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Why having an online community is a must for any wellness business

Wellness is one of the hottest consumer-facing industry sectors to be involved in these days. According to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor, the industry grew by 12.3 percent between 2015 and 2017 to become a £3.3 trillion market. A quick glance at Instagram is all the evidence you need to see how being healthy is all the rage, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing down as new wellness communities and influencers rise to fame.

Sleek gyms and meditation studios are popping up everywhere, alongside juice bars and other healthy eating and drinking venues. The travel sector has seen an unprecedented growth of wellness-orientated resorts and holidays. Modern technology has given rise to innovations like Fitbit, mobile workout apps and online courses. The list goes on. A great deal of that growth can be attributed to the rise of online communities driven by the holistic definition of wellbeing.

Whether you run a yoga studio, a local gym, a wellness resort or just about any other business in the sector, having an online community is no longer optional. It’s a must-have for growing your business by building authority and creating a customer-centric experience that motivates and inspires. With a dedicated community space of your own, you can make that happen, all without having to worry about the many drawbacks of mainstream social media.

Lend credibility to your wellness business

The success of mainstream wellness venues has given rise to a new wave of opportunities to sell wellness. This is both good and bad. Good, because it gives legitimate entrepreneurs and wellness experts the opportunity to expand their customer bases and make a positive impact on public health and wellbeing at large. Bad, because it’s also opened up plenty of avenues for opportunistic marketers and snake oil peddlers to sell only to the desperate or privileged.

In the Age of the Consumer, every brand must put customer success first. That’s where you need to separate yourself as far away as possible from the plenitude of questionable advice, pseudoscience, fake news and outright nonsense that permeates almost every corner of the web. Customers come to you looking to make their lives better, whether that’s by losing weight, improving their personal wellbeing, or something else entirely. You need to convey that value.

As a legitimate wellness business, you need to be able to express your value proposition and nurture your clients by building credibility and authority. With an online wellness community in which members are united under a common purpose, you can earn that credibility and extend your reach. That’s a whole lot more effective than relying on mainstream social media or the various major online wellness communities, where false information is often rife.

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Build a support group to drive solid teamwork

If mainstream social media has taught us anything of value, it’s that our decisions and choices are heavily influenced by what our peers are doing. Of course, things have always been this way, but social media greatly extends our networks. Unfortunately, platforms like Facebook or Instagram have grown so enormous that they’ve become practically impossible to moderate, lending to a lonely experience where people struggle to find the advice they need.

In a health- and wellness-conscious society, people and relationships are everything. Being healthy, both in body and mind, has never been easy, hence the perpetual need for motivation and inspiration. These things can only manifest if there’s a strong culture of accountability and mutual reassurance. That’s why social communities play such a crucial role in the wellness sector.

By harnessing the power of social communities, you can encourage people to work together and create a goal-driven support group that benefits every member. This in turn will increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Also, the interactions between your customers will no doubt yield valuable insights into how you can continually improve your offer and develop an even more customer-centric experience.

Motivate your members by recognising success

Meaningful social interaction has always been a key driver of success for almost any wellness business. That being said, technology itself also presents opportunities to motivate people by tapping into the inner workings of human psychology. Consider, for example, the feeling you get when you post something on Facebook, and it earns lots of likes and shares. It motivates and encourages and inspires a spirit of success and purpose.

Only, that’s often not the way it works these days. Mainstream social media is now saturated with fake profiles, mindless clicking and a general lack of meaningful interaction. If all the likes and shares come from people we don’t even know nor have anything to do with, they become meaningless very quickly. What once inspired and motivated is now just as likely to leave people feeling a false sense of security.

With a smaller, close-knit community that’s united by a clearly defined sense of purpose, these interactions tend to hold a lot more weight. They give greater visibility to genuinely constructive participation, rewarding members who share their insights and success stories. And, when it comes to wellness, there are few things that get people flocking back to their personal trainers than the success stories of their fellow members.

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Make your teachings more accessible

Wellness shouldn’t be exclusive to the privileged few or the outright desperate who will spend what little they have on a dream. When you have something of genuine value to offer, making it as accessible as possible lends credibility and authority to your brand while increasing your reach and, in turn, profitability. Online communities leverage modern technology to give you that reach and become more accessible to a wider audience.

These days, a local personal trainer no longer need be restricted to a single high-street venue. Similarly, those living in more remote areas where wellness venues might be in short supply can tap into online resources to improve their wellbeing. With an online community, you can offer video training sessions and other resources that are accessible to all, no matter their physical location.

Add the power of online social spaces into the mix, and members from afar will be able to join discussions with other members and form lasting relationships. It’s the perfect solution for all involved; your community can thrive around more accessible teachings, while your business can increase its profitability through online monetisation strategies. Add mobility functionality into the mix, and you can boost your presence yet further.

Final words

By deploying a branded online social space for your community, you can bring people together and make a real and lasting impact on their personal wellbeing while also adding enormous value to your brand. With the freedom to design and build a community based on the unique needs of your customers, you can provide a better experience without being subject to the many whims and drawbacks of mainstream social media. Here’s how:

  • Build credibility to convey your value proposition
  • Encourage stronger teamwork with meaningful social interactions
  • Motivate members by recognising constructive participation
  • Increase the reach of your teachings.

Disciple social spaces help wellness businesses develop powerful online communities that drive customer success and unveil new opportunities for monetisation.

Mike Harrower in
5 min read

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Mike Harrower in Community building
Mike Harrower in
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