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  • Word of Mouth Strategies For Community Classes

    I have written so many articles on using social media to market your service I thought I would go right back to basics and look at THE best form of marketing, which will all know and love. WORD OF MOUTH. And here are some strategies ensuring you are top of your game on W O M

    There’s a question I’ve always asked in regard to fitness marketing “How do most of  your clients come to you?” and the answer is invariably, “through word-of-mouth referrals.”  So what system have you got for generating word-of-mouth referrals, do you have a strategy?

    Often Instructors do the very best job they can to keep clients happy, and then they hope and pray that these clients will send them referrals. That might work, but wouldn’t it make sense to have a repeatable strategy
    (or many strategies) to multiply referrals?


    There seems to be no limit to how many ways and variations there are to market your business.
    The key however is not to search out the “ultimate technique” but to start to implement the most simple techniques immediately and then expand to more sophisticated ones. You may find however, that some of the simplest techniques are also the best.

    So what is this method that will generate so much word of mouth business?
    What is this technique that is so simple, so easy and so inexpensive that anyone can use it from the very first day they go into business?

    1. Hand Written thank you notes, personalised exercise information, and health and fitness class handouts. If you are on a budget email handouts and fitness/weight loss information

    Now, before you dismiss this, stick with me. I’m going to prove it to you and show you so many ways to use this referral generation method that you’ll be able to use it every single day. Firstly ask your self this question:

    Why do people refer business in the first place?

    Several reason – One, people like to refer business.  The feel good factor  It makes them feel good.
    People are making a contribution when they refer business. They are doing a “good deed” and that makes them feel good about themselves. Given the opportunity, people would refer business to others all day long.  

    Another reason is the law of reciprocity – If people feel they owe you something, because you give them good service and your service is working for them –  they are more likely to give you something in return. One of the things they will give is referrals.

    One more reason is the law of affinity. If clients feel that you like them and appreciate their business they will often go out of the way to help you.

    Because of these three factors, given away free sessions, thank you notes and post cards, exercise cards are the ideal marketing tool and generator of referrals. But there are also some things to consider when talking about word-of-mouth business.

    Offer Cash for referrals and have competition to see who can give you the most referrals with your existing class members

    How exactly does word-of-mouth business happen in the first place?

    You provide a service. The client talks about it. The level of enthusiasm, conviction, delight and other factors increase the chances that the person hearing about your business will check out your service. It might take that client talking about you five times, ten times or twenty times before someone picks up the phone and calls you or plucks up the courage to attend your class.

    What you are trying to do in increasing word-of-mouth business is very simple.

    You are attempting to increase the level of enthusiasm, conviction and delight in your client. What really happens in the course of a conversation that a client may be having to a friend about you is that the person speaking with you asks several questions:

    “What did they do for you, what was it like working with them, did they produce the result you were looking for. etc.” If you respond with enthusiasm, conviction and delight, the chances are much higher that you’ll get that call and that person will come and try out your class for themselves.

    So our job is to intentionally do whatever we can to increase positive and enthusiastic of responses from our clients.

    Little Things Make All the Difference
    Our clients expect us to get the job done.

    They expect results. They expect good service. They expect us to keep our word. So if you give all of these things to a client you’ll be giving them exactly what they expect. You can’t offer less than this and expect to get word-of-mouth business. But if you give them more than they expect, you’ll start getting the enthusiasm, conviction and delight that results in much more-word-of mouth business.

    Hand-written thank you notes and cards, handouts, health and fitness articles, take away information ,are the very foundation of that “More-Than-You-Expect” strategy.

    Personalised information

    For example: Exercise cards to do at home with specific exercises for that person – In the Fitness Pilates Bootcamps for Over 40 Females I expect the class members to do cardio work and tabatas at home.  Present them with a home exercise card and a downloadable video for them to do at home.

    Hand-written thank-you cards, notes, handouts, exercise cards, etc. work to generate more word-of-mouth business because:
    It‘s unexpected and it makes people feel good.  It really shows you care and are thinking about them. It shows that you’re organised and on top of details. It increases both your trust and affinity with the people in your class and it demonstrates that you went out of your way to do something for them.  THE BOTTOM LINE IS IT gives the client something tangible and physical that reminds them of you and your services.
    It’s easy too and inexpensive for you to do and can be done virtually every day, no matter what your budget is.

    So when do you give out cards, notes and personalised information?
    Frequently, regularly and systematically –
    This isn’t something you do once in a while. This can become your core, central marketing activity.

    When should you send thank-yous and what should you say?

    When you’ve set an appointment. If you personal train and you have scheduled an appointment send a thank you note. If a client has improved their fitness, lost weight, given up smoking, or whatever, acknowledge this with a free session, a postcard congratulating them.

    When you get new business.
    If a regular client recommends a new person to you and they attend that class, thank your regular client – give them a free session and acknowledge that they have referred a friend to you. Let your classes know and encourage them to bring friends and reward them with free sessions or cash or a massage/facial whatever, with a local business that you trade business with

    When someone helps you
    It could be anything. Someone gives you a resource, an idea, a compliment, an encouragement. They get a note as well.

    When you meet a new contact
    Through a networking event, through a business associate or any other business situation. Write a note on the back of their card so you don’t forget them and send a thank-you note the following day.

    That’s a lot of notes, you say. Yes, it is, but you want to make it such a habit that you do it almost instinctually. You do it as a way of doing business, as a way of life. And after all, it’s not such a big deal; you can do a complete note, including address and stamp in about 2 minutes flat.

    You now know the Number One Strategy to Generate More Referrals and Word-of-Mouth Business.
    Let me know what you think, email me your comments and views.

    Please comment

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