FITNESS MARKETING
KEY STRATEGIES

There is no one size fits all marketing strategy for gyms and fitness professionals because each has a different target market, and each stands out in their own way. But gym marketing plans share some common attributes. Here’s what we recommend for 2019. Schedule your free Online Review if you’d like a more personalized assessment.

Social Media Marketing For Gyms

2019 is upon us and the holidays will soon be over. It’s that time of year where thousands of American minds begin to drift toward one thing in particular: their waistline. Yes, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have taken their toll and it’s time to get back on track. People are going to go online and look for a way to get back in shape. The only question is : Are you prepared to be found?

Here are our top 5 tips to improve your digital fitness marketing in time for the New Year’s rush.

Optimize Your Website for Conversions

Marketing for gyms all starts and ends here. Your website needs to be built in a way that makes the next step obvious for potential members or clients. Nine times out of 10, when we audit a website for a gym or a fitness professional, we find a “vanity site” that says something like “We’re so cutting edge and great” or “I’m so in shape you should train with me.” Maybe there will be a call to action at the bottom of the homepage, but usually, it’s hidden on another page. Your home page should have two main things:

  • An attractive offer targeting new clients that’s visible as soon as you land on the page.
  • Proof that your current members are happy about the results or experience you deliver.

If you have a video that shows off the gym and staff, then you’re way ahead of the competition. The number-one thing people want to see when they visit your website is your pricing. Since we’re not going to give that to them, we need to give them social proof that you’re awesome paired with an offer that they can’t refuse.

Create an Irresistible Offer

Why do you need this? Because advertising on social media feels intrusive to users who just want to learn and have fun. People don’t go on Facebook or Instagram to look at ads. They’re there to see what their friends and favorite celebrities are doing. Alternatively, when someone actively searches for a gym through Google, they’ll bite on a 3-day guest pass because that’s why they were searching in the first place. If you’re going to crash someone’s social media party, you better come bearing some good gifts. Some things that I’ve seen work well include:

  • 14-Day Trial
  • 30 days for $30
  • Free 30-day workout plan
  • $1 Enrollment

What’s the reason that people hesitate to join a gym? Try to answer this question and reverse engineer that into an offer. In our experience, a lot of times it’s because they don’t know if they’ll stick to it. If you’re in the fitness profession, you’re probably a pretty active person—not sticking with your weekly fitness regimen probably doesn’t make sense to you. But people who aren’t used to exercising may feel fired up one week and then completely lose the desire to keep going the next. Here is the thing you need to remember though: the purpose of your offer is to get them in the door. You 100% should be trying to flip every guest pass into a membership on day one. Use split payments, post-date the first month’s dues, etc. You still need to pitch them the membership options, get their objection if they have one, and then treat them like royalty for the remainder of their pass. If they like your services, they’ll join.

Don’t Be Afraid to Give Away Your Best Advice for Free

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s vital. People have become hyper-aware of “advertorial” content (that is, advertisements dressed up as blogs and online content). You have to earn the trust of your audience, especially if you’re a personal trainer, before you can expect them to buy from you.

Knowledge and information have never been worth so little. What do I mean by that? Your prospects can type any fitness or workout question into Google and get the answer. You don’t get hired because you hold secret knowledge. You get hired because people like you and think that you can push them to success. If you’ve ever sat in front of a PT prospect, I’m sure you’ve heard someone say “I know what to do, I just need to do it.”

If you take a look around, you’ll notice that the most successful fitness pros are giving away a lot of free information. Some have built million-dollar businesses doing it. It proves that you know your stuff, and it lets people feel like they know you before they reach out. You’re building rapport without ever meeting them.

For example, let’s say a prospect Googles trainers in their area. “Trainer A” just has a website offering a free assessment while “Trainer B” has an assessment plus a video library on YouTube that’s 100 videos deep with workouts and advice. Who do you think they are more likely to contact for help?

Write Better Ad Copy

Writing ad copy when marketing for gyms is a skill. It’s something that takes time and practice to really perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn some tricks to up your game quickly. I have two tips to help you improve fast:

  1. Buy some fitness magazines that target your ideal client and study their covers. Pay attention to their choice of words. These publications have put a lot of effort and research into discovering which words evoke the emotions needed to buy the magazine at the check-out counter. Use the strategies you see (the NEW craze! Firm abs! Crush your goals!) to your advantage. Steal from their homework and apply it to your strategy. Keep in mind that you can’t promise any results on Facebook or Instagram ads, so you’ll have to get creative.
  2. Use Yelp, Google Reviews, and online forums. Want to know a great way to learn about fitness-related pain points? Go to Yelp and Google Reviews. Look for the 3-star reviews and make notes about the common complaints you see over and over. I only use 3-star reviews because those are usually the honest ones. People who leave 1-star reviews usually have a bone to pick with the business and might embellish the story. Do you see that a lot of 3-star reviews that mention dirty bathrooms? Make sure your ad copy mentions your “pristine facility with a full-time staff dedicated to keeping it clean.” You should also search weight loss and fitness forums. If you can find some that are specific to your geographic area or specialty, fantastic. If not, then you can work with general forums. Search the forum for “I hate.” This will bring up everyone’s pain points. Again, find the common ones and work them into your ad copy.

Stop Trying to Automate Everything

It’s the new trend to automate as much of your sales process as you can so you can focus on other parts of your business. In most cases this makes sense. In marketing for gyms, we really need to take into consideration the human factor.

It is SO MUCH easier to no-show a first-time visit if you’ve never had a conversation with any representative aside from a pre-programmed bot or email sequence. It’s very hard to no-show a PERSON that you built a rapport with. You feel a little guilty. Especially if that representative seemed to show real interest in helping you reach your goals and confirmed the appointment. Your automated emails or SMS messages that know the person’s name aren’t impressing anyone. Take the time to talk to a new lead, and get to know them, then really follow up with them.

If you’d like to talk more about how to stand out when planning marketing for gyms, what type of ads to use, or why we didn’t include Google Ads in this list, feel free to contact us.

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