“Jane is a great client, but she’s never really been part of the community. I don’t think she’s ever come to a single event outside the gym.”
I hear that complaint all the time. Here’s why Jane doesn’t care about your pub night…and why it doesn’t matter.
The “culture” of your gym can aid retention. It can help pull people closer and feel like a family.
It can also drive people away. It can divide people, create “cliques” and tell some people they don’t belong here.
How do you create the culture that binds people together? By reinforcing the story people tell themselves about your gym family. By leveraging the internal phrase: “People like us do stuff like this.”
This is called cultural synchronicity: when people belong to your gym because the base of their self-identity is in your tribe. They’re more closely aligned with your group than with any one thing your group does.
Want to test your cultural synchronicity? If your gym family stopped doing CrossFit and started doing something slightly different–like obstacle course race training–for three months, how many of your members would stay? The people who would stick around are more closely aligned with your culture than with any one activity (CrossFit). You want more people like that. Here’s how to get them, pull them close, and keep them.
First, consider this graph of your clients’ behavior:
Obviously, every client you have does CrossFit or other HIIT. They have that in common, and the pursuit of CrossFit reinforces their place in your Culture.
But what ELSE do they have in common? That’s what you should pursue next.
In some gyms, the whole membership goes out for drinks on Friday–except, maybe, the 10% who don’t. What do you do for THOSE 10%?
Maybe you’re happy to leave them. If so, carry on.
If only 10% of your gym goes out for drinks every Friday, what are you doing for the 90% who don’t?
I’m not recommending that you have 10 special events every month. I’m saying that if you want to buttress your culture, choose the extracurriculars that attract the most people.
We’re not a long-tail business; we don’t make a living off the 10,000 people who visit the gym one time in their lives. We’re an extremely short-tail business. It’s important that people in your gym say:
“People like me do something like this.”
Thanks Seth Godin for the sentence.
On our MEMBERS ONLY list for TwoBrain clients? Check your email for a 9-minute video on the topic, with specific ideas and examples. I only do this for people like us.