Owning Your Gym’s Target Market: How to Pinpoint and Engage Your Ideal Client

by | Aug 23, 2021 | Ideal Client, Marketing, marketing message, marketing strategy, target market | 0 comments

(Last Updated On: November 10, 2023)


When it comes to marketing your gym, clarity is power. If you have a marketing plan for your fitness business but don’t have a clear focus on your gym’s target market, you’re leaving your success to chance.  And in an industry that’s getting more competitive you can’t afford to leave anything to chance.

Just being great at what you do isn’t enough anymore.  Prospects aren’t thinking about your fitness certifications, your assessment techniques or the program design methods you use.

They are thinking about the results they want and the obstacles they are facing.

You need to use your marketing to tell a story.  That story is all about how you can help your gym’s target market and Ideal Client get the results they want.


The Difference Between a Gym’s Target Market and Ideal Client

But, before we talk about finding your Ideal Client and how to market to them we need to understand the difference between your target market and your Ideal Client. It’s important to know both, because you aren’t going to only attract your Ideal Client into your business.

Your target market is the general demographic of people you aim to serve, while your ideal client is a more specific subset of that market. Think of your ideal client as the personification of your target market’s most desirable traits.

An Ideal Client is the perfect client for your business.  Your offer is designed around meeting their needs and it does so perfectly.

A Target Market is a very broad pool of people who your Core Offer will appeal to and that you would like to target for your business. It includes your Ideal Client, but it also includes other prospects who are similar but also have different characteristics.

Your goal is to build the foundation of your business around your Ideal Clients, but know that you’ll also attract others in the target market who are slightly different from your Ideal Client but still interested in the results you provide, and you’re happy to do business with them.

There are many other market segments or target audiences within your gym’s target market that, while they might not meet the criteria for ‘Ideal’, you’re still happy to work with them.


Deep Dive Into Your Gym’s Target Market to Find Your Ideal Client

Your gym’s target market is usually defined by your Core Offer.

While you may think you have a dialed in core offer, it’s easy to get distracted and lose sight of  making sure that you’re meeting the needs of your Ideal Client and not diluting it and trying to be everything to everybody. It’s easy to lose sight of who your ideal gym clientele really is.

Too many gyms out there are offering 3-5 different services to clients trying to attract them all and by doing that they are struggling.

When you get your Core Offer right you’ll know the results you’re best at delivering, the programs you love running, how you best get those results, and what program will be best for building your business around.  (For more help here, see ‘Strengthen Your Core Offer’ post)

That will help you narrow your focus to a target market.  An age range, result type, etc.

But we need more focus than that if you want to create a laser focused marketing plan!


Creating Your Ideal Client

Your ideal client is not just about demographics but also about their motivations, challenges, and fitness goals. By understanding these nuances, you can craft personalized marketing messages that speak directly to their needs.

Having a strategy is critical if you want to have success with your marketing over the long haul.  One of the very first steps that we take someone through when they join our coaching program is to help them create a marketing strategy.  That includes the Define Your Core Offer™, Creating Your Ideal Client™ and Local Market Positioning™ Tools in our coaching system.

There’s one important thing to consider when going through this exercise….

…this is what your Ideal Client is like BEFORE they start working with you, not what keeps them in your programs.


Know Your Gym’s Ideal Client Like a Family Member, Not an Acquaintance

You need to know your Ideal Client extremely well.  We go as far as giving them a name and creating a profile for them complete with a picture.   

Here are some of the questions that we use with gyms to help them create their Ideal Client profile.: 

  1. Where do they live?
  2. What are their characteristics/traits?
  3. Where do they spend their free time? 
  4. Do they have a family? 
  5. What is their income? Employment? 
  6. What are their goals? 
  7. What’s important to them? 

Some of the details may seem trivial, but rest assured this is a great way to get perspective on your prospects and how you can relate to them.

From there you start to build out their profile and create what looks like a bio or stat sheet for this person.  Complete with a name, picture, etc.  Bring your IC to life!.

The more specific you can get the better off you’ll be when you begin to implement your marketing plan.


How Do You Use the Ideal Client Profile in Your Gym’s Marketing?


Now that you know who your Ideal Client is you have a better idea of things like:

  • What they are looking for, 
  • What’s on their mind, 
  • Where are they spending time and money,
  • How they talk about these things

You can start seeking out marketing channels that will put your marketing materials in front of them more frequently.

That could mean joint ventures with other businesses, social media channels, or media.

You’ll also be able to craft a marketing message that will attract your Ideal Client because you’ll know how to speak to them.  You know what’s important to them, how to relate to them, and how to speak to them in a way that will resonate.

Those two steps alone will immediately make you a better marketer.  

Knowing The Target Audience For Gyms


Understanding your gym’s target market and by extension your Ideal Client in this depth is nothing short of essential to be able to cut through all of the marketing noise and make your message stand out. And it becomes even more powerful as you start to see it attract other segments of your target market as well.

No amount of marketing expertise can overcome not knowing who you’re speaking to.  It’s like trying to out-train poor nutrition.

Ready to transform your gym’s marketing strategy? If you’ve identified your ideal client but aren’t seeing the results, let’s dive deeper into refining your approach. It’s possible that the issue could be in your positioning/differentiation, your Core Offer, or the channels you’re marketing through.

The first step to correcting it is diagnosing the actual issue.  Take our Needs Assessment to get an individualized report and see if we can help you uncover what’s actually going on.

Learn more about defining your gym’s target market with our comprehensive guide The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Gym Business Marketing Plan.


FAQs About Gym Target Markets and Ideal Clients

Q: My gym offers a lot of services, so how do I choose my target market?
Applying the concept of a gym target market to a gym that has a lot of offers that serve a lot of different people involves segmenting your services and aligning them with specific member needs. For instance, if your gym offers both high-intensity training classes and yoga, you might target two different market segments: one for individuals seeking intense workouts and another for those looking for a holistic, wellness-focused experience. It’s about matching each service with the ideal client profile for a gym that best benefits from it.

Q: What are the specific demographics and psychographics of an ideal gym client?
The ideal gym client profile can vary widely, but typically, demographics might include age range, gender, income level, and occupation. Psychographics go deeper into the client’s lifestyle, values, and fitness goals. For example, a gym targeting young professionals might focus on those valuing efficiency and results, offering quick, high-intensity workouts that fit into a busy schedule.

Q: How can I effectively reach my gym’s target market with my marketing efforts?
To effectively reach your gym’s target market, tailor your marketing messages to the specific needs and desires of your ideal client profile. Utilize targeted social media ads, content marketing that addresses their pain points, and community events that resonate with their lifestyle. It’s about creating a narrative that speaks directly to the outcomes they’re seeking from a gym experience.

Q: What are the common mistakes to avoid when defining a gym’s target market?
Common mistakes include being too broad in defining the target market, not conducting enough market research, and not regularly revisiting the target market definition to adjust for changes in consumer behavior. Avoid the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and ensure your gym’s target market is specific enough to create targeted marketing campaigns that resonate.

Q: How can I measure the success of my marketing efforts in reaching my gym’s target market?
 Measuring success involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as new memberships, retention rates, engagement on marketing campaigns, and conversion rates from promotional offers. Surveys and feedback can also provide qualitative data on how well your marketing aligns with the needs of your gym’s target market.

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