As a studio owner, you’re committed to creating a game-changing lineup of classes that’ll keep your regulars coming back while bringing in newbies. You keep up with the latest fitness research and trends and constantly experiment with new class ideas.
How do you get clients to try those new classes? And how do you ensure you’re promoting the right classes to the right people? It starts with writing the kind of description that’ll stand out on a crowded studio schedule. Here are six ways to craft class descriptions to appeal to even the most skeptical clients:
Think like a customer
Sure it’s cliché but it’s 100% true: you need to walk in your customers’ shoes before you can understand what they want. What are they looking for? Do they like traditional classes like spinning and body pump? Are they looking to try something new like aerial physique?
“To create our class descriptions, we ask ourselves; what would we want to know if we were thinking about taking this class? What would make us excited?” says Lauren Krinis, a certified nutrition therapist and trainer at CoreFitness, a mobile fitness company based in Philadelphia’s Fairmount/Art Museum neighborhood. “We use language that paints a picture not only of the class activities, but of the feeling that the customer will walk away with after our workout.”
Gina Mancuso, founder of CoreFitness and a licensed physical therapist and trainer, says describing the workout itself is just as important as describing the feeling members will have during and after the workout. This helps eliminate any confusion about what to expect and ensures your students’ expectations are met.
Example: BodyStep is the energizing step workout that makes you feel liberated and alive. Using a height-adjustable step and simple movements on, over and around the step, you get huge motivation from sing-along music and approachable instructors. Cardio blocks push fat burning systems into high gear followed by muscle conditioning tracks that shape and tone your body.
Showcase what makes you unique
Does your studio take its classes outdoors? Does your gym offer nutritional planning, preventative health screenings and massages? Make sure you highlight what sets your studio — and your classes — apart in your descriptions. Know how that difference will benefit the customer, advises Mancuso.
“We make it a point to let customers know what makes CoreFitness different from other boot camp classes (developed by a physical therapist) and how that will benefit them (effective, efficient workouts with reduced risk of injury),” says Krinis. “Our aim is to communicate that the emphasis is on the class participant and our goal is to communicate that in our descriptions.”
Example: Buff Yoga combines the worlds of yoga and strength training. The class takes traditional yoga postures and adds a layer of targeted strengthening exercises. It engages muscles and builds strength in a manner different than traditional yoga classes. Buff Yoga utilizes dumbbells to add intensity to the workout. This class is ideal for yogis who don’t often exercise outside of their regular practice or for athletes looking for a new challenge.
Go for catchy
If it feels like so many classes on your schedule sound similar, think of creative ways to recast your description. You want to convey that your workouts are fun, not a chore, and that should come through in each description.
“I like to use catchy names for classes that may be an interest peeker,” says Debbie Wolff, owner and director of Fusion Fitness and O2 Yoga in Coral Springs, FL. Among her catchy names are “Back Alley Superhero Training,” a class that consists of “hi-intensity training utilizing body weight and light weight training, plyometrics and more” and encourages members to “let your inner superhero shine through.”
Wolff also likes to uses acronyms to describe her classes and uses B.A.R.R.E. as an example. The acronym helps clients remember the studio’s signature B.A.R.R.E. classes (ballet and reformer resistance exercises), which “takes the best of ballet, Pilates and fitness inspiration blended into a full one-hour non-stop workout.”
Example: Pi-yo is a fusion of the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates and the meditative breathwork, stretching, and flow of yoga.
Be motivating, but accessible
Krinis says she and Mancuso are focused on maintaining a voice that inspires existing and potential members by being inviting, motivating and approachable. “New (potential) customers may be intimidated about trying out a new class,” says Krinis, “It’s our job to take away the fear of the unknown and make them feel welcome before they even walk in the door. Our emphasis is on community and that is conveyed in our tone.”
Example: Come ready to sweat, and prepare to leave empowered and feeling strong. Class focuses on all elements of fitness: cardiovascular, muscular conditioning, flexibility and balance! The design of the class introduces easy-to-follow Zumba® choreography that focuses on balance, range of motion and coordination. Perfect for all levels and those looking for a modified Zumba® class. It recreates the original moves you love at a lower-intensity.
Keep things consistent
Consistency isn’t just about grammar and style. It’s also about voice and tone. Keeping these elements consistent will strengthen and differentiate your studio’s brand. Start by creating a style guide covering everything from making sure boot camp is always two words to using active voice.
If that sounds like too big of an undertaking, start by listing some basic ground rules and add to the list when you can. Consider adding a list of words your studio is and isn’t. Use it as a reminder to be true to your brand identity. “We write our descriptions as if we are talking directly to an individual,” says Mancuso. “This provides consistency across our media outlets and is important for branding.”
Example: RPM® is the indoor cycling workout where you discover your athlete within. Take on the terrain with your inspiring team coach who leads the pack through hills, flats, mountain peaks, time trials, and interval training.
Steer clear of jargon and clichés
You may throw around words like “hypertrophy” (building muscle through consistent training and proper nutrition) or acronyms like DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), but avoid using insider terms in your class descriptions. Likewise, stay away from clichés like “the best” or “fastest” and keep your descriptions realistic and truthful. “We avoid fitness jargon or language that most people wouldn’t understand and we use clean, simple facts so that information can be easily seen and understood,” says Mancuso.
Example: Cardio Kickboxing is a fusion of boxing, martial arts and aerobics done rhythmically to music. Offering an intense cross-training and total-body workout, it utilizes the training routines used by combat athletes in martial arts, boxing and kickboxing.
Don’t forget your call to action
Once you’ve perfected your description, you’ll need to market the class with a kick-ass call to action. A call to action could be anything from a few words on your homepage inviting members to try a new class to a sign at your studio’s front desk. Choose the method that works with your members and start spreading the word.
“A call to action is important to drive people to class,” says Kronis. “Helping them take the next step while its right there in front of them is important so we can welcome them in when they are ready!”
Example: This class is an exciting fusion of Jazz, Funk, Latin and World Dance. Sweat, shimmy, laugh and get your groove on. You never know what kind of heart pumping stuff is coming. Show up to find out!
Read our guide for more information about creating effective class descriptions and don’t forget to subscribe to After Class to stay on top of industry trends.