So many business owners seem to get caught up in the more likes more followers game. Faceboook and twitter are great tools, I have written about social media strategies and how to implement them, but there is a better way to connect. A social media consultant in 2005 consisted of about 5 people now it is a legitimate career. Athletes, celebrities and CEO’s have social media advisers, but lets remember you do not have 500,000 followers, you are not trying to create a global brand and your face is not on the cover of a magazine after a bad tweet.
Followers are good but remember to keep things in perspective. Kevin Rose the founder of Digg has over 1.3 million followers well even more impressive is his dog. I bet @ToasterPup has more followers then you? (see below) My point is to stay grounded and focus on what brings home the bacon. Do not obsess over social media as a small gym owner.
One thing you should obsess over is the relationship you have with your clients. You are friendly and kind, but push them to their limits physically, right? Great, so does every other small gym owner in the world. You need to stand out. Start using the US Postal Service. You heard me, put a stamp on an envelope and send out a piece of mail. In this article, Kelly Lucas a social media manager talks about “The Lost Art of Letter Writting.” A social media manager telling you to write a letter? hmm….
When a new member signs up you obviously have them fill out a waiver. On that waiver you should have them put their address. I use to be guilty of thinking, what the hell do you do with that address anyway?
There are a few tactics you can use from tracking where your customers live, to sending out a direct mail campaign, but today we are going to focus on you mailing an individual letter out. The first thing you need to do is wrap your head around a plan. Either delegate to your trainers or take action yourself. Each month set aside ten to twenty minutes to write out a few letters.
You can make this easier and more professional by hoping over to vista print. Order up a few cards or postcards with your logo. Now you have an easy platform and your system is on its way to being implemented.
I believe the most powerful way to use this system is to send everyone an individual card one month after joining. They are still excited to be a part of the team and results should be just kicking in. Take the waivers of people who sign up and put them in a holding area. At the end of every month take it out and go through it with your set of cards. You can get your trainers to help and knock out twenty cards in sub twenty minutes.
Write their name include a personal message about their progress and your appreciation. It is not a novel to your Aunt who sent you $100 for Christmas. A simple “Thank you I really appreciate the hard work you have put in. (insert personal comment about running, deadlift, squat or press) Let me know if you have any questions!” is great. I promise this will be something that your clients will appreciate and spread the word about.
I personally send a hand written letter to everyone I interview on Fitrilla. Below is an example of the front and back of the card that I would send out. I ordered 100 cards and envelops from vista print for under $40 and after each interview I take five minutes and write one out.
Do not be overwhelmed, click off to the next thing and forget about this system. If you do not want to send a card to everyone then send a few every month thanking your current members for their business. Pick one person today, someone who has been with you from the start and thank them for bring a part of your community.
I really enjoy this because it is genuine. I am honestly thankful for each interview guest that comes on the show as I am sure you are for each new member you get. If they feel that appreciation it can lead to increased referrals, their continued business and developing a relationship. Remember, it is hard to quit, screw over or leave a friend, it is easy to quit a gym.
Leave a comment below and let me know if you use this system.