Brand Experience

Bring a Friend – Why it Works for Gyms & Personal Trainers

30 October, 2019

What makes joining a gym so hard? Is it the intimidation factor that most people are already in shape when your clients feel like they are just starting out? Is it the overwhelming idea that these other people are working towards their goals when your clients have told themselves that they would work on them every day but kept pushing them off? Or that everyone else in the gym seems to know what they are doing?!

If we know that getting clients through the door is the hardest step then HOW DO WE MAKE THAT EASIER for them? How do we make a gym less intimidating?

SIMPLE. We let them bring a friend with them. Just like show-and-tell when you were a child, there is such a pure excitement in showing a close friend where you spend most of your time, and it injects some fun into what can seem like a routine task.

So what are some of the benefits of creating a “bring a friend” type of environment within your gym? Well, let’s take a look…

  • What is one of the best methods of organic marketing for your gym? WORD OF MOUTH! We all know how valuable word of mouth is, when one of your members goes home and tells her family how much they love their facility/gym/personal trainer, the sell for that person is much easier because the suggestion came from someone they love and respect versus a complete, very fit, stranger. Leverage your existing members to keep your community of members growing. It not only has a positive impact on cash-flow, it creates a vibrant and friendly atmosphere for your fitness business, a place where people love to train amongst friends!
  • Exercise Adherence, basically, clients that sign up with a friend or family member are MORE likely to stay for longer than those that sign up solo. WHY you ask? When partners care about fitness—their own and their partner’s—it becomes easier to achieve fitness goals. A recent study of heterosexual couples showed that average-weight husbands who care about fitness engage in more physical activity when their wives offer more supportive health-related comments (Skoyen, Blank, Corkery, & Butler, 2013).
  • There is a psychological advantage in working out with others, OUR BRAIN LOVES IT! I mean why else would anyone sign up for a 6 am boxing class or a 5:30 am Zumba class?!

“Group activity may not be a new concept but it has certainly seen massive international up-trends over the last twenty years with rapidly rising numbers in spin cycling, aerobic and dance-based classes and the emergence of CrossFit and its tribe mentality,” says Rob McGillivray, personal trainer and founder of RETROFIT. “I believe it to be a key indicator that working out in a motivational pack or using it as a tool to enhance internal or external competitive performance is fast becoming the preferred form of exercise.”

  • Research shows that the health actions of others rub off on us. This same study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found that participants gravitated more towards the exercise behaviours of those around them. Whether this is increased by bringing a friend or joining a small group class, we can see the benefits of joining others in exercise! Working out with a crowd carries a large number of benefits including, enhanced consistency, duration, motivation, conversation and inspiration says, says Dian Griesel, PhD “Workouts with others improve consistency because they involve a commitment. ‘No shows’ and cancellations get noticed by others and positive peer pressure can help curtail the urges to skip a workout … or quit.”

One study found that 95 per cent of those who started a weight-loss program with friends completed the program, compared to a 76 per cent completion rate for those who tackled the program alone. The friend group was also 42 per cent more likely to maintain their weight loss.

  • What is the Kohler Effect and how can it help grow your business? Well, the Kohler Effect is the idea that no one wants to be the weakest link in a group setting. This principle also applies to fitness classes and working out, you will inevitably push yourself hard to avoid coming last or being perceived as the weakest link in the group. The Kohler Effect can come in handy when you are wanting to build your community up. It is a psychological default in our wiring to not want to come last, which will make clients push themselves harder, and see results faster!
  • If your members are generating new quality leads for your business, and you have active plans in place to convert these leads, then a bring a friend gym promotion will, of course, have a positive impact on your overall revenue.

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– More Gym Members Family