From my experience, I find the vast majority of fitness and sporting businesses spend hours of time and the majority of their budget on marketing to individuals or sometimes couples and families.
But let me give you a tip – get to know your local companies, shops, corporates, sporting clubs, association and other heath and fitness related businesses.
I used to work for years in the corporate world (both small, medium and large) and this is an untapped goldmine for your fitness or sports business.
Remember every individual you target is more than likely working for a company too and reaching out to individuals through companies can be a more cost effective approach to marketing your business and can save you a lot of time and money.
So let me go through some of the ways you can work with businesses in your area:
Special Corporate Deals
Now this is an obvious one especially if you have a lot of large companies in your area. Put together a special price – say if 2 people join, get a 20% discount, 3 people join 25% etc. The more people that join, the bigger the discount.
Talk to the HR manager and sell the benefits of exercise – a healthier employee is more productive, takes less sick days, lowers their stress levels and has more energy and that is good news for any manager. Play a crucial role of any corporate wellness program.
Hold a series of “lunch and learns” – do presentations to groups of workers about relevant topics such as why you need to take breaks from sitting down in front of the computer, healthy lunch options and exercises they can do at work.
If there is a gym in the building, offer to hold some small group training or PT sessions for the employees.
Become a preferred supplier
Look at all those businesses who have a natural affiliation to health and fitness – physios, doctors, masseuses, health food stores, nutritionists, chiropractors etc. Approach them and agree to promote each other’s businesses – list their details on your Web site, every month put a post on their services on your Facebook page, have special promotions just for their customers.
I do this for my PT business and I have found these businesses have been more than happy to help out as it doesn’t cost them much money and gives them exposure to a wider audience. Plus it positions you as supporting local businesses in the area and an important player in the community.
Put together a special package
Maybe you want to offer some packages which includes a certain number of PT sessions or classes plus a manicure and pedicure. Or maybe a photo shoot or a haircut at the local hairdresser. Or a special 12 week program where at the end they get a new outfit at a boutique store.
Get creative with your packages and use a local business to offer an extra incentive for when they complete their training.
Sporting Clubs and Associations
Think about the characteristics of your members and clients – do they belong to any sporting clubs, social clubs or associations? Talk to the manager and offer their members some free passes and a great offer if they sign up with you.
Cross promotion opportunities
Identify a range of local businesses such as local cafes, travel centres, movie theatres, hairdressers, beauty salons, bars and pubs and see if they would offer your members a small discount or a free item.
Create a banner in your gym with a list of your local partners and help them to promote their business. You can have a noticeboard allocated to ‘Community Partners’ and all gym members could receive 10% off their products and services (they just need to show their membership card on purchase). List them on your Web site and regularly promote them via social media and make sure they do the same for you.
Look at other fitness based companies
If you provide yoga classes, how about teaming up with a CrossFit Box. Or if you do outdoor training classes, maybe look at partnering with a local gym. Are there any fitness businesses that offer services that you don’t but would compliment each other and give your members added value to their memberships?
This could prove a great way to broaden your services to a completely new audience.
Reach out to the local community
Being part of the local community and being a good corporate citizen will position you strongly compared to your competitors.
Spend a day walking down the local shopping strip and introduce yourself to the business owners. Offer all staff members a special membership rate and ask if you can place a flyer in their shop window or put some flyers on the counter or display business cards. Offer no joining fee to everyone who is referred from a local shop owner.
Invite the local shop owners to any open days and social events. Tell them they can set up stalls to promote their businesses in exchange for some freebies on the day. This creates a win / win for everyone and ensures you get a good turn out on the day.
Get involved in any community events – set up a stand or volunteer your services. This is how you raise your profile and reach your target audience. Could lead to some PR opportunities too.
So as you can see, there are lots of opportunities to target local businesses – and the great thing is, none of these ideas cost a lot of money at all, just a bit of time. But it can be one of the most effective and rewarding ways to build your brand, generate new leads and acquire more clients for your business.