How to Make Your Studio a Habit (and Why Your Clients Crave That)

Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” At the end of the day, the success of your studio relies on habits. Your community and client’s commitment to fitness and well-being within your business. Their desire to spend time and money at your studio because your classes and experiences propel their goals forward, whatever they might be. 

Making your fitness studio a habit for your members involves creating a welcoming and engaging environment that encourages regular attendance and motivates individuals to move as part of their daily routine, whether it’s a hot power flow or a much-needed stretch session. So why do your clients crave a habit at your studio? And what strategies can help you inspire those habits? Yes, we all want a feeling of belonging—but we also need a community to feel supported and belong—influencing habits. 

Health and fitness goals: Many clients join a fitness studio with specific health and fitness goals in mind, such as building muscle, feeling more confident, finding calm (and self-care time), or increasing flexibility. When you incentivize them to attend your fitness studio regularly, and they can find classes on your schedule that work for them, you’re helping them stay on track, progress towards their goals, and build a stronger, more resilient, feel-good member community. 

Professional guidance: Your studio and instructors are the experts. The staff you hire can influence habit-forming behavior because your clients value this professional assistance. It not only creates a safe, knowledgeable, and effective practice and routine, but who teaches and the class format maximizes the results of their workouts, making them want to return (and reduces your studio churn). 

Motivation and accountability: Now, this is a big one! Joining a fitness studio provides clients a structured environment that fosters motivation and accountability. The group setting and sense of community can encourage clients to stay committed to their exercise routine, as they don't want to let down their peers or instructors—and want to stay involved in the studio happenings. 

Variety of classes and workouts: Does your schedule keep things interesting? What differentiates you from the competition? By offering a range of classes and activity and wellness options at your studio, you naturally cater to diverse interests and fitness levels. This type of variety keeps clients engaged and prevents workout boredom, making it more likely for them to continue attending regularly, forming a long-lasting habit and relationship with your brand. 

A positive, social atmosphere: One reason that fuels client retention is the environment your studio creates, in and outside of class. A welcoming and positive atmosphere at your fitness studio can be highly motivating. It can be a social outlet where clients meet like-minded individuals with similar health and fitness interests. The social aspect of attending classes and engaging in group workouts enhances the overall experience and builds a sense of belonging, furthering the desire for a meaningful habit. 

An escape and investment in self-care: Yes, your studio is where the grind happens, but it’s also an escape from the stresses of your client’s daily life. Your members are choosing to spend time and money in your space—and their habit reflects a commitment to self-care and an essential part of maintaining their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It’s also an opportunity for them to manage stress and clear their minds!

Now what are a few strategies to help support the fitness and wellness habits your clients want and need?

Help your members set clear goals: As mentioned before, your clients view you as the experts. That’s why they come to your studio! Empower your members to define their fitness goals—and create a roadmap or steps to help achieve them. Provide personalized guidance through individual consultations, group workshops, or customized training programs to keep clients focused and motivated. Also, leverage individualized, customized communication via Walla’s industry-first personality insights and marketing tools so you can make relatable suggestions that fit their goals and creates a deeper relationship with your studio—and their habit. 

Create a community: Your clients can find their fitness and wellness routine anywhere. But why they choose your studio is, yes, the variety of classes and expert instructors, but also the community they are a part of. The encouragement, the connections, and the shared goals. Fostering a sense of community allows you to reiterate what makes you different. Organize social events, challenges, or fitness competitions to encourage members to connect and support each other. The feeling of belonging to a community can increase adherence and motivation, which only benefits long-lasting habits and relationships. 

Keep your members in check—and celebrate their accomplishments: Help members track their progress and celebrate their achievements. With Walla, we make it easy to see milestones and other client data directly from the class check-in screen, so it’s super simple to engage in real-time about an individual's studio journey (and make suggestions for another class to try based on their goals and personality type!). Also, implement rewards for consistent attendance or reaching specific fitness milestones. Offer incentives like guest passes, branded merchandise, or discounted memberships to encourage members to stay engaged and committed so they feel appreciated, celebrated, and want to continue booking at your fitness business. 

Consistent, personalized communication: The best way to encourage and nurture a relationship and habit? Communication. Keep communication channels open and regular with your members. Send out newsletters, updates, and motivational messages through email or social media to remind them of upcoming classes, events, and the benefits of regular exercise. Use pre-set, customizable marketing automations to boost engagement and upsell opportunities. Publish app announcements in seconds to streamline studio communication where your clients prefer to book. By staying top of mind, you’re keeping your clients interested and connected. 

Offer support and listen to feedback: Please be sure to show genuine care for your members' well-being. It means more to their experience than you might know. Provide individual attention and support when needed, addressing individual concerns and encouraging them to overcome obstacles that may hinder their consistency—and habit. Also, please keep an open ear when it comes to client feedback. Regularly gather feedback from your members to understand their needs and preferences better. Use the insights to improve and tailor your offerings to meet their expectations. This shows that their opinion matters, and they have a say in your studio's success and routine! 

Clients want to establish a habit at your studio because it fulfills their desire for a supportive environment to achieve their fitness goals, offers a diverse and enjoyable exercise experience, and helps them lead a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. By implementing these strategies, you can create a habit-forming environment in your fitness studio, making it an integral part of your members' daily lives and contributing to their long-term fitness and wellness journey.