The Three Major Thrusts of Fitness Marketing

Membership businesses which provide numerous products and services to a large number of individuals have a unique set of challenges when prospecting, promoting and preserving their businesses.

If you struggle with your marketing, cut yourself some slack. A fitness club is one of the hardest niche-markets to master, but with the right tools and guidance, you can turn your club into a thriving profit-making venture.

First, you constantly need to focus attention on getting new members. These could come from direct advertising or through referral programs aimed at your existing members. At the same time, you need to create ways to keep your members motivated and active participants, reducing the likelihood that they’ll switch clubs. You also need to upsell the specialty services and products that drive your revenues, such as personal training, nutrition counseling, user-pay programs and proshop merchandise, to name just a few. Times this by several hundreds or even thousands of different kinds of people with varying backgrounds, histories and health concerns, and the task of marketing your club takes on a life of its own.

Before you panic, remember that everything you’ll learn from this blog series is doable and within your capabilities. If there is anything that seems too challenging for you right now keep to the basics we teach and add the others as you grow. Also, we are available for any extra help you may need until you’ve mastered this.

Marketing is so critical to your success that it can’t be separated from your core business. If you’re in the business of fitness, you’re in the business of marketing.

It’s crucial that your marketing address the three fundamental thrusts that form the foundation of your marketing plan:


Otherwise known as external marketing, this term describes locating and targeting strangers outside of your facility and turning them into club members. We do this in a number of ways including media advertising, public relations, corporate marketing and through neighborhood or business-to-business marketing.


Getting people to join is only the first part of the marketing cycle. You need to find ways to keep them motivated and actively participating. You want them to purchase more and to refer their friends. It is key that they don’t jump ship, leaving you with the expensive task of filling their space.


There’s no better source for new members than the friends and family of existing members. Studies show that as many as 85% of all new club memberships can come as a direct result of referrals. Learning how to tap into this sales gold mine will also help to support your outreach and retention efforts.

TOP TIP:  Referral Giveaways!

Everyone offers free time for referring friends. Invest in big-ticket items to motivate your members.

Hold monthly drawings for valuable prizes or give cash for every referral.


 Facebook Changed Their Algorithm AGAIN?

Yeah, it’s true. Just when you felt you had a handle on it and were making some headway, Facebook decides to return to the formula that made them so popular by prioritize content from “friends, family and groups.”

You know those 5,000 followers you worked so hard to obtain? You can expect to see a significant decrease in organic reach unless you’re:

  1. Publishing content that sparkles with personality
  2. Crafting, curating and sharing posts that people tend to comment on
  3. Asking people to “see first” in their newsfeed
  4. Using “Groups” to encourage personal engagement
  5. Paying for reach by purchasing ads

What it means for health clubs?

Let’s face it, the whole social exercise is moot unless it increases club visits, more downloaded guest passes and ultimately paid memberships and/or services. You STILL need:

  • Marketing that links to landing pages and lead generators.
  • Referrals (seeing your friends engage with your brand helps but is just on ingredient in the recipe for earning great referrals).
  • Be visible across all of your other social media channels (Instagram, Linked-In and Twitter are top)


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