How To Connect With Your Clients (and sell to them too!)

You hear me talk a ton about branding. I love a strong brand with a strong brand message that you can immediately associate with - or not!

Spring Three | Fitness studio marketing

I love branding because it is the heart and soul of what you do, it’s what makes you unique and memorable and distinguishable. Strong brands have a real awareness for what they do - and that is very special. And when I work with the amazing studio owners I am fortunate enough to go deep into what they are all about.

To succeed in your business, you must know without any doubt that your product or service is beneficial to the client. You have to know and understand the value you offer and deliver day in day out.

And then, you have to know how to connect what you do with what your clients want.

If the consumer or client is not happy - you do not make money. 

Getting someone interested in you and your product, starts with being sincerely interested in them. 

Why are they here?

What do they want?

But sometimes it’s not quite as easy as simply asking those questions. Sometimes your clients don’t really know for themselves. So, you have to be a bit of a detective to figure this out.

When you are selling anything , you must ask questions to understand.

And - remember to listen. 

Understand the problem and be a part of the solution.

The number 1 secret to selling is : Understanding the needs, hesitations, frustrations and fears of your clients. 

70% of all buying decisions are made based on how a person feels. Emotions and intuition plays a huge part in the purchase decision.

Every single one of your clients have their own set of fears, frustrations and hopes (no matter how they seem on the outside). 

Remember clients don’t always really know what they want - they can’t verbalize it. 

And, if they can’t figure it out… it’s part of your job to help them to connect the dots.

I have found that it becomes very easy for studio owners to forget about the incredible value they bring to the world.

It can be easy to lose sight of the truly amazing changes your clients achieve with the help and support of your studio.

Finding the right words to convey what you do is crucial to making the association between what your client is looking for and what you are able to offer them.

I love helping studio owners rediscover the impact they have on their community and truly understanding the value it adds on both a functional and emotional level. 

If you know how it helps - you know why it is appealing.

So there you have it, selling begins when you are asking the right questions, listening and learning and helping your clients to make the change they want in their life. 

If you do these things, the opportunity to nudge the client to visit more frequently, refer their friends or become a member will present itself - and that is the perfect time to make the sale. 

Numbers 101: Simple reports that show you everything

Numbers give you data. Data you need to learn, discover opportunities and understand your business better.

Spring Three - fitness business marketing and strategy

And, if you can consistently track your numbers you will get a strong sense for what is improving and what isn’t. Counting, measuring and tracking is yet another system that enables success in your studio business - and we love systems!

So what should you be looking at? Well, how about we take a step-by-step look at the reports that will tell you just what worked and what didn’t last year… ready?


Let’s start with sales.


This is your top line big number! But while total sales is great, we want to find out what service or product was your best seller or biggest revenue generator.

In MindBodyOnline, start by running your Sales By Category report for 2018 (also check ”compare to previous Year box” in section 1)

Hit Go and you’ll find your total revenue for both services and products.

You can sort the totals in descending order by clicking over the top line of the services section.

What do you find?

What were your top 3 revenue generators?

How about your bottom 3?

Any surprises?

Now let’s look at how that changed vs last year. 

The far right column show a percentage change - a positive % change means you have made more $$ this year than last year.

If you are not seeing a positive number - it’s time for more investigating. Did you have big changes this year to location, schedule, teacher changes etc? Was that on purpose… or not? If not, it could be time to review your retention strategies and sales procedures.

Ok, now that we’ve seen the big picture it’s time to dive in deeper.

There are so many different area’s of your business to explore but let’s look at your biggest seller in terms of pricing option… i.e. what were your clients buying to access your services?

Revenue by pricing option

Go to your Sales by Service report, set the dates to last year and click go. (Again you can sort the columns in descending order to make it easier)

This report shows how much of each package you sold last year - both in the dollar amount and in the quantity.

Obviously your larger packages will show a large dollar amount so the quantity of each package sold is also important to look at here. 

It’s always interesting to see what was the most popular pricing option… and then ask some questions:

Is that pricing option best for your business?

Or, would you rather your clients purchased something different?

Do you need to make changes to how you sell your services?

If you ran any price promotions through the year you will see that here too - did you run more or less promotions than you expected. Were they successful for your business as well as your clients?

Ok - great stuff. Let’s keep going.

