19 Gym Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Fitness or Personal Training Business

19 Gym Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Fitness or Personal Training Business

Marketing your gym (or personal trainer business) can be easy if you have enough fitness marketing strategies to use on the regular!

Here are 19 gym marketing ideas you can use to generate additional clients

1. Stop blending in with your competitors

Theres no shortage of gyms and fitness options out there.

From at-home workout systems to pills that promise freedom from working out ever again, to mega-corporate gyms complete with cafes —You’ve got competition!

That’s why before you spend any money on marketing strategies for gyms, you must come up with the number one 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

Here’s where you’ll use your USP:

  • Your website

  • Brochures

  • Business cards

  • Social media pages, posts, and ads

Marketing without defining your USP is like to shouting into a crowd of 1 million people… You need to stand out

2. Look like the best gym or fitness club in town

You need professional logo (if you don’t have one already)

Your logo needs to convey that from first glance.

  • Helps you look like a professional trustworthy business

  • Creates NAME (and image) recognition

Both of which amount to more leads, sales, and loyal members.

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.

Also with a professionally-designed logo, you can feel confident using it on your fitness marketing materials (like fitness leaflets or flyers) to easily (and inexpensively) boost your branding and professional appeal.

  • Refrigerator magnet

  • Pens

  • Aluminium water bottles

  • Fitness towels

  • Branded shirts for your staff

  • Car magnet

  • Professional logo design

Unfortunately many fitness professionals 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 using gym leaflets or flyers!

gym in town

3. Create a great special offer that attracts people to come in

A special offer has two 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 members to try what you’ve got!

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 up-sell and turn into loyal members.

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

  • FREE gym services (classes, tanning, equipment orientation, personal fitness plan)

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 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) is consistency.

People need you already you just need to remind them to come in and try you (vs. your competitors!).

Whatever fitness marketing ideas you try, remember these two rules for winning the grow-your-gym game:

  • Reach prospects first

  • Reach prospects Often

5. Target your ideal prospects with direct mail to generate high 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.  

Mailing fitness postcards to every single person in your entire area can get expensive especially if you live in a densely populated area, like London, for example.

You should choose your prospects (and therefore, future gym members)!

Consider 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.

See which kinds of individuals and/or partnerships net you the most clients and ongoing revenue.

Evaluate who your ideal clients are and mail gym leaflets or flyers to people just like them.

That way you’re only paying to advertise to people who will become clients and stick and stay.

List out the characteristics of your ideal clients (income, geography, individual vs. business, etc.), and then buy a targeted mailing list.

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.

Some softwares even allow people to pay for services online (such as, if you offer tanning, personal trainer services, or have class fees).

7. Update your online listings to reach 93% of online prospects

As many as 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, according to Search Engine Journal. That’s almost all of them.

This means that many of the people who receive your fitness flyers will search for you by name and head directly to your website.

Many of your prospects will aslo simply search online for what they need, like:

“ Gym in [your town].”

They’ll see several listings, many of which will be search-and-review sites, like:

Google

Bing

Yellow Pages

Make sure you’re listed on those sites, too — and that your business profile is,

  • Correct

  • Up-to-date

  • And filled with photos of your club

Or…

You risk losing all of those prospects to your competitors.

Remember, don’t just sign up for these online review accounts and think you’re done…

Keeping your listing current means setting aside time to upload new photos regularly and asking your happy customers to leave you a review on the site. This is a perfect side job for your receptionist, by the way! 

After you’re done updating your online listings, you need to address your website

8. 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 should be 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

  • How to contact you.

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!).

If your website isn’t set up to generate you leads (and sales), it’s basically a waste of money.

9. Avoid losing 96% of hard-earned leads with fill-in forms on your website

You’ve gone to the trouble and expense to generate a lead with your gym flyers or other gym marketing ideas. Again, the majority of those people are headed straight for your website.

But most of those visitors are not yet ready to become a customer.

So what then?

They leave your website and go on with their lives…

But when they’re ready to confront joining a gym, will they remember you?

To maximise your fitness marketing budget, you need to capture the identity of those interested prospects (meaning, all of them!), so you can follow up with them regularly and therefore, ensure your prospects never forget you.

That way, when they want to join a gym or club, they don’t hesitate to call you!

