As the proud owner of your very own gym business, did you secretly hope memberships would fly in the moment your doors opened? You’re not alone…
Because you’ve heard sayings like “build it, and they will come.”
But, that isn’t necessarily the reality.
You can have the world’s best studio with every piece of equipment, but without members using it, you’ll never make a profit. No profit, no progression.
What the saying should be is “build it, work on it, invest in it, master it, and they will come.”
How do you do this? By including marketing into your business plan. And we’re going to reveal 7 powerful marketing tips so you can sell more gym memberships.
Is Marketing A Cost Or An Investment?
Many gym owners and entrepreneurs groan at the concept of marketing, but having a solid marketing strategy is pivotal to success and owning a profitable business.
So, for your gym, marketing isn’t a cost. It’s an investment. Because when you’re marketing effectively, you’ll more than make your money back. The ROI of strong marketing is undeniable.
Email marketing alone has an average return on investment of 4200%. For every $1 a business spends on email marketing, the average return is $42. And that’s with only one marketing style.
As a gym and business owner, marketing gives you the maximum number of opportunities to sell more memberships. And that’s what it’s all about, right?
Powerful approaches will make your marketing strategy a success.
7 Powerful Tips to Maximize Your Marketing Strategy
1. Reverse Engineer Your Numbers
Before you pay a dime, you need to understand how much you’re willing to spend on marketing.
First, consider the number of members you’re willing to pay for. You’ll base your whole marketing strategy (and budget) around that magic number.
There’s a simple way of doing this. And, like all strategies, it involves working backward.
So, what does this look like in practice?
Every gym and every location will change the numbers. So, in this example, we will use the industry average. You can use this formula by adjusting the figures and adapting them for your business.
- Decide how many new members you need from this marketing campaign.
In our example, we’ll go with 25 new gym members.
Remember, these 25 members have shown up, tried your studio, and are now paying members.
- For that to happen, you need to understand what your closing is. With that figure, you can calculate how many people need to enter your studio and show up for an appointment.
The industry average for closing is around 50%. In our example, this means that it’ll net us 50 shows.
- We work backward again, constantly questioning ‘how did they get to this stage?’ followed by ‘how many need to do this?’
In our example, to show up to the appointment, the prospects must first book an appointment. (“How do they get to that stage?). We then calculate how many people need to have booked an appointment to gain our 50 shows. (“How many people need to do this?)
- Again, working with the industry average, this is generally around 50%, too. This means 50% of our 50 shows from the above book an appointment.
For those math whizzes out there, you’ll already know that this means we need to have booked 100 appointments.
Pro tip: Work on getting an online booking page where you can capture payments. Without one, you’ll find this statistic is lower.
- We then ask ourselves the magic question again: How do they get to that stage? How do we gain 100 booked appointments? The answer comes directly from your leads.
Follow this with your second question: “How many people need to do this?”.
It’s essential to consider your location at this stage. It varies significantly depending on where your gym is based. But, let’s make this simple and say 50% of your leads book an appointment.
- That leaves us with the number of leads we need. Our example shows that we need 200 leads to gain 100 booked appointments.
- This is where we tie it back to our marketing budget.
The industry average for fitness marketing is around $100 per acquisition. Meaning, you’ll want to invest roughly $100 per lead.
- We want 25 new members to come directly from our marketing campaign. So, we take those 25 leads and multiply them by 100. That’ll tell you that we need to invest $2500 to onboard 25 new members, and potentially gain 200 new leads, too.
Use this strategy to calculate your budget per member and discover how much you need to invest to gain the number of members you need for your gym to progress.
2. Understand the Purpose
Understanding the purpose of marketing a business is essential for creating an effective strategy that can help to achieve your desired goals. A key concept in marketing is understanding your target audience, so it’s important to have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach and what kind of message will resonate with them.
From there, you can develop an effective plan to optimize for conversions and keep customers engaged by leveraging different channels, such as social media, email campaigns, and content marketing.
You must be aware that marketing isn’t the solution to more memberships. Running a Facebook ad campaign isn’t the magic solution to a lack of clients.
What it is, though, is a method of gaining more opportunity for memberships. In short: marketing can start the job for you, but you and your sales team still need to finish it.
Fitness marketing is a valuable investment in your studio. You will make your money back. But, it can become a cost if you don’t work for it.
- Gives you visibility by creating an online presence to reach new potential customers and engage existing clients.
- Generating brand awareness and loyalty through campaigns that inform and educate about services, resources, and offerings.
- Connects you with your target audience.
- Building relationships with current customers to encourage loyalty and referrals.
- Gets people raising their hand asking for more information and benefits
- Enhancing the ability to make informed decisions about customer segments using data from digital marketing efforts.
- Driving higher-value business opportunities by connecting with key decision-makers in the industry.
But it doesn’t convert leads into members automatically.
While it’d be great if marketing were the go-to membership-generating machine, it’s crucial to appreciate marketing for the opportunities it presents.
You still need to have a great process in place to allow the leads who enter your funnel through your marketing to get closed, hyped up, and ready to work out in your studio.
3. Increase the ROI of Your Marketing
We already know that marketing isn’t the magic potion that’ll instantly grant you new members.
And, by now, you understand that marketing is the facilitator to new memberships rather than a machine. It presents far more opportunities to convert leads into paying clients.
But, there are ways to lessen the cost of your investment and maximize your results.
For this to happen, you must have outstanding member and guest experiences running to turn your leads that you’ve gained from your marketing campaign into paying members.
Once you have a smooth process, you can then influence them in your facility to strengthen your KPIs (key performance indicators) and statistics.
So, what does this look like?
Remember the example we ran through in our first tip? We decided we wanted to gain 25 new members from our marketing campaign. We discovered that we need to have a closing rate of 50% to do that.
