How To Market a Gym in the First 6 Months

How To Market a Gym in the First 6 Months

Opening a new gym is an exciting and intimidating process. You put in a lot of time, effort, and resources to open your doors, now it’s time to market your new gym, bring in new memberships, and fill up those treadmills. But, where do you start? The success of your business relies on your ability to raise awareness and convert passersby into members. So you need to prioritize the high growth marketing activities that actually work.

Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of experience working with gym owners just like you. At EZ Texting, we know the steps your business should absolutely follow on the path to new gym marketing success. To help get you started, we compiled a list of some of our best gym marketing tips.

How to Market a Gym in 5 Easy Steps

Follow these five steps to market your new gym in less time, attract more prospects and customers, and scale your business to new heights.

1. Define Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is a crucial component to the success of your business. Defining your target audience is the first step towards creating loyal customers and raving fans. You may be tempted to cater to everyone, but that won’t work. For example, think about Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym. Both offer similar services, pricing, and equipment. However, each markets to drastically different audiences.

Planet Fitness is designed to be a place where out-of-shape and overweight people can feel safe while shedding unwanted weight. Planet Fitness markets to customers who are interested in working out at their own pace. The machines are clearly labeled. Each machine includes a helpful how-to diagram. Additionally, Planet Fitness offers circuit training areas to tone abs or lose weight. Members frequently bond over regular events such as Pizza Monday or Bagel Tuesday.

Gold’s Gym focuses more on people that want to get fit, train, and build muscle. Gold’s Gym provides access to world-class certified personal trainers, class instructors, and innovative fitness programs. The gym markets to people that are serious weightlifters and bodybuilders.

How to Define Your Target Audience:

Step 1: Define Your Core Offerings

You should start by examining the services and equipment that you offer. Ask yourself the following questions and write down your answers:

  • What services, equipment, and additional amenities do you offer?
  • Which types of customers will benefit the most from your gym?
  • What problems are you solving?
  • How are you different?

Step 2: Define Specific Demographics

Next, you need to look at the broad information that you know about your target customer and their internal motivations to use your gym. Ask yourself the following:

  • What do they look like? Are they bodybuilders, parents, out-of-shape? Do they work long hours or work at a desk all day?
  • What motivates them to come to the gym and buy a membership?
  • How do they find the motivation to use their membership regularly? Where do they spend time now?

Step 3: Create a Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It gives you a framework to build your marketing messages around.

2. Research Your Competitors

You don’t have to become a professional spy, but competitive research does need to become an essential part of your overall marketing strategy.

Most businesses know that competitors come in all shapes and sizes. As a business owner, you need to know which businesses are vying for your customer’s attention. When you understand how you stack up, it’s easier to think about how you can get ahead. Some competitive research can also inspire you to build a better business for your customers and spot new opportunities.

3. Check All the Boxes

When you are just getting started, there are some fundamental aspects of your marketing that you’ll want to get squared away quickly. These core marketing tasks and activities will make it easier to launch and manage future campaigns.

Create a Website: You can work with a web development and/or marketing agency to get a website put together. Be sure to include essential information such as location, hours, contact information, membership benefits, etc.

Create Social Channels: You need to create social media pages on the main channels that you plan to market on. This typically includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Claim Your Google My Business Listing: Claiming your listing is free and only takes a few minutes. Just head to and follow the simple steps.

Sign Up for Text Message Marketing: More than 97% of text messages are opened and read within minutes of receipt, so it makes sense that you would want to use SMS marketing to communicate with your members.

4. Deploy a Marketing Campaign

Marketing campaigns involve using a combination of strategies to reach a goal that your business has. When you're just getting started, think about launching a quick and easy referral program. A referral program is one of the easiest marketing campaigns to launch and manage.

The average fitness business will see a natural turnover in customers of about 20% every year due to people moving to new neighborhoods, changes in finances, or other life events. If there is a competitor in the immediate area, this churn can be closer to 50%. A referral program is a great way to attract new members on a regular basis.

5. Reevaluate Marketing Goals and Objectives

When you started your business, you (hopefully) defined a few goals and objectives for your marketing. Your goals were the big picture of what you wanted to accomplish and the objectives were how you want to get there.

You will want to continually reevaluate these goals and objectives to make sure they are still in line with your business as it evolves and grows. This makes sure that you aren’t wasting time and money on marketing tactics that aren’t in line with your plan.

Get the Playbook for Fitness Center Text Message Marketing

You have a lot of work ahead of you to make your new gym a success. It’s not going to happen overnight, but you can succeed with the proper tools, knowledge, and motivation. Of course, we might be a little biased when we say that text message marketing is one of the most effective strategies new fitness centers use to promote their new business and attract new members. In fact, 97% of business text messages are opened within minutes of receipt. You would be hard-pressed to find that kind of engagement from another marketing channel.

To help you move to the next step, we’ve compiled a playbook designed specifically for gyms and fitness centers like yours that want to kick off their text message marketing. Inside, you’ll find 17 pre-written text messages that you can send today to put your front door on a swivel, backs on benches, and feet on treadmills. Grab your copy today and get started.

Photo: Getty Images/PeopleImages

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