The difference between “love” and “like” can be subtle. One day you could be best friends with someone and the next day you find yourself wondering, “How can I live without this person?” In the fitness world, someone who likes your brand will come back to you each week, put in their workout, go home and not really think twice about it. Yet, someone who loves your brand will become your good ambassador – a walking billboard who shares his or her experience of your brand with friends, family and even random people on the street! Here are 10 ways to make your clients fall in love with you (without using voodoo magic!)

  1. Innovate. Push the boundaries of what everyone else in the industry is doing. If the guy down the street gave his clients free smoothies one day, take your clients out to dinner. If another boot camp has created an outdoor obstacle course, make yours better. Do things that no one else is doing. Offer webinars, grocery store tours, and invitations to local community-sponsored events — and transform your little studio into a social club.
  2. Be A Trusted Authority. Keep up your community appearances and keep those press releases coming! Conduct studies, write books and attend industry events. Pursue greater certifications and try to win awards. You want to see and be seen virtually everywhere to drive up your star power. Your clients will feel special knowing that their trainer / boot camp operator is a well-respected authority on fitness.
  3. Over-Deliver. Few things drive turnover more than overpromising and under-delivering. Clients leave in droves when they feel they aren’t losing weight or achieving their goals, as advertised. You want to make sure your clients set realistic goals, have realistic expectations, lose their 1-2 pounds per week and feel like you provide more value than they could ever repay.
  4. Offer Confidence. Many clients come to a trainer for moral support, motivation and positive attitude. A person with confidence and a pleasant demeanor can be very infectious! Your clients will love — not only how you shape their bodies with your workouts — but how you shape their mental state and attitude as well. Look for inspirational music, quotes and merchandise to enrich the lives of those you touch.
  5. Create Community. In the past, people went to their local athletic club – not so much to lose weight – but to socialize with their neighbors and meet other like-minded people who cared about leading long, healthy lives. Try to restore that sense of community by creating a program that involves teamwork and group activities – both inside and outside the gym.
  6. Customize. People love solutions that are tailored to the individual. We offer one-on-one time with a certified nutritionist where we write up custom meal plans based on a person’s goals, preferences, and medical history. People LOVE this! During classes, walk around and give people pointers on form or explain how an exercise may be modified to be easier or more challenging. When you create your promotions, make ones targeting specific groups – like a “6-Week Bikini Beach Bod” class or a six-month “Goodbye Baby Bump Boot Camp.”
  7. Add Value. People love freebies, whether it’s a t-shirt, a chair massage, or a smoothie. This adds value to the experience. You’ll want your terms, conditions, guarantees and pricing to be straight-forward and seemingly low for all the value you’re giving people.
  8. Hire A Talented Staff. It’s not the building that makes your brand: it’s the people. If you take time to hire right, compensate fairly and share your company culture with your team, it will pay dividends!
  9. Be Empathetic. Use your social media network to reach out to clients. Have quick solutions to all their problems. Deliver answers to all their questions. Back up your promises. Email to say you’re thinking of your boot campers. Ask individuals how their day is going. Spend each day asking yourself, “What more can I do for my friends?”
  10. Conjure Magic. Run promotions that are truly exciting. You want people to feel as though they are winning the lottery. You don’t have to give out a million dollars to drive enthusiasm through the roof. Partner with others to secure grand prizes – vacations, cars or gift cards. Give people cash or free services for every referral. Show people why working-out with your brand is an out-of-this-world experience!

Once you have a base of clients who love you, amazing things will happen for your business. You will have high retention numbers, more paid-in-fulls, more referrals, and a passionate group of supporters who make you feel truly blessed every single day. The happier they are, the happier you are. In this world, you get back what you give!