3 steps to set up your virtual hub

  • Andy Hall
  • Sep 02, 2020
  • 5 Min Read

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We’ve explored what it means to engage with members virtually, how to achieve this, and why it’s so vital as we enter the ‘post-Covid’ age. Now, let’s have a look at how you can set up a virtual hub to take full advantage of the opportunities available to enhance member engagement, retention and lifetime value. 

You’ll be pleased to know that building and integrating a virtual hub involves just three straightforward steps, meaning you can be up and running in no time, unlocking even more of your business’ potential. 

Step 1: Brand Identity

We understand just how important it is to maintain brand consistency. It’s a pattern of expression that affects the way people think about your business. The more consistent your visual branding and messaging, the more you’re able to grow awareness around your club and develop trust and loyalty with your members, which subsequently drives results. In fact, research states that “a coherent brand presentation across all platforms will increase revenue by up to 23%.” Our virtual hubs are white labelled, so using your company’s colours, fonts, logos, and media assets, we can design the app and dashboard of your virtual hub to perfectly match your brand and fit seamlessly within your website or alongside your existing systems. 

Step 2: Company and Member Data

To populate your virtual hub with club and member data, it couldn’t be simpler. By downloading the data from your existing CRM systems, this can be quickly and efficiently transferred to your virtual hub through a series of hassle-free migrations. With your club details, trainer information, and that all-important member data added to your virtual hub, you’re now in a position to start utilising all of the data and insights available to enhance your engagement levels and maximise the success of your business. 

Step 3: Payment System

You choose whether you’d like to create a pay-as-you-go or subscription model for your virtual hub and, better still, we can integrate with any existing payment gateway, such as Stripe, Paypal and PayFort. If you opt for a subscription model, we’d need to define access to products based on the subscription levels and the monthly instalment plans you wish to offer. If you opt for pay-as-you-go, we’d need to know how much each product/service costs, whether members can make single or bulk purchases, and if any complimentary products form part of your membership packages or reward schemes. We’d also need to factor in any ‘free trials’ that you’d like to include as part of your marketing strategy. 

It can be an exciting process coming up with all the great new products, services and initiatives you’re able to offer now that you have a way of engaging physically and virtually with your members – increasing opportunities for additional revenue and secondary spend.

What does the virtual hub look like? 

The virtual hub would be hosted on your website via a portal, with the option to have an app. Members can use the online portal or app to manage their subscriptions, access live and on-demand content, book PT sessions, update their profiles, track goals, and so much more. 

From the operator’s perspective, KPIs, reporting, analytics and uploading in-house content, would all be managed via the control panel of the web portal. Through the app, staff can perform functions, such as scheduling and monitoring classes, communicating with members, and delivering virtual content

During the ‘discovery sessions’ at the beginning of every project/partnership, we make sure that we fully understand the uniqueness of the client’s business so that we can create a bespoke virtual hub that contains all of the reports, analytics, trends, and admin features they require to increase efficiency and profitability. As data people, we’re all about the details, and believe that every virtual hub should be tailored to the client’s needs and goals. It’s what drives us. 

And, as an added bonus, there is nothing to pay during the design phase, meaning you’re able to keep valuable money inside your business until the virtual hub is ready to be implemented.     

Summary

IHRSA summed it up brilliantly when they said, “Across the industry, the perception of technology is shifting from a standalone silo to a package of member experience tools that should be integrated throughout the business.” And, especially in testing times, we need to make this technology work harder than ever for our businesses to survive, and thrive. 
As you can see, setting up a virtual hub is a quick and pain-free process. With a virtual hub in place, you’ll be able to provide digital content (classes and PT sessions) to your members via a purely ‘digital hybrid’ membership. Going far beyond simply offering Facebook or Instagram Live classes, each virtual hub is completely bespoke, measurable, and created to deliver commercial returns from day one. It enables you to offer both a virtual and ‘bricks and mortar’ service, connecting the dots between home fitness and the gym environment to deliver an engaging, ‘joined-up’ member experience. With a slick online presence, this enables you to channel members back towards your physical sites, driving commercial results.

The future is virtual, so let’s get started!