How to motivate your members

Motivating your members in the gym is an important part of improving your gym experience. Here are some reasons why it matters and how to motivate your members

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There are many reasons why improving member motivation can be advantageous to a gym, so let’s go through the best strategy for helping your members to embrace the gym lifestyle.

Why Motivating your Members is Important

There may be some gym owners who question whether the motivation of their members is all that important to their bottom line. But there are many reasons why motivating your members is important.

Improving member motivation could help you to increase your income by extending the customer lifetime value of your members. You will also see your members get better results, which can help you with promotion to new members.

Let’s take an in-depth look at five reasons why motivating your members can help to improve your business.

Reason #1: Prevents member attrition

People leave gyms all the time, and for a variety of reasons. The most common of which would be a loss of motivation after a perception that their results are stagnating. Losing members too soon can be very frustrating, as the cost of finding a new member can be high. Any businessperson knows that it’s better to keep your current customers happy than to find new ones.

New members need to be taught how to use the gym, will take longer to exercise, and require a lot of time invested in them. Whereas long-term members are usually more respectful to the gym, more efficient, and are worth more to your business financially.

Reason #2: Improves member satisfaction

Member satisfaction is important for your business, as low satisfaction can lead to poor reviews, a lack of referrals, and a lack of respect for the gym (which can lead to members not cleaning up after themselves, or damaging equipment).

But members who are motivated will get better results (as they will train for longer), and will end up being happier with their investment, and the gym in general.

Reason #3: Better results for members

Even a bad workout program, if followed for long enough, should yield effective results (not that we’re encouraging bad workouts). The point is that consistency and time are two massively important factors in getting good results. Your members need to be motivated in order to be consistent over a long enough period of time.

It goes without saying that better results for your members is going to be useful for your business. Better results equals happier members, members who are more likely to stay loyal to your gym, and more likely to tell a friend about their amazing experience.

Reason #4: Referrals

Nobody talks about gyms more than a highly motivated new gym member. As annoying as their colleagues at work may soon find them, they are also more likely to be dragged along to your gym. Keep your member happy, motivated, and get them great results and they will tell everyone they know about your business. It’s free marketing, and the ultimate testimonial.

Reasons #5: It’s the reason why you opened your gym

Few people open gyms as a solely financial endeavour. If you are a gym owner, then you almost certainly chose this career because you want to help people to achieve their health and fitness goals.

You know the satisfaction of seeing someone transform their physique and their life over weeks and months and years. Providing that motivation to help them succeed is important to you, because that’s the reason why you started in the first place.

How to Motivate your Members

Now that we have discussed why motivating your members is important. Let’s take a look at how to motivate your members. Here are eight simple methods that can help to motivate your members.

Method #1: Fitness tracking

Most people tend to lose faith in exercise due to a perceived lack of progress. But few actually measure progress. If you don’t keep track of where you started from and how you are progressing each week, then you are just guessing. Something that humans are notoriously bad at doing.

People can become obsessed with the numbers on their bathroom scales, but as any gym owner will know the scales represent a small fraction of the methods of progress. There is body fat percentage, cardiovascular fitness, muscle mass, strength gains, hypertrophy gains, balance and coordination, reaction time. The list goes on and on.

Providing your members with fitness tracking technology and progress check ins can be very effective at improving motivation. Obviously, you have to fully explain the methodology and the benefits to each member, but this can easily be done as part of orientation for new members.

Method #2: Data analysis

Another issue that affects people’s motivation is not knowing what they can do to get results quicker. Luckily, if you have followed the advice of method #1, you should have a ton of data at your disposal that can help you analyse their progress and look for ways to improve things.

Offering them in-depth knowledge on how they can improve their workouts can make a huge difference to success and motivation.

Method #3: Progress Reports

In a similar vein to methods 1 and 2, progress reports are a great thing to offer your members. Not only does it show that you are invested in their success (more on that later), it’s also great for giving them perspective. No, the scale may not be showing progress, but look at the progress made in strength or endurance, or muscle mass.

Progress reports can work as pep talks, strategy sessions, and a way for your members to get to know your staff better. Personal trainers will jump at the chance to deliver them, as it will increase their chances of getting new clients.

Method #4: Gamification

If you’ve read our previous articles on gamification, then you will understand just how highly we rate it as a way to not only improve member motivation, but to improve almost every aspect of your gym.

Gamification can make boring tasks seem more enjoyable, can turn every gym member into the hero of their own story, and are amazing at creating habits. Something that will improve motivation in any task, but particularly in a gym setting.

Method #5: Incentives

Incentivising your members to train at your gym is another excellent way to increase adherence and motivation. Setting up competitions where the member with the most time spent in the gym, or the best 500m row time can get a certificate or a free personal training session, can temporarily boost the motivation of a large percentage of members.

There are many other benefits too. It can improve cohesion, help your members to socialise, the winners will feel more loyal to the gym, and your members should see improved results as they will have been incentivised to work harder. All of which can help to ultimately improve motivation.

Method #6: Praise on Social Media

Testimonials from members are hugely beneficial to your gym, and a great way to attract members. But they can sometimes leave members feeling a little used. A more ethical alternative is to (with their permission of course) highlight members on social media and sing their praises.

The idea is to pick members who you feel have worked particularly hard, or have been there for a long time, and give them the spotlight on social media.

This not only motivates the member in question, but it can also motivate other members who see how well their fellow member is doing. The other benefit is that it makes your gym look good for two reasons:

  1. It shows that you care for your members
  2. It shows that your members care for you

Both are powerful and will do a lot to make your gym appear more friendly, more professional, and it could lead to an increase in new members.

Method #7: Let them Know You Care

Motivation can come from many different sources, but one of the best sources is from understanding that other people care about your success. For many gym owners, this advice will be obvious, but for some it could be a wakeup call.

Gym owners who get to know their members will always outperform gym owners who don’t bother. Spending 5 minutes talking to a new member or a long term veteran can do more for your business then almost any other strategy.

Remember faces, try to remember names and anecdotes. Compliment them on turning up at 6am on a Monday morning. Praise their bench press technique. Let them know you care. If a member believes that you are at the gym thinking of them, they are more likely to be motivated to turn up.

Method #8: Deliver Superior Results

Delivering better results than the other gyms in your area will massively motivate your members. Seeing the success of their peers is a huge motivation as it grounds their goals in reality. Suddenly a six pack won’t seem too farfetched.

To deliver those results you need to work harder than your competition, you need to invest better than them, and you need to encourage and educate your members better. All of this is possible, and it will lead to huge increases in motivation among your members.

Final Thoughts

If your members aren’t motivated, it’s more likely your churn rate will rise, your reputation will suffer, your satisfaction rating will fall, and so on. 

In the end, if your members are motivated, they win and you win. It’s not easy, but motivating your members could lead to a stronger community and a stronger bottomline. 

Find out how MoFit can help you to motivate your members and contact us to learn more.

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