Discussion 2: Social Media Strategist for the Fitness Gym Business
Help with marketing for my personal training gym?
Hey there! I own a small gym with some business partners and am going to be taking over marketing going forward (my only qualifications being I've been the most consistent out of our team so far).
We've been working with a fitness business mentor who has been helping us with marketing. I've also been reading some Alex hormozi and will check out the resources in the sidebar
That being said i am nervous to take on this new role and wanted to reach out and see if you guys could give any additional pointers/point me in the right direction for general marketing/email marketing skills
My little gym would be most thankful 🙏
Hey there, social media strategist here, I've worked with many startups and I can tell you for sure that you NEED to invest on an ad campaign but you should not be spending on ads unless you have a solid strategy. That's how most of my start up clients almost lost their businesses, they were just hoping for the best not following any strategy at all just throwing money and Facebook and seeing what sticks.
Work on putting yourself apart from your competitors, who are you targeting, why should your customers pay X amount to go to your small gym when they can go to another well known gym brand and probably get more bang for their buck.
This is crucial, you need to have the messaging clear moving forward. To be honest, email marketing still works, but honestly the biggest impact is made through social media nowadays, the rest is just a supplement for the retargeting campaigns.
For the next 2-3 months focus on developing your brand on Social Media Organically. Experiment with content pillars, build two or three personas, and build a hashtag library corresponding with those content pillars. Then keep good and detailed track of the numbers and try to break down the analytics in a way that makes sense to you. Once you are confident that you have found the content that resonated with your audience (usually anything above a 5% engagement rate) you can slowly start spending on ads. I've worked with some big influencers in the bodybuilding community, feel free to DM me if you have any questions!
Wow thanks for this!! I'll definitely look into content pillars for us and use these tips!
My biggest advice to market to a specific audience with a specific goal as much as possible. Many gyms, trainers, and gym owners want to cater to everyone. This is a mistake. Know who your target demographic is and go after them hard. Don't be making content for high school athletes one week, and soccer moms the next.
Hardcore fitness enthusiasts will be your most dedicated members, but are an extremely small pool of potential customers. They'll also be harder to sell because they can smell bullshit a mile away.
Marketing to the non-fitness enthusiast crowd has advantages: Can be sold very easily because they're usually desperate to try something that works, and are willing to spend money to have someone give them a solution, but the attrition rate will be worse. There's a reason they're out of shape, and the reason is themselves and their consistency.
On top of that, make sure you're marketing results and not services. This is another big mistake I see a LOT of gyms making. They talk about their equipment, their class schedule, the latest and greatest fad that they're implementing in their facility. Marketing with that stuff may bring you some short term results, but you can't build a legitimate business on that. Someone will always have newer equipment, and there will always be a new fad.
If you're going after soccer moms who feel bad about their bodies because they're overweight, sell community, friendly atmosphere, and weight loss results.
If you're going after hardcore powerlifters, sell hardcore atmosphere, big weights lifted by the members, etc…
Source: Been involved in the fitness industry since 1998, previously owned a boutique fitness facility, now do a lot of marketing for gyms and health related businesses.
Thanks for the advice! I should clarify my facility is small group training/personal training only with no general membership
Same advice applies
• What kind of membership packages do you have? This may seem like it's not part of marketing but everything is marketing IMO. You want a barebones tier that competes on price and a couple higher tiers that you make more money with and target people with more money and who don't mind paying more for say personal training and other ammenities.
• Allow people to sign up for memberships and cancel via your website. For in person sign up, you can just sit people down at a computer that lets them sign up via your website.
• Make sure you have conversion tracking properly set up so you know which marketing channels are driving revenue.
• If you have an ad budget, start with Google Search Ads since you'll be able to reach people at the point of intent; when they're searching for 'gym near me' for example.
• Employ best practices for organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO); don't forget a Google Business Profile.
• Expand to social ads as you make more money and your ad budget increases. This is more for filling top of funnel IMO, but can lead to some sales conversions.
• Look into automating Google and Yelp review collection from happy customers.
