It’s the million dollar question we all have:
“How do I grow my fitness classes?”
Finding answers to that question that work often seems like a heavily-guarded, secret sauce, like you need a combination of:
- The right information & ideas,
- Time to execute it all,
I’d like to share with you what I’ve been doing this spring to grow my own business, in the hope that some of my ideas may be helpful for you as well! This is an article in three parts:
- My initial planning session and ‘readiness’,
- Online ideas, and
- In-person ideas.
Part 1 – Planning
To start, I want to frame myself correctly: I am no fitness guru. I certainly do not have the full secret sauce recipe yet!
Most days, I feel more like I am just plodding along, doing the best I can to run my business around the demands of my family life and kids’ school schedules. But this spring, I’ve been throwing a fair amount of (semi-organized) spaghetti against the wall, and it feels like I am slowly beginning to create my own sauce that may prove effective.
I kicked off 2022 ready to rock it out. Tired of being tired of Covid, ready to stop feeling so weighed down and uncertain about the future, I came into the year, guns blazing.
This, I believe, has been one of the biggest helps for me this year: I was mentally in a space where I was ready to think optimistically, come up with outside the box ideas, and stay persistent with my plans.
That had not been the case in 2021: along with the general malaise that weighed on most of us due to all the world events, I was struggling personally in many areas. For the sake of my own sanity, I had decided that I would serve the clients I already had to the best of my ability, but I would not put pressure on myself to do more in terms of marketing, building, and growth.
I write this to say, I do not believe every season of your business has to be a growing season. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is focus on maintaining what we have.
Coming Up With Marketing Ideas
Enter 2022, a blank canvas. To kick off the year, I began with a “brain dump” of ideas:
I set aside 50 minutes of uninterrupted time (no distracting phone!), turned on some concentration music, set a timer, and started writing.
My goal was to brainstorm any and all ideas that I wanted to do in 2022. I was not just thinking in terms of “marketing” and “growth” – even more than that, I was imagining what I actually felt would be FUN, for myself and my group. This included things like:
- Newsletter topics,
- In-person get-togethers,
- Races and other events,
- Challenge ideas,
- New revenue stream possibilities,
- Networking opportunities.
Honestly, this exercise can feel so inspiring and motivating!
We enter this business because we love it, but we can begin to feel so weighed down by the grind of it all that we need these times to help wake us up and find fresh perspective! Brainstorming – allowing any crazy idea to find its way to the page – is a great way to kick off a new season.
Choosing Where To Focus Your Marketing Energy
After my initial brainstorming session, I took some time to organize and expand on the ideas I’d come up with.
For the things I liked, I plotted out when in the year I wanted them to take place. From there, I had a loose structure of a yearly calendar: newsletter topics, events, and Challenges! I’ve continued to use these ideas as I move forward into the year.
One of the things I have found personally challenging in the past has been putting out a regular newsletter. While I believe sending a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter would be ideal, I am currently aiming to send out one newsletter per month (baby steps). The newsletter announces all the upcoming monthly opportunities, so committing to the newsletter means that I am also committing to the monthly plan.
I have found this to be helpful in making sure my ideas turn into actual events and don’t just stay ideas!
Next Steps For Your Marketing
If you haven’t done a brainstorming session like this in a while (or ever), I highly recommend you give it a try. Be sure to give yourself enough time to run out of the ‘easy’ ideas – the ones that are always floating around in your mind – and move on to other things. If it’s helpful, you can use the categories I listed above as a jumping off point.
Brainstorming is a great chance to connect with who YOU are and what you find personally motivating. Because let’s be honest, if you aren’t motivated by the idea, you won’t want to keep going! And persistence and consistency are often more important than any other specific idea you might have.
Here are some questions to journal on:
- What ideas do you have for your business this year?
- Which ones do you get excited to think about?
- Are there any that make you feel a little nervous?
Let us know! Then tune into the next two articles where I discuss the marketing I’ve been doing this spring in more detail!
Niki J. Torres is the owner of Folk Fitness where she specializes in helping everyday folks come together to build healthier, stronger lives. A personal trainer for over 9 years and nutrition coach, she believes there is strength in numbers, power in fun, and that the smallest changes make the biggest differences. With a background in theatre and a love for board games and all things silly, Niki loves finding ways to build community and make fitness enjoyable. Folk Fitness currently offers virtual classes, online programs, and in-home personal training in the Raleigh area.