9 Gym Outreach Ideas to Inspire You

Published on: 
14 January 20
Posted in: 
11 min read

There are hundreds of ways to market your fitness business in today’s world, but coming up with gym outreach ideas can be challenging. 

Once you’ve defined your target audience, reaching them is easy. But it’s not as simple as getting your gym in front of your target market – you need to engage them and use a clear call to action.

For this – you need a strategy and set of goals. Do you want to attract new members? Raise brand awareness? Maybe you’ve launched a new service and want to tap into a different market. 

Whatever the case, having clear-cut objectives will help maximize your efforts and ensure that your outreach content is designed to suit your goal. So whether you’re a fitness center, health club, or studio, there’s plenty of outreach ideas that any fitness business can implement. Skip ahead to:

Fitness Challenges 

Fitness challenges are a great way to attract new members; they’re also excellent for boosting motivation for your existing clients

You can also opt to devise a challenge that encourages existing members to bring a new person along with them. Win-win.

Keep pricing in mind when structuring your challenge. People are most motivated and excited to take part in the beginning, so this is the time to go in-hard. Say, for example, that your program is six weeks long, and you’re charging $100 a week.

Incentivize members to complete the challenge by offering the program for half price once they’re finished. This way – you’re charging your maximum price when they’re motivated and most likely to get the results they want. When they’ve finished the program, and they’re happy with their results, paying half the price to continue with the program seems like a fantastic deal. 

Creating a clear structure, time-frame, and goal for your challenge is vital – people want to know that they’re going to get results and when they can expect to see them. Think about using the S.M.A.R.T formula to plan your program:

smart-goals
  • Specific – a well defined and focused goal. 
  • Measurable – a goal with a determined outcome.
  • Attainable – can this goal be reasonably achieved? 
  • Relevant – make sure this goal is related to your overall objective.
  • Time-based – a clear timeline for every individual to reach their goal.

Whether it’s a ‘summer shape up,’ ‘muscle march,’ or a pre-Christmas prep program, there are a host of challenges you can run throughout different times of the year. 

If you need some inspiration, check out these eight fitness challenge ideas to supercharge acquisition and retention. Ensure you maximize your fitness marketing efforts when running a challenge – no one will take part if no one knows about it!

Corporate Wellness 

With a growing emphasis on health and wellness, corporate wellness programs are beginning to play a crucial role in many modern workplaces. They’re an excellent additional revenue stream for your business, especially during the quieter times of the day when most people are at work. 

There are lots of options you can offer as part of a corporate wellness program, but if you’re new to providing this service, start by approaching one local business. Do your research; check out their website and Linkedin page to find out what kind of workplace it is and how many people work there. 

You can then draft a proposal for a program that would suit that specific company. If the company is relatively small, perhaps you can offer employees a corporate membership rate to your studio. To ensure this discount is still beneficial to your business, you may want to set a minimum – making staff eligible for the discount as long as at least ten employees sign up. 

If you have an existing corporate wellness program in place, why not boost this and run an organizational event? Encourage local businesses to sign up for a challenge and compete against one another. Inspiring a little friendly competition with other business owners will get everyone working towards a common goal and will bring more sales into your gym. 

Drive Website Traffic 

Investing in your website is crucial. 69% of people search for a local business online at least once a month, so investing in your website is vital. 

Your site should represent your brand personality and, of course, highlight all that you have to offer in terms of classes, equipment, facilities, and instructors. Class timetables should be easily accessible, and visitors should be only a click away from booking on.

Make sure your website covers the basics with simple navigation, an FAQ section, and a clear way of contacting and finding your studio. 

Having a great gym website is one thing, but getting prospects to visit it is another. To drive people to your website, you need to make the most out of search engine optimization by ranking high on search engine results.

Hosting a blog is an excellent way of both boosting SEO and providing members with extra information.

Think of the questions that members regularly ask – perhaps they often want nutritional advice. You can dedicate a section of your blog to this and point them in that direction when they ask. Plus, people searching for nutritional information are more likely to end up on your website. Provide members with a resource that they can always turn to when they need a little help. 

If you’re new to SEO, we have a detailed article to guide you through using it for fitness marketing here

Reviews and Referrals

It’s only natural that people want to tell friends when they’ve had an exceptional experience. It makes sense then that 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, and 74% of people regard word of mouth as a key influence on their purchasing decision.  

Referral marketing is one of the best tools a gym can use for outreach. Having a program in place is incentivizing for both current and new members because everyone stands to gain something. 