Hope that helps!
Definitely does thank you!
Hi! I worked with gym launch and hormozi when they first started for 2.5 years and eventually sold my gym at 175 members for a 6 figure deal, with 5 staff 4 PT's and 1 admin.
Think of marketing from both online and offline areas.
• local networking group – offer free 1 week trials. Then when they come in, line up their goal with a timed offer. "I want to lose 30lbs", "that's great sally, do you think you'll lose 30lbs in 7 days? Of course not. How long do you think it will take?" "I don't know, a year?" Your response," I'd say about 6 months to lose it, nice and slow, but more importantly, maintaining for another 6 months." Let's do this sally, we have a 6 month program, where you can lose 1lb a week, for 26 weeks, and that's right around your goal. Boom.
• syngeristic business partners. Massage, Chiro, smoothie shops, physical therapy. Tell them they can train for free (hopefully you have group training), but in return they will refer people, you gain access to their customers, and you can cross promote. Have a promo card or offer specifically for them. Makes it easier to track. "4 week intro for local business. And you split the promo money. Ex – charge 100, they get 50, you get 50. Makes them more compelled to push it. Pure profit for them. Great customer for you.
• health events – host speakers, free food, and workshop at the gym. Use the local relationships to market to bring people in. Then have the owners speak. Record the event. And add it to your online membership. And send the recordings to the other owners. This is amazing if you do it right.
• customer referrals – monthly challenges – we hosted every other month a 100-200(usd, depending on the month) monthly challenge. If a current member brings a guest, it's 50% off.
• ask for a friend or referral during point of sale
• ask for a referral when the member hits a goal … weight lost, sessions or classes attended, length of time. "Omg sally you've hit 6 months!" Take a picture. Share on social media. Grab a video testimonial. The. After ask "sally, do you know anyone (friend, family, coworker, only pick one when asking for a referral… who would want to try the next monthly challenge, this was amazing for us when growing organically")
Online Facebook ads – time + program offer – 7 day free trial, 21 day kick start, 4 week fat blast, 6 week jump start, 12 week transformation – sell for 100-500. Ad to landing page then call to book appt. And try to upsell. "One whole year for 1500-2000, and give them a % discount" 10-30% of front end will take the offer. You get all the money. They get a discount. Then use that to market more. Facebook group – email leads and prospects and educate them. Most people will need to warm up more before buying. IG story live workouts Facebook tips and tricks Educate – getting started? Mindset shifts – these were my favorite Nutrition education – did you know? Testimonials Case studies
If you need help with operations and systems. Dm me. More than happy to speak to and help a fellow gym owner.
Total sessions = total amount of revenue
People per session
4 R for staff – role, responsibility, result, revenue
My gym model – large group, small group, and semi private.
Discussion 1: To Explain To People That I Am a Worthy Fitness Personal Trainer
I'm a niche Personal Trainer, and yet I've found it hard to stand out
What separates me from the vast majority of other personal trainers, is that I'm a lifetime natural.
I have a decade's worth of first-hand experience in developing muscle and strength optimally without the aid of any performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
That is incredibly rare in my industry.
The issue is that the average joe doesn't know any better. They think their favourite athletes, movie stars, instagram models are all just hard-working, disciplined people, and that if this hard work and discipline is replicated, so will their results.
The truth however, is that all these movie stars and athletes and "fitness influencers" are on PEDs, and their results cannot be replicated without the use of PEDs.
As such, a natural's physique and strength will always pale in comparison, which is obviously a problem because phsyqiue and strength is what draws a potential client's attention in the first place.
There's just nothing exciting about showing off 16 inch arms at 20+ %bodyfat when all these PED users are showing off 18 inch arms at 10% bodyfat.
So I'm at a loss on what to do. My strategy so far has been to try to educate the masses, to teach them how to differentiate between people that use PEDs and people that don't, and then highlight what IS possible naturally, and then demonstrate how and why I'm the best person to help them actualize their potential.