Next, let’s look at your retention numbers. We know that a loyal client base means more stable and sustainable revenue numbers. But let’s see what the data tells us about how good your studio is at keeping clients from one year to the next… 

You can track your long term retention by seeing how many people visited your studio in 2017 and then again in 2018.

Retention (Year Over Year)

In Mindbody - go to your sales by service report and set the dates to 2018 - click on tag new. make a note of the number (A)

Then change your dates to 2017. Check tagged clients only. Click on Tag new. Make a note of the number (B)

Divide B by A and multiply by 100 to see what your year over year retention number is.

You are aiming for 50% YoY retention for a class based business or 80% for session based businesses. Typically the number is actually much lower - if you have a lot of out of town visitors or you run a lot of workshops you will need to take into account these one-time visits.

Now for my favorite report of all - Attendance Analysis! I love this report because it tells you more about your client behavior and gives so much more insight into what is and isn’t being purchased, how often they attend and which classes they come to. But let’s just look at how often your clients are visiting your studio business.

Attendance Analysis

In Attendance Analysis, take a look at your total visits in the past year by setting the dates to 2018 and then under section 3 run the analysis by client in Detail. Hit go… Scroll down and give yourself a high five! This is the total number of paid visits.

Then scroll back up… as you go… see how many 1’s there are in the far right column?.. this is all the people who only came into your studio one time. We’ll come back to that in a bit.

Hit Tag New - this is how many clients visited your studio in 2018 - nice work! (make a little note of this number)

Let’s see how many people came in more than 10 times… since they are the people who are (or became) your more loyal clients.

Scroll to the top and in Section , add 10 into the box “Show clients with [] or more visits.” Hit Tag New.

What’s the difference?

This is a super simple way to see how much opportunity there is to retain visitors to your studio.

Are you letting your clients know how often they should be coming?

Does your sales process seamlessly guide your clients from one step to the next from intro offer into a long term package or membership?

These numbers give you insight and show you where there is opportunity to improve for 2019… there is much more digging that can be done but this will give you a great head start in figuring out where to focus and set some goals for the year ahead.

Most of all though, looking at these reports on a regular basis will show you where your hard work is paying off and give you reason to celebrate your amazing business accomplishments!

Well done!

Ready for January?

It’s no surprise that January is a busy time for fitness studios and gyms!

New memberships peak at the beginning of the year and having a solid January promotion or challenge in place is absolutely critical to bringing new clients into your business.


Talk about your challenge or promotion NOW!

Are you advertising your January promotion or challenge yet? If you have something to promote in the New Year, start talking about upcoming promotional events or challenges ASAP!  Starting early helps to raise awareness and create buzz around your promotion. It really helps to create momentum for your promotion among your most loyal studio clients. And, it can also give you more time to reach potential new clients who may looking to kickstart their healthy habits in the New Year.


How can you build momentum for your New Year Offer? By giving lots of inspiration and motivation! Use all of your marketing channels to inspire and motivate not only potentially new clients but current and old clients as well.  Offer valuable tips and information through blog posts, social media posts and newsletters. This information will inspire clients to get off the couch and signed up for your event! Yay! Your inspiration will make people feel good and encourage potential new clients to check out what you offer at your studio.


Follow Your Sales Process

Like any business owner, you should have a sales process in place for bringing new clients into your studio.  Make sure that all of your preparations before the promotion or challenge are in place so that you can handle clients efficiently once it begins. This is things like holding a staff training, writing out FAQ’s about your promo and making sure your marketing materials (flyers and posters) are all visible and relevant!

Connect with all your potential clients through emails, newsletters and other marketing avenues. Doing this helps you to build a relationship with them, which is the first step to helping them become clients.


Your marketing should also demonstrate ALL THE VALUE of the products and services you offer. Show potential clients how you can help them solve one or more of the problems that they have with the use of some amazing testimonials or by telling your clients how they can get the best results from your services.


Address any questions or concerns potential clients have about signing up. Ideally do this BEFORE they even ask! How? Take note of the most common questions so that you are prepared to handle them when they come up again in the future. Once you’ve handled those last questions, it’s time to close the deal and get those new clients signed up and into your studio!


Know What Your Clients Want to Purchase

Do you know which of the services and products you currently offer are most popular with current clients? If so, chances are that potential clients will also be looking for the same thing. Know exactly what those services are and be ready to make recommendations. Make it simple for new clients to get signed up for the classes and services that are right for them.


Don’t Forget Current and Former Clients!

