10 Ways to Create a Raving Fan Culture…Even in a Pandemic

Written by Shawn McQueen, Course Mentor for Group Coaching

I live in NY and like many of you across the world, we encountered a good period of quarantine/lockdown.

(Bless your heart if you’re still experiencing this and navigating your way through a second or even third shutdown. Keep the faith and keep delivering for your people. It will pay off!)

When we were able to re-open after 4 months, things had changed quite a lot.

Folks were afraid, class attendance was different, some chose to stay remote. All things in which I am sure you’re familiar with or have experienced too.

One thing that really surprised me was our Saturday class. It was always a big electric, fun and amazing experience with a good amount of people (12-16+) pre covid times….

But when we came back, it attendance dropped drastically. Our first few Saturdays were 4 people.

So I challenged myself.

I knew I couldn’t change COVID. There is so much out of my control in that realm but I began to focus on what I could control.

I set out on a mission to create something special again, that everyone would crave, want, desire…even in a pandemic.

Fast forward to present day (April 2021) and the class is constantly is at full capacity (15 people) with a wait list of 2-3. Every Saturday.

Everyone LOVES Saturday class, talks about, raves about it and does NOT want to miss it.

How did we create that transformation? In a pandemic riddled with fear?

Here are 10 basic things our team did:

  1. Greet every member & use their name. It should be obvious that you are excited to see them (they chose to show up and take your class!)
  2. Ask questions and really listen
    1. Basic info gathering questions→ (ie: how was their day/weekend, what was the highlight of their day so far, what are they excited about today’s workout, how’s their body feeling? Etc )
    2. Relationship building questions → (ie: what’s your middle name, what’s a day at work look like for you? How did you meet your significant other?
    3. Fun questions (to create laughter, relaxed vibe etc)
  3. You communicate with care, empathy, respect and professionally.
    1. Even if you disagree, know they’re wrong, etc…you’re always on display
  4. You Coach everyone (90 second rule minimum)
    1. This is not limited to what to fix or improve, it could be what specific things they are doing really great that day too.
  5. You notice “things” and share what you notice
    1. Haircuts, new shoes, improved technique, awesome energy, pr a lift, movement etc, effort
  6. Help them achieve a great workout on their terms
    1. It is not about doing what’s prescribed. It’s customizing what’s prescribed to each individual to get an AMAZING workout on their terms
  7. Know your people
    1. Adjust up, adjust down, challenge this, share your belief what they’re capable of, pull them back when needed
  8. Constantly educate (but do so as if it were to Kindergartners)
    1. Educate to their needs, wants and benefit not ours
  9. When communicating with people, get beyond the surface.
    1. Today so many live and die at the “how are you?” “I’m fine…” and the conversation ends
    2. Why are you just fine and not great? How can we make sure when you leave here today you feel great?
  10. Body language awareness
    1. What message COULD you be sending?
    2. We don’t cross arms, have our hands in pockets, coach with drinks, use our phone while Coaching or during the class

In a nutshell, we really went all in and focused on the “experience” and built it off our values.

We went back to the basics.
We focused on ‘how does this feel?’
We asked ourselves in everything we are doing, from communicating, to body language, to our own personal states and head-spaces : how are you making people feel?

Our goal was to create something so special that they don’t just want once, but all the time.

Something they would crave.

And of course we held courage in the dark times. A must for coaches and owners in similar positions.

But courage alone wasn’t enough.

There needed to be action.

We need to honor that everyday.

What are you doing to create raving fans at your gym?

If you’d like to learn more, or prefer more personal help, check out our course offerings by clicking here. We’d love to work with you!


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