But look at how difficult that is in comparison to drawing someone's attention by showing off a ripped physique. Not to mention that some people would rather reject the truth, because they don't want their dream physique goals to be crushed.
So what do I do here. Am I fighting a losing battle? I don't want to give up because I genuinely believe everyone has so much to gain from exercise and should incorporate it into their lifestyle, and I want to protect the people from all the scammy personal trainers out there, but I also need to be able to earn a living and competing against cheaters is making it very difficult for me and for the people that need proper support.
Any ideas? In any case, I'm grateful to be able to post this question here, many thanks for the creators and maintainers of this subreddit. I look forward to your feedback.
Hey there, social media strategist here.
I've built the brand of dozens of influencers some of them in the fitness/health categories. Here are some pointers that always help I your situation. The main "theme" of your brand should be that, being natural. I think there is a huge audiences that want to look as close as possible to movie stars, but are afraid/skeptical of steroids or any chemical enhancement.
If you are relatively new to the game, 80% of your resources/time should be spent experimenting with different type of content pillars, formats and platforms. If you know what you're doing and know how to read the numbers you will find an audience, or at least build some interest around you and your content. Then again experiment with the voice, the tone, being serious being silly. Once you got the voice and the content on point, or at least some tangible numbers, you can start looking at the visuals of your brand. What color palette best defines what I am trying to evoke/sale? This will take another round of experimenting and parsing through the data. Once all of that is done, 90%-95% of your content should be based round those three pillars, and 5% should be left for experimenting, trying to target another demographic. Essentially you are just seeing where another possible vein of followers/buyers might be. It's hard work, you gotta have patience but this method always works. Some of my clients have seen results in 12-18 months, going from 10-20K followers to hundreds of thousands. If you go the social media route (That's where nowadays you can reach your potential customers nowadays, specially for trainers). Go for short video content, it's doing amazing right now. Meta is trying to compete with TikTok and short vide content has been heavily prioritized/boosted in the algorithm. Remember to bring value to your followers, after that, converting them into clients will be 100 times easier.
It's all about if you have the patience and/or resources to make it happen. Feel free to DM me if you want more specific advice 🙂
Great advice. In your opinion, what's the value to a service-based in-person service (personal training) to growing a social media following? How do you convert that into paid clients?
• Partner with a gym. Instead of finding clients one-by-one, go to small, local gyms and ask if they can recommend your services for a fee — e.g. $10/client session.
• Market to women + over 50s. Your "natural" value proposition makes no sense to me because I do not live in a body-builder's world. Are steroids that common? Change up your value proposition to say you are safe, reliable, and can work with all abilities to reach their health goals; not strength or fitness goals. HEALTH goals. Doing so will make you more approachable to people who don't want to look like Thor, but still want to look after their health, safely.
I hear you. Problem is most gyms have their own trainers, but I guess I can still try..
I agree with your take on my natural value proposition, but changing it to a health value proposition isn't going to help me stand out.
I wonder if this means the best route I could take is one of education.. maybe I need to make that "natural" value proposition make sense to people..
Where are you advertising? Do you have a website? Do you do paid advertising or social media
Unless you're paying for social media ads, you won't break through the noise. I would create a Squarespace site and run a local paid search campaign– so when someone googles "Personal trainer, city" you will pop up.
Then, look up content marketing strategies to spread your message. A simple example is to focus on these four things:
• awareness: how to gain muscle naturally (download a fitness guide)
• interest: natural body building is better (get a meal plan)
• desire: how a personal trainer can help you get healthy naturally (book a consult)
• interest: contact me
Make sure you're collecting email addresses when they download, then put them in an email indoctrination that takes them through that journey, sending out tips and thoughts if they don't convert. Every email can have a "book an online consultation with me" Call to Action (CTA).
This way, you can control your online presence a bit more, build authority, and grow an engaged audience on your social channels.
Thanks for this, appreciate it
Your first few sentences are where you need work. Marketing is not about you. It's not about your qualifications, or experience, or approach. It's about what you can do for me. What problem am I experiencing that you can solve and can I understand that in 30 seconds of interaction with your content.
