"With Causely's Sweat Angels, I know our Facebook check-ins are actually supporting real charities and spreading the word about our studio," said Eileen Pike, Barre Coach and Social Media Manager for Bella Forza Fitness in Cincinnati, OH.
Eileen joined the Bella Forza team three years ago with a of goal of bringing in new members and building community. When she heard about Sweat Angels, she knew it was exactly what Bella Forza needed.
Finding The Right Type of Advertising
Bella Forza is a "boutique" fitness studio for women. And finding the right type of advertising has been a challenge. They have tried signs, community events, social media ads, and even Groupon. "We are small and have a conservative budget," Eileen told us. "We can't afford the kind of marketing like the big chains."
Bella Forza was relying heavily on Groupon to bring people into the studio. It worked, but wasn't fostering loyal members. "The problem was that people use Groupon as a 'deal hopper,'" she said. "People would use the entire pass and then ditch the program when it came time to pay the full membership." That's expected with Groupon, but it wasn't the type of community they were hoping to build.
Once they cut down on the Groupon deals, the studio shifted the marketing budget to focus more on social media. "It's where our target market is looking, shopping, and buying," said Eileen.
A Solution That Built The Right Community
Then Eileen found Sweat Angels. "How could I not hear about Sweat Angels? It's everywhere in the fitness world," she said. After reading success stories and watching videos, Eileen learned that with Sweat Angels, Facebook check-ins at Bella Forza generated donations to great causes. And that by joining, she would receive professionally designed social media content, videos, printed material, and pre-written emails every single month.
"The fact the program focused on charity spoke to me in volumes. What better way to advertise the studio then by supporting charity?" Eileen's heart is geared for charity. She even helps run a non-profit for funding canine cancer research. But like any good manager, she had to prove the program's success first.
Seeking Out Proven Success
Eileen reached out to three Sweat Angels gyms and asked about their experience with the program. They each had overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Next, she presented the program and testimonials to the owner, Beth Underhill. Beth was on board but wanted to make sure the program would be effective with their existing community. So, they added an extra benefit to their upcoming 24-day fitness challenge. Every pound lost resulted in points. And any Facebook check-in at Bella Forza resulted in extra points.
The response was incredible. Offering an incentive to check in worked! "I knew if we gave them a reason to check-in, they would," said Eileen. "That's why Sweat Angels is so effective, it gives people a good reason to check in. And they do it because they are driven to support causes." Bella Forza signed up for Sweat Angels the next month.
Instant Increase in Visibility and Sense of Community
Since starting the program, Bella Forza has seen amazing results in online visibility, team building and membership growth. "Our reach on Facebook is insane," said Eileen. "We don't even spend money on Facebook ads anymore except for special events and promotions." In August 2016, they had 179 check-ins at the studio and had 89,000 impressions.
"I know for a fact that people have joined our studio because of seeing a check-in." The members love it and continue to check in. "We ARE Sweat Angels," Eileen said. "We are a community of "beautiful strength" that gives back together."
Eileen's Advice For Any Gym Considering Causely's Sweat Angels
"Sweat Angels is amazing," Eileen said. "It cuts down your spend on marketing. It brings in new people. It's easy. And it's centered around giving. If you're a gym owner and you want to get more involved with your members, join Sweat Angels."