This is part 2 of a 3 part blog post series. To read part 1, CLICK HERE.
The number one thing I find myself on the phone helping struggling gym owners with is marketing. Here are some the mistakes they’re making along with quick fixes for each one.
Mistake #5: Not Being Consistent
I am new to the sport of fishing, but I understand one very important concept: the only true way to catch a fish is with your line is in the water. It’s possible a fish could jump into your boat, but it’s not likely. You need to have the bait on the hook and the line in the water all day long to be able to catch a fish. The same goes for marketing. If you want to have a successful business that continually grows year after year, you need to make the decision right here and now to market your business consistently from today until the day you close your doors. Your line must always be in the water. I hear a ton of things like “I tried this Facebook ad for a month and I got nothing so I stopped it and now I am doing nothing.” These decisions are killers to a business.
The Fix: Evergreen paid advertising. Social media has made it very easy for us to put our lines in the water. We can select a target market, create an ad, put a budget on it and then leads come to our door. It’s a beautiful thing that I wish I had when I started my business. Evergreen means it runs all the time. You can still change the image, the copy or the offer but the ad stays running, all the time. My personal preference is using Facebook, but some also have had success with Google and Instagram. You need to decide what’s best for your business.
Mistake #6: Not spending enough money on direct response marketing
Many gym owners get very scared when I tell them to spend money on paid ads. They only get scared because they do not know the lifetime value of a member. All you need to do is figure out the average number of months a member stays with you and multiply that by the average monthly revenue from each member. For example, if the average stay is 12 months and the average monthly value is $300, the lifetime value of a member is $3,600.
How much would you spend to get a $3,600 member?
So if I told you to spend $3,000/month on Facebook ads, you may cringe at first, but by understanding lifetime value, people are much more willing to spend money on advertising.
The Fix: Figure out the lifetime value of a member and then start spending a minimum of $50 per day on paid ads. You cannot afford NOT to do this. Even if your average monthly is $100 and the average stay is only 6 months, you only need 2.5 members to break even on your monthly ad budget.
Mistake #7: Using yourself or hard body stock photos in your ads
The other day I saw a guy post an ad in a private Facebook forum. He was targeting adults looking to get fit and frustrated that the ad was not working. I took a look and it was picture of a ripped woman that probably represents the .000007 of the population. I’m willing to bet no one in his gym even comes close to looking like this. That’s why the ad didn’t work. People want to see themselves in your ads. They want to hear stories of people just like them that had success from your program. Pics of you lifting weights or hard body stock photos drive away the people you are trying to attract.
Side Note: If you are looking to be the hero to the people that are already motivated and in shape but want to get to the next level, i.e. six pack or figure competitor, than be ready for a long wait and low producing business.
Here is why:
- There are very few of these people
- Lots of other gyms are competing for this market. I honestly have no idea why. Nothing is less satisfying to me as a trainer than taking someone from 10% to 8% body fat. Give me the transformation, give me the lady that needs to lose 50 pounds, I will get her in shape and tell the entire community about it, and I promise more will follow.
If you make the decision to be the hero for people in there 30’s, 40’s and 50’s that want to get healthy, get ready to fill your gym and your bank account because there are tons of these people.
The Fix: Use the success stories from your members in your marketing. Make a commitment to highlight one member each week through email and social media. Stop using stock photos and pictures of yourself. No one cares about you, they only care about their own success.
Mistake #8: Using only one method of marketing
I have talked a lot about paid ads, but another mistake people make is relying on one form of marketing, especially Facebook. I’ve heard experts say that running ads is the only marketing you need to do. This is bad advice. What happens is FB shuts down your account, which is very possible. What happens if Facebook goes under, which is very unlikely, but still possible I guess. If you have all your eggs here you are going to run into trouble. You need multiple ways to bring in new members.
Here is a list:
Paid Ads(Facebook, google, IG)
Events at your gym
Short term Contest and challenges
Social Media Content Strategy
Events in your community
The Fix: Have multiple methods running at one time based on your current bandwidth. Many will say “I do not have the time to do all this stuff.” This is when you need to look in the mirror and realize you’re not a trainer anymore, you’re a business owner. Only the business owner will care enough to go out and get more clients. Hire a trainer to run some of your sessions and get cranking on the marketing. It’s your job.
I hope you enjoyed this and found some insight into getting your marketing back on track.
I help fitness professionals turn into successful business owners.
If you need my help to grow your business, I’d be honored.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets get on the phone so I can help you implement some of these strategies