There are so many ways to expose people to CrossFit training. Posting pictures and videos on social media sites, offering discounts, starting your own affiliate and website, or just talking about it to your friends and family can be very effective when spreading the word of how CrossFit has impacted your life. One easy thing you can do is get out into your community and show people that CrossFit can be fun and not intimidating.
Local competitions can be a great vehicle to drive more On Ramp members through your front doors. With a local competition, you need to have a balance between making sure that it’s a decent and safe test of fitness but also entertaining to the crowd in case there are future members out there who may decide that they like what they see. Your more “hardcore” athlete might not agree with that last part, but as an affiliate, the local competition can be a great marketing tool.
The CrossFit Games and Regional events reach so many people around the world. However, I have talked to non-CrossFit people about what they’re thinking when watching the coverage on ESPN. While a select few admit that they’d like to give it a shot or are motivated to try it out, once they watch the top elite athletes grinding through brutal workouts, a majority don’t feel a connection. From what I’ve gathered, the test of the Fittest on Earth can, in some cases, scare people off. Think about it, if the Games on ESPN was the only exposure you had to CrossFit training, then it might make you think that’s what it is like at an affiliate every day. Like we all walk in, warm up, rip off our shirts and then start flipping 400-plus-pound Rogue Pigs, running miles with weighted vests, climbing pegboards and doing ocean swims. After more than five years training and coaching, I can assure you, it is not what we do at our place at 5 a.m. each morning.
Our box has begun to use an initiative we call “Saturdays in the Park.” With all due respect to the band Chicago, members of our gym have started doing just that, working out each Saturday at one of the parks in our town. This is a new idea, so we haven’t been able to really see the benefits in terms of who it will bring into the fold, however. What’s the upside? It’s fun. It gets our members outside on the weekend. It promotes fitness. It lets us take our fitness to the people. It shows others that CrossFit is not this big scary workout program that is all about kipping pull-ups and maxing out your Olympic weightlifting PRs.
I don’t think that the ultimate goal is to advertise our place by putting on a show for people each weekend. I’d argue that aspect is merely a side effect of wanting to get out and use our fitness beyond the grind of the daily WODs. But in the end, if we can create a fitness environment that exceeds the boundaries of our four walls, then that can’t be a bad thing.
Does your affiliate do anything to promote CrossFit by example in your community? What kinds of things have you tried and how have they worked?
Stay on the Grind.