Building a sense of community in your gym can be a challenge. You have people from all sorts of different backgrounds with individual goals under one roof. How do you get your members to feel a sense of loyalty to the gym and a sense of community and camaraderie with fellow members? Today’s digital world makes growing your gym’s community faster and easier than ever before.
Grow Your Gym Community
Our top 9 ways to grow your gym’s community, with both online and offline techniques:
1. Photo Sharing
This one is easy. Take photos of your members working out and post them to your social media accounts or websites for other members to see. This is a great way to build community because other members can see people working out all times of day, and it’s a reminder that together, you’re working toward something even though you may be a different level.
Blogging is a great way to share information about your gym and what’s going on. Too often, you have to hear information passed through the grapevine from member to member or trainer to trainer. A central location where news and information can be broadcast will show current members that you care, and it will show potential new members that you actively communicate.
3. Facebook Groups
Another great way to share information and communicate with your members. You can even encourage people to participate in the groups, and to contribute as well, and turn it into a community forum. Share tips, workouts, personal stories, and nutrition information. Get others to invest in providing to the community and it will create a vested interest.
4. Fitness Challenges
Every so often, come up with a fitness challenge and encourage all of your gym members to participate. You’ll mix members that may never normally cross paths when you get them in one place. Plus, competitions are a great way to build competitive camaraderie with your members as people cheer on the competitors.
5. Nutrition Challenges
Like the fitness challenge above, come up with a nutrition or weight loss challenge. These tend to be longer term challenges, but they can be effective at team building. Sort those that wish to compete with teams and run a “competition”. The competing teams will have fun going against each other, and the members of each team will build stronger, more supportive relationships. A friendly competition can be a tremendous team builder and will grow your gym’s sense of community.
6. Public Recognition
Recognition can be a powerful motivator for most people. Did someone hit a weight loss goal? Set a new personal best? Go to the gym every day that month? Recognize them! Take a photo of the person and post their achievement to the website or your social media. If someone’s working hard, they’d probably appreciate the recognition.
Try events that are not gym-based. Get people together socially outside of the gym. This can be for community service, fundraising, or just for socializing. You have a life outside of your gym and so do your members. Leverage it to find commonalities you have with members and that your members might share with one another. This will go a long way to growing your gym’s community.
8. T-Shirts & Apparel
Who doesn’t love a shirt? Shirts and other apparel are a great way to get your name and logo out there on people that are advocating for your brand. If you see other members wearing the shirt when out, you can immediately identify with them. It’s like when you see someone else wearing a sports team shirt you like – you feel a common connection.
9. Accept Regular Feedback
Members need to feel like they have the influence to feel they are truly a part of something. Every trainer should regularly encourage feedback from the members, and the trainers should actively try to incorporate it as much as possible. This doesn’t mean changing your yoga studio into a powerlifting gym, but it does mean making an effort to implement the feedback you receive.
To truly be a community, your gym must reinforce the idea that your community must solve a problem for them. Members must be actively willing to growing the sense of community. Experiences generated from these nine tips will help form long lasting, emotional connection between the members and the gym.