Attracting your Ideal Client: 5 Marketing Strategies to Grow your Fitness Business
Struggling to bring customers to your fitness business? These 5 actionable marketing strategies will help you improve your business in no time!
Last Updated:  October 19, 2021
New gyms, studios, and personal trainers are running into the same obstacle over and over again.
They want to grow, but with virtual fitness services and powerful brands like Peloton and Apple Fitness+ on the rise, they struggle to stand out. In panic and out of fear, new businesses start making errors that will not only set them back but prevent them from growing long-term.
But businesses can avoid the biggest mistake of all once they stop chasing the wrong client.
Trying to win over the same people who invest in pricey services and at-home equipment, will result in missing the mark and a waste of time. Those people already know what works best for them. And, they are less inclined to give your business the opportunity it deserves.
Today, an online fitness business won’t grow or succeed until they stop chasing the wrong client and start marketing to their ideal client.
In this guide, you will learn five actionable marketing strategies that will help you grow your business by finding your ideal client. As well as the powerful software that can help. But first,
Who is your ideal client?
One of the biggest mistakes a new fitness business owner will make early on is to market to the wrong client.
Every person has a different reason for wanting to exercise or get fit. The goals and motivations of a person who signs up for a CrossFit box will differ from that of someone looking for a personal trainer. Or someone who enjoys running versus someone who prefers being in the gym. Finding your ideal client, someone who needs or desires your services is who you should be looking for.
Who are the people that will recommend your business and commit to what you do and offer? That’s who you want as your clientele.
Not someone who will trial your services and move on without giving a second glance. You can say goodbye to those types of clients. They’ll be a thing of the past once you know who your ideal client is.
Attracting your ideal client through marketing
To find your ideal client, you must first determine their qualities and characteristics, for example:
– Disposable income
– Their interests
– Their profession
Make your list, and once you have your client in mind, you can begin target marketing. By focusing your marketing efforts on your ideal client, you can ensure that they are being directed at someone who will value what you have to offer. Encourage them to sign up for a membership or trial your classes, knowing that this would be the type of person who will enjoy your business.
You don’t need to be a marketing expert to learn how to attract new clientele. But there are several strategies that you can put in place today that will give you the boost you need to take your fitness business to the next level.
#1 Target your audience with social media marketing
One of the quickest ways and largest platforms where you can begin your search for your ideal clients is via social media marketing.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin, and more can help you find and market to groups of people and communities that are looking for the services that you offer. When you create your profile and curate content for your audience, you can target these larger groups of your ideal client at once. You have two options for building your social media platforms:
Curate your content and engage with your ideal client via hashtags and groups. Once you have identified the pages or profiles your ideal client engages with you can engage with them there too and direct them to your pages. You can even partner with the brands that share mutual audience members to see if they will give you a boost too.
2. Boosted posts
Boosting your posts or in other words, turning your posts into micro-ads can help send your content to your target audience. You can customize your audience and ensure that your budget is being spent the right way and going to the right people.
Both great options for new businesses which need a very little budget, doing a decent mix of both can help you gain more exposure.
It’s important to keep in mind that your ideal client can have social media profiles on various channels. But they more likely than not will spend more time on one or have a favorite.
Knowing what platforms or websites your client spends their time on can help you make better decisions. You’ll know exactly where to promote your content and where you have the best opportunity to engage with clients.
Social media management platforms like Later, Sprout, and Buffer offer free to low-cost plans. These tools can help you schedule and automate all your social media content. If you want to promote your content on many channels at once, these tools will save you a lot of time and effort.
#2 Collaborate with local businesses and brands
Regardless of if you run your fitness services out of a gym or studio or online, engaging with local businesses can help you find your ideal client. Knowing the market and the businesses in your area, as well as where your ideal client spends time can help you boost your marketing. As well as spread awareness throughout the local community.
It doesn’t hurt when you provide a special offer or discount in the collaboration and offer it to each others’ clients.
