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The fitness market is completely saturated, I won’t lie to you.
Does that mean you still can’t succeed? Of course not…
In this article I’m going to talk you through my top 10 online marketing strategies that you SHOULD be using to promote your fitness business, whether you’re a gym owner, run a fitness bootcamp, or are just looking for some more personal training clients.
Ditch the flyers and start using these strategies to get more clients or members this week.
1: Know your client
If you work in the fitness industry, you should be able to answer the question ‘who’s your ideal client’ without a second’s thought.
You can’t please everyone, niching down is the best way to resonate more with prospects, and charge high prices for your services.
Unless you’ve got a thriving business and are ready to expand, then this is possibly the most crucial strategy of all.
Think about your top three ideal clients to work with, then on a piece of paper, write down their biggest struggles, and why YOU are the solution to that.
This will help you when it comes to attracting that type of client.
2. Create relatable content
Now you’ve got your ideal client in mind, you should be creating content relevant to them.
Facebook posts, videos, emails, blogs, whatever it is YOU enjoy doing, do that.
We’re constantly hearing about the Facebook algorithm and how it’s providing video content with more reach, but if you don’t enjoy creating video content, then choose the method that you enjoy the most.
Just make sure it’s relevant to your target audience. The best way to find out what your audience wants to hear is 1. Ask them, and 2. use tools such as answer the public to find commonly asked questions.
If you have an adwords account, then you can use a tool called Keywords Planner to find out the top searches around your niche. Then create content that answers those questions. If you don’t, go and set one up!
3. Run fitness bootcamps
Running fitness bootcamps is a great way to get people into the gym. It’s enough commitment for people to get quick results, but not too much of a commitment for them to lose interest.
Your bootcamp should…
- have 2-3 sessions per week
- be around 4 weeks in length
- cost £100 or less
- have a fitness test at the beginning at end
4. Collect email addresses
ALWAYS collect email addresses for future marketing. Even if someone doesn’t join initialy, it doesn’t mean they never will.
If you have their email address you can send them an email every time you have an offer or event of some sort which might entice them to change their mind.
You can even have something free to give away to people in return for their email address, such as a ‘nutrition cheat sheet’ or ‘4 week fat blast’… you get the idea. In marketing we call this a lead magnet.
5. Offer a free week trial
Give new members a chance to come and try our multiple classes before they join. The best way to do this is by providing an entire free week.
Get them in for their first session and then suggest a second class they could attend based on their ability and interest. The conversation could go something like this…
“Thanks for coming today Sally, I hope you enjoyed the session. We have a class on wesnesdays which I think would be perfect for you, it’s got a little more functional resistance training, want to give it a try?’
6. Make them feel welcome
When we talk to gym owners, often the first problem we address is their process of welcoming a new member. When someone comes in for their first free session, make them feel part of the gym already. Welcome them as soon as they walk through the door and introduce them to other members of the gym.
Leaving the client to wonder around not knowing where to go or who to talk to is possibly the quickest way to ensure they never return. Welcome them when they turn up, and ensure you have 10 minutes after the session to talk to them and come to one of three decisions.
- The gym isn’t for them
- They want to book in a second session
- They are ready to join.
If they say “I’ll think about it..” it’s a no, trust me.
7. Have a clear call to action on your website or landing page
you need a clear call to action. If you’re relying on prospects to call you up and book in a slot, then you’re losing out on a lot of business.
Think about the action you want people to take when they visit your site, and make that action easy for them. For example, below is a landing page we built for a client. We’re driving traffic to that page and it’s converting at a high rate because it’s quick and easy for the prospect to submit their information, and we’re not overloading them with information.
Then you can follow them up with a call and get them booked in for their session without them needing to take action first.
8. Promote referrals
I can’t tell you how powerful referrals are for your business. All it takes is for one person in your gym to tell their friend to join and you’ve got yourself a new member.
If you’re not getting referrals then it’s most likely down to one of two reasons:
- Your service is not good enough ( yet ? )
- You’re not asking enough or making a good enough offer
Get your clients amazing results/ treat them like celebrities, text them, send them cards, and they will WANT to get you referrals. Offer them 50% off there next month PER referral (this awesome for bootcamps)
If you’re in PT, money probably won’t tempt them… Buy them some restaurant vouchers for a referral and then drop that into conversation with your ‘other clients’ casually.
9. Use Facebook to market your business
There’s no way I can cover Facebok advertising in one blog post, so I recommend you read a case study from a gym campaign we recently did which generated thousands in revenue from just a few hundred pounds in ad spend. Click here to read the full case study.
But put simply, you should be using Facebook ads to generate more leads to your business.
10. Use video testimonials
Video testimonials are extremely effective and embed trust in prospects which is a critical part of the marketing process.
Chat with your best and longest members, and just ask them…
“Hey Sue, we’re trying to promote our new bootcamp and it would be amazing if you would record us a 30 second testimonial for us! You don’t have to obviously..”
90% of clients will say yes.
Ok, let’s summarise…
Probably a bit of content overload… right?
Let’s summarise all of those points:
- Know your client – Think about your best client in the gym, what are their goals, and what do they struggle with?
- Create relatable content – Create content relevant to your ideal client.
- Run fitness bootcamps – run bootcamps 2-4 times a year, 4 weeks, for less than £100 to attract more members to your gym.
- Collect email addresses – People might not be ready to join right now, but it doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Collect their email address to you can email them with future promotions and events.
- Offer a free week trial – Give people a chance to try multiple classes before they join.
- Make them feel welcome – First impressions are everything, so make sure when people first turn up at your gym they feel welcomed and instantly part of the team.
- Have a clear call to action on your website – Have an obvious call to action on your website such ‘click here for your free week’, and then take their contact information.
