Fitness is serious business in the United States, with over 36,000 centers nationwide and counting. Health clubs are booming, and fitness entrepreneurs have taken notice. The average fitness buff no longer needs to travel far to reach his local gym. It can be tough for a new trainee to choose which fitness center would be the best bang for his or her buck. It can also be tough as the owner of a workout facility to distinguish your gym from the competition and reach out to that new member.
Anything is possible with a dedicated marketing effort and outside-the-box thinking. From making the most of the free trials to enhancing the user experience of your website, there are several things you can do to attract new gym members.
Elevated Free Trial Sessions
When you entice someone to try your fitness center for the first time, it’s common to offer the class for free. From offering one free class to an entire week, gyms continue to see results through this strategy. One way to spin this is to get more personal with your approach.
Talking with potential members before or after their first class about their short and long-term fitness goals is a great way to show that you care. Find out why they’ve decided to try adding fitness into their lifestyle. Are they looking to take up a new sport or hobby? Do they want to look their best for a special occasion? Let them know how your health club will help them achieve their goals.
For a one-day free trial, offer an incentive by discounting your rate for new members signing up on that same day. Don’t forget to get a phone number and valid email address so you can personally follow up after one week.
A strong community is a foundation that keeps gym members coming back. Show it off! When you provide a great overall workout experience, you boost member retention and intrigue potential members. Try hosting members-only events to strengthen the community, and then have a few open houses throughout the year so your members can bring along referrals. Skilled trainers and nutritionists should have a strong presence at these events to answer all questions and encourage new members to sign up.
Trading services can be a great way to become more acquainted with your clients and receive promotional services without breaking the bank. If you get to know your members personally, you can amass a lot of useful information. Maybe someone is a professional photographer and/ or videographer who can take photos and videos of your workout sessions? Maybe you know a social media whiz who can help you develop your gym’s online presence and share it with her followers? By offering free classes or services to these members for their expertise and collaboration, you can save on marketing expenses and develop valuable ties to your members.
Captivate the Masses
In marketing, a common phenomenon that is used to generate lots of activity is called “social proof.” What happens is when you see multiple people suddenly doing an activity, you are more likely to learn more about and engage in that activity yourself. Why? People like to do what is popular, especially if it’s beneficial and others are happy with the results. Social proof is partially why fitness has gotten so big in the first place.
You can use this to your advantage by documenting large sessions in action and then sharing them through your social channels. Facebook and Instagram are the top platforms to share videos and photographs of your unique fitness community. By tagging members in these posts, they are more likely to share them on their personal pages. This can spark a domino effect that can lead you to potential clients who may not have known much about your business, or that someone they know personally is such a big fan.
Another great way to inspire more people to try out your facility is to share “before and after” shots of members weekly or biweekly. Positive transformations are an important component of your marketing strategy. They let people know that great things take place at your specific facility in an encouraging environment.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for your business long-term is to always have a strong online presence. This can be developed in several ways.
First, you want to think about how easy your website is to find. If clients can’t find your website, how will they find your location? Be sure that all local information is up-to-date with Google Business and that your business is properly displayed on Google Maps.
In addition, your website should be easy to navigate and reflective of your brand and what you stand for as a fitness center. By linking to social accounts from your website, visitors can quickly get a feel for who you are. Instagram and Facebook both support fitness communities. Be sure to try a few hashtags that lend themselves to fitness to spotlight your social content.
Another key thing your website needs is a blog. Everyone has one nowadays, and you shouldn’t be left out. A blog is a great way to boost your SEO and provide useful information to your clients. The more useful your content, the more valuable it is to your clients and the search engines. Don’t forget to link to your blog regularly on your social channels for extended reach.
If you are looking for a solid marketing strategy for your fitness center, we are always here to help. We work closely with fitness brands and can bring a new perspective to the table. Contact us to get started.