When it comes to running a successful CrossFit gym, it's good to look at sustainable member growth as a repeatable recipe that is refined over many months of trial and error. In other words, it's good to fail and learn as much as possible when building up your membership over time.
Members IN is obviously an important metric to track but members OUT is more important. It is what separates one-time from sustainable gym growth.
Yes, member retention can be (read: is) a huge struggle for many. So here are some tried and true tips that you can test out in your CrossFit gym to not only attract, but retain new members.
1. Community Events at Your CrossFit Gym
Running your own competitions or fitness/nutrition challenges are a great way to engage your members, strengthen relationships, attract new members, and have fun. If you haven't tried running a throwdown or fitness challenge, then you gotta give it a try. Notice how the big successful gyms typically run several events and seminars throughout the year? Why?
They, of course, bring in immediate revenue for the gym owner, but they also are a great way of getting your community more involved, shooting for new PRs and attracting new members, exposing new people to the awesomeness that is your fitness universe.
It's a great way to cast a new net.
With a challenge, you remove all the barriers to entry or intimidation, by making it about nutrition rather than strictly fitness. You can have current members invite friends or structure it as a team-style initiative. New people can get a great sampling of your environment and gym culture just by registering online and following along!
These types of events also help re-engage members who have low attendance numbers and excite the ones who are in the same 3-5x cycle and looking for a new spin!
Events typically have their own registration page with your gym logo and basic instructions. Their are a few providers of event & challenge software for something like this. Ours is free and simple to use but do your research and see what's best for you!
2. Goals & Improvement
Let's face it, most of your members walk through your door because they want better results. Whether it's weight loss, strength training, nutrition coaching, the common denominator is guidance.
People want the guidance.
So make sure you're being consistent with how you deliver this value to your members. Create a uniform rule-set with your coaches so they're remembering members names and acknowledging each person.
Using an affiliate gym software to track all workouts, measure progress and to communicate is a great solution for performance tracking. Use fitness accomplishments and happenings in the gym to send out an email 1x/per week about a gym event, a great member story, a new PR, a community initiative etc. Post a version of the email on your facebook group and create discussion around your community.
Involve everyone and bring people together through unified communications.
These are the guidance goals built around togetherness and improvement as a team. The more you connect with each member, the better your chances are that they will keep coming back.
3. Love them up!
This one seems simple but it’s amazing how many CrossFit gym's don’t do this. Make loving on your members part of your company ethos.
When a person becomes a member typically the first couple weeks they get excited you are giving them attention. Then after a few months you stop checking in with them and they fall through the cracks. That’s typically when a member starts to drop off because the excitement is gone. Don’t let that happen. In other words, check in with every one of your members every month at least. Even if it’s just a quick conversation…it makes a big difference to them.
Remember that little things will go a long way like remembering their birthdays, congratulating them on their latest PR and providing them with a social format like your gym's Facebook page to connect with your whole fitness community.
Remember that people come to your gym because of how it makes them feel and for the guidance. It’s your goal as an owner to always cultivate that feeling for the members and work on consistently building a better gym experience around them.
Your fitness community is your differentiator.