Your most committed students aren’t necessarily the ones with the most drive or willpowers. Often, new students can go from lukewarm to on fire for your studio when you provide added value.
Students expect to receive physical training and motivation during class—but there’s a lot more you can provide, both during class and outside of it, than will keep them coming back to your studio. While these “extra” services may fall outside of your studio’s main objective, they can make all the difference when it comes to student retention. The more you can do to provide more value than your competition, the less likely students will be to take classes from other studios in your area.
Here are three value-adds your studio can provide to position your studio as a must-have resource.
Students who take your classes are there because they want to learn how to do something new, or improve at something they’re still in the process of learning. Your studio can become even more valuable by providing additional education outside of class. Topics will vary depending on your industry and student interests, but some ideas to get your started include:
- Healthy recipes for pre- and post-workout meals and snacks.
- Hot industry trends around practice, fashion, or celebrity routines.
- How-to training tips for home workouts or warm-ups.
- History about the origin of your practice and how it’s evolved over time.
New students need to feel inspired, and the first place they look for inspiration is their instructors. You can inspire by example—showing them how an expert performs during a class—or by providing extra motivation and enthusiasm. These latter two attributes are especially important for newbies, who can become easily discouraged at their lack of skillfulness or progress when starting a new fitness routine. If you can consistently encourage students and set an example of success to aspire to, they’ll be much more likely to stick it out with your studio.
Building a tight-knit community is important for any type of activity, whether it’s a sports team, a performing arts troupe, or even a trivia night league. Your studio should invest not just in teaching great classes, but also in building a community of students who share common interests and goals. A few ideas for community building include:
- Put on a new-student mixer to introduce people who’ve joined your studio in the past three months.
- Throw parties for important events and holidays.
- Host whole-studio workshops or field trips to see relevant performances (an especially great idea for dance and martial arts studios).
- Organize additional fitness-related activities such as weekend bike rides, team entries into local races, or hiking excursions at a nearby nature preserve.
The Bottom Line
To keep students coming back to your studio, you need to go above and beyond the call of duty. In addition to running rock-solid classes, you should also strive to provide additional services that will help your students learn new things, feel inspired, and form relationships with your other studio members and staff.
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