How to keep club members and get new members during the Lockdown: Online Communities

Posted on 26-03-2020

In the current situation, gyms, studios, and clubs have to close down temporarily, people are advised to stay at home, so the question (also for us) is:

How can we still run our business? 

One of the toughest things and main worries is how to get new club members in times, in which they can’t actually visit a gym. How can we still help them in this situation? We hope we can take off some of your worries and advise you to stay faithful. As we all sit in the same boat, we have had our thoughts and discussions on how to leverage the current situation and want to share it with you.

The solution is… an Online Community.

But what exactly do we mean by Online Community? An online community differs from a public social network - it is more engaging, more intimate and personal. It’s more like a private group within the social network, which got together and built their own little community - only accessible online for people with the same goal, mind, interest. 

Facebook Groups

Online Communities are popular on Facebook. BUT: FB groups are different from FB pages. While pages intend to give information (about products and services) and it is more of a one-way communication, groups are more about allowing discussions and sharing the same goal. In groups everybody can share their opinion and the admin is more of a flexible group leader than an authority.

Why it is relevant now

Even though times are hard right now, we should continue to help people like we set out to do. Because especially in these times, people need our help to stay healthy and reach their goals, even if we can't be there physically. This is when we find online communities helpful. They enable us to create a direct line to our audience and share our content (online). It creates this sense of communal support, empowering the people and bringing back their confidence. It lets them know that they are not alone in this situation.


Reciprocity is the principle of giving and receiving and it is how we can profit from this. If we focus on the potential customer and how we can help them, they will eventually give something back. Ideally, it can end up in community members signing up for an appointment when the situation diffuses. 

Bonus: Online communities help grow your organic reach. For instance, Facebook themselves state that they prioritize content with high engagement rates. That means if you and the group members are really engaged, you give the algorithm exactly what it wants and thus make you more relevant (get a wider reach). Logical!

Tips and Tricks on building Online Communities

‘But how can I create this community feel?’ To make sure this community on web is successful for your business, here are 5 tips and tricks:

  • State specific goals for the community
  • Be involved within the community
  • Talk, but also listen
  • Create exclusivity with a closed community
  • Give something first, get something later

The most important thought for an online community is, to make it a place where people can share their own motivations and thoughts and engage with it. We want to help people to feel like a part of something meaningful and inspiring. Therefore everyone should be able to have their input - and to be heard.

Last but not least… how are we doing it?

A while ago, we at Hidden Profits Marketing have created an open international Facebook group 'Marketing Fitness & Health' in which we share the latest trends in online marketing and fitness and discuss relevant topics with our community members. People from around the world share their insights, ideas, concerns, news and a lot more with each other. That is also a good way for us to get to know our group members and learn from their experiences. We have already received tons of feedback and great ideas, which helped us to improve our services.

And you as a fitness entrepreneur can do exactly the same and leverage the power of online communities! Check out our group here:

Hidden Profits Marketing clients get the complete package

Our clients receive exclusive extras on an ongoing basis. Just like our step-by-step guide on how to create your own Facebook group, build your own content and set up different channels for online coaching.






Download the free 2020 edition of our Fitness Marketing Handbook. In this free handbook fitness marketing 2020, you'll discover how gyms, studios, and clubs can thrive in the new decade. This is how to win the Fitness Marketing Battle 2020!



Author: Aernout Leezenberg

Author Aernout Leezenberg is the founder of Hidden Profits Marketing, a growing team of fitness marketing experts that supports owners and management of fitness studios, clubs and gyms to build a thriving business by providing an automated stream of new members and leads 24/7.



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