Someone mentioned targeting women 50+. That's great if you can offer real answers about how their hormones are changing, how that makes them feel, and what exercises will help them have more energy, less joint and muscle pain, reduced injury, and weight loss or maintenance.
You can decide who you want to target, but you have to know what they are looking for, what they're afraid of missing out on, or what they want that other people have.
The second big part is you have to make it effortless to buy your service. Do you start with a phone call? Online chat? In person meeting? The first step is the hardest. Make it as easy and clear as possible. Tell people exactly how long it will take (even if that's just an intro) and make it easy enough to do it on your phone at any time of day.
If you have some time, and a lot of great advice, you could also consider building an email marketing list. Offer a free newsletter or podcast in exchange for email addresses. Nurture that audience with lots of great free tips and tricks (how to get through the holidays would be great right now) and then market services to them 10% of the time.
I know that was a lot. I recommend the books and podcasts from Story brand and Business Made Simple. It will teach you a lot about how to be clear and compelling with what you say to leads. Start the podcast from the beginning of < year >.
Really appreciate your feedback.
In your 3rd paragraph, I'd say that my biggest problem, is that people want something that isn't realistic, but they don't know it's not realistic, and what I offer is a lesser version of what they expect, not because I'm not a good trainer, but because there are natural limits that cannot be passed without use of steroids. This is my dilemma, people are being scammed and don't know it.
A great old saying in marketing is "people don't want a drill, they want a hole in the wall". People don't care if you're natty, they care what that means for them as your client.
Something that always resonated with me in my favorite programs was being reminded how many programs out there online are built for people who are on gear. When I read content about how unenhanced training is different and how it benefits from a pretty different training approach, I was really hooked.
So I guess I should probably focus my efforts on educating people. Would that be enough to convince them to work with me though
educate your clientele.
I hesitate to say more, because you probably know how to do the best.
Here's my non-educator version of that (I am not a trained teacher):.
Spend the first hour showing pictures of what's realistic and what's not, explaining The efforts and requirements in the both of them, explain all the downsides of steroids so they don't want to go there, and find out what their goals are given the effort required for each.
, layout training regimen that will achieve that and see if they like this idea.
If they don't, then you can adjust something with them. Maybe they will take two years to get to their goal instead of one year. Maybe they will adjust their goal downward ;(less fat, and fewer hours in the gym per week And or not pushing to the can't do one more stage because people don't often like this,etc).
If you've explained the benefits and satisfaction of being at various levels of fitness, they can modify their goal perhaps overtime or maybe even upfront they will decide not to go for movie star luxe or even your luxe, but may be a smaller very fit and firm version that fits but there schedule and how much they like working out.
What type of clients are you looking for? Body building competitors, athletes, people wanting to lose weight, a combination?
Once you figure out your niche, it will be easier to market yourself. Moms trying to lose weight don't want to be working out next to figure competitors, know what I mean?
I like a smaller, more personal experience than training with someone at a big gym. My favorite trainer worked out of a strip mall, it felt more like a teacher/student. My trainer wanted me to reach my goals and cared about me, my health, and my results. The trainers at big gyms make you feel like you're just another paycheck, they don't help you learn how to keep yourself fit, they just tell you what to do for an hour.
Plus, as a woman, there are a lot of creepy dudes at the gym. A private studio feels safer and I don't have to worry about harassment.
Whenever I see/hear "people just don't get it" or a variation thereof, the solution is always to help them get it. Your problem so far is that you've made this all about you.
How do you help people "get it" without making it about you?
One way to do it is by creating interest, value, and solutions before you even think about showing results.
Create flyers or social ads inviting people to sign up for a 20-minute seminar. This seminar is free, but it isn't "always free". The free one only happens once per month and seats are limited. Seminar topics will include 3-4 topics in personal fitness that will guarantee better results in the next 10-14 months.
What this will do is filter out the people you don't want attending. It will only interest the folks who want realistic results in a realistic timeframe. It will also anchor the idea that you're an expert on these topics and that your time is valuable, though you do like giving back.