Lead capture forms work because online visitors don’t need to hunt for a way to contact you.

Prospects don’t have time to figure out how to contact you. Especially when your competitor is just one click away!

So make sure your lead capture form:

  • Uses an eye-catching colour that makes it stand out.

  • 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, one week of free workouts!  

10. Google listing to generate FREE leads from Google

Register for a FREE Google My Business account

You need to make sure you have this data entered correctly, specifically:

  • Your business’s actual name

  • Address (Google will verify it by sending you a postcard)

  • Phone number

  • Hours of operation

  • Category of your business.

You’ll also manage and respond to any Google reviews from your Google My Business account.

Make sure you keep all your contact information updated in your Google My Business account since inaccurate information about you will actually prevent Google from bringing up your business in searches.

So if your address or hours change (like for holidays) make sure to update it in Google My Business.

Nothing is more annoying for prospects to look you up on Google, drive to your business, and discover that you’re actually closed when your information on Google said you were open.

Another benefit to keeping your business’s information totally up-to-date is you’ll be found easier on Google Maps, which 86% of people use to find the location of a business.

When someone uses Google Maps to search for a gym close to them, your correct and updated information on the internet (definitely including in Google My Business) will enable your ranking in Google Maps to be higher than those other business owners who didn’t take the time.

Google My Business

11. Reach 80% of potential customers on Facebook

Facebook marketing is becoming more and more popular every year, and with good reason.

It’s a huge opportunity for your fitness marketing! However, many business pages’ organic reach (that’s how many people you can reach for free) have declined sharply. That means you have to pay up for an ads

We recommend running Facebook ads at the same time you’re mailing your fitness flyers because you can match your Facebook ad’s special offer and design with that of your fitness postcards campaign.

Whether your prospects receive your fitness flyers in the mail OR they see your matching ads on Facebook, they see a cohesive marketing message.

This coordination of mailing gym flyers plus simultaneously showing matching ads online in Facebook newsfeeds gives your prospects the perception that your business is everywhere and the number one gym in your area.

Your business can simultaneously target prospects with:

  • Direct mail

  • Google ads (across thousands & thousands of internet websites)

  • Facebook ads

Essentially your marketing will be shown everywhere your prospects already spend the vast majority of their time, generating the following:

  • Calls to your business 

  • Clicks to your website 

  • Millions of online impressions

12. Ask for referrals since 92% of people trust them

According to a recent report by 92% of people trust referrals from people they know.

So you need to get your clients promoting your gym to their friends and family members, thus generating you free leads.  

Offer your clients something valuable in exchange for referring people to your gym.People are more inclined to do something if there’s an incentive on the table.

Here are a few examples of what you could offer in exchange for referrals:

  • Free smoothie or juice (if you have a café on site)

  • Discount (% or £ off) your shop (if you have one)

  • Free towels for 1 month

  • Gift certificate to juice bar or tanning salon in your town

  • Free two hour personal training session

  • Free yoga class

  • £5 off local organic café

  • Free gym t-shirt

  • Money off membership fees

A referral from an existing happy client is essentially a free lead for your gym. Plus, it’s a member likely to stick and stay if their pal is already exercising with you! 

Here’s how to promote your referral program:

  • Show it on your website with a special graphic

  • Promote it on social media

  • Have referral hand-out cards (for easy promotion)

  • Post signs at your front desk

  • Post signs in your locker room

  • Get your staff talking about it to clients!

Gym classes

13. Attract 75% more of your potential customers with Google Pay-Per-Click ads

As mentioned before 93% of online experiences start with a search engine.

Unfortunately, only 75% of those people will scroll past the first page of results, according to HubSpot.

With Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, your fitness marketing appears above both the Google Maps results AND the organic listings when people search for your services.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

What’s great about PPC is that you only pay when someone clicks on your gym ads!

What’s not so great is that it’s complicated.You can easily waste money on unqualified clicks (when people click on your gym ads so you have to pay, but they’re not qualified leads who are likely to turn into memberships).

With PPC ads, you bid on keywords, like “best gyms” or “24-hour gyms.” Google AdWords (Google’s PPC platform) will suggest a bid for you, but you can actually bid however much you want.

