June 20, 2024

Why Your Classes Aren't Selling Out and What You Can Do About It

Barry Kostabi, co-founder of Fitness Career Mastery, shares valuable insights into common mistakes and strategies for attracting more clients!

Why Your Classes Aren't Selling Out and What You Can Do About It

Are you struggling to fill your schedule and classes despite considerable effort? You're not alone. Many studio owners and managers face the challenge of low enrollment despite offering valuable content. Understanding the reasons behind this issue can help you make targeted improvements to attract more participants, boost your fitness business, and keep your members excited and engaged. 

In a recent conversation during Walla’s Webinar Series, Barry Kostabi, co-founder of Fitness Career Mastery, shares valuable insights into common mistakes and strategies for attracting more clients and class participants. Considered an “experience designer in the fitness industry” by Walla co-founder (and webinar host) Laura Munkholm, Barry delved into the critical aspects with her of why your classes might not be selling out and what you can do to change that. 

Listen in to the Walla Webinar Series: Why Your Classes Aren’t Selling Out and What You Can Do About It

From promoting and showcasing your studio's uniqueness (and creating a solid brand strategy around that) to illuminating how to leverage your dream clients and crafting a compelling story as a strategy, here are some of the top takeaways from the fitness master himself. 

Identifying common mistakes

Tackle that lack of understanding about what your ideal client wants 

1. Misaligned marketing strategies: It is crucial to tap into motivators and really consider what makes your studio unique. 

  • Misunderstanding of target audience: Your marketing message might not resonate with your potential clients. Understanding your audience's needs and preferences should come first.
  • Studio brand inconsistency: Ensure your brand message is clear and consistent across all platforms, highlighting what makes your studio unique.
  • Ineffective promotions: Use varied and engaging marketing tactics, including social media, email campaigns, and partnerships with local businesses for the best results.

2. Lack of member engagement: Use feedback and face-to-face time to craft your strategy and ensure your community understands they matter.  

  • Community building: Regularly engage with your members through events, social media interactions, and personalized communication to foster a sense of belonging.
  • Feedback mechanism: Implement systems to gather and act on client feedback. This shows you value their opinions and are committed to improving their experience.
  • Reward loyalty: Create loyalty programs that reward long-term members with discounts, special classes, guest passes, or exclusive events.

3. Inconsistent class offerings: A reliable, dependable schedule makes a positive difference. 

  • Regular schedule: Maintain a consistent class schedule to build routine and reliability for your clients.
  • Class variety: Offer a diverse range of classes to cater to different interests and fitness levels, ensuring there's something for everyone.
  • Instructor consistency: Having the same instructors can build rapport and trust with members, making them more likely to return.

Effective strategies for selling out classes

Clearly communicate the value of your studio offerings and experiences

1. Highlighting unique selling points (USPs): What makes your studio great? Why do your classes stand out from the competition?

  • Special features: Identify and promote what sets your studio apart, such as unique class formats, top-notch facilities, or highly qualified instructors.
  • Success stories: Share testimonials and success stories from your clients to build credibility and attract new members. Nothing beats something real and relatable! 

2. Optimizing class schedules: Ensure your pricing reflects the perceived value of your classes and is competitive within your market. 

  • Data-driven scheduling: Use attendance data (like in Walla) to determine the most popular times and types of classes and adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • Peak time utilization: Schedule your most popular classes during peak hours to maximize attendance and cater to high-demand times.

3. Enhancing the client experience: Participants' overall experience in your classes can significantly impact whether they return or recommend your classes to others. 

  • Quality instructors: Invest in training for your instructors to ensure they provide excellent, engaging classes that keep members coming back.
  • Comfortable facilities: Maintain clean, comfortable, and well-equipped facilities to enhance the overall client experience.
  • Exceptional customer service: Provide attentive and friendly customer service to make every interaction with your studio positive and memorable.

4. Leveraging technology and tools: Empower a seamless tech experience that saves your clients and staff time.

  • Online booking systems: Simplify the booking process with user-friendly online systems—like beautifully designed Walla—that allow clients to view and reserve classes easily.
  • Mobile apps: Leverage a mobile app or branded app to provide clients with convenient access to schedules, bookings, and updates.
  • Automated marketing: Use automated email and SMS campaigns to remind clients of upcoming classes and special promotions. (Hint: Walla’s Sales & Marketing Center makes engaging easy!) 

5. Utilizing social media and online presence: Don't be afraid to experiment and adapt your strategies—and be where your clients are! 

  • Active social media engagement: Regularly post updates, class highlights, and engaging content on your social media platforms to keep your audience informed and interested.
  • Online community: Create online groups or forums where members can connect, share experiences, and stay motivated.
  • Influencer collaborations: Partner with local influencers to reach a broader audience and attract new clients.

Achieving consistently sold-out classes requires a strategic approach and a deep understanding of your clients' needs. By avoiding common pitfalls and implementing effective strategies, you can enhance your studio's appeal, boost attendance, and foster a loyal community of fitness enthusiasts. With dedication and strategic adjustments, you can turn your challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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Director, Content & Communications

Strategist. Storyteller.

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