1. Stop blending in with your competitors
You need to set yourself apart from everyone else.
There’s NO shortage of gyms and fitness studios out there.
There is even at-home workout systems and pills that promise freedom from working out ever again, that you need to compete with. Not to mention the mega-corporate gyms complete with cafes —
You’ve got competition!
That’s why before you spend ANY money on marketing for your gym, you must come up with the #1 reason WHY your prospects should choose you vs. your competition.
I’m talking about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which tells prospects:
- Who you are
- What specific (or special) services you provide
- How you do fitness and health BETTER
- And why you’re in business
DON’T skip this…
You’re going to saturate ALL of your fitness marketing with it.
Here’s where you’ll use your USP:
- Your website
- Business cards
- Social media pages, posts, and ads
- Basically any gym marketing you do!
Marketing without defining your USP is kinda like shouting into a crowd of 1 million people…
You just NEED to stand out.
So nail down your USP, and then you’re ready for this next essential…
2. Look like THE coolest gym or fitness club in town
You need professional logo and color scheme (if you don’t have one already) that screams:
“We help you look and feel awesome!”
Isn’t that what you’re trying to do?
Your logo needs to convey that and pop from first glance.
Plus, a professional logo and color scheme:
- Helps you look like a professional trustworthy business
- Creates NAME (and image) recognition
Both of which amount to more leads, sales, and loyal customers.
If your gym already has a legit logo, great!
But if your club, fitness studio, or personal training business looks amateur, you WON’T attract quality prospects who will pay to stay with you for the long-run!
Many business owners skip this brand-creation step when starting out —
Yet it’s part of why they stay small and don’t generate enough new leads on a consistent basis.
Another BIG reason is that they aren’t doing enough marketing, like driving consistent leads from Facebook ads.
3. Create a killer special offer that attracts people to come in and give your gym a try.
A special offer has 2 major functions in your fitness marketing campaign:
- Enticing prospects to try out your gym or services
- Rewarding current customers and ensuring future loyalty
So a special offer is not an afterthought for your gym marketing…
It’s a way to inspire prospects and customers to try what you’ve got!
But listen up:
If you’re worried that discounting your services won’t make sense for your bottom line, remember this:
The idea behind special offers is you want to drive in LOTS of people to your business.
Once you service and WOW these prospects, you’ll have more people to upsell and turn into loyal customers.
So your special offer must be enticing enough to attract calls, leads, and eventual memberships.
Here are some special offers PROVEN to work for fitness and gym ads:
- FREE Trial Membership (7–30 days)
- Discount on membership packages (month-to-month, 6 months for $99, 12 months for $99)
- FREE gym services (classes, tanning, equipment orientation, personal fitness plan)
Now that you have a USP (#1) and a special offer your prospects will jump at, here’s what to do next…
4. Market consistently throughout the year to steadily create new leads (and clients)
People need to work out throughout the entire year (not just after the sugar-laden holidays)…
Which means by marketing all year long, you could easily generate new clients every single week!
The key to generating a steady stream of leads (and new clients):
CONSISTENCY — one of the main elements of successful fitness marketing!
People need you already.
YOU just need to remind them to come in and try YOU (vs. your competitors!).
Whichever fitness marketing ideas you try, remember these 2 rules for winning the grow-your-gym game:
- Reach prospects first
- Reach prospects OFTEN
Start planning — and running — your year-long fitness marketing campaigns to stay in front of your prospects (and customers) with your USP (#1) and cut-like-knife professional logo (#2).
5. Target your ideal prospects to generate revenue
If you want to avoid wasting money with your gym marketing, you need to hone in on WHO you want to attract in your front door.
Here’s what I mean:
Running Facebook ads to every single person in your ENTIRE city can get expensive — and FAST — especially if you live in a densely populated area, like Los Angeles, for example.
So, narrow your focus.
CHOOSE your prospects (and therefore, future gym members)!
Who exactly is your BEST, ideal client?
To answer this question just look at your current clients (the ones who’ve been coming to you for years and years and who are a joy to have around!).
See which kinds of individuals and/or partnerships net you the most clients and ongoing revenue.
Yes, could Facebook ads to everyone in your city. After all, it’s obvious everyone needs to work out!
But, I’m guessing you want your gym marketing to actually GROW your business, right?
So evaluate WHO your ideal clients are and run Facebook ads to folks JUST like them by using the Look Alike Audience feature in Facebook ads.