But, you want to maximize the return on investment of your marketing.
So, you run some training sessions for your staff and invest in professional development. You teach them how to close sales effectively.
After those sessions, your closing rate bumps up to 60%. That 10% increase means that, instead of gaining 25 new members, which was your goal, you now earn 30 members. That’s a significant increase of +5 memberships.
By influencing the different stages that your marketing plan represents, you can maximize the impact and minimize the cost of lead per acquisition.
Be aware, though, that this also works in reverse. If you don’t have a flawless process or team members who can close the deal, you’ll need to invest way more into your marketing strategy to break even.
We can help train your team! Click the button below for more information!
4. Dominate Your Follow-Up Game
So many business owners miss out on valuable sales because they fear being ‘salesy’ or pushy. Because of their fear of aggravating potential customers, they sit back and do nothing, leaving the chance of a prospect becoming a member to chance.
Following up with prospects is not being pushy or salesy. Instead, it shows the individual that you care about them.
People remain at different stages of buyer awareness. Your prospects will be brand familiar thanks to your marketing strategy, making closing much more accessible than pitching to a cold audience.
However, people need between 5 and 12 points of contact from you (as a rule of thumb) before making a decision.
That could be in the form of an email, a telephone call, or even a DM on social media.
Here are some quick tips for successfully following up:
- Creating a system for constantly tracking and managing leads.
- Being timely with follow-up emails, calls, and other communication methods.
- Understanding how to use automation and personalization in outreach.
- Staying organized by keeping all contact information in one place.
- Becoming a trusted resource for potential customers through helpful content and resources.
However you choose to reach out, just make sure you follow up. Long term, if there is no follow up, you could be missing out on hundreds of new members.
We did a whole podcast about the follow-up process, watch it here!
5. Blow Them Away at Their First Visit
As we’ve said, your marketing won’t convert prospects into members. It may drive them toward booking an appointment at your studio, but if you don’t leave a lasting, outstanding impression, they won’t become members.
No amount of solid marketing can sell a bad product, which is why it’s so crucial to blow them away during their first visit to your studio.
Make them feel like there’s nowhere else they’d instead work out. You need to create a strong sense of belonging and show them that every member – every individual at your gym – matters.
People buy from people they trust. That’s not fitness industry-specific but rather applies to business in general.
When it comes down to it, your studio is a business, and the impression you give on their first visit is on a make or break basis.
Be friendly, introduce them to the team, show off the equipment, and convey the unique selling point of your studio. What does your gym have that the gym down the road (which is cheaper, by the way) doesn’t?
Before they arrive, refresh your memory with your gym’s core values. How do you want them to feel the moment they step foot in your studio?
Understand your demographic in depth. By doing this, you’ll know the benefits and features that genuinely matter to them, making closing far more effective.
6. Have Multiple Lines in the Water
Marketing opens up a whole new world of opportunities for you to make sure your business grows.
Many business owners make the mistake of targeting one marketing method, whether that be email marketing, social media marketing, or content marketing.
The best thing you can do as a gym owner is to make sure you have multiple lines in the water. The more lines, the more fish you’ll collect.
By doing this, you will maximize the number of leads you’re getting. And, the more leads you gain, the more opportunities you’ve won to convert them into members.
Check out our post on omnipresence and learn the secret to becoming the most popular gym within a 5-mile radius.
7. Capitalize on ‘Infinite Return’
Just like maximizing leads, you should also want to maximize your memberships.
We’re talking about a referral process.
Infinite return is not an option. It should be the option for your gym business. Why? Because you’ll end up with more members and less of a cost per lead. Again, you’re gaining so much more for your money.
When you create a positive impression and turn members into raving fans, every single person they talk to is a referral opportunity. Without a referral process, those opportunities go to waste.
Instead, optimize it. Let’s think about those 25 members we wanted to join our gym back in tip 1.
Let’s say that each of those 25 members gains us 2 leads per the referral process. You’ve now gained a much higher chance of signing more members, and your cost per acquisition lowers drastically.
If you’re not already doing so, make sure you have a solid referral scheme in place so you can really maximize the number of memberships and minimize your investment costs.
Use Marketing To Promote Your Benefits And Sell More Gym Memberships
Marketing offers you an invaluable source of leads. Gaining those leads, however, is only one part of the puzzle.
Be sure to follow our 7 tips to guarantee that your marketing investment stays just that: an investment. Don’t rely solely on your marketing campaigns. Instead, implement it as a key tool in your client generation machine, with the understanding that unless you flick the switch and add the other crucial parts, the device won’t function.
Remember always to reverse engineer your numbers to be data-informed about your marketing requirements, understand each campaign’s purpose, and maximize the impact through staff training and analysis of each crucial stage of your onboarding process.
Don’t forget that using follow-ups is not sleazy or pushy. You’re simply reminding them, giving them the contact they need to transform their lives.
And, when they walk through the door of your studio, pull out all the stops. Create a lasting first impression that’ll knock their socks off.
Make sure you’re making full use of the marketing opportunities you have available to you. Someone may be hanging out on Facebook, while another is constantly streaming YouTube videos. Don’t miss out on valuable potential members just because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead, make sure your gym is everywhere.
Finally, you’ll be throwing potential members away if you haven’t got a referral scheme in place. This is a clever way to maximize the number of leads you gain. Remember, people are continually reviewing. I bet you can think of a time last week where you recommended something – whether that’s a restaurant, a new piece of software, or a new product. And, usually, when we receive recommendations, if nothing else, they Google us.
This method promotes the amount of social proof you’ll gain, and trust us: you’d be mad not to!
Remember, marketing is NOT a cost… it’s an investment. Check out a summary of these tips in the video below:
Have questions about growing your gym business? Learn more by reaching out to our experts here.