No matter how successful your fitness business is, growth should be a consistent focus. The most successful owners always have their finger on the pulse of new ways to generate leads and increase gym revenue.
The good news is, it’s not complicated! And it’s never too late to assess your strategy, or determine the areas you can improve. The PushPress team works with thousands of gyms around the world. And what we’ve discovered is that the successful gyms are deploying many of the same tactics in their growth strategy.
As gym owners ourselves, it’s our mission to help your gym succeed. So we’ve put together a step-by-step checklist to help you generate leads, and increase gym revenue and retention.
Twelve Ways to Increase Gym Revenue and Drive Leads.
Just like a long workout, we recommend chipping away at the list over time. Then, once you’ve deployed all of the tactics, run it back regularly to see if any of these tasks can be improved.
1. Define Your Target Audience.
Do you fully understand who your ideal customer is? When you’re first opening a gym, it’s normal to focus on marketing to the masses. In other words, everyone is a potential client. But over time, it’s beneficial to develop a niche.
Start by determining the different gym buyer personas you want to reach. These are profiles of each customer type, based on data collected through surveys or observation. Buyer personas will delve into everything from demographics (age, gender, location) to psychographics (lifestyle, interests) and goals. Find out exactly what each persona needs and how you can fill that need. Then integrate this info into your marketing plan.
2. Do Your Market Research.
For a lot of gym owners, doing market research often gets lost in the shuffle. The best time to do your research is when you’re starting a gym. The second-best time is now.
Identify gaps in the market or areas where you can differentiate your gym. This is how you’ll pinpoint your niche or discover areas of opportunity. Once you’ve determined your specific services and niche, research your competition and the area. From comparable rates to average household data, each piece of the puzzle contributes to the success of your fitness business for the long run.
3. Create an Online Presence.
In today’s digitally-driven world, having an online presence is an absolute non-negotiable. Prospective members will inevitably want to do some fact-finding about your business before they’re ever willing to walk through your doors.
Remember, creating a powerful gym website will determine your business’ presence online. Many times, it’s the very first impression a potential client will get. So ask yourself what you want that impression to be. It’s crucial that you develop a professional, easy-to-use and search-engine optimized website with clear information about your gym.
Pro Tip: Need help? PushPress Grow offers effective, search-engine optimized gym websites that drive leads and increase gym revenue for you! Book a demo with our team today for more details!
4. Get Creative with Content.
Content creation usually goes one of two ways with gym owners. You either have a ginormous list of ideas with a plan to execute, or you have no idea where to start.
If you’re the latter, keep it simple as you get up and running. Luckily, the fitness industry is not only visually-engaging, but it’s one in which the general population is always seeking new information. The key is creating valuable content that either educates, informs or entertains leads and members.
Showcase your expertise and engage your audience with everything from workout videos to nutrition tips. Highlight member success stories and answer common fitness questions. Share user-generated content to build community and trust. And start an effective gym blog to increase SEO and drive traffic.
5. Embrace Social Media Marketing.
Your social media channels can be used to raise brand awareness, drive retention and increase gym revenue. By focusing on engagement and providing relevant content, you can establish your brand as a helpful guide to solving problems for your leads and members.
A successful gym social media strategy can be used as a key part of your sales funnel, increasing revenue and ROI for your time. You can also use paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to target local audiences. And finally - one of our favorite tools - use PushPress Grow to automate your social posts to save you time!
6. Harness the Power of Email Marketing.
When it comes to your overall marketing strategy, we’ll admit that email isn’t always the most glamorous option. But it has proven time and time again to be incredibly reliable and effective. It’s instant, customized and unobtrusive.
The personalized nature of email marketing can be used to connect with leads, showing them that you care and want to help them reach their goals. Personalization comes from creating segmented lists so that you can curate the content based on each person’s interests, behaviors, etc. Creating an email marketing strategy that’s focused on the right segments will help you increase gym revenue and retention.
7. Prioritize Local SEO and Google My Business.
In a recent PushStart by PushPress course, Stu Brauer, owner of WTF Gym Talk, says your Google My Business listing is “one of the most underrated marketing tools out there for anyone who owns a brick and mortar business.”
Brauer recommended four tips for optimizing your listing. To start, make sure your profile is complete. Then, consistently update it with new photos and video. Next, collect - and respond to - Google Reviews. And finally, create promotional offers, whether short-term or evergreen.
8. Create a Rockin’ Referral Program.
Did you know that a prospective member is four times more likely to join your gym if they were referred by a friend? In addition, members who came from a referral tend to stick around longer than those who didn’t. This is why building an effective gym member referral program should be a key part of your marketing strategy.
A referral program is highly effective because it turns your gym members into ambassadors. They’re able to reach people with a persuasive message that you might never have converted otherwise.
9. Develop Partnerships and Focus on Community Engagement.
Any time you’re attempting to increase gym revenue, it’s easy to focus on in-house marketing strategies like referrals and social media, as mentioned above. But the importance of forging real relationships when forming gym partnerships can’t be understated.
We live in an online-dominant world. And sometimes, it’s easy to forget how valuable in-person relationships can be. But remember, when it comes to selling everything from memberships to merchandise, you’re dealing with people. So as “old school” as it may sound, networking and cultivating relationships can set you apart.
10. Track and Analyze Results.
If you want to achieve great success in something, you have to get dialed into the performance of it. And if you want to figure out the areas in which you can improve, it’s imperative that you analyze where you’re currently at.
In regard to your fitness business, this means paying attention to the important gym metrics. By fully understanding them, you can use them to make important decisions that will lead to greater success. And the great news is that PushPress Financial Reporting makes it easy to see what’s working and what’s not. Need to increase gym revenue or track gym member check-ins? The data is all right there at your fingertips.
11. Provide Exceptional Customer Service.
At PushPress, we believe in taking a “help first” mentality with everything we do. This means working to find solutions for your customers and creating the ultimate gym member experience. when you focus on helping, you’ll drive referrals and retention while you increase gym revenue as well.
12. Protect Your Mental Health.
As you can know, unexpected things happen in the gym all the time. And if you let them, they can derail even the best-laid plans. How many times has something crazy happened, sending your healthy lunch or workout plans right out the window?
“The hardest part of being a gym owner is taking care of themselves,” said Michael Giardina, Senior Manager of Health Education at CrossFit. “It ends up being the job of a martyr, where you take on everyone else’s stuff and kind of forget about yourself and your needs.”
For gym owners, it’s especially important to lead from the front. Not just by focusing on fitness and nutrition but by also prioritizing mental health. You can lead from the front by prioritizing your health. Take classes with your members, set aside some “me time” and learn to recognize the signs of burnout early.
In Summary: Generating Leads Shouldn’t be Complicated.
When it comes to any tactic in your marketing strategy, consistency is the key. Although it may take time to see significant results and increase gym revenue, it’s important to keep chipping away at your list of tactics.
No matter which stage of gym ownership you’re in, start by defining your target audience and doing market research. Create a powerful online presence with strong content on your website, social media, blog, emails and Google My Business. Next, create an effective referral program and develop local partnerships in your area. Track and analyze the results from these tactics, and don’t forget to provide exceptional customer service experience.
Above all, protect your own mental health so that you can continue running a gym that your members will love to attend for years to come.