So you’re looking for advice on advertising for gyms? Well, I wrote this article specifically to help you make wise decisions when it comes to advertising. But first we need to talk about terms.
As a gym owner, you most likely started your business because you wanted to change people’s lives through fitness. You wanted to create a space for the community to come together to get healthy together. But now, you are doing this thing called running a business. You may not have the education and the background in business. Which is fine, some of the best business owners are those who didn’t have a formal education and learned it trial by fire. If you’re pretty new to your fitness business, learn to think like an entrepreneur.
So let’s talk about what the differences are between marketing and advertising. Most people think they are the exact same thing. But actually they are two different activities. Marketing is the process of identifying your customers wants, needs, and desires and finding the best way to fulfill them. This isn’t a one time activity, it is an ongoing process because people and markets change. On the other hand, advertising is the promotion of your company, products, and services, through various channels. It could be social media, google, signage, newspapers etc… you get the jist. Advertising is part of the process of marketing. It’s important to define these terms because one has to come before the other. You can’t start putting together an ad campaign when you haven’t figured out who your customers are and how you are going to fulfill their wants, needs, and desires. I know you just want to hop on Facebook and start dumping money into ads but it is going to take a little more work than that.
So if you thought you were ready to start advertising but see you need to do a little more of the marketing work here are a few resources.
Find Your Ideal Client:
Finding your ideal client is extremely important. You want to deeply understand the person you are creating your offers for. If you don’t have an understanding of this person, you run the risk of creating offers for the wrong people, or an offer that doesn’t make sense. If you want to find your ideal client, you can learn more here. Do not rush through this process! It is the foundation of your marketing efforts. You wouldn’t build a house on a foundation made of paper, right? That is what it would be like if you didn’t take your time in finding your ideal client. You would build everything else on a faulty foundation. Then you would have to start from scratch; you’d waste a lot of valuable time and money.
Creating your Offers:
Another step you are going to want to take before advertising is creating a solid core offer (CO) and even a front-end offer (FEO). Your core offer is the one thing that you are known for in the market. It is the driver of your business and where your clients can get the best results. If you don’t have a core offer, or have more than one, you need to read this article to get it dialed in. Doing this could seriously transform the way you do business by relieving a lot of stress and confusion. When you get clear, your staff gets clear, and your prospects and clients are clear about why your business exists. Again, take your time in this process. You won’t regret it! You don’t NEED a front-end offer but it is a powerful way to help you grow your core offer. Think of this front-end offer as a way to prove to your ideal clients the results you can provide with your core offer. The front-end offer is typically a shorter program, at a lower price point (than your core offer), that allows new prospects to get results with less risk. This short article will help you create a front-end offer. Sit in with our coaches to learn more about marketing and advertising.
Digital Marketing and Advertising For Gyms:
I am going to explain how you can use different methods of advertising for your gym. Often people forget that different digital marketing channels are best used in conjunction. For example, you can run Facebook ads directly to your website and hope they buy on their first visit. What happens if they don’t buy? They leave your website. You just spent money on getting them there and now they are gone… forever? Are you crossing your fingers and hoping that they will come back one day? Here is a better way. Have a sign-up form for your email list on your website that offers them something for free (lead magnet). Now, you will have them on your email list and you can advertise to them over and over until they choose to purchase. It is going to take some time to learn but you can fast track that learning in our Academy. Learn more about our academy and our Fitness Business Alignment System here.
Facebook ads are one of the most common types of paid advertising used by successful fitness business owners to get more leads. But we often see Facebook ads being used incorrectly. Many gym owners use Facebook ads just for brand awareness. Brand awareness is just making people aware that you exist but it does not ask them to take any action. This is similar to brands running an advertisement during the superbowl. It is just creating brand awareness and I recommend you use regular posts on your company page or group to do this. For Facebook ads, you want to use direct-response ads. Which, in the simplest terms, means the advertisement is asking the prospect to take action. They will additionally create brand awareness. The primary function of Facebook ads is to collect the names and email addresses of prospects in your target market. Then you can sell to them now and you can sell to them in the future. Once you have acquired this information, you don’t have to pay Facebook every time you want to get someone’s attention. The most important thing to remember is that you want to get prospect’s contact information! If you’re interested in learning how to create a Facebook ads funnel you can read this article by Adespresso.
Email is one of the most powerful tools in your advertising tool belt. Why? It allows you to engage with prospects, current clients, and former clients whenever you want. Unlike Facebook ads there isn’t a “pay-to-play” feature. Meaning every time you want to get attention, you don’t have to pay to send an email to your subscribers. Now if you have acquired contact information through paid or organic traffic then you can begin the process of advertising to those prospects. In 2019, research was conducted, and it was found that for every $1 spent on email marketing you can expect a $42 return. That is a 42x ROI (return on investment)! You do not want to miss out on the power of email. Beyond being able to sell to new prospects, you can use email to keep your current clients and members updated on any changes. Do you have a list of all the people who decided to leave your gym? Do you know why? Email them and find out. Then you can re-engage them and get them back in the gym reaching their fitness goals. The power of email is endless, learn how to set up an email collection method on your website from marketing master Neil Patel.
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing and advertising. You can use the platforms for creating more awareness around your brand and what you offer. You can also use them for learning more about your market. Let’s talk about both. If you really want a look at different social media platforms and need a little boost to get you going this week, try out our social media challenge, complete with a seven day marketing plan.
If you want to use social media for creating brand awareness then you should use it consistently. Being consistent is important, this way your followers know that you are going to consistently show up. This reflects on your business. If you are inconsistent on social media then new prospects will only have that as a reference for how you operate as a business. There are many different types of posts you can make on social media. Whatever you do, follow these guidelines:
- All writing must be edited for good grammar and spelling… Yes, it’s okay to use emoji’s.
- Make sure that all of your photos and videos are clear.
- In your videos, make sure that you have great audio quality.
- Make sure your posts are tailored to the wants, needs, and desires of your ideal clients
- Include a call to action to get your prospects used to taking action when they engage with you
You can very simply use your social media platforms for market research. You always want to have your ear to the ground. This way you can adapt your messaging to the current wants, needs, and desires of your market. A great example is the market shift that happened at the start of the pandemic. What people needed completely changed to feel safe and stay healthy. There are two ways that you can use social media to do this market research. The first one is to just listen to what people are saying in the comments of your posts. People will often, sometimes too often, voice their concerns pretty directly. You can get a good look into their mind, just by listening. The other method is to get off your own channel and find out where your ideal clients are hanging out. There are tons of groups all over social media where people are being very open, sometimes to open, about their internal states. This is a fantastic way to understand your market. If you’ve read through this article and feel like you have so much more to learn then I suggest you fill-out our Needs Assessment™. As a business owner it is your job to gather all of the tools and information necessary to make your business thrive. You don’t need to know everything, you just need to bring the pieces together. It could be people, products, or information. Learn more about what might be missing through our Needs Assessment™.
Want more information on how to market your business? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Gym Business Marketing Plan.