While it’s important to market to bring new clients into your studio, it is just as important to continue offering high quality classes, services and products to your current clients as well! And don’t forget to also reach out to former clients who may not currently be coming to your studio.  This can be a great opportunity to win back those clients and make them active clients again.


It’s important to get prepared for your January promotions early so that you can be ready (and waiting) for January sales.

Early preparation is the key to bringing in the new clients you want for your studio!

Good luck!


2018 trends and most read articles!

Best of 2018 | Spring Three marketing for fitness studios

At the end of the year I always like to look back and see what topics and questions I got asked most from all the business owners I spoke with... and I thought you might like to know more about this too!

So what's come up?

Well, this year, we have been way more focused on sales and pricing. Is this to do with increased competition? I think yes... is that a bad thing? NO! Most of the conversations I've had involved raising prices and implementing a sales process - both are good for your biz!

Other trends I have seen this year is a lot more attention on video, social media and outbound marketing. Hurrah! It's super important to be proactive about this 🙂

But, the biggest challenge for everyone? Keeping clients over the long term. 

Retention is the foundation of your business - but not always the easiest part. It’s something you have to work on every single day - servicing your clients and adapting to their needs to keep them engaged!

What helps is a community of fellow business owners. So, if you have a business question or are looking for some extra business tips - get on over to the private Growing A Studio Business Facebook Group!

Or...  check out the most popular articles from 2018:

5 Reasons Why Studios Lose Clients

3 Reasons Why Your Client List Isn't Growing

Let's Review Your Pricing

Why Branding Really Matters For Your Studio Business

How Often Should You Email Your Clients?

I hope you find something useful here and if you have a burning business question, just hit reply and ask away.

With warmest wishes, 


One Easy Way To Boost Revenue This Month!

Spring Three | fitness studio business marketing

The holiday season is in full swing, and most people are busy searching for the perfect gifts for friends and family. Your clients also undoubtedly have their own gift lists. And many will purchase gift cards for at least some of the people they know - especially when they have run out of gift ideas!

In fact, more than 90% of consumers will either buy or receive a gift card in the next year.

So, with gift cards being such a popular gift, now would be a great time to sell them in your studio business. Let me tell you why….

Gift cards can help to grow your sales

Gift cards can be a great income generator for your studio. Offering discounts takes value away from the services and products that you are selling. But gift cards encourage people to return to your business and use the full value of the card. This gives potential new clients an opportunity to try classes in your studio (yay!). And many times, they will become repeat customers - even once their gift card has run out.

Gift cards can help increase awareness of your brand

One of the best types of advertising for your brand is through word of mouth. When a loyal client gives a gift card to family members or friends, they advertise your business for you. And those clients will only do this for businesses that they trust and believe in. By giving a gift card, these loyal clients introduce those they know to your brand - great news for you! And, as they become aware of your brand, you have a good chance to retain them as loyal customers.

You make money - even if the card isn’t fully used

Sad but true - those gift cards don’t always get used. If someone uses part of their gift card, but not all of it, you don’t miss out since you have already made the revenue. This phenomenon is called “breakage” and it (really) common.

Those who redeem gift cards typically spend more

This is the BEST part of gift cards. Statistics show that consumers typically spend 20-40 percent MORE than the value of the gift card when redeeming it. That be a great boost to your bottom line next year!

So, you’ve decided that you like the benefits of adding gift cards to your business. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

There are two types of gift cards that you can offer: standard, physical gift cards and e-cards. Electronic gift cards are great, but physical gift cards are still preferred by most consumers. They also allow you the greater opportunity to upsell products. And having a display with gift cards on the counter of your studio is great for last minute impulse purchases too!

Offer cards in common amounts. Most people spend $25-$50 on a gift card. Consider offering gift cards of $25-$100 for clients. This allows them to choose one that works for their budget.

Consider creating bundled packages for the holidays or other special occasions. If you sell retail items, you can bundle seasonal or specialty items along with a gift card, as a great gift idea. You can also consider bundled services, such as “Get fit for the New Year” or “Bridal fitness” packages that include a certain number of fitness classes or personal training for a special price. This can encourage people to purchase gift cards for someone who is looking to get fit for a special occasion...and can increase your studio income too!

So, if you were on the fence about doing this - don’t be! Offering gift cards adds value to your business by increasing revenue, all while providing convenience and value for your loyal customers.


 Good luck!