That way you’re only paying to advertise to people who will become clients and stick and stay.
Get all of your current and past clients information (email, phone number), and put them on a spreadsheet. Then upload them into your Facebook ads account and then run a Look Alike Campaign.
6. Use an online scheduling service for easy appointments
People not only like using online scheduling services (vs. making phone calls), but in our digital world today, they expect them.
Using an at-your-finger-tips scheduling software, prospects and clients can register for classes online — even directly from their smart phones.
Automatic, online class registrations give YOU the benefit of seeing instantly how many registrants you have for special classes or introductory free-trial offers at your gym.
Having an online scheduling service instantly makes your gym look cutting-edge and hip to tech trends.
Here are a few you can check out:
Some softwares even allow people to pay for services online (such as, if you offer tanning, personal trainer services, or have class fees).
7. Capture some of the 95% of leads visiting your website
Your website isn’t just a place for interested prospects to visit you online…
It’s actually a MAJOR part of your overall marketing strategy.
95% of your prospects will visit your website before making any decision to buy from you (or not).
So your gym’s website must clearly communicate the following:
- Who you are
- Which services/classes/perks you provide
- That you’re not just a gym but a place to get healthy
- And how to contact you (and make this OBVIOUS!) by using a squeeze page to collect your leads.
If your website seems confusing or cluttered, your prospects won’t stay on it long enough to figure out how to contact you, and they’ll just leave and onto the next (meaning, your competitor!).
And once you get a lead from your squeeze page, you should have your best salesperson call them within 15 minutes to schedule them a time to come in. The first 15 minutes is the hottest time to get them on the phone (or even a text). Your prospect is HOT and ready. The longer you wait after that, the more of a chance you lost them or they lost interest. Or they maybe found another gym that did reply faster.
If your website isn’t set up to generate you leads (and sales), it’s basically a fat waste of money…
Squeeze pages work by having lead capture forms on them to collect the customers info.
Lead capture forms work because online visitors don’t need to hunt for a way to contact you —
They enter their details directly into that lead capture form…
Which should ideally be “ABOVE the fold” (meaning, above the point where someone would have to scroll down to read more). So it’s front and center and RIGHT THERE to fill out!!
Prospects don’t have time to figure out how to contact you. Especially when your competitor is just 1 click away!
So make sure your lead capture form:
- Uses an eye-catching color that makes it POP out (easier to see!)
- Features only a couple fields (the less someone has to fill out, the more likely they’ll contact you)
- Includes your special offer — such as, 1 week of FREE workouts!
Now that you know your prospects WILL visit your website, and you’re going to ensure you have a lead capture form on your website, here are even more gym marketing ideas:
8. Reach 79% of potential customers on Facebook
Facebook marketing is becoming more and more popular every year, and with good reason.
According to Pew Research:
- 79% of online Americans are on Facebook
- That’s 68% of ALL Americans
- 75% of them go on the site every day
- Users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on Facebook
In other words:
It’s a huge opportunity for your fitness marketing!
Many business pages’ organic reach (that’s how many people you can reach for free) have declined sharply. For some, it’s as low as 2 PERCENT, and taking into account Facebook’s newsfeed changes, you can pretty much say “so long!” to your page’s posts being seen by your prospects for free.
That means you have to pay up for an ad, like this:
9. Use Google reviews as trust and act on them
When your prospects see positive reviews, they’re 90% more likely to trust and contact you.
People are more likely to click on a business’s website when its Google reviews are positive, meaning those golden star ratings you see!
Google has trained us to recognize that stars = ratings, and the more, the better!
- Star rating is the #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
- Stars in search engine results increase the # of clicks to your business by up to 35%
So the game becomes:
Get LOTS of 4- and 5-star reviews of your business online!!
Here are some ways to do that:
- Have your staff tell clients they’d appreciate a review
- Make sure clients know HOW to leave a Google review
- Add a link in your email signature
- Send gentle email reminders that you’d appreciate a review
- Post a sign (or 2) at your front desk
Whenever you’re done helping a client, tell them you’d appreciate a review online if they’ve enjoyed their time at your gym.
You MUST take the time to respond to negative reviews.
Any bad review online, left ignored, can turn into a hidden lead killer.
Here’s how to handle that:
When you spot a negative review online, make sure to urgently comment on it and respond with a sincere apology. Offer to remedy whatever occurred that was dissatisfactory with their experience at your gym.
