You’re a teacher making money by sharing your passion and talent with others – congratulations! It’s the best type of income to make. Why? Well, you get to do what you’re genuinely passionate about every day. More importantly, you get to share these passions with others and spread the knowledge far and wide.
Let’s say you have a fitness studio with a good number of regular members attending your classes weekly. Things are ticking as they should – but you feel like you’re getting to a plateau. Your membership numbers are staying the same. Some months, you may even see one or two members unsubscribe.
If this is what you’ve experienced – you’re not alone.
The truth is that membership recruitment can become a very challenging task for business owners. It’s a never-ending project. Each year, members subscribe and stay faithful for a while. But after some time, they may leave due to personal reasons, lifestyle changes, or just because they have new interests. This is very prominent in the wellness industry and can become a problem for fitness or yoga instructors out there.
This is why the days of recycling membership recruitment strategies are gone. You need to be creative, tactical, and fresh.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top ten data-backed tips for how to boost your membership numbers. But first, let’s understand what customers actually want in today’s world.
What Do Customers Value in 2022?
According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Marketing Trends research, we can see a few trends customers value over others. Here are a few values that we think business owners should be aware of:
As customer diversity broadens over the years (by race, sexual orientation, differences in backgrounds, differences in ability, and ethnicity), brands should make an effort to adjust their messaging to be inclusive to all consumers.
Small businesses should fulfill this value by being true to why they’re in business, who they are, and sharing topics they care about with their members. They should also be inclusive to everyone and treat everyone equally.
The pandemic has created an opportunity for many small businesses to be founded. It also prompted people to help others in their society. As a result, contributing to society, like keeping our world green, is a pivotal part of what consumers value today.
By showing potential members that you believe in addressing social inequities, you gain more than just customers. You are gaining advocates.
The transition from physical to digital channels meant that consumers could now engage directly with businesses – on a personal level if they wanted to. Now, consumers expect that one-on-one experience. They believe that your business should take the time to understand their preferences.
This is called human-centered design. It allows instructors and trainers to create personalized experiences for members. The customer is still king – ensure you elevate these famous words for the modern consumer.
Best Ways to Pitch to Your Members
Membership pitches are significantly different when compared to traditional sales pitches.
A critical point to remember is that a good sales pitch should be less of a traditional pitch and more of a conversation between you and a prospective member. This dialogue should help your prospect understand your overall values, vision, and beliefs.
Here are three must-dos for building the most formidable pitch to your members:
Focus on value over price
Stay away from listing out all your subscription inclusions and finishing with a discounted price. Instead, focus on your values. Talk about how you created your studio or spa, add a bit about the background of your business, and humanize your story. People relate to people and their stories – use this to your advantage.
Find out about prospective members’ needs
You can talk about your offering all day. But a one-on-one dialogue calls for you to do a bit of research too. Ask your prospects open-ended questions like, ‘What makes you interested in doing regular yoga classes online?’ or ‘In what way do you feel yoga will improve your lifestyle?’.
These questions will prompt prospects to share what they really want. Write down their responses and listen to them so that they know you’re attentive and interested. Then, play to those points and share how your offering can fulfill these needs and wants.
Share your past experiences
Often, people don’t resonate with pitches until they hear what you’ve done in the past. This is an essential part of showing prospects your journey over time. Take the time to share some success stories with your current members. Don’t forget to open the discussion to your prospect too, and don’t be shy to ask them if they’ve tried using this service with anyone else before. And if they have, why didn’t it work for them?
This type of dialogue and feedback builds trust and helps you create that member’s profile. This should include their desires, pain points, and overall wellness goals.
10 Data-Backed Tips to Increase Memberships
Tip #1: Enhance your new member offering
Membership acquisition is not an easy task. In fact, 68% of companies struggle with growing their membership numbers, according to WildApricot. This is why you should create unique and exclusive offerings for your prospective members.
People love personalization, and giving them more than just a 10% sign-up discount to your spa, salon, or fitness studio will help them understand that you value your subscribers. And more importantly – that you want them around for the long run. Try to offer exclusive one-on-one classes or a discount on a series of lessons rather than just the first lesson. This way, prospects will notice your uniqueness and creativity right off the bat.
Tip #2: Personalize your messaging
A few years back, the Association of National Advertisers named ‘personalization’ as the top marketing word of 2019. Today, personalized marketing is one of the most admired and indispensable tactics. In other words, using personalized messaging through emails, text, and social media is essential to building trust and connecting with your prospective subscribers. Try to understand their wellness goals and interests to help you form a powerful tailored message to customers and prospects.
Tip #3: Plan for membership season
Membership season isn’t something that every brand does. It takes a decent amount of time to plan, and it doesn’t always acquire many members. However, in 2022, we have platforms that help you host lessons and do the manual labor of campaign planning – allowing you to focus on keeping your customers happy.
