Operations: Who Will Be Your Next New Member?

shutterstock_60550372Three tips to expanding your club’s market reach.

I am noticing a trend taking place that is radically impacting the fitness industry: Organic growth versus recycling of exercisers from one type of gym to the other. Who is and is not joining health clubs? In my observation over the past decade there are far more health club patrons joining multiple clubs than there are new people joining. In order to overcome this trend, I believe a new way of marketing needs to be put into play — a new marketing strategy targeting the non-exerciser.

So how do you do that? How do we appeal to people not currently exercising to come in and join? I believe there are three simple and easy ways to shift our marketing to encourage new organic growth versus recycling members between clubs.

1. Market to where people are, versus where they want to be.

If you are not exercising, it’s an intimidating thought to walk in and get your butt moving, especially with how awesome you think everyone there already looks. In order to attract non-exercisers, we must create an immersion processes that moves people from nothing to something.

2. Stop using sexy bodies as marketing.

Yes it’s worked in the past and who doesn’t want to look like an airbrushed model all the time? However, marketing to the masses in this way is so far off point from the average person that it doesn’t work. Instead, average consumers feel discouraged when witness to this type of marketing.

3. Get with the program.

Why on earth is the fitness industry so behind in regards to mobile apps and all things cool? If swiping my phone to buy my morning coffee and pay all of my bills from my banking app is in my life, why do I still have to walk into your club and sign a paper membership? I’m generalizing and exaggerating of course, but truly, there is a lack of tech-savvy innovations happening that could use our attention.

Attracting non-exercisers and organically growing your market requires creating new types of messages and marketing. The fitness industry holds relevant solutions for enhancing people’s life quality, not only in your club, but around the world. By changing your message, delivery and scope you can fill the gaps and broaden the appeal of your club, attracting many more members than you might have before.


Lindsey Rainwater is an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry.  She specializes in business development and leadership. Currently she is working with the Fitmarc Team helping club owners all over the south central region of the United States propel their business forward via group exercise solutions.  For more information about Lindsey, follow her @lindseyrainh2o.

1 Comment

  1. Ryan Miller

    September 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    There’s not a liability (other than the McDonalds hot coffee spilled in lap lawsuits) with coffee as there is in utilizing a fitness facility. Buying a coffee and paying online bills with your bank account are poor comparisons as to why you would need to sign a paper membership agreement or electronic agreement with a signature pad at the sales desk.
    Liability with every member and every step they take through the club(s) will always require signed agreements to cover employees, club owners/operators, investors, and on & on….

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