Pilates classes are a fantastic way to improve flexibility, build strength, and enhance the mind-body connection. Its popularity doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either: the current market value for Pilates and yoga studios in the U.S. alone is an estimated $12 billion.
But simply opening a pilates studio doesn’t guarantee success. Potential clients have more options than ever before, so if you’re going to stand out, you need a Pilates marketing plan.
In this article, we’ll share 10 ways to successfully market your pilates business so you can attract new clients and grow your bottom line.
10 tips for Pilates marketing
Marketing your pilates studio is key to your success. But attracting new clients and standing out in a sea of noise is hard. Here are 10 tried-and-true approaches to marketing your pilates business.
Know your audience
In order to successfully work within your market, you need to define and understand who your ideal clients are — gender, age, income level, lifestyle, etc. — so that you can attract them. Your target audience is not “everyone.”
Reflect on what makes your pilates studio unique. Do you enjoy helping athletes rehabilitate after an injury, or do you prefer helping busy office workers live less sedentary lives? Do your ideal clients prefer reformer classes, mat classes, online classes, or the option of all three?
The more you can keep your target audience at the heart of your marketing efforts, the more effective you’ll be.
Build a strong brand
Depending on where you’re located, there may be numerous pilates studios competing for attention. Building a strong brand is a crucial way to stand out from your competition and attract the right clients.
Branding goes deeper than a logo and some nice colors, however. It shows the outside world who your business is and what it stands for.
The best way to get started is to ask yourself this question: How do I want the world to think and feel about my business? From there, you can begin to work backwards and map out each element of your brand.
Consider the customer experience
Reflect on your target client and what their ideal Pilates experience would look like, and do your best to offer that to them.
Let’s say your ideal client is a woman in her late twenties who lives downtown in a big city. Taking care of her health and wellness is important to her, but her busy job makes it hard to prioritize fitness.
Having in-studio amenities like a changing room with toiletries and towels can make a huge difference for a customer like this. Offering a smoothie bar or fresh juice can be a further incentive.
Build an online presence
Next it’s time to show up online! Social media is a great way to increase brand awareness, build community, and bring a steady stream of customers to your door.
First, consider your target audience and their preferred platforms—that’s where you want to be. Next, brainstorm the types of content your audience would find most valuable or interesting, such as pose types, instructions, nutrition tips, etc.
Once you have some ideas in place, it’s time to create your marketing calendar. Remember, it’s okay to start small and build as you go. Quality and consistency pays off in the long run.
Cross-promotion is a surefire way to market your pilates business. By joining forces with other credible businesses who have a similar client base, you can reach your new clients with more efficiency.
A great way to start is to offer a free “taster” class to clients of yoga or spin studios. Pilates is also a great complement to cardio or weightlifting programs to prevent injury and support recovery.
Your studio can take advantage of cross-promotion on your own turf, too. Consider offering a free reformer session to your mat class participants, or even a free private session to a consistent member.
Not only will you create a consistent client base, but you’ll build up a supportive business network, too!
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Set up events
Few things work better than giving people a “try before you buy” session.
Running events is a great way to increase awareness of your studio. Put on an open house to educate the community about your studio. Host workshops, provide taster classes, and allow potential clients to experience the atmosphere of your space. Double-down by encouraging existing clients to bring friends and family.
Free pilates pop-ups in the community demonstrate the value of your classes. Apply to be part of local events hosted by your municipality or business improvement association. These events are also great opportunities to network with like-minded businesses.
Promote your events on social media and let followers know when and where they can join the next one.
Offer a free trial
It can be intimidating to try something new. Enticing people with a free first class is a successful strategy for fitness businesses everywhere.
When it comes to memberships, it’s easier to invest when you understand the value. Consider offering a free or discounted trial to introduce potential clients to the full benefits of regular pilates.
This applies for private clients, too! Offer free 15-20 minute trials as a way to encourage clients to sign up for a larger package or membership. Again, “try before you buy” is a powerful marketing tactic.
Offer specialized classes
Your clients have unique needs and experience levels. Consider offering speciality classes to cater to existing clients and to entice new ones.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Pilates for athletes: Top athletes have included pilates into their training programs for years. Regular pilates increases strength and flexibility while decreasing the likelihood of injuries.
- Pilates for expecting mothers: Pilates can be extremely beneficial for pregnant women. It’s low-impact and strengthens the muscles vital for both pregnancy and postpartum.
- Pilates for older adults: Regular physical activity is key to our mental and physical health as we age. Many seniors find pilates helpful for breath control, mobility, strength, and balance.
Create a strong referral program
Tap into your existing clients to attract even more business with a referral program.
Reward your die-hard clients by giving them perks and bonuses every time they refer someone to your pilates studio. This can be a limited time offer or a permanent program.
Regularly promote your referral program on social media so that clients are aware of the benefits. Create signage that clearly describes the program at the front desk and make sure your staff communicate the value of the program.
Set up an email list
An email newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with clients and keep them up to date on important information about your studio.
Use your email list to announce new speciality classes, introduce instructors, or promote upcoming events. Offer special email-only promotions and incentives to encourage people to sign up.
Email is a great place to share helpful or useful information about your classes. Consider segmenting your email list based on class type, experience level, and where they signed up (e.g. in-studio or at an event) to further personalize the experience.
So, what’s next?
Marketing plays a key role in making your business stand out from the crowd. But it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Glofox has got you covered.
Our simple but powerful management software helps you build a loyal community and invest your time where it matters. Generate more leads, manage memberships, and support your clients at every stage of their journey.
Ready to streamline your pilates marketing? Request a demo today!