The LAST thing you need is a disgruntled person bad-mouthing your business.
So handle the review well, and they could turn into a happy client!
Even if the client can’t be satisfied no matter what you offer or do, your response online will at least show prospects that you care enough to communicate and try to help.
In fact —
30% of consumers will look at how you handle negative reviews online before deciding whether to try out your business — or not.
So it’s worth your time!!
10. Create a video of your services
Get a video made that clearly shows prospects a before/after visual of what exercising at your gym is like.
You’re selling an EXPERIENCE and a feeling of confidence —
Not dumb bells and protein bars.
So a motion-filled video with pumped-up music and a panorama of your gym (filled-to-the-brim with people) will SHOW prospects what they can expect from you.
Simply put —
People LOVE videos.
Just check out these stats on video marketing:
- Increases (FREE) traffic from search engines to your website by up to 157%
- Using video on a landing page can increase leads by 80%
- Visitors stay on websites 88% longer when there’s video to watch
I recommend getting a video made that introduces your space to newcomers by giving them a tour (in under 3 minutes ideally).
11. Create a community (online AND offline)
Gyms are inherently community-driven…
People want and need group camaraderie to inspire them to keep going (especially when exercising after a long day’s work can seen like a drag).
So create a way prospects and current clients alike to feel like they belong to a group.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Create a get-together weekly on Meetup.com (for prospects to find you)
- Host weekly healthy eating workshops at your gym
- Create a Facebook group related to your gym to share recipes on
- Host a monthly hiking group
- Have social meetups that take place outside of the gym
You can even bring in special speakers to your gym to share helpful tips on self-development, healthy eating, and more! (And you can promote this on your website, social media, and Meetup!)
Speaking of which…
12. Post pictures and videos on your social media profiles
Show off photos you have on the marketing channel where imagery RULES for generating engagement (clicks), meaning:
After all, whether prospects are on Facebook or Instagram (or anywhere else for that matter), people LOOK and click when they see images.
Take a look at these Facebook statistics:
- 79% of the U.S. population uses Facebook
- 70% of Facebook users login DAILY
- 75% of users take action after seeing an Instagram advertising post
Social media is a GREAT way to get your gym promotion ideas out so people can see how much fun your gym is…
And you can drive clicks from social media right back to your website.
Here are some tips on what to post on social media:
- Pictures of your gym
- Before-and-after fitness transformations (who doesn’t love those?!)
- Photos of your staff smiling and looking friendly
- Special promotional ads (EASY to make even if you have 0 graphic design skills)
- Fun events you’re hosting
- Videos of clients or staff working out
- Any videos honestly!!
Make sure your phone number, business address, and website are all listed on your Facebook business page, Instagram profile, YouTube page (and any other channels) so it’s easy for prospects to contact you!
13. Close up to 80% more sales by automatically following up with leads
Here’s the deal:
The majority of the leads you generate will probably not close on the first attempt.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you receive an email from someone directly from the contact form on your website.
This person’s reached out to you with some level of interest (even if it’s just a question) —
THAT’S a lead!
They’ve asked you how it works when hiring a personal trainer at your gym. You answer their question, of course.
You email them, maybe call them, and still no word back.
No membership yet.
NOW you follow up with them!
But instead of emailing and calling them every single day, you can use easy email marketing to automatically follow up with this lead for you.
In a free email marketing software, such as MailChimp for example, you can set up a simple campaign to automatically email leads so that you’re continually reaching out to them.
Also called an “email drip campaign,” it works as one of the most successful gym marketing ideas by sending out emails on a predetermined schedule to prospects in a list that you create.
Instead of you remembering to manually email prospects on a set schedule, have your email marketing system do it for you.
Plus, you can use this same email marketing tool to send out monthly newsletters to your clients, making them feel like you care to keep them updated on things like:
- Special sales you have going on
- Personal trainer packages
- New or improved services you’re now offering
- Fitness success stories (with pictures!)
- Gift certificate specials
The idea is that the more prospects are followed up with consistently, the more likely they’ll remember YOUR gym(vs. any competition)…
And when someone remembers you, they’re MUCH more likely to contact and sign up with you when they’re ready.
There you have it!
13 gym advertising ideas to grow your business.
Ready to start your marketing campaign? Schedule a call with one of our experts at www.EliteFitnessLeads.com/— the consultation is 100% FREE!