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5 “Must Have” Fitness Marketing Systems

A post by Ryan Ketchum

“Systems” is a bad word when it comes to most people in the fitness industry.  They think of systems as complex routines that need to be created by someone with an MBA.  Systems are much simpler than most of you think!  They are nothing more than a set of actions that get you a desired result. 

Think about that for a second….

It is a lot like a training program.  A set of actions that delivers a desired results.

Now, good systems are sets of actions that consistently provide the desired results.  There is a difference. You can get results, but are you getting the optimal result for your efforts?

In the personal training world fitness marketing systems seem to be the last thing that a fitness business owner wants to create.  They much more enjoy the thrill of having to scramble to get a few more clients when things get tight or in running a quick promotion off the cuff to generate a bit of extra revenue to buy a new training toy. 

Truth of the matter is that your fitness marketing systems are the lifeblood of your business.  It is what keeps your bank account growing and your business in the black.  However, 90% of fitness business owners have no fitness marketing systems in place to consistently deliver leads and produce new clients. 

There are 5 “must have” fitness marketing systems that you need to working in your business. 

1“Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #1

The first system that you need to have in place for your business is a solid tracking system for your marketing efforts.  If you can’t track the results of your promotions or lead generation strategies it is pointless to have any other systems in place.

Tracking your fitness marketing systems doesn’t have to be complex.  In fact, it is best kept very simple and likely done on a spread sheet and with a good client management system.  These two tools should be able to provide you with all the tracking information that you need to understand if your lead generation is working for you. 

The first spreadsheet you need is one that contains the information of your new leads.  This sheet will document the lead name, contacting (phone and email), date of contact, lead generation source, program of interest and a flow chart documenting where they are at in the process which includes:

  1. Scheduled Assessment/Consult
  2. Attended Assessment/Consult
  3. FEO Accepted
  4. Membership Sold

If you know where the lead is at in any of these areas or if you have lost contact with them in any of these areas you can effectively track your fitness marketing systems effectiveness.   This is important for you to be able to see where your bottlenecks are located and test ways to improve them.

Do you need to improve your first call script to build more value?

Do you need to improve your consultation approach?

Should you spend more time or money on one marketing strategy versus another due to the quality of the leads?

All of these questions and more can be answered once you have a solid tracking fitness marketing system in place for your business and you consistently utilize it.

2“Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #2

One of the easiest and least time consuming fitness marketing systems you can put into place is an effective internal lead generation system.  Most of the time when internal lead generation is discussed the only factor that people consider is referrals.

Referrals should be your top internal lead generator, however you must also have a system for collecting these referrals.  Fitness marketing systems need to change to fit the times and the  days of asking for a name and phone number at the point of sale to get quality leads is over.  It has become increasingly difficult to get quality leads this way.  In fact, most of the time you turn into a telemarketer cold calling the prospect and never actually getting the chance to win them over. 

Finding new and innovative ways that you can systematically get referrals and generate leads from your current clients is critical to your success.  Offering up bring a friend periods, offering for your new potential client to bring a friend to their consult/assessment, fundraiser workouts, partner challenges, and networking are all great strategies.

The key is putting them into a fitness marketing system so that you can track their effectiveness and modify as needed.  Creating a system for your internal lead generation is simple.  Run your “go to” strategies consistently.  If you have a bring a friend week do it on the same week each month.  If you have fundraiser workouts run them each and every month for a new cause.  If you are networking make sure you set a goal for getting introduced to a set number of new people or a number of meetings each week. 

Saying that you are doing the activity is not enough, you must set goals, put to action the steps required and do it consistently do make it work. 

There are hundreds of ways to alter these strategies to fit your individual business but you will never know if they are working well, if it was a flop, or if you were a one hit wonder until you consistently run and track the results.

3“Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #3

Creating external fitness marketing systems is a must in having a healthy fitness business.  You can drive a ton of new clients into your business with a focus on internal marketing, but to really take your fitness business to the next level you will need to put in place some systems to get leads from outside the walls of your facility.

