With the start of a new year comes an abundance of resolutions, with many people pledging to get back to the gym and reignite their passion for fitness. That “new year, new me” energy can translate to plenty of fresh faces in your gym, which means new opportunities to expand your offerings and enhance your business operations. That’s why, we gathered the 5 fitness trends to follow for gym owners in 2023. If you do it right, you just might convert those newcomers to long-standing clients, the lifeblood of any sustainable business.
The following are five fitness trends to tap into to boost the success of your business and provide next-level service to your clientele.
1. Encourage The Use of Apps
Fitness trackers are nothing new, but in 2023 they are becoming much more sophisticated, with capabilities ranging from providing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enhanced feedback on your daily routine, to the early detection of potentially life-threatening health conditions.
One in five Americans now wears a fitness tracker or smartwatch with health monitoring capabilities, giving us access to an unprecedented amount of data. Harnessing the power of this technology can help you to boost your membership numbers and increase client retention.
Encouraging your personal trainers to integrate this technology in one-on-one sessions or within their group classes is an excellent strategy to help your clients feel more engaged in their workouts. Having access to this data at their fingertips keeps members accountable, which is key to keeping them on track with their fitness goals and boosting membership retention.
2. Focus on Well-Being And Implementing Long-Term, Sustainable Fitness Solutions
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), most gyms lose 50% of their new members within 6 months. The key to preventing this is to position physical fitness as one component of a healthy lifestyle, and encourage your members to think about their overall health in the long-term, rather than just the short-term aesthetic benefits of training.
Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your long-term health. Daily activity has been shown to reduce the risk of disease, improve brain health, and strengthen bones and muscles. Not only does exercise boost your physical health, but physical activity has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.
Encourage holistic, long-term health regimes that take into consideration all aspects of health, and educate your members on the importance of sleep and nutrition as an avenue to achieving their fitness goals. This approach benefits your members, encourages them to stay on track and keep renewing their gym membership.
3. Gym Owners Should Build a Strong Presence on Social Media
A consistent social media presence helps to establish your authority and positions you as an expert in the health and fitness market. Potential members may check out your social channels before ever setting foot in your gym, so consider this your first impression—and make it a good one.
Your social media presence helps you to attract new customers, get feedback, and build loyalty with your audience, eventually converting them to members. Fostering a strong presence on social media platforms such as TikTok is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to boost your business’s SEO score, engage with your community and build your brand.
To save time, you’ll want to centralize your communications by connecting your social media platforms so that you can simultaneously post across multiple channels.
4. Leverage Technology to Create Personalized Interactions With Members
At its core, a gym is a community space where people come not only to get fit, but to connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. Creating a personalized experience is key to a successful retention and member engagement strategy, and technology can help you get there.
According to a study from Precor, member retention starts from the onboarding process. 87% of members who experience a positive onboarding process still remained active after 6 months.
Personalization means shifting away from a transactional mentality to consider the entire member lifecycle. As you collect data and learn more about the choices and habits of your members, you can leverage that data to create digital experiences that are tailored to their individual preferences, for example:
- Targeted emails
- Custom video messages
- Product or service recommendations
Lead generation tools can help you to build and manage your pipeline and create multi-channel campaigns to nurture your leads into customers while keeping your messaging consistent.
5. Create Opportunities For Bonding Outside of The Gym
As social creatures, humans naturally crave a sense of belonging, and are more motivated when making progress towards a shared goal. Not only does a strong community result in a pleasant and inviting environment, when you move away from the transactional model of offering a service for money and focus primarily on community building you set yourself up for success.
Community-building businesses can support superior business models by cashing in on the kind of social capital you can’t pay for, for example:
- Enthusiastic members help acquire new members, resulting in lower customer acquisition costs
- Members feel a sense of loyalty to the community, resulting in increased retention and improved lifetime value
- Members support one another, resulting in high gross margins due to a lower cost of service
One of the best things you can do to grow your gym’s community is to organize events outside of the gym. This allows your members to come together and connect in ways that aren’t solely fitness related, learn more about each other, and discover other common interests.
Succeeding in the world of fitness is no small feat. In order to set yourself apart from the competition, we encourage you to adopt a customer-centric business model that focuses on your strengths. Thinking long-term is just as important for your business as it is for your health, so prioritizing the connections you build with your members will set you up for success in the long run.
Ready to tackle 2023 but not sure where to start? Consider investing in tools to help you automate your digital marketing processes and ultimately boost your business. Built by gym owners for gym owners, FliiP understands the challenges and opportunities that this growing market presents. Curious to know more about how technology can ease your management time, book your demo now!
*Adapted from Harvard Business Review