How to Grow Your Gym With the Help of Influencers

Influencer marketing helps a lot of industries. Lifestyle and fitness influencers are the most persuasive, so how can you use them to your advantage?

Sam Karoll
July 10, 2022
Influencer marketing helps a lot of industries. Lifestyle and fitness influencers are the most persuasive, so how can you use them to your advantage?

Social media influencers can make some serious bank, even if they don’t have massive followings.

Why’s that? Because people are sick of billboards and YouTube advertisements—they want trustworthy opinions from real, actual human beings.

Even if it is a parasocial relationship devoid of personal interaction from the influencer, they’re still trusted by individuals. A low-level influencer without seven-figure followings can still make a living off affiliate commissions, post advertisement fees, and sponsorships. That’s where you come in.

It’s time to utilize that social power for your own gym and fitness brand. It’s not as difficult as you think, and the results are completely measurable so you know where your money is working for you.

Let’s talk about tapping into this digital superpower for your business.

Where to Find Influencers for Promotion?

First, you need to know what tier of influencer you’re looking for. Someone with 10,000 followers, or someone with 100,000? This matters when it comes to how much you pay an influencer.

Once you know which magnitude of influencer you want to work with, you can look on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and even LinkedIn if you want to find an influencer. You can also contact an agency, which we’ll talk more about later.

Serious social media influencers will capitalize on every medium they possibly can: video, text, images, whatever they can use to monetize their brand and make it work for them.

Serious influencers will be on multiple social media channels, and include specific amounts of posts, time spent advertising your product/gym in their videos, and basically outline an entire social media package.

Your Own Gym

You never know who’s in your gym that secretly has a large social media following. It may be worth your time to design and print out a poster for the entryway of your gym that won’t take away from the main interior aesthetic.

A bit of local advertising can go a long way. If your gym has a bring-a-friend program where guests can enjoy your gym for a limited time without signing up, you could attract their attention.

Local “Celebrities”

Know anyone local that could talk up your gym? If you’re in a major city like Miami, Boston, or Chicago, there’s likely a surplus of up-and-coming local influencers or celebrities that you could talk to.

Local celebrities won’t charge as much as larger social media influencers, but if this person performs locally or has some influence over their community, this could help seed familiarity and trust in the community. This could be critical in the early days of marketing, especially if you’re a brand new gym.


Agencies work with influencers and earn a commission in the process. Consider the influencer like a store: they source a product, and you go there to buy it, leaving them with the middleman fees and (hopefully) a returning customer.

Going through an agency will be more expensive than going through an influencer in a one-on-one transaction. Agencies understand the market value of influencers, so one benefit to using an agency is that they have some, ahem, agency over (I had to, the joke was right there).

This is a quick list of some agencies you can check out that offer influencer programs as well as their price minimums:

As you can see, the minimum scales are all over the place. Some companies, like Carusele, will give you a discount if you sign a contract for a certain number of months upfront. Marketing isn’t easy, but do keep in mind that it’s definitely not easy if you expect sizable results after a single month.

Influencer marketing should have a campaign behind it instead of being a one-off purchase. Be reasonable with what you can budget ahead of time for a minimum of six months so you can know what results to anticipate.

Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing for Your Gym

Is influencer marketing perfect? Not by a long shot, but it has enough benefits that it often outweighs the drawbacks. Let’s get familiar with each so that you can know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.


  • Brand Awareness: Getting your name out there and familiar with people is a tricky task. Because marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, getting your name out there is the first step, and if you can pay a small amount of money to reach 10,000+ people in a personality-driven video from an influencer, that’s a great first step.
  • Create Customer Trust (Content Marketing): Content marketing is powerful and gets prospective clients/customers familiar with your brand, which begins to build trust. Typically, a prospect needs to see or hear about your brand at least 7 times before they actually trust you.
  • Rapid Sales Growth: We all want rapid growth for our businesses, and because influencer marketing helps to get past a lot of that “Rule of 7” that we just talked about, it can actually reduce marketing costs, time spent marketing, and bring in customers more quickly than traditional PPC ads and other forms of advertisements.