- Promote referrals – ASK you members to refer you, and reward them… chances are they will.
- Use Facebook to market your business – You SHOULD be using Facebook to generate more leads to your business.
- Use video testimonials – these are powerful and should be used in your marketing campaigns.
Facebook now has nearly 2 billion users, so you SHOULD be advertising your local business on there.
The fact of the matter is, you can pay thousands on flyering, newspaper ads, attending events, but you never truly know your return from that effort. I.E. how many people came to your local business and bought your product or service as a result of that marketing.
Facebook allows you to do just that, in fact, it takes it the next level.
With facebook we can see how much you’ve spent, how many people have engaged with that ad, how many people have clicked on it and, of course… how many people have taken your desired action, whether it be to visit your website, sign up, or purchase!
So Why Isn’t Everyone Using It?
According to a new survey of small business owners from Weebly, a DIY drag and drop web design company, 62 percent say their paid ads on Facebook are missing the target.
So in this article I’m going to go through the steps you need to take to get your first customer using Facebok advertising…
Step #1: Set Up Your Business Manager
I know it can be tempting to hit that big blue ‘boost post’ button on your Facebook Business page, but this is NOT a good strategy.
Let’s face it, Facebook wants you to spend money, so it’s going to make it as easy as possible for you to run ads.
However, using this function gives us limited targeting ability, and we want to be able to really target the people interested in our business!
Go to business.facebook.com and set up your Facebook business manager, or you can just click the drop down menu on the right hand side of your Facebook business page and click ‘manage ads’:
You may need to select the ad account you want to work on. If you have access to more than one ad account, you’ll see those in the top left corner of your screen inside Facebook ads manager:
If this is your first time using Facebook Advertising, you might need to fill out some basic information, such as payment information and currency.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go!
Hit that ‘create’ button in the top left corner and let’s set up our first Facebook advert, and get some customers!
Step #2: Plant Your Pixel
I remember when i started running my first ever Facebook ads. I wasn’t using the Facebook pixel… in fact, I had no idea what it was or how it worked.
The Facebook pixel is ABSOLUTELY essential if you want to be running traffic to a website or landing page.
Think of it like your Facebook brain. It will learn over time, and inevitably improve the performance of your ads.
The pixel is used in three main ways:
- Reporting & performance measurement.
- Remarketing – Create audiences of all those who have taken certain actions on your site.
- Optimisation – Use your pixel data to optimise your campaigns.
If this is all totally new to you, that’s ok. I suggest you go and read some of our other blogs so you can get a better idea of how it works.
But for now, just get it installed.. Firstly, hit the drop down in the top left of your ad manager:
Then click the ‘All tools’ button, to expand the options:
Click on ‘Pixels’ under ‘measure and report’ to open up your pixel options.
Next up, you’ll see the following page… just click ‘create a pixel’
Name your pixel.. then next up comes the techy part.
Now you need to head over to your website and paste that pixel code into the <head> of your website.
Just click to copy, and then send that code either over to your developer, or if you have a wordpress website, just read this blog to find out how to do it. It’s super easy!
Ok, now it’s time to get going!
Step #3: Choose Your Objective
There are three tiers to a Facebook advert:
- Campaign level – Objective: what do you want your advert to achieve?
- Ad Set level – Who do you want to target? how much do you want to spend? Where do you want your ad to show up?
- Ad level – Image / Video, Caption, Headline, links…
Let’s start at campaign level, where we’ll choose ultimately, what we want our facebook promotion to do for our business.
There’s several different objectives you can use, each with their own benefits.
For this, we will stick with the Traffic objective. What this means, is that Facebook will go out and find all the people within your audience that it thinks will most likely want to visit your website. (It will use your Facebook pixel to optimise for this)
Step #4: Choose Your Audience
As this article is for local businesses, your audience is more or less decided for you.
You’ll want to be targeting people who are within a certain radius of your business. Unless you have some key targeting features, such as age, gender, etc… for example, if you’re in real estate, you may want to only target home owners, I would stick to broad targeting, until you have some data to run with.
So we’re going to going to go with everyone within 15KM who is within 18 and 55 years old, as you can see below. We have a nice sized audience of 150,000. The broader the better, as if this ad works, you’ll want to be able to scale it up and increase your budget over time!
Remember, we’re not adding any specific targeting here, but if you were, you would want to add that in here:
P.S. Keep expand interests unticked..
For this campaign, we’ll also leave placements on automatic.
Step #5: Create Your Ad
Next up, choose the page you want to represent:
You’ll need to be admin or advertiser of the page.
Then go ahead and choose the type of ad you want to use…
If i went through each and every ad we would be here all day. We’re going to stick with single image ads for this campaign. That’s just a clickable image, with a headline, and a caption.
Next up, upload your image, choose your caption, headline, and the website URL you would like to send traffic to, and you’re good to go!
Step #6: Test Your Creative
You can run multiple variations of your ad to the same audience to see which works best!
Or duplicate the ad in the ad manager, and create the variations you want to test. This can either be image, headline, or caption. We recommend keeping this simple.. so maybe just test the image / headline for now.
Step #7: Optimise And Scale
Right, now your ad is up and running! You should be able to see it inside your ads manager:
I suggest leaving it running for a few days to really test. Once it’s been running, come back to the ad to see how it’s done!
You can even see the exact metrics you want by clicking on ‘columns’, and then ‘customize columns’.
If you think you have an ad you think is performing well, gradually increase the budget by between 20 & 50% at a time.
Running Facebook ads is simple, however, it takes time to master them. Take the time, and don’t be put off if you don’t see results instantly!
If your ad didn’t perform the way you wanted it to, duplicate the campaign, and try again with a different message, offer, and creative!