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Success Stories

Flexing their marketing muscle: Brooklyn gym becomes a ‘Neighborhood Fave’ on Nextdoor

Lifting up the community in more ways than one

You can find strength in a lot of different places: a cup of strong-tasting coffee, an uplifting song, a compelling book, or even a challenging workout. For fitness trainer and entrepreneur Steve Holiner, he found it in a supportive and resilient community rallying behind his new business venture.

Holiner is the founder and owner of Speakeasy of Strength - a neighborhood gym in Brooklyn, NY, that hinges on the concept of personalized small group training. Driven by an innate desire to help his local community, Holiner left a corporate job in Manhattan and lifted the doors open to the gym in 2018. 

“I gave up a ton of money from the previous thing, but I’m able to have a direct impact,” said Holiner. “In terms of being a neighborhood business, I know I can have a positive impact on the people that populate the neighborhood.”

However, Speakeasy was met with a significant hurdle due to the pandemic which coincided with the grand reopening of a new studio location in 2019. Their main challenge was to make their presence known and develop a loyal customer base in a time of social distancing and restricted traditional marketing.



Nextdoor solutions

In view of the unprecedented situation, Holiner decided to leverage the power of Nextdoor, a platform building a bridge between local businesses and communities. With their members starting to vote for them on Nextdoor as a Neighborhood Fave, Speakeasy rapidly gained visibility. 

Holiner recalls one of his clients exclaiming, "You need to get on Nextdoor. People need to know about this!" The key turning point came when other members shared her views about Holiner and the gym: "He's just a wonderful person who truly cares and cares about your well-being every day of your life. It's a true neighborhood establishment. Steve's a neighborhood guy". 

Speakeasy of Strength and Nextdoor 3



Speakeasy of Strength is celebrating its fifth year in business and its fifth year being voted a Neighborhood Fave on Nextdoor, surpassing 80 full-time members.

“A year into going here and it has changed my life! I love the inclusive environment, it never feels competitive, always supportive,” said Camm on Nextdoor, one of Speakeasy’s customers.

Speakeasy's successful marketing and connection with their neighbors moved beyond just being a gym towards becoming a well-being hub. Their journey gained additional momentum when Speakeasy was invited to represent local businesses with Nextdoor at a bell ringing event at the New York Stock Exchange

The incredible rise of Speakeasy, a small neighborhood gym's success story, stands to exemplify how local, people-centered marketing can bring about significant change and success. 

"Every time someone votes, tells a friend, likes or shares a post, it helps because we are a mom-and-pop business. It means a lot to the owner who looks at that and goes for a moment, we nailed it,” said Holiner. “Strong neighbors, strong community.”

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How to be the next Neighborhood Fave

Being a Neighborhood Fave on Nextdoor gives businesses the strength to rise above the competition and flex their staying power in the market. 

Winners can earn:

  • 290x more Business Page views
  • 6x more Recommendations on their Business Page
  • 4.8x more clicks on their Nextdoor ads
  • A really sweet badge - both a physical sticker to paste at your physical business and online on your Nextdoor Business Page

Want to be featured on next year’s list? Here are three tips to ensure you are in the running to be a Neighborhood Fave. 

  1. Boost your Nextdoor Faves - Encourage customers to support your business by "Faving" you on Nextdoor to expand your reach. Consider offering incentives, like discounts, to those who Fave you. Start by claiming your free business page.
  2. Get Recommended on Nextdoor - Neighborhood Recommendations can significantly impact your business, with 94% of Nextdoor users valuing them. To build your reputation, sync your business contacts and ask customers to leave Recommendations. 
  3. Engage with your Community - Keep your neighbors updated about your business offerings and activities with Nextdoor Business Page posts. Utilize features like AI-driven content optimization, videos, and polls to stay connected and gather valuable feedback.