Marketing your gym is an ongoing process. Placing an advertisement periodically here and there will not be enough for your business to survive. You always have to be proactively thinking about the next promotional idea, slogan, or campaign. There are a handful of ways that are cost efficient and will effectively promote your gym business your within your immediate target area. Here 10 ways to help get you started.
Simply choose a charitable event or charity organization and do short term and long term promotions. A short term promotion idea would be to donate all new members’ first month dues or signup fees to the Wounded Warrior Project on Veteran’s Day. A long term example would be to host a running program dedicated to get your members in shape for the WWP 8K Run. Then offer 50% of the proceeds for the running program to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. On the day of the run, you can also supply your gym brand running apparel for even greater recognition!
2. Sponsor an athlete, bodybuilder, or beauty pageant contestant that works out at your fitness center.
You can do this in a number of different ways. To start, you can offer them free branded gym products to use and wear during their performance or competition. If the free products are not enough incentive, you can always offer free membership and/or training packages in exchange for them becoming a walking billboard for your gym. They do not have to be a professional in their field or even have to win the competition in order to make an impact. Just the mere association of your gym’s name will give you a good promotional boost.
3. Submit press releases.
Approach your local newspapers and magazine companies. You can generally do this by going online to their websites. Most will have a “submit press release” link or a “new tip” link. At the very least, you can still contact them via email and attach your written press release. You can submit press releases on topics relating to the considerable benefits of working, or write about any specific noteworthy accomplishments of your fitness center or those accomplishments of someone that works out at your fitness center. Press releases are generally not a platform to directly promote your gym but simply have it become more recognizable within your community.
4. People love freebies.
Offer free personal training, nutritional counseling, or smoothies. Offer whatever you can to get them interested in your business. Don’t forget that with free stuff you give away, you are also giving away your first impression of customer service. You have to show member prospects that you are genuinely interested in their health and fitness and that you stand behind your gym business. You can do so by assuring them that they have nothing to lose by trying out your services. Talk to them and engage them in about the immense benefits that can be derived from regularly working out in a social and accountable environment. With the freebies, genuine interest, and excellent customer service, they will surely come back for more.
5. Flyer campaigns every 3 months.
Although this seems like such a simple concept, do not under estimate the drawing power of flyers. People are usually drawn by flyers. People have something to touch and carry with them as reminders. Make sure that your flyer design is attractive and contains factual details. Don’t forget to offer an incentive that has a deadline
6. Get involved in your community.
Find out local community events that deal with health and fitness. Volunteer, and set up a booths. If you are consistent with this, your exposure will accomplish brand recognition.
7. Have a stack of business card always with you.
You will never know when you will need them. Every time you hand your business card to a person, that person becomes a potential customer. Even as a customer yourself at the local business surrounding your gym, you will make small talk that will eventually may lead to an offer to leave cards at their front station. Make sure that these business cards offer an incentive to come into the gym to check it out. Also be sure to offer the same to your business neighbors and leave some of their business cards at your reception area too.
8. Get a Sign Spinner!
What better way to promote your gym than to get a mascot to spin your sign. If your gym doesn’t have a mascot uniform or costume, then get one. Hire a sign spinner to dance and workout on the corner while spinning your fitness business sign. This is both fun and attention grabbing. It will also make your business unique from the gym down the street.
9. Social media.
I just saw an episode of Shark Tank the other night and the sharks ripped into the creator of PetPaint, not because they thought he had a bad product, but because of the way he DID NOT market it. He failed to use the internet and social media outlets to sell. In this day and age, this is now marketing 101. If you do not have a website and use social media, potential offers and prospects will swim right past you, will the sharks tear right into you.
10. Never underestimate the power of WOM.
WOM stands for word of mouth. Although this is the most potent type of free promotion, it is also one that may have you work the hardest and the longest for. Your customers will give outstanding reviews of your gym but this will require time. You first have to earn their trust and loyalty. After staying true to your word, providing excellent customer service, and genuinely showing interest in their health and fitness goals, they will recommend your services to their friends and family.
Over to you…
What are other cost effective promotions that have worked for you?