Often gym owners don’t have a huge budget to spend on their marketing exploits. In fact, most gym owners don’t have a marketing plan let alone a marketing budget. If this is the case for you then it’s time to reassess where you are spending your money. Marketing is definitely something that should be part of your budget. When done right the amount you spend on marketing should give you a significant return on investment.
Marketing can be a confusing beast. They are many different ways that you can go about getting your name out there, sharing your message, and attracting people to your gym. Honestly, it can be daunting and frustrating.
Before you start any marketing take the time to first:
- Define your overall marketing goals,
- Define your specific marketing targets for each marketing activity, and
- Create a system to test and measure your marketing activities.
Even after you’ve covered the basics marketing and advertising can be an expensive undertaking. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you are tracking your results and only continue with activities that are providing a return on your investment.
The remainder of this article will introduce five Guerrilla Marketing ideas that you can market your gym without spending a fortune. These methods have been proven time and again. If you implement one or all properly you will get a result.
1. Create a content marketing plan
The internet is a wonderful thing. It gives you the opportunity to get your ideas in front of millions of people. And let’s be honest you only want a small slice of that pie. So, start sharing your ideas. You can create blog posts, e-books, videos, webinars, podcasts and much more.
You can create content about almost anything, but be smart about it. Consider what will entice people to want to know more about you and your gym.
You can create a huge online footprint by syndicating your content. With very little effort you can give the impression that you are everywhere. Any content that you create once can be sliced and diced and repurposed. If you create a video, you can post that video to multiple platforms, you can have the transcription used as a blog post or e-book, you can strip the audio and upload to Soundcloud or a similar service. The options are almost endless.
2. Offer free workshops
There seems to be an aversion to offering free services. Traditionally people have thought that this somehow diminishes the value of what they provide. It’s simply not true. You can offer free information without giving the whole game away. Here’s the trick: show them the “what” and not the “how.”
One great way to get people into your gym is by offering free workshops. Simply, uncover the kind of topics people are struggling with and create a seminar or workshop that covers that topic. Here are some ideas: preparing healthy meals in a busy life, treating joint pain with movement, or how to reduce body fat without fad diets.
You could offer a free workshop every month. Get your clients to help promote it. Advertise on Facebook. Get the word out into the local community (you might even get media coverage).
Be sure to get the contact details of everyone that attends. This allows you to follow-up and answer any additional questions, and also to sell them a service if it fits. And consider making an offer to your audience at the end of your presentation.
3. Create a referral network
Gym owners often think about creating referral programs for their members. It’s a good idea, often done badly. If you are going to create such a program make sure that it doesn’t come off as being condescending. Too many programs actually stop clients from referring.
An often overlooked way to get referrals is by creating networks with other businesses. As a gym owner there are complimentary businesses that can refer to you, and vice versa. So, have a think about the business around your area that you can form relationships with. A few places to start are: hairdressers, physiotherapists, massage therapists, nutritionists, and even doctors.
Before you approach someone to create a referral agreement, make sure you work out what is in it for them. Will you be able to reciprocate? Will you be able to help their clients? How can they benefit from the relationship?
Referral networks have to be nurtured. They take consistent effort but they can provide a massive boost to your business if done properly.
4. Set up a newsletter
The idea of a newsletter might seem archaic but if you do it right it can still work for you. You already have a database of names and email addresses. So, add them to a list and then let them know you’ll be regularly sending out awesome content in the form of a newsletter. It’s not the most original idea, but how many people do you know that are doing it? By being different you can stand out.
Sending a regular newsletter keeps you front of mind. It means that your clients and leads and your greater network know that you’re still around. And if you get the content right they will stay engaged and remain interested in what you have to say. When you have their attention you can remind them of your services.
Newsletters are a great way to show your expertise in certain areas, to promote your gym and to help people achieve their goals.
It won’t cost you anything to setup a newsletter if you use MailChimp. Just remember that you will have to remain consistent for this approach to work for you. It’s about more than just generating leads, it will help with client satisfaction too.
Ahem! Sign-up to my newsletter.
5. Become a follow-up superstar
Many sales are lost because gym owners and their staff are too lazy to follow-up. They make one call and if they don’t get through they forget about it. This is crazy. It often takes multiple contacts to make a sale. So, don’t give up too soon.
Create yourself a follow-up system and make sure that every single person that contacts you gets treated the same way. Make sure no one falls through the cracks. You can use phone, SMS, email and social media. Think outside the square and create a system that works for you.
You can even keep in contact with people who don’t buy. You don’t know whether they will buy later. So, stay in touch.
You now have five marketing tactics that you can put to work. Pick one and get started. Don’t try to implement them all at once. And remember that you have to have the basics in place first. Good luck.