When it comes to running a successful fitness studio, the key is to work smarter, not harder. Having a few great processes nailed down helps your gym operate at maximum capacity, which means more customers — and more money — for you. Here are 3 processes that’ll help your fitness studio become way more efficient when it comes to growth and scalability.
1. Lead Generation
Every fitness studio needs a constant flow of new leads, or people interested in your workout service, to stay in business. There are a ton of different avenues you can generate leads from, but we’ve found the most success with Facebook advertising, customer referrals, and referral partnerships.
Facebook ads make up nearly 8% of the global digital advertising market. And with 1.71 billion monthly active users, there’s virtually no limit to the number of potential new members for your fitness studio. Before advertising, you’ll need to set up your advertising account and determine your daily budget (you can spend anywhere from $5-$30/day). Next you’ll need a great offer that will entice people into your studio, like 1-2 free weeks.
But paid advertising isn’t the only way to bring in leads. In fact, 65% of new business actually comes through referrals, so you’ll need a good system in place for recruiting these referrals into customers. When people sign up, ask if they have a friend or spouse who would enjoy working out at your studio as well. Ask them to bring that person with them for their next workout, or get permission to add them to your mailing list, and have your salesperson follow up with them frequently (see No. 2).
You should also take the time to develop strong referral partners. These are businesses who serve the same clientele as you. This relationship should be mutually beneficial — they send you customers when they can, and you do the same.
So if you’re a personal trainer, you might find a great referral partner in a local health foods store. You can recommend that your customers check out the health foods store for all of their meal-prepping supplies, and the store can recommend that its patrons check out your training services.
Once someone expresses interest in working out at your studio, they become a lead. It’s super important to follow up with them ASAP — while they’re still in the “yes” mindset. Call them within 5-15 minutes to schedule their first visit.
Sometimes you won’t reach the person on the first call. When this happens, don’t give up — 80% of sales happen somewhere between the 5th and 8th touch, so reach out to them again and again until you make contact OR they say they’re no longer interested. And don’t forget to use every method available to you, including emails and text messages.
One of the fitness studios in our Fit FLAVER program put together a great process for following up with new leads that spans the course of 2 weeks:
- Within 24 hours: A staff member calls the lead to schedule their first visit.
- Within 48 hours: If the team was unable to reach the lead via phone the day before, a text is sent to the number the lead used to claim the offer. The team also sends an email.
- Within 72 hours: If the team hasn’t made contact yet, they make a second phone call.
- Within 96 hours: The staff sends a second text and email.
- Day 6: After waiting 2 days, the team calls and emails again.
- Day 7: If the lead doesn’t respond, the team sends another text message.
- Day 8: The team sends another email asking if the person still wants to use their free pass.
- Day 9: The team makes a final phone call.
- Day 10: The team sends a final text message.
- Day 11: If the lead hasn’t responded to any of the team’s contact attempts or asked them to stop, they are added to the monthly newsletter email list so that they continue to see the fitness studio’s brand in their inbox.
This is a great example of a thorough sales process that utilizes every method of contact available to the studio. But when you have 40 people a day opting in to your offer, you may find this process too time-consuming. You can streamline it by using canned email templates and text replacements. This lets you welcome leads to your studio in a matter of seconds, giving them a top-notch customer care experience from day 1, and giving you more time to focus on your customers.
Here’s how to set up a text replacement:
3. Automated Nurturing
In a perfect world, every new person who visits your studio for the first time purchases a membership on the spot. In the real world, most people need more time before they buy. So implement a process that builds trust … which comes from familiarity.
Make sure that whatever offer you promote has an automated nurture process behind it. This way, when someone takes your studio up on that free week or unlimited month for $35, they’ll get an awesome confirmation and outreach from your team without you needing to personally invest any more time.
Depending on what tools your studio uses (like Infusionsoft, Mailchimp, or Mindbody), you can send them a scheduled series of automated emails called a drip that reminds them to take advantage of their free pass. Your studio keeps showing up in their inbox and keeps you at the forefront of their mind … all without manually reaching out to them aside from your personal sales process.
Facebook retargeting is another huge part of the trust-building process. Have you ever visited a website or landing page online and after you leave the site, you see that company’s ads everywhere? That’s retargeting, and it’s an awesome way to get your fitness studio noticed. You keep showing your brand to anyone who clicked your original ad or landing on a specific page, but hasn’t yet purchased a membership with your studio.
Retargeting ads should look different from your original ad that attracts a lead — you can keep the same image for brand consistency, but change the accompanying text to remind people that they’ve seen you before. To give you an idea of what this looks like, here is one of the retargeting ads we build for our customers:
You can show retargeting ads to your audience for up to 6 months, which has the same effect as the email drip. You’re always on your leads’ radar. But this is special because it shows up more places (Facebook and Instagram!).
But here’s the thing. The more time you spend on the operations side of your business, the less time you spend on your passion of getting your customers awesome results with your workout. We get that.
That’s why these processes not only make your fitness studio run smoother, but they also give you more time to do what you love: Help people live a healthy lifestyle through fitness.
But we also know that you don’t have a ton of excess time to implement these processes. So if you’re interested in learning more about how some of this can be done for you, let us know. When you book a demo we’ll show you the exact ads, emails, and campaigns we build for our fitness customers — processes that have generated 62 new members in 5 weeks, a 2,100% Facebook ROI, and more. Let’s be efficient!
Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.
Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.