Promoting Your Gym. Part 3: Marketing Locally
Posted 08/12/2016 : By: Sam Bodger
This is an updated version the 'Guide to Promoting Your Gym' ebook originally made available for download in January 2016. The new version will be released in sections and then made available as a downloadable pdf.
5. Submit a Press Release
In the age of digital marketing, using newspapers may seem like an idea from the past but it can be a very useful way of getting some publicity for yourself directly in front of the people who are most likely to use your gym... People who live locally!
Even though there are lots of low-cost opportunities for self-promotion online, local papers do have the advantage of being available, usually for free, in your local area.
The most important thing here is to make sure you have something to say, no paper will print anything that they think would be uninteresting to their readers. The human interest angle is very important here. Below are a few suggestions for press release topics:
Something New. Do you have a new piece of equipment or a new class starting up at your gym? The more interesting or unusual it is the better. Talk about the benefits that people would get from using this new service or equipment. You could also include a bit of history on the product or service like the ideas behind it and when it first came to the UK.
Tie in with Local Events. Is there an annual festival, parade or fete in your town? Do you contribute to it in any way? If you do, you could submit a press release that talks about how and why you are involved in the event. Even if you aren’t actively involved, consider running a tie-in or themed event that could attract local interest and submit a press release about that.
Personal Stories. Do you have a member at your gym who has overcome hardship, ideally with the help of your gym? Have any of your clients overcome serious injury or illness and worked their way back to health in your gym? People love to read stories about people who have battled adversity and won, just remember to tie the story to your gym or club.
Tell Your Story. How and why did you start up your gym? Did you quit the rat race to focus on your true passion? Is it an example of a local success story? Has your membership grown from a few people to hundreds? The right story has a human interest value like the examples of personal stories described above and would more likely be interesting to the local press.
Don't Waffle. Keep your story as short as you can, don't use lengthy explanations. You want to get your news across in as few words as possible. Look at the 'News In Brief' section in newspapers for ideas and try to condense your whole story into 50 words. This summary would make an excellent opening paragraph.
6. Engage with Your Local Community
many more opportunities to promote your gym or health club in your local area
by forming partnerships with other businesses or by getting involved with local
Your local community is where your customers are going to come from. Even if you have the best gym in the world, people aren’t going to drive a long way to use your services.
With that in mind, there are several methods you can use to increase your profile in your local area. Try some of the following ideas to bring in new business:
Marketing Partnerships. This area has a lot of potential, try speaking to other local business owners and offer the owner free membership in exchange for a scheme where your members get discounts at their store. Reciprocal relationships with health and beauty spas can be beneficial, membership of one could give a discount to membership of the other. Always look for relationships that benefit both parties equally as those partners will be more likely to stay committed for the long haul.
Fundraisers and Health Fairs. If there are any local charity events going on, consider getting involved. As well as raising your profile, it can be incredibly satisfying to help other people and you may get more from it than just business benefits. Also consider visiting or exhibiting at any local health and fitness related trade events, this can be a good way of bringing in some extra sign-ups to your gym.
Charity Boot Camps. If there are no upcoming charity events, consider setting up one of your own. Some gyms have successfully put on charity boot camps which helps to raise local awareness of your gym and establish your reputation as someone who is charitable and involved in their community.
Offer Deals to Local Residents. Is your gym or club near a large apartment block or housing estate? Have you considered offering a discount to the people living there? You can quite easily get many more sign ups than you would have otherwise got. The same thing can be tried with businesses that are close to your gym and have enough employees to make offering the discount worthwhile.