Member engagement. Is it important to your business? Of course it is. More engaged members come back into the gym and renew their contracts.
They are the foundation of any healthy wellness or fitness business.
This isn't rocket science. It's simple. It's reasonable. It's totally rational.
But have you read the articles out there on member engagement strategies? The ongoing conversation, the thought leadership and proposed solutions reverberating throughout the industry on the topic couldn't be more confusing or complex.
The prescriptions are detailed and rigid. "Do these six things (all full programs that require launch plans of their own), and you can move the needle on engagement" they say. "Launch a group challenge program, with incentives program built in, while you hire this new employee to develop that community, and you must run it with these widgets, and so on."
Listen, I'm not saying industry commenters and leaders are all hacks - far from it! Nearly ALL of their prescriptions for member engagement have real merit and can be effective for the right people.
But claiming that their own complex web of solutions is the only golden ticket for YOUR business is just flat out false, and you NEED to know it as a business owner.
In fact, every time you read a list of tactics that you absolutely must follow to a t in order to solve a business challenge, just pause for a moment and recognize that the context of the article you're reading is not your business.
Your Job As Business Owner
It's your job as a business owner to take the square peg [any list of tactics] and whittle it down until it fits into the round whole [your unique business]. This is always the last step to really getting optimal results from any cookie-cutter campaign.
The key is to take the time to step back from the little facts, and see them in the context of the big truths that are the foundation of your business. The fastest road to success in your business is the absolute mastery of the context of your business. This is your core values and vision.
Your core values are where you come from and your vision is where you are going.
And in the twisted words of Terry Pratchett, "if you don't know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong."
Real Can't Miss Member Engagement Advice
Here's some good old-fashioned, common sense advice for you. And trust me when I say, it won't miss the mark.
Make an honest effort to get to know your members better. I flat out guarantee that if you implement a single new strategy throughout your business with this sentiment at its core, you will retain more members, for longer.
If you prefer fancier business jargon, this means you'll increase member lifetime value (MLV). And that my friends, is an important metric for the health of your business - a key performance indicator (KPI) to keep the word game going.
But do me a favor, don't leave this article stressing about KPIs. Instead, take a step back and then make a daily commitment to better engage with your members as a team, in the way that makes the most sense for your unique business.
Do this and your favorite KPIs (like MLV in this particular case) will take care of themselves.
If you agree with me, and are interested in taking a look at our specific solution for member engagement, we'd love to show it to you. Just click here to schedule an intro call and our team will help you find out if it's right for your business.