  • You Don’t Know Who You’re Getting Into Bed With: It’s the iceberg effect: we see the top 10% of an influencer when we see custom-tailored Instagram posts and YouTube videos. For every quality piece of content, there are a dozen mistakes and reshoots on an SD card in their camera somewhere. Individual influencers may not be equipped to handle a business relationship, so they may be hard to deal with or manage. There’s no way to know this until you talk to them or work with them (outline exactly what you want from them so they know what they have to do to get paid).
  • Legal Aspects: Influencers have to mention when they’ve been paid by a sponsor, but a startling number of low-tier influencers don’t know this. You have to be more familiar with influencer marketing than them to steer them in the right direction and avoid any legal issues.

Collaboration With Personal Trainers in Your Area

Personal trainers can have a come-and-go business, just like a gym. Typically, these trainers don’t have their own gym space and equipment, so you can strike a deal.

You’ll allow the personal trainer to host a certain number of their classes in your gym, allowing them to use a small amount of equipment, in exchange for marketing your gym to their clients.

Talk about being included on their personal trainer website or business page, and their social media as well. Whatever way you can leverage their audience to market your gym is excellent.

What is the Best Type of Influencer Marketing for Your Gym?

Influencer marketing can reach a large, dedicated audience, but you have a local business. So how valuable is it to reach 10,000 people who can’t drive to your gym?

Unless you’re in a major metropolitan area or you also offer digital products that your influencers can promote, it’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of influencer marketing.

Locally targeted influencer marketing works best, and video triumphs over nearly all other marketing types in today’s day and age.

Instagram Posts/Stories

Instagram posts are all about visual media, but they come and go so quickly. Normally, you’ll ask for multiple Instagram posts and a few Stories to get the maximum benefit from your sponsorship of an influencer.

While Instagram isn’t as popular as it was, fitness is still a huge portion of the platform. Influencers will have a dedicated following of like-minded fitness enthusiasts, so a little goes a long way.

YouTube Videos

YouTube videos offer some of the best opportunities for influencers to get you in front of a large audience. There are different types of sponsorship slots in YouTube videos, which ofer refer to where the ad is placed in the video and for how long.

Typically, you want your ad to be in the first half of a YouTube video. You also want to ask the influencer what their average retention rate is (average view duration in their analytics). According to this networking agency, out of 56,000 YouTube videos, the average view duration was 54.8%.

Talk about ad placement with influencers and how you want your ad integration to be displayed.

Last but not least, expect to pay around $20 to $30 in RPM, which means per thousand views. If their videos tend to average 10,000 views in the first 30 days of being posted, that’s the metric they will use to give you a price.

YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts work similarly to TikToks and Instagram Stories. Influencers only have a few seconds to hold their audience’s attention, and they’re not going to sacrifice the integrity of their audience to talk about your gym for an entire Short.

Instead, they can post videos where they quickly interview the gym owner (you), talk about introductory offers in their text overlay, and/or post funny clips showing them having fun while they work out with your gym branding visible nearby. Creativity is key.


While TikTok isn’t good at monetizing content for creators, there are still influencers that have massive followings. You can leverage this. The thing with TikTok is that that algorithm doesn’t appear to filter results locally, because you typically don’t see a TikTok video and say to yourself, “Oh that place is just down the street.”

Instead, the marketing for it has to be subtle. Nobody is going on that app to watch ads. Fitness influencers can post compilations of their training at your gym (with the name and/or logo clearly in the background) to some music.

They can include your name and/or an introductory offer in the text overlay of their video. It requires creativity, but it’s the second-largest video platform, so don’t let it go to waste.

Sam Karoll

Sam is our Community Manager for PushPress. He also owns and operates Xplore Nutrition, a personalized nutrition coaching service designed "for your lifestyle and goals by a Coach who's always available."

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