The trick is to not say anything about you, your services, or your results during this seminar. Just talk about the topics and educate.
The first seminar should be fairly generic. You will talk about 3-4 topics in personal fitness and how these things affect progress, whether positively or negatively. You will try not to introduce personal bias or opinion in this conversation. You will simply present industry consensus when it comes to these things. I'm not going to recommend what you should talk about, you're the expert, but it should be something that you care deeply about.
At the end of the first seminar, you will have a call to action for folks to sign up for an hour-long seminar to explore detailed solutions for each of the topics presented in the first seminar.
This second seminar isn't free, but it's not unreasonably expensive, say $50. During this session you will basically give an outline of your programming, without mentioning that it's your programming. Just present it as best practices to achieve measurable results in 10-14 months. Participants should be able to take this programming and use it by themselves, without you in the picture.
You will notice that participants in this second seminar will start asking you questions about you, what you do, your programming, your results, etc.
At the end of the second seminar is when you sign up people for a personalized 1-1 session where you explain to them what you do, how you do it, how much it costs, how long it will take, etc.
In the third meeting, the 1-1, you present the expected results and how you can help your potential client achieve their desired outcomes. At the end of this session is when you ask for the sale.
Appreciate your feedback.
Well, I'm doing a translation via Google trad because I'm not very good in English and it's going to be a long post, so please excuse me:
I think that if you express yourself on the networks as you did in your post, you are on the wrong track. People don't like being put down or being told what to do by force. And in your speech, I have the impression that you focus more on not doing like other personal trainers who take bad things, than on what you actually do.
Let's take a simple example: ecology.
For years the vast majority ignored it because they were told "be careful, polar bears are going to lose their habitat, global warming, you're not good people blah blah blah" Therefore, the message does not has absolutely not gone over to the masses.
Now, the discourse is more positive: "if you sort, the garbage cans will be better managed, if you buy an electric car you will pollute less, if you eat local you will support your neighboring producers and the economy of your country"
Do you see the difference? However, the effort is the same (not to mention the usefulness or not of its actions): sorting it out, you have to be careful not to make a mistake… the electric car costs more, has less autonomy and takes hours to load, the local must be researched and it is not accessible in the big shopping centers.
Well, I base myself on what you said without knowing concretely what you do so I may be wrong, but given the answers you gave previously I think I'm not that far from the truth (you tell me if that's not the case anyway).
With all of this, what would be the best way to proceed?
I don't know, again, how you communicate but if you have a classic personal trainer approach, you won't be able to stand out (you noticed it anyway). I think that in the artistic direction, you should adopt visuals closer to those of Yoga for example. You will stand out much more with this kind of counter foot. Messages centered on you and your natural side. From time to time you can throw peaks on what not to do but it must remain rare, the most important thing is what you do yourself. Nothing prevents you that said to insist a little more on the bad side of the others to your customers already acquired but in the communication I think that it is not at all a good approach. (unless you really do a dramatic communication where you constantly shoot your competitors… but it's a very high risk plan – especially for the "natural" side that you want to bring out which would not correspond with your values)
Finally, everything will depend on the means you are going to put in place: on which networks are you present? On which networks is your target present? Do you communicate often enough, or too often for them? (look at what other natural influencers are doing to find out, not only in personal training, but also in food etc.)
And above all, do you have good feedback from your customers? Honestly, there's nothing more important right now than knowing if this or that person is doing their job well. If you can have the testimonials of your customers it is priceless.
I don't know if you have written one or more books, but this sort of thing also testifies to your know-how or your involvement. It's a big gateway for many who are wondering. Depending on your prices, it's even the best way to have people who, for less, will have access to written advice and if they want to go further, they can contact you directly and have personal training. (with a good and powerful title "muscle influencers are lying to you, you are suckers" haha).
That's what I had to say. I would have to see in more detail what you are doing to go further (audit? :o) but I think you already have enough to do with the previous tips already shared!
Cosmic love for ever, fin de communication.