Whether you already have a referral program in place or are considering starting one, the most important thing is to promote it. No one will use it if no one knows about it!

Email your existing gym members promoting the offer, post about it on your social media channels, and make sure that your staff knows to mention it whenever they interact with a client. 

The same goes for member reviews – if you don’t ask, you won’t get! If someone has had a great class, chances are they’d be more than happy to take a few minutes you leave you a review. Collecting Google reviews is a great place to start because if someone searches for your gym, this is one of the first things they will see.

The key takeaway here is simple: The best marketing asset you have is your members. 

Celebrate Your Gym Anniversary

Do you remember the buzz and excitement of your gym launch? Well, bring it back! Brand new gyms don’t have to have all the fun. Celebrate your years of success with a birthday bash.

You could host a social event at your studio and encourage members to join with friends. It’s a great way to network and get to know your members better, perhaps even some non-members. 

Try running a promotion for the first 25 non-members that visit the gym, like a free class or free session with a personal trainer. Check out this post for ten gym anniversary ideas.

Promote your gym as a space for transformation, community, and positive change. Your anniversary is a celebration of all the years that you’ve been doing this. 

Host a Training Day 

Give non-members a chance to try before they buy with zero commitments. Use your website to create a landing page where people can sign up, or perhaps use social media to allow users to claim their one-day free access to the gym. 

It’s essential to make people feel that they fit in and will be able to achieve desired results and, most importantly, feel comfortable. This may seem like a lot of effort for one class, but it will make a big difference in their experience and can have a profound effect on whether or not they choose to sign up. 

If they don’t sign up on the spot, you can always give continued information and valuable content via social media and email marketing. Be sure to have a follow-up strategy in place for all those who have attended on the day.

Provide Nutritional Guidance

Nutrition plays a massive role in our overall health and wellness journey. For many, the food is by far and away from the hardest element. This is where you can step in to give them a helping hand. 

Many people struggle to come up with a healthy diet plan that tastes good, is relatively cost-effective and reasonably easy to make/source. As fitness professionals, both you and your staff have this knowledge. So don’t be afraid to share it!

  • Host a nutrition workshop at your studio. It’s worth asking around to see if your members would be interested in attending first. You can also use this as an opportunity to ask what kind of nutrition advice they’d like and tailor the workshop to it.
  • Use your website and your blog to provide a healthy eating meal plan. You could even send this to a broader customer base and encourage non-members to sign up. 
  • Investigate businesses in your local area – are there any health food businesses or even meal plan providers? It could be worth initiating a partnership with one of them, where you both offer each other’s customers some form of discount.    

Build a Community 

According to a recent report, a community in workouts is the top motivator for consumers to go to gyms. It’s an area Katie Daniel, owner of Ambition Fitness is passionate about. In episode 20 of The Fitness Founders Podcast, Katie points out that hosting events to build a community is something that every boutique fitness studio is doing; “It’s become the norm, and it’s become the standard. You have to be doing it, or else your consumers are going to notice it”.

How do you go about building this community? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Host regular events so your members can get to know each other. Think of something fun and social that you could host after a Friday class, like a drinks reception for everyone who’s attended. 

Capitalize on Sunday Funday and organize a physical activity outside of your studio. Summer is a great time for events like fun runs. 

Start offering children friendly classes and encourage any of your members who are parents to start making the most of them. It’ll help the parents to get to know each other. 

Sponsor a team of members in a local sports league. Let them know you’ve got their back!

Get Social 

Social media and community go hand in hand. Your social media channels are an excellent tool for helping you build one for your gym, and encouraging members to share their fitness achievements and spur each other on. Check out our guide on how to build a community on Instagram for inspiration.

Statistics continue to prove that social media should dictate a significant element of your gym marketing plan. It has the power to bring in new members, motivate your existing ones, and promote brand awareness. 

Just remember that it’s called social media for a reason. Your marketing strategy here needs to focus on the conversation. Treat your channels like a two-way street, not a one-sided monologue! 

Sharing posts that open a dialogue with your followers and place value on their participation changes the dynamic of social media. Giving your clients a voice to talk about themselves will help to build your community. When people are recognized, they feel like they belong. 

In Summary 

Outreach is ultimately about communicating the right message to the right person in the right way. 

There are many ways to market a fitness business. But when it comes to marketing campaigns, the only way to know what works for you is to test and measure the result, and having strategies and goals in place is the best way to do this. 

Every gym is different; every member is different – find what works for you and your target market. 

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