCA and Health Fitness Specialist through ACSM. She also sits on the Advisory Board for the Exercise Science Department at ISU.

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