If you’ve ever wondered what it is that stands out to clients and members, and what they look for the most in their studio and workout experience, look no further. Kaitlin McCabe, the “studio whisperer”, has attended classes at over 200 studios and tries a new workout once a week in one of the hottest fitness markets in the world- New York City. She uses all of this experience in her job as a freelance fitness/wellness branded content writer and expert studio reviewer for Sweat Concierge NYC. In this episode she shares her top twelve tips on what makes a studio and workout experience stand out from a client’s perspective, what entices her want to go back to particular studios time and time again, and what makes her the go-to source for promoting new experiences or providing feedback.
• Client perceptions of your business you may not be aware of
• Easily looked over details that can be alienating your clients
• How to make your studio a destination, and create a cult-like following
(4:55) #1 See your client as your community
People will come to your studio for the programming, but they will stay for the community that you cultivate, or that your studio cultivates. It’s not enough to just have a fabulous class offering. The top instructors that Kaitlin interacts with make an effort to get to know their clients. Clients will in turn show that they support you and your life outside of the studio.
PRO TIP: Don’t build “fake relationships” where you show interest in someone’s life in the studio, but show no interest in it outside of the studio (don’t expect someone to follow you on social and show interest in you, if you’re not going to show interest in them and their life.)
(7:15) #2 Instructors- stay humble
Clients may tell you that they will follow you to another studio, but when it comes down to it, classes are expensive, they have a membership at your old studio, they might have to rearrange their schedule or travel to somewhere inconvenient- so they might not actually follow you. The hustle never ends! Who knows what will happen a year from now.
(10:55) #3 Every person is a client in your class
Whether it’s someone brand new, your best friends, or a regular member, everyone should be treated equally inside of the classroom. The workout is about the workout, it’s not about an instructor hanging out with their friends or their significant other. This also means not catering to just the front row. Just because someone isn’t a die-hard member doesn’t mean they’re less deserving of your full attention.
(14:30) #4 Be mindful of your personality/ persona
The client is always right. If your personality isn’t vibing with someone in class, the attitude shouldn’t be “well they can go somewhere else if they don’t like it”. The proper response is to tone it down for that individual. This doesn’t mean that you should shoot to please everyone or change their personality. The question “is anyone new to my class” is really important here. It can also be useful to read people’s “temperature”. Warm yourself up to these people before showcasing your full personality or persona (if it’s a strong one)- just the way you would going out on a first date. You want to win their investment in you. Especially the first time- focus on delivering them a great workout and a great experience.
PRO TIP: Try disclosing things about yourself or your class at the beginning of class so newcomers can anticipate what they should expect “I play music with bad lyrics because I like how it makes me feel… Or… Today I’m in a bad mood, so I’m going to destroy you today.” Yes, we’re supposed to be aspirational, but don’t be afraid to humanize yourself.
(23:15) #5 Make fitness look attainable
There are so many factors at play that dictate what kind of results clients are going to get. If you promise that you’ll burn 1000 calories and that you’ll look amazing at the end of a month- that’s not realistic for everyone.
(27:05) #6 As a studio or instructor- be a resource for fitness, not a model for fitness
Be upfront about what you do as a fitness professional to look the way you do. If it’s not just the workout you’re teaching, provide that information to your clients- whether it’s a special meal plan, or what supplementary exercise you do, so that they don’t form improper expectations, and can have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their own health and wellbeing. Check in with clients. Ask them how their body is feeling. Don’t just be resource in the classroom, but if you see something that’s wrong or needs to be corrected- be that resource to your clients. That may mean suggesting there take fewer classes or supplement with another modality.