Think about the special people in your life. The hairdresser who always recommends the perfect products to tame your crazy locks. The barista who has your drink ready before you even reach the register. Despite the dozens of customers they serve each day, they always know how to make you feel unique. That feeling is what builds loyalty.
When students choose fitness instructors, it's no different. They are searching for a personal connection, a reason to choose you over everyone else. So ask yourself, in the sea of fitness instructors, what makes you unique? Why do your clients choose your classes week after week? What are you doing to build that personal connection?
Personal connection is important because it means more loyalty and a higher sense of value attributed to your services. That lets you charge more, earn more and build the fitness business of your dreams.
So, how do you go from being just an instructor to becoming a trusted coach and advisor? Read on.
Even if you have a class of 25+ people, you want to make every person feel special, seen, and supported. Here are a few simple ways you can do it:
Before Class: When you see a new person register for the class, drop them a quick note. Welcome them, tell them what to expect, the equipment they'll need, and most importantly, ask them about their goals. Get to know what your students are looking to get from their fitness routine. Try to incorporate exercises or share recommendations that will help them get there.
During Class: Give your students the recognition they deserve. Welcome every participant by name as they join the virtual studio. Keep excitement and motivation strong by calling them out during class. It can be as simple as 'great job, Mary!' or 'excellent form, Jack!'. Did someone take three sessions that week? Or come back after maternity leave? Celebrate it!
After Class: Send personalized messages to your clients as often as you can. If they were struggling with an injury, ask them how it felt with the modification you gave during class. Or send them a 'nice to see you in class yesterday' note.
Moxie instructor, Jennifer Blackburn, has perfected her follow-up approach. She sends a newsletter to her subscribers once a week. To personalize her system, she keeps a list of memorable moments and milestones to celebrate with them. She told us, "This morning, I sent a text message, 'Hey, it's week three - you made it with no alcohol!'"
Pro Tip: Use Moxie Messaging to keep all your communication in one place. You can direct message a student as soon as they book a class.
Build Your FitFam
Forming a FitFam who supports each other, has fun, and most importantly, works out together is the base to a stable fitness business. Science has even proved that group exercise leads to bonds that enhance exercise ability. So, when you do a 30-minute Tabata class with friends, it seems more enjoyable than if you were alone.
Encourage group connection. Be the role model by welcoming and interacting with new members, or finding common points of interest between members, 'Joanie, did you know that Karen is also living in Portland?' or 'Congrats to our new mamas: Marla and Pam!' Remember to engage with everyone, not just your most frequent or chatty participants.
Keep everyone on the same page. Make sure everyone feels included. Give all of your students the same information on what to expect and what to bring to class.
Pro Tip: To get everyone on the same page and pumped for class, use the group chat feature in your messaging to send class-related information or reminders.
Stoke the Fire
Like any relationship, you need to put forth the effort to keep the fire alive! Sending consistent messaging is the key.
Send newsletters. Newsletters are a great way to connect with your squad regularly. But if you choose to send them, be ready to commit to consistency, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Use this space to announce new classes, schedule changes, or recognize student milestones. Moxie instructor, Kristie Alicea, sends a newsletter every Sunday to her followers, creating an expectation and something they can look forward to.
Pro Tip: Be mindful of the time of day and which day you send messages. When you use your messaging in Moxie, students will receive in-app notifications, which can be intrusive if sent at strange hours.
Re-engage. Your squad doesn't only consist of people who show up to class each day. Make sure to follow-up with students that you haven't seen in a while. Sometimes, all the motivation someone needs is to know that someone is counting on them to show up for class.
Be Open to Feedback
As you're figuring out how to grow your fitness business best, you may be experiencing a lot of trial and error—and that's ok! Any good business owner knows the value of collecting feedback from their customers to figure out what's working and not.
Xochilt Hoover, a yoga instructor on Moxie, told us how she used surveys to increase attendance. "I was teaching a Monday class at 9 am, and no one showed up. I sent out a survey to see what times people are resonating with and got feedback that people wanted an earlier class. I changed it to 7 am and had five people the first day.."
Make it Fun
Be the squad leader that everyone wants to follow. Find what makes you unique and let it shine! Are you a meditation guru? You can share short meditation videos. A certified nutrition coach? Send healthy recipes and nutrition tips.
As dance instructor Fiorella said in her Level-Up Session, "Your students will choose your class over other instructors because they like your quirkiness, energy, or sunny smile, so let it shine!"
Pro Tip: Type /giphy and a keyword in the chat box to add flair to your chats.
Ready to build personal connections with your students?
Here are three easy things you can do today:
- Send a newsletter. Moxie auto-creates groups for all your clients. Use that group chat to send a note about upcoming classes, resources to explore, or any other announcements.
2. Send a follow-up message. After each class you teach, send a quick note to your participants thanking them and letting them know you are there for any doubts they may have.
3. Take note of milestones. Jot down any student achievements that you can celebrate. It can be as small as someone came to their second class, a birthday or anniversary, or a big achievement like losing 15 pounds!
Want a deep dive into using Messaging on Moxie? Watch our video here.