The traditional forms of local advertising such as an ad in the local paper or a generic leaflet drop on hundreds of doormats are costly and no longer very effective.
However, with a bit of imagination, you can create a big buzz about your club locally without spending a fortune.
As a club owner, I was always on the lookout for new and different ways to promote my club in the area. The relatively tight geographical radius any gym has in terms of the distance people are prepared to travel to get to you can in fact play to your advantage…
Instead of having to think about everything right across your town or city, really focus down on your local environment – the shops, the businesses and the people living right around the corner from you and think of ways to engaging with them, working with them and encouraging them to join. Become the friend, business collaborator and adviser to this tight knit area and then once you’ve done that, referrals and word of mouth will help to push the radius of your members wider and wider from there.
I sat down with my team and thought about all the ways in which we could work with the local community to ensure that we were their first choice when it came to all aspects of health and fitness. In my ebook, ‘100 Ways to Attract More Members and Keep Them For Longer’ there are many of the tricks and techniques we came up with.
With a small marketing budget we were able to punch above our weight and soon had a far higher profile than the branch of a chain gym in the same town.
To get all 100 tips, you can download the ebook for free from this website.
Here’s a taster of a couple of the tips, numbers 12 and 13 of the 100:
Find a restaurant or maybe even a chain of restaurants and offer them something in exchange for placing your name and/or logo next to the healthier selections. Or perhaps customize the menu so there is a dedicated XXX Fitness Healthy Choices section. It is in their best interest, as people are increasingly looking for a choice of healthier menu options.
In addition, get them to print on their receipts, “Bring this receipt to XXX Fitness within the next week to receive a 30 day membership!” You can also pay to have the restaurant receipt binders created. You can have the same thing printed on the menu book as well! The restaurant saves on an expense and is seen as being a healthier eatery because you sponsored the healthy choices on their menu.
Good Neighbour Mailer
This one is a great strategy to get people talking. Use some of your members who LOVE your club and/or have a really great success story. Take a picture of them working out with their trainer. Take that picture to your local printer and have postcards printed of the image. Add a brief testimonial on the front and then post the cards to people who live near the successful member:
“Mary from XXX town just lost 12lbs over the past 6 months and she wants you to feel as good as she does! Simply bring in this flyer and you will receive a complimentary 14 day trial membership because you are Mary’s neighbour. And if you know Mary personally, please congratulate her on her amazing achievement!”
Both of these tips are great examples of local advertising that is inexpensive but highly effective… try them in your club!
My members can sign up online through the fully branded page that Ashbourne provide. If any of my members have a payment query they deal with Ashbourne direct, allowing me to concentrate on running my club.
At McCaulay’s Health Clubs and Gyms we utilise the full suite of Ashbourne services, including the latest Membership Validation Till System, which really is helping to boost our secondary spend. Their core service of payment collection is utterly reliable and professional.
I have used Ashbourne for my payment collection for 10 years now. The software they have provided keeps improving and they work with the clubs to make it better. It’s easy to use and packed full of features.