Retaining your clients over the winter months is all about being available for your clients and showing them why you’re valuable to them, even if they aren’t training with you. When the time comes to shape up for summer, you can bet you’ll be the first person they call.
Use these ideas to stay involved in clients’ lives and communicate regularly—you might even make a little money while you’re at it.
Send Monthly Emails
Everyone checks their email, making it a great method for communicating with clients during the winter months. You can include anything you want in these emails, including:
- A casual and friendly intro
- Information about new offerings
- Announcements about any current deals or discounts
- Referral opportunities
- New blog posts you’ve written
- Helpful articles you saw throughout the month
- Tips for staying healthy during the holidays
Feeling ambitious? Send weekly emails instead. Get ideas for what to include in your emails in 5 Reasons to Send Weekly Emails to Fitness Clients.
If you haven’t already, you can set up an account with MailChimp. It’s free to send under a certain limit, making it a great tool if you only maintain a small number of clients.
Create Fun Fitness Meet-Ups
Just because your clients have gone into hibernation, doesn’t mean you have. Use your regular fitness routine as a way to get them out and about every so often while working out with you in a casual environment.
To get away from the usual workouts you do, choose a type of sport, set the date, location and time, and invite everyone to show up and workout with you.
While they’ll need to pay their way—unless you’ve worked out a deal with the facility—seeing you may be the motivation they need. Tell them to invite their friends and family as well, which turns this into an opportunity for you to get new clients.
A few fun sport ideas include indoor rock climbing, which was surprisingly voted as the #2 most popular indoor hobby in 2016, bowling and kick boxing. You could be even more festive by organizing a winter hike or ice skating, both of which would cost little to no money, depending on where you go.
Host Group Fitness Classes
If you have access to a space where you can train inside in the winter months, start hosting weekly meet-ups. This doesn’t put any pressure on one specific client, and you can invite people that aren’t yet clients to attend as well.
If you don’t have a gym to train at, but love this idea, you could work with a local brewery or health food restaurant to offer a food/drink and workout deal for participants. I did this with a local juice shop, made a little extra cash and the attendees loved their post-workout juice.
You could even start a holiday series like, “Hump Day Holidays Workouts,” hosting a group session every Wednesday. Create a private Facebook group to invite everyone, update them about workouts each week, and create a community throughout the winter months.
Share Discounts From Partnerships
Many companies like working with fitness professionals to get their product out to potential customers. In many cases, they offer a discount for anyone who buys from you and you get a commission from that sale.
Bonus: This also acts as a great way to buffer the lack of income from training in the winter months.
The best way to get started with this is to reach out to local and national health companies that you love and believe in and offer to share their products with your clients. The more you do this, the more you’ll notice companies coming to you, rather than you going to them.
Once you’ve locked down at least one business partnership, let your clients know via email, text message or a personal check-in phone call. This shows them that you care enough to think about sharing this healthy product with them, while giving you a chance to stay in touch.