Episode 112: What Building a Strong Community Can Do For Your Business with Ntiedo Etuk

Ntiedo (Nt) Etuk

We’re now living in an age where digital fitness solutions are growing like apps, YouTube videos, and companies like Peloton, The Mirror, and Tonal. Fitness is also becoming more popular, with more brick and mortar locations entering the market.

Ntiedo (Nt) Etuk

Founder & CEO, FitGrid

We’re now living in an age where digital fitness solutions are growing like apps, YouTube videos, and companies like Peloton, The Mirror, and Tonal. Fitness is also becoming more popular, with more brick and mortar locations entering the market. It’s getting competitive out there. BUT the one sustainable competitive advantage that a studio has compared to online/ virtual competitors that want you to stay at home, or that studio down the block that might have a similar methodology or instructors with similar talent….is your community. We know this intellectually, and that community is important, but when it comes to putting value on community in our day to day business operations, community is hard to put a value on. When it comes to running and driving your business forward, taking care of your community winds up falling low on the list, because it’s seen not seen as integral to your businesses success compared to sales, marketing, or profits. What we have to remember is that the extended effect of having a community is greater retention, therefore, greater acquisition and lower attrition. But because there isn’t a direct way to talk about how community development makes sense from a revenue standpoint, it’s overlooked- until today.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

• How to leverage community to lead to greater profits

• How a strong community can protect you when talented instructors leave

• The threat to your business by not focusing on community


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Here’s the Complete List of Tips:

(9:30) Clients are much more likely to come back when they feel connected with someone in the studio- whether that’s the instructor, front desk staff, or other clients.

(12:30) Asking the question, “how many times have people been in the same classroom such that they would recognize each other but might not know each other”

63% of people had been in the same class 4 times or more. 83% had been in the same class 3 times or more. 98% had been in the same class 2 times or more. This came from visit data from MindBody.

(17:20) The one sustainable competitive advantage that a studio has compared to online/ virtual competitors that want you to stay at home is your community.

All of the energy that happens between your clients and your branding, marketing, instructors, class format, front desk staff, amenities… how does that come together to make people feel like this is where they want to go. The most successful companies in fitness do this well.

(20:00) Community is difficult to “value”

As a concept, it’s easy to understand that community is important, but when it comes to running and driving your business forward, taking care of your community winds up falling low on the list, because it’s seen not seen as integral to your businesses success compared to sales, marketing, or profits.

The extended effect of having a community is greater retention, therefore, greater acquisition. But because there isn’t a direct way to talk about how community development makes sense from a revenue standpoint, it’s overlooked.

(22:30) Measuring the benefit of community on your business’s bottom line

This starts with answering what community is. Community is the energetic feeling felt between people when interacting. When people feel that, they go out and talk about your instructors or your studio. The direct result of the strong community is that clients are coming back more often, and they’re bringing more people with them. So the effect is increased revenue from increased retention and acquisition. They are willing to spend more because they feel more connected. Also, reduced attrition as a whole. Clients last longer.

(26:30) The back and forth dynamic between studio owners and instructors.

Studio owners know their business can’t exist without their instructors, but at the same time, they’re wary of the instructors. They don’t want them to leave, because they might take a portion of their business with them. The instructors on the other hand are saying “you don’t pay us enough, and we ARE your business”. You can begin to determine how many clients just go to one instructor. What if one instructor has 30% of your clientele coming to them? This becomes both a risk and an opportunity. You can mitigate this by tying clients to each other or other instructors through community.

(32:00) Create a scenario where there are multiple reasons that drive people to your classes.

Not just based on class time, convenience, or a particular instructor, but on a particular experience because of the connections that you have with other people.

(35:00) 50% of the US population is lonely.

While technology is bringing us closer, it is also making us feel further apart. The only places that you can really go to now to have a real genuine human connection are school, work, place of worship, or your fitness studio. And work is not a place where you can have a genuine human interaction. School is similar. And church is only one time a week! A fitness studio is where people go!

(40:30) The threat of not building community.

If you are in a place where there are different options for clients to go, and you don’t have a strong community, you’ll lose out to those studios that have a similar methodology, quality of instructors, amenities, etc. that DO have a community. If you understand the reality of the world today, which involves the workout apps, YouTube, Peloton, and the competitor down the block, AND the fact that people are looking for genuine connection, it’s a threat NOT to build community.

References in the Episode:

Boutique Fitness Summit

Show Note's Index