We all know that over winter it is harder to keep up that motivation. It seems that, especially in the fitness industry, the cooler weather can bring with it a lull in business as everyone prepares to bunker down. But it does not have to be that way! There are plenty of ways which you can help to keep your members around during the cold front, as well as bring in new business to balance out your client base. The following are just a few tips on how to achieve this through the winter season.
1. Why should they keep coming?
Give your clients a reason to return over the winter and this can take many forms. You may remind them of all the progress they have made through summer or up to this point. If they know that they could spiral backwards and lose that momentum, they will more than likely continue the hard yards through winter. Maybe even try reminding them of why they began this journey, was it to get in shape? Get healthy? Whatever the reason, if it is at the forefront of their minds then perhaps they will lug it out through winter with you.
2. Help them form good habits
Anything can become a habit, and that includes exercise. The same way that your clients may schedule a meeting or lunch with friends, have them put time aside time to come in and train so that they have a routine that they can stick to. Creating these positive habits can greatly increase the chances that they will keep up with their fitness regime without even thinking about it. Consistency is the key to keeping your clients around, especially when the going gets tough and the cold front hits hard.
3. New places
Training does not always need to be done in a gym. The surroundings can get monotonous and this can surely spell the end for some less motivated souls. In order to keep everything new and exciting, why not organise some outside sessions. Some cool air will be sure to get the blood pumping and keep your clients excited for what is to come next session too.
4. Change it up a bit
Speaking of new and different, develop more training routines for your clients. This again will get them excited to join you and decrease the chances of them getting bored with their new found fitness schedule.
5. Keep up to date on your blog
Keeping in touch with your current clients through social media is often underrated. In todays world where most people live through their smart devices, having them on their person most of the day, keeping up with a creative and interesting blog will lure them in. Try listing some work out tips, showing some new exercises they can try or even promoting any offers that you have in store currently. Linking to other blogs or getting in touch with complimentary services, such as local health food stores or dieticians can also drum up business in the form of a new client base. Having a steady flow of people coming in year round will ensure that even if you inevitably lose some clients over winter, you will have more coming in as well.
6. Promotion time!
You can also use this time when business is slow to coax people in with new incentives and promotions. This can be in the form of free workout gear and free or reduced membership or training sessions. Anything to get them in the door is a positive step. As long as it does not break the bank, your fitness empire will be better off for it. This will help even out the drop off of old clients over winter.
7. Look how far you have come!
Along the lines of reminding them why they are here and why they started in the first place, offer your clients a way to see first hand what changes they have made. For new clients, begin with a photo for the future and maybe even some strength or endurance tests that you can compare when they are a few weeks or months into their training. Something visual, that they can see with their very own eyes, is a good motivator. It will certainly help increase the amount of returning clients year round, even in the winter months.
8. Summer bodies are made in winter
It is a saying for a reason! Summer bodies are made in winter, so make sure all your clients are thinking to the future. No one wants to go into bikini season with a winter body. Emphasise that they are not doing this for now, but for their ultimate beach bodies in summer! This is a great motivator for even the toughest clients. It can also set the stage for an influx of new clientele to walk through your doors over the winter season.
9. Acclimatise for the colder months
Jumping out of bed and straight into a cold morning run can be tough, we have all been there. So, try and start your clients out with some indoor warmups and emphasise the importance of layering up. They can remove layers as their body temperature increases, but it is best to start warm and get warmer than freeze in the cooler weather.
10. Team up
Finally, if you have a group of lone clients who train using similar programmes then team them up so that they have a shoulder to lean on outside of training. Having people doing the same thing and in similar situations does so much good in regards to motivating them to do their best when the going gets tough, or in this case cold! You can organise a group session to bring them together and turn up the heat in one session that will benefit all and hopefully keep them on the right track together.
These are just some of the most effective ways you can increase your attendance during the cooler months and keep the clients happy all year round. It is easier to train in summer, but how your business performs during the winter season is a testament to your success as a whole. It is natural for your business to drop off a bit, you can not keep everyone happy, that is just life. But to cushion the fall, put in place some incentives and assist your current clients keep up with their schedules by using some of the tips and tricks above. You will certainly see the difference by the time spring rolls around and your business will be all the better for it!