Using Health and Fitness to Foster Community during COVID-19
Fitness centers and gyms are not just venues for exercise and personal health but hubs of the local community. Maintaining this dynamic is one of the most difficult challenges facing Fitness Businesses during the stay at home and social distancing measures imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The good news is that while our lives and businesses have been reshaped almost overnight, with a bit of foresight and creativity there are many ways your Fitness Business can continue to thrive and support the community that depends on you.
Consider implementing or improving upon the following:
Move classes to Livestream
- This is extremely valuable to your members who look forward to and rely on your weekly classes. Coordinate with your instructors to create and publish an online schedule for fitness programs (using Zoom or another livestream tool) that provides your members with all the information they need to join an interactive online workout from the safety of their homes.
Create Pre-recorded Video Workouts
- Because not everyone feels comfortable joining live classes on Zoom, has the ability to access said classes, or has a daily schedule that will allow for live participation, pre-record workouts for a nice, polished product that customers can access at their leisure. This also allows users to rewatch their favorite workouts and will give you valuable insight into what classes are most popular.
- Don’t forget, many of your clients are now home all day with their children, which creates new challenges for work and fitness. Consider creating exercises and classes that can be done as a family, or are geared toward children specifically. These could be delivered as videos or simple printouts for parents to access and will earn you big kudos with the parents in your community.
- Be creative – these videos don’t have to just be workouts. They can be home-cooking tips, stretching tutorials or anything else that would help your community reach their health goals while remaining at home.
Maintain Daily Communication and Interaction
- In addition to posting (and pushing!) your daily workout content, make a point of starting fitness-related discussions on your social media channels. Encourage your followers to chip in with tips they are using to achieve their health and fitness goals at home. People feel more isolated than ever – continuing to be the creator of the community is incredibly valuable to your business and those who rely on you!
Host Live Events
- In addition to your regularly held classes, consider hosting special live events – maybe an end-of-the-week yoga wind down or Saturday morning family workouts – that will bring your community together around your business.
Start a Challenge
- Challenges are another way a great way to build engagement and encourage community, and they offer a kick of much-needed motivation in times like these. Create a challenge, broadcast it across your channels (and use hashtags!), set goals and offer rewards or prizes. Think outside the box! If there ever was one, now is the time to get creative! Your customers will thank you for it.
Build out the Zen Den
- For most people, working out at home just isn’t the same as working out at their favorite gym. The more you can make your clients comfortable – and motivated – at home, the more success they will have with their online workout regiment. Offer tips on how clients can prep their home and their minds for an optimal at-home workout.
Open or Enhance your Digital Storefront
- Loyal members will be looking for ways to support the business they rely on during this difficult time. Think about providing a way for them to pre-buy packages or memberships to use when the physical location is back up and running. Or perhaps you create bonus-content bundles that can be purchased by users who are benefitting from the workouts you are providing for free online. You can entice these purchases with special offers or discounts.
- Do you have brand merchandise, workout gear or equipment or other hard or soft goods that you usually sell in-store? Make sure these are also available online and think about producing new items that are attractive to your members now exercising at home.
As you can see, many of these ideas center around the idea of community and how you can foster togetherness during this time of social distancing. While it’s important to pay attention to the bottom line, keep in mind that many of these intangibles – like being a leader in your community – will pay huge dividends in the long run.
My Pro Tip
Here’s my pro tip for fitness centers. If you quickly switched your approach to virtual once you were forced to close continue doing so when you open. It’s another revenue stream, right?
Now, you know that you can’t charge the full price as an in-person class. So what do you do?
Create a few 10-minute workouts or classes. Let them view those for free. If they like them and want to sign up offer the actual in-person classes at the center via live stream. You should make sure that one of the free video classes is of an actual class.
Make sure you can work with them and critique them on the live stream. You may want to have an instructor just for the live stream during the class to make sure they interact correctly.
If this is done correctly. You can work on two membership levels.
You heard it from me first ..
Categorised in: The Shoreline Blog
This post was written by Shoreline Content Team