If your ideal client spends their time at local coffee shops, you can offer the clients of that shop a discount. If your clients often work out of a local coworking space, you can provide the clients with that space with free trials to fitness classes after work. You can even give the owners of the businesses added value by offering them your services as well.
A win-win for everyone!
Understand where your clients spend their time and collaborate with local venues and businesses. It will help you win over clientele and assure them you are a reliable business because a business they already love recommends you.
You can also collaborate with these locations to host events and create larger marketing campaigns. Partnering with businesses that not only are in your area but share your same business values will give new clients a better idea of who you are.
Developing great relationships in your community can help you build your brand reputation. And direct your ideal client right to your door (virtual or physical). Not to mention, it will also encourage them to tell their friends and spread the word.
#3 Guest posts and interviews
Do you offer a unique service or have special insight into how to run your business a certain way?
People want to know.
Websites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) often seek case studies and business advice from startups and small businesses. Offering this advice and your expertise will give your website and business authority. As well as give you credibility that clients look for before investing in a business or service.
You can also reach out to relevant publications and inquire about their guest post or interview opportunities. By gaining exposure to online exposure you can boost your website’s ranking and visibility. This will help potential new clients find you before competitors.
When a publication with a higher ranking on Google links back to your website, they give your website a boost. This will make it so that you appear higher in online searches. It will also present your website as the most relevant option for clients.
Guest posts and interviews can also connect you with a wider network of fitness professionals and experts.
Who can then provide you with helpful information and insight for your own business?
Having a resource in the form of other business owners can guide you and provide you with ideas on ways to grow.
The more you are able to take part in these major exposure opportunities, the more you can build your credibility and reputation. Not only as an expert on your business but as an expert in the fitness industry.
#4 Create a customer referral program and encourage reviews
One of your most powerful marketing tools is your current clients. When a current client shares a review of your business on websites like Capterra and TrustPilot they can influence new clients to check you out.
Their recommendation of your business to their friends, family members, and peers can encourage them to sign up for a membership. Without their word of approval, a potential new client might have passed.
Reviews also give your business the credibility it needs to outrank competitors. When a potential new client sees your positive reviews over that of another business, they will choose you.
Gym management software such as TeamUp provides their customers with a built-in customer referral program. This makes it easy for their customers to grow through their own clients.
When a current client or member refers a new client using their personalized referral code, both the new and current client benefit. The new client either receives a free trial, class credit, or free class, and the current client receives class credit. They can then use that towards future memberships or purchases. Also, to keep your loyal customers happy, you can create your own fitness merch and give it away when a customer purchases a certain program.
Rewarding your clients for helping your business grow can strengthen your relationship. You earn the new clientele you desire, while also earning new resources for offering a better service. That your current clients will also enjoy. Everybody wins, and your business’s brand and reputation can thrive.
#5 Use proximity marketing tools to offer discounts and deals
Did you know that you can target specific consumers in your local area with discounts and offers?
Beacon and geofencing software can help you deliver your specials clients nearby. By setting up parameters and customizations, you can target specific groups of people based on demographics. For example, the same ones you identify in your ideal client.
The software behind this marketing targets those specific groups and transmits a notification to them. This provides people who would be most likely to take advantage of your services with an offer or membership discount.
Discounts, membership offers, and free class trials give people the opportunity to experience your services. Without the pressure to commit.
Being able to offer potential customers with these trials and discounted offers can help you make a great first impression. It will also show your potential new client what you can do for them when they are your client.
Growing your business does not need an overpriced budget and a degree in marketing.
By implementing these five marketing strategies for finding and attracting your ideal client and enlisting software to help, your business will both grow and thrive.
Don’t waste any more time on casting out too large of a net. Knowing who your ideal client is, where they spend their time (in-person and online), and what they need will help you market your fitness services. To the right people and in the right way.
Jessica Armstrong is on the Marketing Team at TeamUp gym management software for gyms, studios, boxes, and personal trainers and their in-person, online, and on-demand services. With a passion for fitness and wellness, Jessica uses her marketing experience to help fitness businesses and professionals learn how to successfully run and grow their businesses.