How to Interview Your Members

shutterstock_257282692Often in the fitness industry we discover marketing that works and stick with it until someone tells us differently. Over the years, testimonials have continuously been in this category. Whether they are short comments about how someone loves or utilizes your gym, to long-form blogs, this has been done, and done, and done some more.

What really works behind the testimonial, and all content in that regard, is pulling emotion from the reader. You get wrapped up in a book, regardless of fiction or nonfiction, because you can somewhat relate to the characters or the message. If you take time to notice, you’ll find in business books that you enjoy reading that they have some relation to either your business or personal business strategy — additionally, ones that help you discover new ideas and break down barriers will be most beneficial.

Testimonials have the same power among nonmembers. They read a story about a person that has gone through a struggle, or had a desire to lose weight and how your gym helped. They relate to the person’s story and hopefully get them to act by coming to your gym.

However, testimonials aren’t the only way to get information from your members. Sometimes when you request a blog testimonial from a member you’ll find they don’t have the time. In fact, they may commit to you, but then weeks and weeks pass without any content. This isn’t anyone’s fault, just the simple realization that people have other things occurring in their lives.

So how do you keep this from happening? That can be relatively easy. Instead of asking a member to submit a blog, ask them to sit down and speak with you, either before a class or after. Interview them with a recorder concerning their experience with your gym. Ask them about their story, how they found your Box, what they enjoy the most and how your Box has benefitted their life.

All these questions will lead to exactly the same testimonials you’d be waiting for someone to send you. After the interview you can do a couple of things: 1) You can transcribe the interview verbatim in a Q&A format, or 2) You can get creative and construct a story with the quotes, just like a magazine article.

Either one of these will evoke emotion from your potential members. Personally, I believe the second could have a greater impact, but the first is equally rewarding and can be quicker for your purpose.

By asking for 10 minutes from your members to do a brief interview, you will be able to generate much more testimonial content for your website than you ever would relying on members to generate that content themselves.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.