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By Evan Bartus 6/14/17 ⬢ 5 min Read

Running promotions and finding potential new customers is easy. Consistent sustainable growth is hard. Learning how to grow your CrossFit gym slowly is hard. And you should be glad it’s hard. Smile and appreciate that not all gyms will understand the below, much less execute on it correctly – but you will.

To get from the easy promoting to the sustainable growth, one must focus on their level of user engagement. For this reason, there’s been a landslide of attention towards experiential box-based initiatives from CrossFit athletes and affiliate owners globally. Sure, running events and competitions to increase new member exposure and generate new leads is nothing new. With the emergence of a new trend and increasing expectations for customer service standards, affiliate owners are in the driver seat on whether they’re prepared for a marathon or just a sprint.

Grow From Within

There is not, and will not be, a better way to attract new members then through the current member referrals. The power of suggestion from a trusted friend will always dominate the marketing $ being spent to place an ad in a person’s digital screens. Happy members at your gym are the best marketing tools you have and to build your community, authentically  (and for FREE) is the best campaign you can run. But How?

  • Offer discounted or free months to a current member for every referral who signs up
  • Put on seminars, events, or challenges (more on this below!)
  • Host ‘Bring A Friend’ days where members can bring non-members.

Running Challenges

Quick refresher in case you haven’t experienced one yet, a Challenge is a timetabled competition that typically lasts multiple weeks or months and requires all participants to record daily or weekly scores in order to achieve set goals, including a primary benchmark goal. This main goal is usually a fitness statistic or nutrition-based benchmark.

Running a competition or a Challenge is one of the most effective ways to broaden your membership-base. It hits on so many cylinders that you want to see when looking at a growth strategy.

Highly Engaging

Think about how fun and interactive an event at your gym is. The social sharing from your members alone will reach a new network of like-minded, and likely nearby people. An event gets people talking and is usually one day. A Challenge keeps that momentum and sharing going for weeks or even months.

“A Challenge keeps that momentum and sharing going for as many weeks or even months.”

Attracts New and Potential Members

People don’t roll solo to an event and rarely participate in a Challenge alone. They bring friends, invite family, and involve their entire social following. The key point to note here is the challenge can allow non-members to participate alongside your facility regulars. This additional wrinkle increases the reach and adds to the top level lead funnel for your gym.

Funnels the Fitness Community To Your Doorstep

Leonidas wasn’t wrong. Funnel them through the ‘hot gates’. Especially when the hot gate is your gym’s garage door! Ultimately, the single greatest aspect of the CrossFit world is its community. It’s what separates it from any other fitness fad and it is a tremendous driver of growth in your gym. There’s nothing like it in athletics or business and it’s on optimal display during a competition, event, or challenge.

Low, LOW Cost

For competitions, many gyms provide food at a competition, especially if it’s warm enough to grill outside. Depending on preference, this could be your only cost incurred. However, almost all incurred costs are covered by the registration fee for athletes, not to mention the additional t-shirt and merchandise sales. Simply know your breakeven cost and how many registrants you need in order to trigger the event is ‘on’ and you’ll have no problem.

Challenges, by comparison, have almost zero overhead cost. Collectively, this is a MASSIVE opportunity to grow your CrossFit gym. We have a deep understanding of this at Triib, which is why we’ve created a robust Challenges feature and put the gym owner in total control with customizable metrics, goals, and structure.

Go Long

It’s important to understand your fitness community will not grow overnight. The purpose of putting on events and challenges is to introduce as many people as possible to 4 things:

  1. Your Staff
  2. Your Value Proposition, member cost vs. benefit
  3. Most Importantly, Your Community.

Notice how ‘generating money’ isn’t on this list. People may sign up based on an ad, promotion or new marketing campaign you run but the sustained growth of your gym will never be attributed to any of that. It will be because of who STAYS at your facility, not just who joins.

© Triib Inc. 2017

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