Lead generation might seem like a huge mountain to climb, especially for those business owners who are less familiar with the wide, ever-changing world of sales and marketing. The basics of generating leads for your gym can be summed up in three steps – (1) creating a great offer, (2) presenting that great offer to the right people (that is – your target audience), and (3) calling them to take action now. The good news is, this is a tried and tested tactic that works every time. The bad news is, this can be a time-intensive approach to lead generation. Besides, you cannot rely on just one tactic to fill your sales funnel and boost your gym membership sales can you?
That’s where we come in. We have done the research and come up with seven simple strategies that you can/could/must/should employ to maximize the lead generation potential of your fitness business all by yourself without the need for a dedicated sales and digital marketing team to help you (and add to your business overhead costs).
1. Build a branded website
Your business needs a website. A dedicated website. A branded website. The temptation to overlook building a website can be high for small businesses relying on local clients, especially those businesses that already have a thriving social presence. Resist that temptation.
Social media is great but as a complement to an existing website. A website with your own domain name and with strong branding is an absolute must because it helps you capture leads and manage online bookings. Leverage relevant keywords and search engine optimization strategies to create high converting landing pages. Next, populate the website with high-quality content and voila – you’ve built yourself a mean lead-generation machine!
2. Position yourself as an expert
When it comes to fitness, clients are more comfortable with experts. Position yourself as an expert by sharing valuable content with your target audience, without selling your services to them. One good way to demonstrate expertise is to blog about topics related to health and fitness. E-books, newsletters, infographics, “how-to” videos, webinars and podcasts are other effective ways of positioning yourself as a figure of authority in the industry.
To generate leads, share the content with your audience using your website and social media channels. Create separate landing pages, from where people can download the content for free, by signing up.
3. Go local
Create profiles for your fitness business on Google Plus Local, Yelp, YellowPages, Yahoo! It is always a good idea to include the complete details of your gym – name, address, phone number, operating hours and mailing address – on all local profiles. Be sure to use the same information across different local profiles. Search engines are especially rewarding to businesses that show consistency across different platforms. It’s the best way to get noticed in this vast fitness industry.
4. Go social
Create business pages for your gym on the big three of social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Maintain consistency in the ‘About’ section of these profiles, share interesting or informative content and leverage trending topics or hashtags to engage target clients. Network on LinkedIn and create profiles on Instagram as well. Instagram has become the photo-sharing platform among young adults, and you can generate multiple new leads by sharing great photos related to exercise, fitness or your gym.
5. Get reviewed
Clients see, clients do. Ratings, reviews, and testimonials from real people add authenticity to your gym. They are proof that you are a real business that delivers to the extent that clients go online and write reviews about it. Positive reviews minimize entry barriers and work wonders in increasing conversions. And reviews have another advantage – they boost your search ranking as well.
6. Get referred
Referral programs are an excellent lead generation strategy with guaranteed conversions. Run double-sided programs – referral programs that offer something to both the referrer and the referee – for best results. A simple real-life example of this strategy is UberEats which offers new users $10 off their first order and also $10 off to existing customers who share their unique code with friends who sign up to the service. However, for gyms or fitness studios, non-cash incentives such as membership upgrades, free services or VIP treatment work better than cash-based incentives.
7. Grab your business card and get out there
Leverage events, seminars, fairs and other networking opportunities in your community to generate leads for your gym. Be sure to participate in every community event, even those that do not pertain to your industry per se. You’ll meet new people, expand your network and gain more clients. Remember to carry your business cards to each event – this has been a popular marketing strategy since the beginning of time!
In the end, remember that clients hate being sold to but love being informed and entertained. The key to generating more leads is to position yourself as a gym that can do both. A branded website, populated with interesting, entertaining and informative content will help you generate leads and successfully convert them into paying clients. Provide them incentives to both, become members themselves and bring their family and friends along as well. Use social media to spread the word about your brand. And while you’re doing all this, keep your eye on the local events of the community. Get out in the real world, meet new people, talk to them about fitness and your gym. There is just something about person-to-person marketing that converts prospects into leads and leads into clients easily.