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Balanced Body COREterly

Spring/Summer 2015

From the Studio

How Online Class Websites Can Benefit Your Studio

by Dana Auriemma

An important part of having a healthy, successful studio is good client retention — keeping clients coming back consistently and indefinitely! And the foundation for good client retention starts with how happy your clients are with the benefits or results they experience from your workouts.

These benefits or results are a form of positive reinforcement. They prove to clients that their efforts to come to your studio have been worthwhile. And they validate the investment your clients have made in terms of the time and money that have been spent on their workouts. This positive reinforcement then strengthens future behavior. So when your clients experience a greater degree of benefits or results, it helps strengthen their commitment to your workout and your studio for the weeks, months, and years ahead. They are much more likely to come back consistently and stay with your studio for the long haul!

Now to make sure your clients experience the greatest possible benefits from their workouts, you already do everything you can to ensure that you and your team have the best possible teaching skills and are giving your clients a great overall workout experience. But there is another important factor when it comes to seeing results that we have very little control over: how frequently our clients workout or practice Pilates. As their teachers and mentors, we do our best to encourage clients to come as frequently as they can. We also try to offer occasional marketing programs that offer an incentive or reason for them to workout more frequently during a short or long period of time. But beyond that, we quickly run out of options.

We know that realistically speaking, many clients struggle to find the time or money needed to workout more than 2-3 times a week. And while that kind of workout schedule will give them some nice benefits to enjoy, it would be even better if clients could workout or practice Pilates more often each week…and they would see and feel even greater results than they already do!

This is where online class websites come in! A reputable company or organization that offers a library of Pilates workout videos from talented and highly trained instructors, customized by level, style, etc. is a fantastic supplement to your clients’ in-studio workout schedule. When your clients don’t have the time or money to increase their weekly attendance at your studio, they can still increase their benefits and results by working out more frequently at-home, and practice all of the personalized corrections that you give them in the studio!

Encouraging clients to workout with online class videos at home in between studio sessions can help accelerate their results and reinforce their commitment to your workout program and your studio! That means your clients are happier and more in love with the benefits they are experiencing, and your studio has even better client retention, week-after-week and year-after-year.

Now, if you’re slightly concerned that your clients might end up replacing their studio sessions with online workouts videos, don’t be! Your current clients have already experienced and understand what unique benefits they get from coming in for a live studio workout. They know that the personalized attention, motivation, and client community is invaluable and that an online workout class is no comparable substitute…only a complement. So you can feel great about encouraging clients to workout at home more, knowing it will only strengthen their connection to your studio.

NOTE: Offering your own online workout videos is also a great approach. Your clients are already accustomed to your teaching style and cues so there is a good synergy there. But creating these videos can be time consuming, so you can opt to promote online class websites instead when you’re too busy to make your own videos.

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To help encourage your clients to workout more at home using online class websites:

  1. Do some research. Get to know the different services and options out there so you can speak knowledgably about them to your clients.
  2. Spread awareness. Tell clients (via newsletter, social media, in studio flyers) about your favorite online class website(s). As always, your clients look to you to provide them with good recommendations about all things Pilates and fitness! So they’ll want to know that any online classes they take have your seal of approval.
  3. Encourage and support. Send out friendly reminders to your clients, telling them to login weekly and take 1-2 online workout classes when they are away from the studio. You could even suggest specific videos or occasionally teach one of the mat-based workout video routines in the studio for your clients to get some personalized corrections to use at home.

At the end of the day, if you can help clients workout and practice Pilates more frequently than their existing studio schedule, they will be thrilled with the increase in benefits that they see. And that will strengthen their commitment and loyalty to your workout program and studio.

So keep encouraging them to come in to your studio as frequently and consistently as they can. And use fun marketing programs to give them a little motivation (i.e. attendance challenges, bundled monthly packages). But also look to online class websites to help your clients workout more when they are away from the studio; it can benefit both your clients and your studio!