Many gym owners who are first-timers don’t invest in acquiring gym leads, health club advertising, or fitness club lead generation. Mainly because they believe that they have created the gym of everyone’s dreams. They think people will come naturally without promoting services and looking for the club leads.
Well, this is a huge mistake.
Even large franchises and gyms that have been in business for decades do their best to promote and generate leads. Thus, why wouldn’t you do the same? Even if you are not starting your club, you may have problems for the same reason.
Bringing clients or more like prospects is known as lead generation. This article will cover the basics of it, common lead generation channels, and the best lead generation strategies to help gyms start their first year.
Or maybe help those already having a hard time because of their poor choices in the past. Whatever it is, take the time to go over the details and data we have for share.
First, What Is Lead Generation?
Simply put, lead generation is a process that allows you to convert strangers into prospects to sell your products or services. This way, you get your message out to people who might be interested in joining your gym or fitness club.
How does this work? The first step is to attract any potential member by using one of your marketing channels. People will then be directed to your landing page.
Once there, the landing page asks people to fill out a form to be added to your potential lead list.
The next step is to reach and attract them with various marketing materials and strategies to move up the sales funnel. This journey will take them from being high-quality leads to fully paid members of your fitness business.
A well-put-together gym management system can make this process so much easier.
Why Does A Gym Need Lead Generation?
In fact, the real question should be: “Why does a gym or fitness club need aggressive lead generation?”
The reason is that the fitness industry has grown and become highly competitive over the past few years.
You might find yourself competing with many other gyms and fitness studios. Sure enough, all of them are in the race to get the biggest part of the sales qualified leads in your area.
To gain a foothold, you need to build a solid membership base. In order to achieve this, you must be aggressive and exhaust all possible lead generation channels.
What Are the Most Common Lead Generation Channels to Use?
The days when lead generation meant putting up posters in every corner of the city, handing out flyers outside in the cold, and spending your quarterly budget to buy ad space on the local radio or newspaper are long gone.
These methods have their benefits, but they don’t deliver the best results in cost and leads generated.
Nowadays, there are many better lead generation channels out there that you can use to secure the best results for your fitness business.
But to get more out of these tools, let’s start by looking at what a lead magnet and some more elements in this process are.
What Is A Lead Magnet?
In order to attract people to your fitness business, you need to capture their attention by any means necessary. This is what is called a lead magnet.
It is something that your clients will find valuable and helpful. It could be a popup, an Instagram ad, or even an email marketing and message they receive.
You know that a lead magnet is effective if it makes someone want to contact you and give their personal information.
In the area of the fitness industry, freebies are the top options to attract more clients. For example, the classic free trial for any of your services is the best lead magnet you can use.
There are also cases where some people skip trials in their efforts to save money. Don’t lose the chance and instead try offering discounts, so they stick to your business.
Fitness challenges are another great way to get more leads. Motivating people to reach their goals is a very popular lead magnet. This way, you get to motivate and retain current members and non-members to generate more qualified leads.
How to Generate Your Leads: Best Practices
Now that the basics have been covered, it’s time to get ready and start including these practices for your gym and fitness club leads:
Branding an App and Website
This is ruled by one simple fact: your business requires a dedicated, customized, and well-managed website.
While social media is essential, it should be there to complement an existing website. Don’t neglect to build a solid website just because you have a strong social media presence.
Strong branding and a domain name can help you build awareness, capture high-quality leads, and manage online bookings.
Mobile design is also essential when it comes to websites. Did you know that 67% of mobile users wouldn’t recommend a business to someone just because their mobile website was not responsive and poorly designed?
According to recent statistics, an average adult in the United States spends approximately 3 hours per day on their smartphones. 89% of that time is just using apps and visiting websites.
Knowing this, you should be fully aware of how your lead generation process can be affected by both a branded app and a website in today’s technology-driven world.
Establish a Referral Program
Referral programs can be a great way to generate more leads for your business. If you use them properly, they can be a powerful marketing tool.
It is all about turning your current clients into your personal cheerleaders by using word-of-mouth marketing.
This marketing strategy will help you generate positive word-of-mouth for your business and add another string to your lead generation process.
