Like with any business, marketing is an ongoing process. Simply placing an advertisement periodically in a newspaper or around the area will not do anything for your business, and certainly will not help it to survive. Even when your club is full, you always want to be proactively thinking about your next promotional or marketing idea to keep business booming. The following are a few of the most cost efficient yet effective ways to market your gym and keep people coming in the door.
In an age where smartphone owners look at their phone on average a whopping 85 times a day, using social media to peek interest and drive traffic is truly a no brainer. Along with a website that works well on mobile, you should be heavily involved in social media. Post offers, events and even contests on your social media pages to get members and non-members involved. As we’ve mentioned before (LINK TO ATTENDANCE BLOG) social media is a great way to keep members engaged and interested in the club – even when they aren’t there. If you aren’t sure how to effectively market your brand and calculate the analytics through social media, you might consider hiring someone to take on that role. Even a part time social media manager will do wonders for the marketing of your club.
Word of Mouth
Similarly, word of mouth is one of the best ways to engage your target market. After all, there’s no better advertisement than the walking billboards that come out of your club! As the most potent type of marketing, it is also one that may have you work the hardest and the longest for because you have to be sure you are consistently creating an environment that people want to talk about, and encourage their friends to join. Undoubtedly, your valued customers will give fantastic reviews of your gym (both online and as recommendations) but it usually happens over a large amount of time. The quicker you earn their loyalty and trust by providing excellent customer service, and genuinely showing interest in their health and fitness goals, the sooner they will recommend your services to their friends, family and strangers. One of the ways to encourage word-of-mouth promotion is to offer incentives such as a discounted mouth or free personal training session if someone recommends a person who joins. Also, offer opportunities for members to bring friends once in a while so prospects can see what all the talk is about.
Be a Sponsor
This can be both a long term and short term promotion. Simply choose a charitable event or organization and decide how you want to work with them. For example, you could sponsor a local Little League Team or host a running program dedicated to get your members in shape for the Wounded Warrior Project on Veteran’s Day. This is a great way to get involved while also having your name and logo on even t-shirts. Another idea is to designate a day in the club where all the proceeds from personal training sessions, protein shakes and apparel for that day go to a specific charity. There are numerous options for sponsoring that will not only warm your heart, but generate buzz for your club.
Do Some Give-a-ways
You don’t want to go overboard with this one, but people love added value to their memberships. Most of the give-a-ways you do can be fairly inexpensive by using the resources you already have at your club. Do you have someone on staff who does nutritional counseling? Have them hold a seminar on a Saturday morning or weekday evening. You could offer an extra personal training session, protein shake or stretching class. Simply offer whatever you can to get prospects interested in your business. Remember, however, that with free stuff you give away, you are also giving away your first impression of customer service. Even though, for example, you may be giving away a free personal training session, be sure the personal trainer goes through the motions of a paying client. You have to show prospects that you are genuinely interested in their health and fitness and that you stand behind the quality of your business. By being confident in your services and offering to showcase them for free (on occasion only!), you are essentially assuring them that they have nothing to lose by trying out your services. Some prospects may be entirely new to the fitness industry so be sure to talk to them and engage them in the immense benefits that can be derived from regularly working out in a social and accountable environment. With the freebies, genuine interest, and excellent customer service, they will surely come back for more.
Get involved in your community
The more popular your gym becomes, the more this will automatically happen. But you can jump start the process by finding out local community events that deal with health and fitness, and making yourself a part of them. From giving talks at schools to volunteering and setting up booths at local events, your exposure will accomplish significant brand recognition.
Marketing your fitness studio can be one of the most fun aspects of being a business owner. You will find that through networking and meeting members of the community the word spreads and your membership will grow. While you may need to invest in some major advertising at first, the smaller promotions and marketing you do can really add up to big sales!