Your cost per click is determined by many factors — your bid being just one — such as:

  • How relevant Google thinks your website is to your targeted keyword

  • “Dwell time” on your website (how long visitors stay there once they click on your gym ads)

  • Your conversion rate (how many visitors take your desired action, such as filling out your lead capture form)

When you’re first starting out with PPC, I recommend setting a budget (£15 a day) and playing around with your gym ads to see what gets the best results.

Remember that the most clicks isn’t necessarily the best result. You pay for each click, You want to make sure those clicks are converting into leads!

Here are a couple of tips:

  • Create a dedicated landing page for each ad that is a clear continuation of the message on your ad (if your ad says “£0 sign-up fees!!” but your landing page says “5% off,” people will click away faster than you can say “Good-bye, lead!”

  • Make sure your landing page has a lead capture form

  • Add call extensions to your ads (either your phone number or a “click to call” button for mobile ads) and the people who are ready to call can do so without you being charged for the click!

Managing a PPC campaign can feel like a full-time job. So, it’s honestly probably worth it to hire a PPC professional to do it for you.

14. Use your blog to generate more leads

Publishing helpful articles on your gym’s blog can actually generate up to 4.5 times more leads than businesses who don’t utilize this necessary resource, according to Hubspot.

Here are some fitness marketing ideas and tips to write about on your blog

Listen to your current clients.

And answer these questions:

  • What do your clients (and prospects) need help figuring out?

  • What questions do they have about their health?

  • What helpful content can you write about that’ll convince readers you’re an expert authority?

  • What tips are you constantly giving to clients that you could publish online?

  • What healthy recipes do friends ask you for constantly?

Your blog is factually a resource page where you answer FAQs.

15. 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 weekly get-together online (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

  • Host breathing classes for soon-to-be new parents

You can even bring in special speakers to your gym to share helpful tips on self-development, healthy eating, and more!

16. Post pictures and videos on your social media profiles to help generate leads

Social media is a free 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 

  • Fun events you’re hosting

  • Videos of clients or staff 

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!

gym fitness

17. Reach out to other similar businesses and form partnerships

What other businesses specifically know prospects who need and want a gym?

Try these:

  • Physical therapists

  • Nutrition shops

  • Health stores

  • Sports shops

  • Fitness clothing stores

  • Chiropractors

If you’re not in the loop with your local business networking meeting, this is a great place to rub elbows with other local businessmen and women too and make sure you have plenty of gym marketing materials on hand to hand out to people you meet or network with.

18. Close up to 80% more sales by automatically following up with leads

The majority of the leads you generate will probably not close on the first attempt. They’ve asked you how it works when hiring a personal trainer at your gym.  You answer their question, of course.

Then…Silence.

You email them, maybe call them (if they provided a phone number), and still no word back. No membership yet.

So 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 sequence 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.

If you want a done-for-you email marketing solution, you can use Revival Media Groups email marketing services.

19. Track your results like a gym marketing expert                                                                                            

Only tracking will show you what parts of your gym marketing creates leads (and sales).

  • Gather all vital information from prospects calling in

  • Find out what marketing they saw

  • And ensure if they don’t book an appointment to come in, that you collect their email address to follow up with them

Another way to track:

Google Analytics — a free tool from Google that tracks the following:

  • Who visits your website

  • Where they’re from

  • What pages they visit

  • How long they stay there

  • And much more!

Let’s say you mail out 5,000 gym flyers, and you check your Google Analytics account and notice 500 people visited your website, with 100 people landing and spending 1-2 minutes on your “About Us” page.

But, maybe only 5 people made it to your contact page to actually contact you and become real leads.

Why not put a pop-up form or lead capture form on that “About Us” page to capture more of the leads — automatically by the way — who read all about you, and turn them into tangible leads!

However, the most important metric to track is Return on investment

The ultimate measurement of all your fitness marketing efforts = how much sales they generate for your business.

Consistency of marketing can make or break your campaign’s results, not to mention your budget.. So whatever fitness marketing you do, make it consistent, and you will see your business grow.

To find out more about how the Revival Media Group could help your business, or to arrange an initial meeting, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our fitness marketing experts on:

0800 030 6924

If you would like any further information about our two week free trial offer please leave your details below and one of our fitness marketing experts will be in touch