Did you know that 82% of consumers trust referrals made by people they know? They are also four times more likely to purchase if referred by a friend.
To maximize the use of referral programs, try to include an incentive for both the referrer and the referee. That way, they will feel more attracted.
Your referral program should always be simple. Promote it on your website, social media channels, and at your gym in person.
Referring customers to your studio or gym has two main benefits. First, you can reach potential clients who have not seen your marketing campaigns.
Second, you get to retain your existing client base so referring to friends is a good way to keep your members coming back to you. It creates a chance for you to intervene quickly and possibly stop the members from churning.
Organic Social Media
If your social media presence is not consistent, it will appear as though you aren’t there, which is as simple as that.
It is a fact that not posting regularly on social media will only create a negative impression about your business, which may prevent potential leads from coming your way.
Try posting content regularly. It doesn’t need to be packed with too much information. Include photos and short videos of your classes, nutrition and workout tutorials, and class times.
Motivational quotes and member transformation stories are great topics to catch your client’s attention because they can be shared easily and leave a lasting impression in their minds.
These kinds of posts are usually very powerful and can attract new followers for your social media channels which you can then convert to new quality leads via targeted advertising.
Social Media Strategy
Following the previous mention about social media, we need to share more facts and a decent strategy.
First, more than 40% of the world’s population uses social media. So your social media strategy should be an essential part of any of your future marketing campaigns.
If you need a reason about why you should include it, keep in mind that the majority of that population uses Facebook at least eight times per day, with 65% of Americans using Facebook.
It is actually simple. To get new leads and engage them, you only have to keep an eye on social media marketing statistics.
Make full use of all social media channels available. Keeping your brand consistent is the focal point to attract potential clients online. In this way, you can also reach them easier.
Besides the organic option mentioned earlier, these are some great online advertising platforms:
- Facebook Ads.
- Google Ads.
- Twitter Ads.
- Instagram Ads.
Utilize or Implement Challenges
They are certainly not new but are part of the best marketing strategies out there, and it isn’t bad to include them in your strategies.
They work because they help you build a relationship with potential clients. If done right, you can nurture them on the way to becoming full-time members of your business.
Propose at least four challenges per year, each lasting between 4 and 8 weeks, so it makes people feel the need to stay longer and complete them.
The challenges can be identical in structure, but you need to label them differently depending on the season.
For example, there is the “Summer Muscular” challenge for people who want to get ready and be in top shape for the holidays, and the “Winter Soldier” challenge for those who wish to get out of their houses and stay in good shape during the winter.
You Can Be an Industry Expert
Your business will get the majority of its clients because they are looking to make a difference. They may be looking to lose weight, get fitter or feel more confident.
Your job here is to make them feel more comfortable and trustable. Use your knowledge as an expert in the fitness field and start sharing content using your social media channels.
Pay special attention to promoting your instructions and equipment because they are often the main reasons clients choose to join a gym over working out at home.
By following these simple steps, you can position yourself in the industry as an expert. You can also show your industry authority by sharing content such as webinars, podcasts, and how-to videos.
Keep Track of Your Leads
It is important to keep track of your leads once you have started to generate them. You can do this by recording emails, doing website engagements, or even in-app interactions.
This will keep you in touch with them, and at the same time, they won’t lose interest in what you have to offer.
Tracking leads might seem like a tedious task, but it doesn’t have to be.
There is gym management software out there that helps you keep track of leads and cut down on the time it takes you to nurture them.
It shows you exactly where a qualified lead is at the sales funnel and what services they need from you. This is a great tool for managing all aspects of your business, whether you are a personal trainer or a gym owner.
We have already mentioned this, but social media is very powerful, and influencers are at the core.
You can reach new clients by finding someone who is within your budget and willing to work with you.
This generates even more content to share on your social media channels, and at the same time, boosts your lead generation process.
Always look for influencers who are located near your community to increase the chances of attracting people close to your market area.
Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
PPC advertising is a top lead generation strategy today.
Paid advertising allows you to reach qualified leads interested in your business via PPC. These ads will be displayed at the top of search results and tagged with the word “ad.”