External fitness marketing systems can be tough to come up with since you are likely working with a small budget, if any budget, for your marketing expenses.  That’s okay!  There are lots of ways to creatively, and cheaply create fitness marketing systems.

The first and probably easiest way to set up your external fitness marketing systems is through joint ventures or strategic alliances.  Talk to your current clients and find out where they spend their time and money.  What salons to they go to?  What restaurants do they eat at?  Where do they shop?  

When you find out where your current clients are spending time and money you can approach these businesses to form a joint venture to help promote your different businesses.   The best way to approach these businesses is by asking your clients to introduce you to the owner or manager if they know them.  Cold calling the business is a sure way to have to jump through hoops to talk to the decision makers, however if you can get your clients to introduce you to the decision maker you are half way home. 

Work to add value to the business you are working with and see how you can promote their business.  Go in with a give to get attitude and good things will happen.  One big key to a successful  joint venture for you is making it easy on the other business owner or manager.  Give them lots of done for your material, ask them to send emails to their list that you write and see if you can drive some business to them in joint promotions. 

Other great forms of external lead generation are public speaking, Facebook or other social media, networking, and deal of the day sites.  When you find out where your strengths lie you can come up with 1-2 “home run” strategies that you can use to start building your external fitness marketing systems. 

4“Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #4

Let’s face it, no matter how tech savvy you are, or aren’t, your clients are looking for you online.  It is essential that you have an online presence, even if you aren’t good at it. 

Find ways to leverage your time by hiring a fitness website design company such as Fit Web Solutions to create a page for you.  It will be a worthwhile investment.  There is no reason for an established business to have a “homemade” looking website that doesn’t present a true image of who you are as a professional.  

Think about it for a second….would you go eat at a restaurant that you found online if they had a terrible website that looked like they made it in the basement of their grandparents house on a 10 year old computer?  Probably not, so don’t expect your clients to find you or contact you from a site that looks just as bad.

Your website should tell people exactly what you do and who you serve.  Be direct with your message and make sure that you have a good call to action.  Tell the person what to do next.  If you want them to call you or fill out a form tell them exactly what to do and how to do it.

Don’t get overly fancy with a flash website that has tons of images that move and is extremely intricate.  It can be simple, but it must be professionally done.   The best sites rely heavily on telling the business story, relating to the clients they want to attract, having a place to capture lead information (an opt in box), providing social proof or testimonials, and having a great call to action. 

In a time where most people find you or at least research you on the internet it is a must have in your fitness marketing systems to have a great website.

fitness marketing systems“Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #5

Your fitness marketing systems are only as good as your follow up.  That is why a great follow up system is #5 on this list of “must haves”!   Getting the attention of potential clients is great, but you have to be prepared to stay in front of them and continue to develop the relationship.

In most cases you don’t get a lead to buy right away.  There is some nurturing of the relationship that is required before they are prepared to trust you with their fitness goals.  This relationship can be developed in many ways, but it always requires some type of follow up. 

One great way to ensure you develop the relationship is via email marketing.   Building a decent sized local email list is relatively easy and it doesn’t require much effort to keep up with it.  Creating consistent content to build value in what you have to offer is the biggest obstacle.  When you have an email list that wants to hear from your or looks to you as the expert for fitness you have the ability to make every promo and offer you create more valuable to your business. 

You can’t let the buck stop with email marketing however.  Separate yourself from the pack and make sure that you are personally reaching out to your leads, especially when they are “hot”, in their first 24 hours of expressing interest.  Not many businesses these days still rely on a personal touch to build their business and if you put just a small amount of personal touch in your follow up it will WOW your potential clients.

Start creating follow up fitness marketing systems for your business, testing scripts and working on your conversions to ensure that when you have an effective marketing strategy you aren’t letting leads slip through the cracks.

It is time that you stop running your fitness business like a hobby and started putting these fitness marketing systems in place to generate more leads and revenues for your fitness business.


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