Statista shared that marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing software industries out there today. In 2019, it already reached $15.6 billion – and experts forecast it reaching $25.1 billion by 2023. Marketing automation is something that can be used for creating membership seasons. But remember, it is capable of doing much more than that too.
Tip #4: Use a ‘refer a friend program
Let’s say you own a fitness studio and you have a few regular and loyal members. Great job! But do you have a referral program? If you don’t, you should consider starting one right away. Nielsen shared that 92% of consumers trust referred brands from people they know. They are also four times more likely to purchase when a friend refers to them.
You should identify your members that have previously done a referral and share ‘refer a friend’ program promotional material with them. Remember, wellness is not just about getting fit. It can be quite a social aspect of life too. So friends sharing with friends can be very beneficial to your business.
Tip #5: Share your testimonials
Your website and class hosting pages should showcase what you do – and all the fantastic knowledge you have to share with members. But don’t be shy to also display your wins. HubSpot says that 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s a significant number that we just can’t ignore!
Sharing testimonials helps humanize the experience that you give to your members. It persuades other consumers to take a leap of faith and try out your yoga or fitness class.
Your membership website should share success stories across several pages. If you don’t have many testimonials, try to put them on a rolling carousel on your pricing or sign-up page. This way, consumers see how other members are committed to you – and more importantly, trust your business.
Tip #6: Promote your content on social media
These days, there are many different feelings about promoting content on Facebook, Instagram, or Tik-Tok. But the truth is that promoted content on social media is still quite a powerful thing – especially if you want to get your brand name and expertise out to the world.
In Spring 2021, Facebook Live viewership increased by 50% – particularly for fitness classes and virtual concerts. The live viewership numbers continue to grow. People have become so connected to others through digital platforms. It’s something that small businesses should be taking full advantage of.
Tip #7: Create tutorial videos
We all know the drill – your garage door suddenly stops working, and you have no idea why. The first thing you do? Visit YouTube, watch an explainer video, and then fix the problem. YouTube viewers are three times more likely to watch a YouTube video than reading an instruction manual.
In the same way, consumers love tutorial videos for their hobbies and interests too. Here’s an example: If you’re a yoga instructor hosting weekly yoga classes, your members are already interested in your knowledge and expertise. Why not take that knowledge to the next level and create short tutorial videos on ‘The best breathing techniques for yoga’? This is additional content, but it builds trust with your members and makes them come back for more.
Tip #8: Host webinars
This one may sound like a bit more effort than the others. But hosting webinars holds much power – and it can be repurposed when it’s inactive. That’s right – you can host a webinar live today, and once that video is inactive, you can make it available to members only by hosting it in your on-demand library. CMI shared that 61% of businesses use webinars as a content marketing strategy – why not try it too?
Webinars hold much value for prospects and members because they get dedicated time watching and listening to you – over and above in your class. The webinar should have some hidden gems of information to keep the audience intrigued. Also, try to use the time to do demonstrations and share some personal stories. This way, you become more relatable to your audience.
Tip #9: Make one-on-one contact
Let’s look at the wellness industry a bit closer. Whether a consumer visits a spa, salon, yoga, or fitness studio, you’ll know that they are diving into a very personal hobby. Some people are interested in wellness activities to help them stay fit and lose weight, while others use them to relax and destress.
14.9% of multipurpose fitness club consumers use a personal trainer. This percentage shows that people want a level of one-on-one time with instructors. You can do this in the studio, over a virtual class, or even over a coffee. One-on-one time is valued and greatly appreciated by members.
No matter what the member’s goal is, you, as the business owner, should help them achieve these goals personally and professionally.
Tip #10: Enrich the subscriber experience with advanced membership software
Citibank says that 82% of businesses adopt subscription models because they feel it permits them to become leading disruptors. Members are such a key part of keeping businesses alive – no matter what size, shape, or form a company is.
Using advanced membership software like Gleantap lets you set up your classes and monitor your member behavior using artificial intelligence. Software like this is designed to help you engage with members at just the right moment – with the right message. Engage with them over text messages, emails, Facebook messenger, or mobile push notifications.
The most vital part of increasing your memberships is to analyze their behavior and profitability. Use incredible insights to help you make strategic decisions and elevate your business.
Start Engaging with Prospective Members Personally and Transparently
Over the years, businesses have tried to redefine their member engagement tactics to help meet the ever-changing needs of consumers. During 2022’s hybrid world, customers are looking for tailored experiences and want as much advice as they can from wellness experts.
Looking at these ten data-backed tips, you can see that they are all practical and not too tricky to implement. In fact, you can start planning most of them right away. The crucial point to remember is that you should use these tips with intelligent membership software to help you grow subscribers and engage with your existing customers.
The bottom line:
Retention is as necessary as acquisition. If you get both of these working together like a well-oiled machine – you’ll be on your way to some serious success.
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