Member Experience

7 Critical Marketing Mistakes Most Gym Owners Make

Here are seven critical marketing mistakes that most gym owners make. If you're guilty of any of these, it's time to change your behavior!

Eric LeClair
October 25, 2021
TLDR;
Here are seven critical marketing mistakes that most gym owners make. If you're guilty of any of these, it's time to change your behavior.
marketing mistakes
markwtginPhotographer: Kyle Johnson | Source: Unsplash

Starting a gym can be relatively easy compared to most other businesses but a lot is required to keep the business going. Having capital is a good start but it is barely enough to take you through. In most markets in the fitness industry, gyms close almost as quickly as they open. This is because some gym owners fail to learn how to properly safeguard their businesses against certain mistakes and errors that are most likely bound to happen. These common marketing mistakes hold back some establishments in the fitness industry and if not curbed on time, would cause them to fold.

Marketing Mistakes: Poor Retention

Marketing isn't only just the ability to promote and sell products and services to acquire new customers. The ability to retain current ones should be practiced and adopted. It is very important because how your current members see you and how much you value them would determine your progress with new members.

Most gym owners are oblivious to this and do not realize how harmful it will be to their business if all they do is replace old members with new ones. The value of the services you offer can be measured by the retaining strength of your establishment.

As a gym owner, avoid spending so much time developing strategies on how to get new members, learn to build with your current market. Concentrate also on increasing your focus on the community of your gym. Take your time to invest in their training activities even outside the gym and encourage them. Meet with members or clients occasionally and discuss their journey with them, you can do this by hosting competitions and social events. This gives your members assurance that you are not just after their membership but also that you genuinely care about their journey and value them.

Although none of these would be easy, the good part is that it is a long-term investment that would eventually yield great success and expand your community with time. Here's an instance of how it works; when members are attending an event hosted by your establishment, they would most likely invite friends or family who are not members of your gym community, this already automatically brings more prospective clients and referrals to your establishment. This is only an instance, there are so many ways this could go right.

Indulging In All Services

This is one of the most common marketing mistakes personal trainers and gym owners make. They try to serve everyone at once. The fitness industry is a very diverse one. There are different types of training and fitness aspects. So many times, gym owners, especially the ones new in the fitness industry, try to sell off their services and products generally. They feel pressured to attend to the needs of everyone in the fitness market.

Although this would fetch you a decent number of clients, it would divert your attention from your target audience and you end up losing more members than you gain because prospective clients will find it hard to identify exactly what your services offer. This automatically harms the credibility of your establishment and you would risk falling far back in business if it goes on.

Identification of the target audience is key because then you can direct your attention towards what they are after and how you can serve them better. Also, this way, you avoid tiring yourself out by trying to attend to the needs of a general market.

Frequent Changes in the Marketing Plan

Lack of goal identification and consistency are top reasons why gym owners make the mistake of venturing into different aspects of the fitness industry. Familiar with the phrase "a rolling stone gathers no moss"?

The rolling stone represents inconsistency. The moss is the income or revenue that would have been generated if the establishment had maintained one goal from the onset. Gym owners who hop around between different goals are like rolling stones, they invest their time switching aspirations instead of taking time to grow and build a solid audience. Not only does this make them lose sight of the bigger picture, they end up losing more than they gain.

The biggest disadvantage of a frequently changing marketing plan is that you end up confusing old, new, and prospective clients because your goals are not identified. Your establishment loses integrity because you are into everything and nothing in particular at the same time.

Utilizing Price-cut Promotions

Of all the marketing mistakes, most businesses make this one mistake...they are convinced that attaching a low price to their services or products invites in more clients. The truth is, it does more harm than good. By making your products or services seem cheap and easy to obtain, you send a wrong message to your clients because what you offer gradually diminishes in value.

This does not mean you should ascribe a high price tag to everything or that you should not offer certain rewards to clients. Avoid making it a habit to always give out freebies and discounts, you're indirectly telling your clients that what you are offering isn't worth much. Unfortunately, most gym owners start like this. In the long run, they encounter difficulties when they decide to increase the price of membership.

Lacking Online Presence

The internet has become the world's largest and biggest marketing platform. It's almost impossible how much there is to gain by being a part of the online community. Not giving your establishment an online presence gives room for big limitations.

Without an online presence, even sourcing for clients locally becomes an unnecessary challenge because people want to see for themselves how you can be of great help to them without having to try first. You can help them know more about your establishment by creating a website for your gym, something they can look at grin the comfort of their space using a computer or a mobile phone. It makes your services accessible even from a thousand miles away. You can also open social media accounts for your business as well but ensure you do not give more attention to your social media than you give to your website.

Being Oblivious to Competitors

Keeping tabs on competitors is a solid marketing tool and you lose track of your progress and goals once you fail to recognize this. The fitness industry is excessively competitive, there are just so many individuals and establishments offering similar services. This is not a total disadvantage, it simply means you have more businesses that you can either learn from or avoid making the same mistakes they did.

Your competitors aren't only the ones in the same local area as you. Be sure to look out for a few successful businesses, study their market, track their errors and successes. This helps you keep track of your progress, and provides solid leverage.

Failing to Have An Understanding of Marketing

Sometimes, even the smartest business owners make this mistake. To go into business, you need to have extensive knowledge of the marketing system. Opening up a gym is only the easy part, studying the market of the fitness industry broadens your knowledge and gives you more insights.

Some gym owners make the mistake of just hiring someone to take care of the marketing department without them having a good knowledge of how it works. To begin with, not studying the marketing system of the industry makes it hard for you to identify who is good at the job and who isn't this automatically means you risk hiring the wrong person.

There are countless ways your poor knowledge of the marketing system can harm your business and this creates room for wasting resources and investing in the wrong things.

Eric LeClair

Eric LeClair works on the Marketing Team at PushPress. Eric has been a CrossFit Affiliate owner for 16 years. He's built three separate gyms and developed over 20 staff members to run operations at those facilities. He's a Veteran of the US Army, married with two little kids, and spends lots of time with his two boxers backpacking and exploring new adventures!

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