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Go from “like” to “love” -- how to build super fans in your gym

Hilary Achauer

In every gym you can find two types of people: mavens 😁 and maybes 😐.

😁 Maven: a trusted expert in a particular field who seeks to pass knowledge on to others.

😐 Maybe: someone who hasn’t committed, either in attendance or attitude.

“Maybe” members can be challenging, and they are the people who are most likely to cancel their memberships. The trick is figuring out how to transform them into mavens!

To start, you need to discover who your mavens are and learn how to convert any wayward maybes into mavens. Then, over time, you need to make sure your mavens don’t morph into maybes.

Don’t worry -- this doesn’t mean you and your coaches will have to spend countless hours talking to every client, quantifying feedback, and then trying to save the world. We have a better way! 👍

In fact, if you implement a succinct process (or use UpLaunch, obviously 🙌), building mavens is actually quite streamlined, to the point, and fast.

Of course, this does not take the place of talking to and connecting with clients! That is always important.

This strategy is in addition to your in-person interactions and designed to complement what you likely do naturally in the gym every day.

We have a two-step plan to find and keep mavens, find and convert maybes into mavens, increase retention, and help your gym grow exponentially.

✅ Step 1: The Net Promoter Score

Gathering feedback from your clients is simple. It doesn’t have to come from a weird, bumbling face-to-face conversation about how we can bend over backwards to make them happier. Instead, use one question to collect a simple number that will only take seconds to grab and can be easily organized into meaningful data.

The Question:

On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with [insert gym name]?

It’s really that easy. Now just quantify the data and figure out what’s next. A simple Google sheet will do the trick; you can even get fancy and whip up some charts and pie graphs.

😞 0-6: This is an unhappy client and are at the far end of maybe -- likely into “nope” territory. These clients are a high priority. If the issues aren’t addressed it will damage your reputation and start dividing your membership.

Do not panic and start doing crazy membership comps, and don’t start any bring-your-mom-to-the-gym stuff. It shouldn’t be crazy or chaotic. Simply send a follow up email or catch the client in the gym and ask simple questions. What can we do to improve? Is there a service missing you would like to see? What can we do to help? Take a deep breath, listen to the feedback in an unemotional way, and make a decision if the problem is warranted and needs fixing. The key word is UNEMOTIONAL! Try not to take this personally.

😐 7-8: These are middle ground clients -- the true “maybes.” They aren’t unhappy; they are just missing the wow factor, the thing that will make them members for life. The middle ground clients do require follow-up, it just isn’t an emergency.

But while it isn’t as high of a priority, room for improvement still qualifies as room for improvement. Maybe all you need to give them the most amazing experience is make sure toilet paper isn’t always backwards. (Is there really a backwards?) You can’t know how to improve until you find out the problem, so catch the member and ask the question: what can we do to improve?

😁 9-10: Finding the happiest of happy clients means you have found your mavens. These clients love everything about the gym and are more than committed to helping it grow.

Yes, immediate follow-up is needed and it is awesome because with mavens you are going to ask: “Can you help us by heading over to Facebook, Google +, and Yelp, leave a five-star review and write a brief sentence about how (gym name) changed your life?”

Action Items:

✔Send out the Net Promoter Score email

✔ Record and evaluate data

✔ Follow up with the nopes and the maybes

✔ Ask mavens for help

✔ Watch 5 star reviews pop up

Step 2: Friend Referrals

Now let’s add another piece to the equation … time! Wait 30 to 60 days and send another really simple and easy-to-evaluate question to all your members regarding member referrals.

The Question:

Do you have any friends you would like to train with at (gym name)?

This is beautiful because there are only TWO data points, yes or no! Add the data points to the Google sheet and start evaluating.

No: This doesn’t necessarily mean the experience is bad or this person is a maybe. They actually might not have friends who would be interested. Regardless, you are going to follow up and ask, “Is there any particular reason you don’t have any friends you would like to train with at (gym name)?”

The answers will vary and identify additional things that need to be fixed or opportunities. Maybe the member has a ton of friends that run, but they’ve always avoided working out at gyms.

Bang! Light switch on. 💡

Reply with “I would love to host a mobility clinic for runners, would your friends be interested in that?

”Cross-reference your “no’s” with your net promoter scores. Did any mavens or maybes fall into this category? If so, they would take precedence and warrant immediate follow-up. A group full of mavens is so fun! Now we get to recognize them for being willing to refer a friend and ask, “How can we help get your friend in the gym?”

This is a great opportunity to legitimately thank your mavens. 💪 A free t-shirt and a handshake go a long way!Again cross-reference your “yes’s” with your net promoter scores. Did any maybes or middle ground clients want to refer friends? If so you’ve turned the corner in their eyes and fixed the backwards toilet paper!

Action Items:

✔ Send the friend referrals email

✔ Record and evaluate data

✔ Follow up with no’s

✔Follow up with yes’s

✔Watch your gym grow

Ask simple questions, fix simple things, and run a successful business. That is a wrap!

Of course, if you just want to put these steps on automatic, we’d love to give you a hand with UpLaunch. Creating mavens and multiplying your assets is kinda our thing.

How to write a Facebook ad for your gym

When was the last time you wrote a new Facebook ad?

If you aren’t getting the leads you once did, it might be time for a rewrite.

We know life as a gym owner is crazy busy. Who has time to spend hours creating the perfect Facebook ad? To help you out, we consulted some of the best marketing minds in the biz and talked to owners of successful gyms to create this free, step-by-step guide to writing a Facebook ad.



Download our guide to writing a Facebook ad customized specifically for gym owners!
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