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Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Fitness Studios Heading into 2022

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas

Jersey Giambrone, the founder of Fuel Bootcamp, shares seven guerrilla marketing ideas to implement when planning for 2022.

Most health club operators are still marketing their services the same way they always have — and the same way every other club operator has — or is highly relying on social media to drive traffic. As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We need to go back to the basics of outreach and implementing guerrilla marketing ideas. Too many health club owners and staff live by the door of their club rather than outside of it.

Here are some great ideas to get your sales teams out in the community and keep a steady flow of new traffic coming.

Hold quarterly fundraisers. Pennies for Pounds is a fundraiser I came up with while in Michigan. Every pound lifted and every rep completed by members during a predetermined time frame is multiplied for a total number. The club then donates that amount to a charity.

Partner with restaurants and local retailers. Ask local restaurant owners and retailers to have their servers hand out guest passes with all the guest bills or retailer receipts. A busy restaurant can see 500 to 700 people in a day. Imagine if 500 guest passes went out each day over the course of 30 days. That would be 15,000 guest passes per month.

Flash mobs. Health club-related flash mobs in a mall will get attention. Once you have people’s attention, you can hand out passes to your club. Obviously, you want to get approval to do this from corporate personnel at your local malls first. This idea is just different and one to have fun with.

Tag cars. Tag cars with flyers on a weekly basis in a pre-planned, logically determined manner around your club. Document where you have done so, and who is tagging cars in which area of town. I split towns into zones so the taggers are not crossing into each other’s work zone. Just walk into a business and ask how many employees they have and give them that amount of guest passes.

Walk apartment complexes. Have your staff walk apartment complexes and put door hangers on doors or a special corporate flyer designed especially for that complex. Most apartment complex managers have staff that can do this, but if your team does it, you will know that they are going to every door. This could generate 20 to 30 new memberships.

Partner with tanning salons. Tanning salons often have large databases of customers. Partner with some to use their database to send an email blast.

Lead tables. Yes, you can generate traffic with lead tables if done properly. Work with local business owners to raffle off a free one-year membership to generate leads. This could generate 30 to 50 leads every time, depending on location.

These ideas vary in the number of leads and memberships they will generate, but if they are executed properly and regularly, you will have a steady flow of leads. If they are not executed properly and regularly, then you will not see a return on your outreach and prospecting.

Of course, part of this process involves having the proper materials to hand out, such as postcards and guests passes. These products are inexpensive and can generate a lot of new leads and money for your health club. Never forget to work your current members and clients. You should get at least five names and numbers of friends or family they think will want to work out. Those names will equate to more money.

We are in a social media world right now, and all the basics of guerilla marketing have been forgotten. Become a “gorilla” and really pound the pavement. I have lived it and had to pound the pavement all day, every day to make myself successful. Many years ago, when I was paid a $500-per-month base salary and my car payment was $589 per month, I knew I could not survive unless I got my feet moving all over town and made a name for myself. I was coming up with a variety of marketing ideas to drive traffic. For me, prospecting wasn’t a job; it was a passion, and it still is today.

I have trained many sales teams across the country about outreach and living by the door. It is up to the owners and managers to hold their sales teams accountable every day to come back with 10 names, numbers and leads that should be logged, tracked and followed up with.

Photo courtesy of Jersey Giambrone and Fuel Bootcamp.

Jersey Giambrone

Jersey Giambrone is the founder of Fuel Bootcamp and author of "Too Fit To Quit." He's spent over thirteen years in the fitness industry and is passionate about creating real impact in people's lives through fitness.

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1 Comment

  1. Eric October 28, 2021

    Personally, I have never found tagging cars to be beneficial (or very well received.) At two separate gyms, it was an expectation, and I never once had someone bring in a flyer left on a car to sign up, but did have someone track me down in a parking lot and threaten to call the police on me if I did not remove the flyer from his windshield immediately.

    It is a complete waste of time.


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