The 21st century fitness business is cutthroat. Far more people are entering the market to either own a gym or fitness studio or become personal trainers or fitness coach and there are also gadgets and ther elements to contend with.

Anyone in the fitness business has a lot of competition, so if you want to get your business out there you’ll have to use some smart promotional methods.

Digital marketing is a brilliant way of reaching new clients and expanding your business. But what works, and what’s worth trying?

Try these marketing ideas to find new clients and retain your existing ones:

Free and intro training sessions

There’s nothing like offering something for free for getting people interested. Once you’ve hooked them in, convinced them of the benefits, they’ll then be willing to pay for your services.

Advertise free sessions for new clients, but be careful you’re not doing endless free sessions that never turn into bookings.

You may want to offer a limited number of sessions in total, or make it clear that it’s one introductory session per client.

Try encouraging people to book using a call to action, such as linking to a booking form with ‘Book your free session here!’.

This will also gain you their details to add to your mailing list.

Talk to them after the session; find out what they liked or disliked, and encourage them to book further (paid) sessions with you.

Use testimonials

Make use of your happy customers to create a testimonials section.

Ask each of them to write a short testimonial about your fitness business and how it has helped them.

But you can also feature a more in-depth commentary from a customer, perhaps making it a weekly feature in your blog (you are blogging, right?).

Potential customers want to see that other people have found your sessions helpful and had a positive experience.

Referral campaigns

Word of mouth is known to work well for bringing in business, as people want to deal with someone they feel they can trust: so use your existing customers to reach new ones.

Each client has a wide circle of friends, colleagues and family – and each of those can reach even more people.

Initiate a rewards campaign, just like a supermarket loyalty card.

Offer your clients free sessions or discounts if they bring you new clients, perhaps once the new client has signed up for sessions themselves.

Blog on nutrition

Nutrition is an essential part of fitness; you can’t get fit if you’re not giving your body the right fuel.

However, people often find it difficult to know where to start overhauling their diet.

Feature posts on your blog about nutrition and fitness, with tips and recipes to help your clients improve their diet.

You could also create meal plans and offer them via email (helping you to build your mailing list). Be sure to do this regularly.

Connect with your clients on a daily or weekly basis.

You don’t have to write a full blog post every day If you don’t have time.

Consider doing simple things like fitness tip of the day, a daily piece of inspiration like a quote or a photograph, or recommend a good product.

Anniversary promotion

When the anniversary of your fitness business opening comes around, celebrate it with some special offers and promotions.

Start promoting it ahead of time. You could offer discounts to new clients, or thank existing ones for their business.

But make a big deal of it – the fact that your business continues where many have failed is worth celebrating.

Fitness and weight loss challenges

Many people want to get fit in order to lose those extra pounds.

So an effective marketing campaign can be built around encouraging people to join in a weight loss challenge.

This could be done on an individual basis, or as a group effort; the competition can be a real incentive!

The challenge can be open to clients and non-clients alike, but use it to encourage new clients to sign up.

Perhaps the winner could receive a free session, gym clothing, or a piece of fitness equipment.

The ways you choose to promote your fitness business should be reflective across all the mediums through which you deal with clients, existing and potential. 

Being consistent with your ‘brand’ is a powerful factor in your success.

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