Every person in your town is a potential member of your gym. Having somebody walk in to inquire about your membership without any prior points of contact is great, but cannot be relied on consistently. There are an abundance of businesses, organizations and events that are full of people to inform about the awesome services you offer. Going outside of the four walls of the gym allows those in your community to of course see who you are, but more importantly see what you are about. Go the extra mile and do what competitors will not. Being an active face in your community will create interest and will lead to more opportunities to reach people.
In order to create the opportunity to reach people outside of the gym, work and research have to be done. Inquire with nearby businesses if you can simply provide a service. Ask a manager of the local grocery store if you and a trainer can set up a table in the front. Be a real-life display of your facility.
Provide body fat and postural assessments. Dress nicely and hand out water bottles and trial passes to shoppers and employees who stop by. Offer to bag groceries and help people with large items. Answer questions and dig deeper to show that you are a professional and can aid in specific goals. Raffle a personal training package. Have people enter your raffle by filling out a sheet with their information on it. Call every single one of them a week later and invite them in for a trial membership. Having all of these people test driving your facility can of course lead to them joining, but also can lead to them persuading their favorite people to join because of the unique way you got them to use the gym.
Inquire with large businesses or schools to be part of their monthly meetings. If they’re open to it, find a guest speaker (one of your employees) to speak to the group. Show excitement and again provide a service. If it works out there will be a chance to sometimes speak to upwards of 100 people. Be an ambassador for health and wellness first and foremost. Speak on the benefits of employee wellness, and then show how your facility and the services offered can assist those you are presenting to.
Events such as 5Ks, chamber of commerce meetings and ribbon cuttings can also get your foot in the door. Research what is going on in your town during the quarter and reserve a spot ahead of time. Lead a high-energy group stretch before a race and offer to present a short-term membership to the winners.
Hold a health fair at your gym where like-minded vendors come in to provide further info on health and wellness (and cool free swag) to your members. Let friends of members workout for free and have exciting group classes throughout the day. Tell your local chamber about your events so that they may create a press release and also let you speak about your event at a local meeting. Also show face at the grand opening of an awesome new business coming to town. Let your presence be a constant reminder of how you can service your community.
In bringing all of this together consistency is key. Follow up with those you serve and come in contact with. Use different points of contact to be a reminder of how unique and special your membership is. There will be times when people tell you no. That is more than fine because 100 no’s equals one amazing yes!
Always have something planned for you and your team to do outside of the gym. Your brand will be looked at as a staple amongst your community because of the consistent ability to deliver services in multiple areas. The work you do will have more businesses and organizations contacting you as the face of health and wellness in your community.
Ethan Smoorenburg is a personal trainer and manager of Anytime Fitness in Upper Lafayette, New Orleans. For questions and comments he can be reached at Ethan.Smoorenburg@anytimefitness.com.