When you think of growing new leads, you are more likely to think of outside customers rather than your own members as a source of steady new leads. The members using and getting results in your gym are the flesh and blood of your brand. The actual people in your building make up your best marketing team.
Chances are if your members are having a positive experience and getting results, they will be the diehard ambassadors of your brand. We know word-of-mouth is still extremely relevant with millennials in the age of social media. So how do you convert that buzz into sales? Make sure that you are communicating the right message and creating the right space for your members so they feel compelled to share their experience.
Encourage a Status Update at the Point of Sale
For millennials, a lot of activities, including workouts, can be heavily social. We know that when a member first joins your gym they are fired-up and motivated. Capture that new energy and ask if they want to share a status on social media about their excitement in having just become your newest members! This does not have to be awkward or pushy. If you are sincere in sharing their excitement, they will likely be receptive. And don’t forget that you can also offer free guest passes in return for an online shout-out or share!
Create an Instagram Worthy Space
Is your weight area Instagram worthy? In your time at the gym you have probably had the honor of witnessing a member taking a flex selfie in one (or all) of your mirrors. This self-indulgent practice was once frowned-upon, but it is now commonplace on social media. Why not give the members what they want?
Creating a snap friendly space does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Use a cool backdrop on an unused wall to designate a selfie space. Perhaps put a fun new piece of equipment or even cute props that you can use to celebrate a member’s success or milestone.
Whenever a member has reason to celebrate, “Hooray another 10 lbs!” ask if you can take their photo with a prop or a staff member to share on social media. The possibilities here are endless. The point is, we know that people want something visually appealing to share on social media. How are you contributing to that want?
Building Your Community
A member spotlight can be an effective way to reach out to new members and invigorate your community. Social media and other online channels will help you to reach audiences beyond your current membership. At the same time, your existing members may identify more closely with your gym especially at large facilities where they otherwise might not know the names of other members or get to meet people who work out on a different schedule.
Reviews and Success Stories
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to obtain new gym clientele. Think about this: if you have a co-worker or friend that encourages you to try something they love, you are more likely
to try it. The same goes for your gym. Offer incentives such as a free class or a free month membership for writing an honest review on sites such as Google Reviews or Yelp.
This is by far the best way to generate business for a gym. Attach free trial coupons to flyers, brochures, local newspapers and magazines, mail-outs and coupon booklets. Let them bring a friend for free. Many would-be members are fearful about value and the intensity of the fitness environment, they simply won’t even try. A free trial will get them in the door to see what you have to offer in a low pressure setting.
One final thing to increase exposure is to write and publish a press release. We use americantowns.com and prlog.org. The americantowns.com site will also submit your press release to all local newspapers. With both sites, you will now have additional online exposure and other sites will likely pick up your release — most everyone is looking for quality content. But here is the real secret, on your Twitter account, be sure follow all of your local media…radio station, television stations, newspapers, magazines, etc. Now, you want to become known by your local media, you can do that by likes, comments and retweets. Once that has been successfully accomplished you can grab your link on the press release and send it as a direct message on Twitter.
What is the secret to all this? Just do it and you’ll prosper.
Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting and brokerage firm as well as providing revenue generating 6 Week Challenge Program. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully to overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.jimthomasondemand.com.