So your January class roster is starting fill up with new student signups. Awesome! But you’re not home free yet. There’s still one more critical thing to do before new students start to show up at your studio: put a rock-solid welcome and education plan in place.
We all know that newbies need a bit more handholding in the beginning—which represents a big opportunity for your studio. This introductory experience can either secure a student’s loyalty for life or cause them to seek out other fitness outlets. It’s important to craft an onboarding plan that will make students feel at home with your studio, instructors, and other students.
New to creating welcome plans? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Prep Your Instructors
Instructors with smaller classes will be able to pick out new students easily, but for larger classes or new instructors, it’s helpful to provide a roster of first-timers. That way, your teachers can give new attendees a special welcome and make sure to pay extra attention to their skill and comfort level.
Send a Class Reminder
Make sure new students show up for their first class by reminding them via email or text the day of their first session. Including your address and a link to a map is especially helpful.
Collect Background Information
Ask new students to come a few minutes early on their first visit fill out any medical releases or other paperwork you need to have on file. This will secure their commitment to coming to your studio and give you the data you need to provide them with the best possible training experience.
Give a Welcome Gift
A small welcome gift such as a hair tie, water bottle or towel is a nice gesture and will have a practical impact on their first workout.
Send a Thank-You
An email or handwritten thank-you card sent after a student’s first class will make a great impression and show how much you value their business.
Ask for Reviews
Encourage happy new students to review your studio online and provide social recommendations. Having a referral program in place is a great way to encourage the latter type of word-of-mouth feedback on your studio.
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