One of the most well-known quotes in cinematic history comes from the classic movie “The Field of Dreams”. The famous scene has Kevin Costner walking through a field of corn when he hears a faint whisper saying, “If you build it, they will come.”. He builds his baseball diamond and eventually the ghosts of baseball past come out to play a friendly game. It’s a touching, feel-good American classic. It is also a work of complete fiction.
Even if you take the ghosts out of the movie it is still a fairy tale, particularly if you’re a fitness business owner.
“If you build it, they will come.” If only it were that easy!
Successful business owners know that you’ve got to put in the work to get people in the doors. Which is why we’ve put together three new tactics that you can try for your fitness business.
1). Leverage your Social Media Accounts
Stream a class live on Facebook. Show future members what they can expect walking into class for the first time. Don’t forget to email former members and current prospects to let them know a class will be streamed live so they can follow along at home (when possible).
Can’t commit to streaming a full class? Take your followers on a 5 minute “virtual tour” to test the Facebook Live waters.
Bonus: High-quality Facebook live videos can also be used for online ads (just make sure your members have signed an image release waiver). Need help creating and optimizing Facebook ads? We can do that! Check out our Integrated Website & Search Engine Marketing options.
Get buy-in from your community by asking your members’ opinions on non-essential business decisions. Painting the locker rooms? Create a poll for members to vote on what color they like best. Thinking of stocking a new brand of protein drinks? Share a post asking for flavor recommendations.
Share success stories and brag a little! Start posting weekly for “Motivation Monday” or #TransformationTuesday. Help new members get past the fear of failing by highlighting small and large milestones while congratulating current members with a little praise and recognition.
Pro Tip: When sharing a success story, get a quote about the member being celebrated from the trainer or coach who’s helped guide them to this point. Tag both the member and the coach so new members know a friendly face is waiting when they walk into your fitness business.
2). Get in on the Gamification Trend
Got a pretty competitive group? Start a challenge for existing members – track attendances or log reps or miles. Nearly anything your members are already doing can be turned into a game.
Keep motivation alive during attendance droughts by offering rewards to anyone who hits an attendance threshold in a given month or season. The Zen Planner database makes tracking attendance easy, so you won’t have to worry about the hassle of manual tracking. Post updates on social media to keep the game alive after launch.
Bonus: Offer “double attendance” points when a member brings a new friend to class to help with outreach in addition to engagement.
Pro Tip: Make sure to keep the game fair by posting rules including the official “start” and “end” date. Make sure prizes double as marketing tools. Give the winner a PT or nutrition session, or gym swag like T-shirts and stickers.
3). Stay Local
Dedicate one hour a week to in-person local outreach. Task your most outgoing team member with physically walking into local businesses to introduce themselves and your community. Walk into small local businesses (salons, daycares, wedding planners, retail shops, restaurants), introduce yourself, and leave collateral they can share with their team and patrons. If possible, offer cross-promotion. Does the nearby coffee shop have a stack of coupons you can hand out to your members?
For larger businesses, find the HR team leader and ask if they have a “new-hire” packet you can contribute to (do you have your own?). Research local apartment or condo communities (start with ones without fitness centers onsite) and offer yourself as a “fitness partner.” Ask to be included in welcome packets, post to community billboards and interact with their Facebook pages to remind residents you’re available.
Pro Tip: If you don’t know, find out where your members work. This will give you great insight into the businesses you should be reaching out to.
The further you can expand your community by bringing others into your bubble, the quicker your community will grow. Focus on engaging your future members (online and in the real world), as well as current members until you find a balancing point that works for your community.
Looking for more recommendations to help you build a strong marketing strategy this year? Get your copy of our easy-to-implement, 10 Step Marketing Guide for Fitness Businesses.