These leads are ready to convert and bring value to your website. About 70% of high-intent search results end up with people clicking on a PPC advertisement. But before you can start with PPC, you must first do your research.
If your ad contains keywords, it will be displayed in relevant search results. And to reach potential clients interested in gyms and fitness clubs, you must choose the right keywords.
Always focus on long-tail keywords because they are more likely to be searched by people who are looking for your services. These keywords must contain at least three words.
Remember that leads who search using long-tail keywords are more likely to convert.
Once you have selected your keywords, you can bid for your ad position. The maximum price you will pay per click on your ad is your maximum bid.
Your bid and quality score will determine the placement of your ad. After you have been approved, you can start your campaign and earn new leads.
PPC Ads are a great way to get qualified leads quickly. They are also cost-effective because you only pay for the clicks on your ads.
Geotagging & Geofencing
This is actually a nice strategy because social media platforms allow your business to create geo-targeted areas to reach potential clients.
But what are they?
It is a way to send push notifications specific to your location via social media to users who live within a 5-10 mile radius of your gym and fitness business.
This feature allows website and app readers to receive promotional offers in return for their participation in the local community.
It is the best way to obtain localized information about qualified leads.
Partner with Local Brands and Network with Them
If you are just starting your personal training business or just want to attract even more leads, it is a good idea to partner with other brands so you can spread the word faster.
Use your social media channels to help them promote their brands and ask them to do the same for you.
Sharing valuable and actionable content can bring you a lot of benefits.
- Visibility is key to your brand’s success.
- You will see an improvement in your SEO (search engine optimization), and you can also benefit from outbound links to improve your ranking.
- You curate searchable content and create a dedicated readership.
- Keep up to date with industry trends.
- Your shareable content makes your website SEO stronger.
Local sporting events can help you reach a wider audience. Reach out to local sports teams and make sure to offer your personal training services or collaborate by mentioning them in your marketing channels.
Partnerships and networking increase brand recall. Your potential clients may be referred to you by local shops that are familiar with your business.
You can also use your social media pages to train and boost this strategy.
Since people are more likely to receive their news via social media than from a news broadcast, make sure that they are managed by a qualified person or an expert in the fitness area.
Try discussing with your staff ways to boost your gym’s popularity. Former and current clients should be invited in a polite way to “like” the posts on your social media pages by each trainer.
You can also generate leads by hosting contests on your page. Ask your followers to answer trivia questions and motivate them by offering a big prize.
The Power of Email Marketing
Email is 40 times more effective than Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform in helping businesses gain new leads. It’s important to create an email marketing strategy if you want to succeed in capturing as many qualified leads as you can.
Personalize your emails using an email marketing tool so that you can tailor each message for the client. If you take the time, it will show even more that you actually care for them.
It is important to take your time but remember not to create emails that are too complicated. Just focus on sending valuable and concise content to people who have signed up for it.
The Best Lead Generation Channels for Gyms
To summarize some of the parts you need to remember, we recommend taking notes of these channels to prioritize them in your lead generation process and marketing strategies:
The most cost-effective channel for generating leads and generating revenue through social media is organic. This involves posting regular content on your leading social media platforms.
The most valuable social media channels are Instagram and Facebook, and this is where most fitness businesses have found success.
People are constantly looking for information and entertainment; this way, content marketing has become increasingly popular over time.
A great example of a lead magnet is content. Blog articles, podcasts, and e-books are all included under this umbrella. Actually, content marketing generates three times more leads than paid search advertising.
Don’t be deceived; email is still relevant. It is one of the most trusted channels that you can use.
It is also very popular, with the general population using it 15.6% more often than social media. For that reason only, it should be incorporated into any gym’s lead generation strategy.
They are the best word-of-mouth marketing tool for a gym or fitness center.
Many people believe in service or product recommendations from their friends. Referrals work well as a low-cost method to generate leads.
To make this work, however, you must have a membership base.
Referrals should also go hand in hand with online reviews because they just are another form of word-of-mouth marketing. Reviews are persuasive, just like recommendations from friends.
So, that pretty much sets the lead generation channels and strategies you should be caring about the most, and with some effort, you will improve your lead capture and lead scoring with them.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Gym Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Gym Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Gym Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.