One of the biggest problems with owning a fitness business, and in most small businesses for that matter, is the lack of consistency in marketing. Many gyms will ramp up their marketing efforts during a back to school drive and at New Year’s — that is the extent of their marketing. This is a big mistake.
Let’s assume you take a more aggressive approach to marketing and you implement one marketing strategy every single month. While this is obviously better than only marketing twice a year, you’re still missing out on the true power of marketing.
In order to make your marketing work for you, and consistently drive traffic to your business month after month, you must do two things:
1) Plan Your Marketing
2) Use a Multi-Touch Approach
First of all, it goes without saying that you need a detailed marketing plan for your club, laid out month by month. Even if you only have tentative marketing strategies planned for each month, you can fill in the details and identify your exact plan as a particular month approaches.
A simple way to get this process started is to get a calendar to put on your wall. Or for that matter, you can take 12 note cards, one for each month, and put them on the wall.
On each card you will write down three marketing strategies you plan to do during that month. Don’t overthink this, simply write down three things that you feel would work during that month. For example:
1. Mail a letter to all of your current members and clients to offer a complimentary personal training session to help battle the bulge during the holiday season.
2. Send a “Previous Member Early Bird Special” greeting card to all of your expired members with a special offer for them to rejoin before the New Year.
3. Buy several cases of water and tape a gift card to every one of them and go around to local businesses each Monday to distribute.
1. Send 10,000 direct mail pieces for a New Year special.
2. Run a referral event and offer three months free for anyone who refers two new members during the month of January.
3. Call the owner of all businesses you took water to and offer a special New Year membership to their employees.
See how easy that was?
This doesn’t have to be perfect. Just write down what you feel would be a good strategy for that month. You can always tweak your plan as the month approaches.
You absolutely must deliver your message multiple times to each person. Your prospects may not pay attention to your direct mail piece in December, but they’ll then find a door hanger at their home, then they will receive that bottle of water and gift card, then they receive a special offer through their employer, then they see you at a local health fair, then they see an article you wrote for the local paper, then they hear their friend talk about you. You get the picture.
This is how you become relevant in the mind of a prospect. But consistency must be planned. If you take a passive approach to marketing or you randomly try things on a whim, you will not be maximizing your results. The more times you can touch a prospect with your message in a shorter amount of time, the greater the likelihood of that prospect becoming a member.
So grab a pen and paper and take a few minutes to write out your tentative marketing plan for the next 12 months. Then take a closer look at the next two months and identify the exact strategy you will use to generate leads. Plan your touches and you will find your marketing message is much better received, and the results of your marketing will be exponentially greater.
Curtis Mock is the host of www.fitnessbusinesstelevision.com, the TV show for fitness entrepreneurs and is the executive director of GymSuccess.com. Curtis can be reached via e-mail at Curtis@ClubSolutionsMagazine.com.