September is back-to-school season for the kids—but it’s also back-to-studio season for the adults. Summer travels come to a close, attendance lifts, and your students are ready to re-establish their workout routine. No matter what the seasonal change, clients feel a shift in their lifestyle which inspires a new workout regime.

Incentivize your clients to build their workout routine at your studio with a September challenge! An ongoing challenge or contest will give your students the structure they crave and drum up lots of revenue for your studio when done right.

Here are some best practices to rake in revenue through a “back-to-studio” challenge.

The first, and most important, step to make your challenge a success is for your clients to actually come to class. Part of the challenge should therefore require your students to attend a certain number of times per month. A fun marketing takeaway is to have a punch card or bingo board where students can track their progress.

In the past, I’ve had studios create a bingo board that had squares for both class attendance and cultural activities, such as taking a selfie at the studio and posting to social media, or meeting 5 new people in the lobby and getting their signatures.

A favorite incentive of mine is to have students’ completed challenge cards become tickets for an end-of-challenge raffle for fabulous prizes. Partner with local sponsors to get gift cards, or promo some of your retail.

I suggest your raffle offers one grand prize: your largest membership package for free. The cost to you is less than donating hard goods, and students will often play full-out for the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars.

Lastly, consider a class-card sale that is equal to the number of visits it takes to complete the challenge. Want students to hit the studio 12 times in one month? Offer a 12-class card at a discount, with a quick expiration date (45-60 days).

Everyone loves parties, and fortunately September is chock full of specialty days: Labor Day (5th), Talk Like A Pirate Day (19th), Fall Equinox (22nd), National Family Health and Fitness Day (24th),Family and Community Day (26th), and National Coffee Day (29th), just to name a few. It’s also National Yoga Month.

Consider having an event or open house on one of these days to bring in new clients and celebrate your regulars.

Whenever you host an event, it’s another opportunity to offer a one-time class card sale as a thank-you to attendees. You could offer a discount on existing class cards, or celebrate your students that already have monthly memberships by offering them a deeper discount on class cards that they can purchase for a friend. For example: “10% discount on any class pack when you purchase here today. 20% discount for members who want to purchase for a friend.”

With the right marketing work upfront, coming back to class will be fun and easy for your studentsand you’ll see a big financial lift as well. Happy challenge-ing!

Nick Wolny consults fitness businesses on revenue growth and marketing strategy. You can find him at