Raving fans are everything to a growing business.
No traditional Facebook ad is going to outperform the authenticity of an actual person telling your potential client how amazing you are. You probably already know this.
What many of my fellow fitness professionals fail to appreciate, however, is that there is more than a single layer to a well-crafted raving fan community.
Take the typical Cressey Sports Performance (CSP) client for example. On any given day, we might see as many as 40+ high school baseball players. In the most basic sense, an optimal service outcome for this type of athlete is one that includes strength gains and body composition improvements, right?
Thing is, when we do deliver on this objective for the athletes from this demographic, there are multiple ways the outcome can be positively interpreted, and they aren’t limited to just the kid who has experienced our services.
The parents at home celebrate improved habits that often include a new appreciation for a healthy diet, dedication to a process that doesn’t allow for shortcuts, and deliberate efforts to reduce the risk of injury while playing the game of baseball. Show me a baseball parent who claims she wouldn’t appreciate her kid embracing all of these habits, and I’ll show you a liar.
The coaches on field celebrate the athlete that demonstrates a newfound appreciation for warm-ups and arm care protocols, effectively setting an example for a collection of teammates who are likely on the fast track to arm injuries. These same coaches will be the last to complain that a player has become faster, throws harder, and rarely loses time to injuries.
Parents, coaches, and even significant others qualify as low-hanging fruit on the positive word-of-mouth tree for us fitness professionals playing the never-ending game of collecting raving fans.
So, the question becomes, what are we doing to make these parties feel valued, and how are we going about making it easier for them to talk about us?
What? And How?
Sometimes we need to fight the inclination to turn every interaction with a non-client as an opportunity to pitch services, when our contact might be better used as an opportunity to say “thank you” for setting a great example for the athlete and positively reinforcing the hard work that is taking place in the gym. Maybe a quick email to a parent saying “thanks for keeping the fridge stocked with healthy options for Johnny” will be all it takes for you to show that you’re concerned with more than collecting dollars.
There’s an old saying that goes: They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Having been in this business for close to twelve years now, I’ve come to learn that, assuming we deliver results to the athlete, and make an effort to communicate to a coach or parent how much we care, we’ll never again need to waste the energy telling people how much we know. The raving fans that don’t even train with us will take the initiative to do that for us.
Continue to work hard to create raving fans in your weight room, but whatever you do, don’t stop there.