Barbara Hoots and I discuss how you can grow your Indoor Cycling classes using the same techniques she has successfully used to grow her own Spinning classes.
SIX WAYS TO GROW YOUR CYCLING CLASS
1. Create an Ambiance which allows students to disappear from the real world. Paint the walls dark, add mood lighting to enhance the mind body connection, LED candles, draped fabric along the walls for sound absorption, etc.
2. Treat your class (and students) as if they were coming to your home for a dinner party.
Use warm lighting, background music playing, perfect air temperature, clean, clutter-free environment, instructor first to arrive to greet students as they enter, make introductions so everyone feels welcome, etc.
3. Pass out Free Multi-Class Passes and brochures describing the musical styles of various instructors at your facility. The rule in our gym: As long as there is an empty bike, there is room for friend. Bring friends. Create a vortex of energy using people who are excited about the class and like each other. Students should have passes to give out to their friends and relatives. A brochure describing the class and a brief description of each instructor's musical style, students will FIND the class they connect best with. For example, I play alternative, progressive tribal, trance. Another instructor may use Big Hair Bands from the 80's and hip-hop. A third could use dance diva's and top 40. Music is the first judgment made about your class. Don't lose members over music – provide knowledge beforehand so everyone can enjoy the ride.
4. Donate charity rides for fundraisers in your community.
Find a local charity benefit (Cancer, schools, etc.) and donate a private indoor cycling ride for 50 (or the limit of bikes you have). A silent auction bid will usually generate interest, as it can be marketed as a group ride to celebrate the end of a cycling/sports team season or even a birthday party! Provide iced cold adult beverages after the ride and photos. Follow up with a press release in your local newspaper as a fundraiser for (name of organization). Charity rides work best on Thursday or Friday evenings.
5. KNOW your audience. While as an instructor your must be passionate about your music, yet be aware of your audience. If you have some young guys who are ripped animals, use mixes of Nine Inch Nails or heavy beats by Crystal Method. Any instructor who has students that arrive to class wearing their iPod means simply put, “Your music is awful.” NEVER criticize the student….it's your job to connect to the class via music.
6. Reward your students. After completing 6 classes, students receive a black Spinning sticker to place on their bumper. It's not only a sign of pride, but great advertising as well.
and always say thank you. Remember, respect the time of your students – they are busy people and should never wait on you. As in instructor, you are the first to arrive and the last to leave. Make your room warm, inviting, nonjudgmental, and watch your classes soar.
Here's the link to the Spinning Room Design.PDF we talked about.
John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council.
Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida.
When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.
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