Without clients the fitness professional has no business. The fitness professional is always searching for new clients to take the place of those that leave. It is far less expensive to retain clients than it is to replace them with new people. It can be a vicious cycle consuming vast amounts of time and energy.

At the same time, the fitness professional has a tribe of raving fans whose excitement and enthusiasm for their program can be infectious to everyone around them.  I know from talking to hundreds of gym owners that their raving fans are often an energy source that many fitness professional overlook.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to improve your tribe’s retention AND and promote new clients and members at the same time?

I have good news. There is an the opportunity—right here, right now.

The answer is to host a special Valentine’s Day workout. Here are 5 guidelines to hosting a special workout.

  1. Immediately announce to your tribe that you are hosting a special workout to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday. Announce the focus to be a couples workout to celebrate the holiday. Announce that each client/member is encouraged to bring a guest to the workout to be their partner. Promote the special workout everywhere; including emails, social media, and posters. Saturate your marketing channels with numerous exciting messages about the workout. Include lots of images and convey the feeling of excitement. Recruit an existing client or two to help promote. There are people in your tribe that would love to help you. They just need to be asked. Contact everyone on your prospect list and anyone who has visited your facility in the past year. Keep things exciting and every day add a new element to your promotions as you create a plan in #2 below.
  2. Create a safe couples workout to accommodate all skill levels. Think this through carefully. Your goal is to have a safe, fun and exciting couples workout that everyone can feel successful with. Remember that safe workouts are physically, mentally and emotionally safe, especially for new people. Warm-ups should be with a partner. Creatively add a team element for the main workout. For instance, create teams of two couples each. There is less exposure for new people.
  3. Be professional the day of the workout. This is your time to shine and impress! Have releases ready; be prepared and anticipate every concern a new person might have. Make necessary announcements in such a way to insure safety. Explain the pillars of your program and legally required precautions. Explain how scaling works and make it safe for anyone to scale appropriately. Downplay competitiveness and focus on fun.
  4. Monitor the new people, especially during the workout. Keep them safe. Remember you are demonstrating how professional, knowledgeable and caring you are. Give them your very best.
  5. Host a social after the workout. Something simple and fun. Perhaps even have special awards and recognitions for humorous/entertaining things that happened.

Bonus: Have a follow-up plan in place and connect with all the new people within 24 hours. Stand out from the competition and use the telephone for your follow-ups. Nothing compares to a voice message. Be prepared to leave a nice personalized message, or to deliver it personally if you are lucky enough to reach the person directly. Connect with all of your clients that brought new people to the workout or helped promote the workout. Send them a note by snail mail thanking them. Yes, it’s old school and, yes, it is very effective and separates you from your competition.

Putting this plan in place will require work. And it is so worth it. This is work that will produce energy and excitement for your existing customers as well as prospective new customers. It is the simple things like this that improve retention rates as well as promote your programs to new people.