Guide to Growing Your Online Fitness Business - FitWell Content

How to Grow Your Online Fitness Business?

Blog Business tips Reading Time: 10 minutes
BY: jacob wildman

The fitness business today is booming, and everyone wants to be more successful than their competitors. The Internet has become a space where you can promote yourself and promote your business. According to statistics, the total market size of the global fitness club industry is over $87 billion. So the question is how to be special among this huge number and promote your business to be recognizable?

Let’s face it: this problem will always exist unless your club is the only one in the community.  Let’s look at options to make your business more successful.

Steps to starting your online fitness business

Your audience is active, creative, and cheerful people. This is a place where some challenges, competitions, and just engaging events are constantly taking place. Your clients come to recharge with vivacity and energy. Every day your club is buzzing with life.

Make sure people know about it! Social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are great tools where you can share regular posts about what is happening in your online fitness club. The more people know about your sports party, the more people are interested.

growing online business

Step 1. Be one-of-a-kind in your industry

It sounds easy and proud, but how to do that? If you try to squeeze into the ranks of other fitness entrepreneurs without a competitive advantage, nothing will work. It is important to highlight the unique features of your offer and answer the following questions:

  1. Why is your gym better than other ones in the city?
  2. What services can the fitness room provide, and are they much better than other ones?
  3. What is your target audience?
  4. What is special about your personal trainers?

The answers to these questions will help you identify how you will differ from the dozens of other gyms. It is also helpful to conduct an analysis of your fitness club.

At the same time, when forming your offer, you do not need to try to cram everything possible into your square meters with a swimming pool, tennis courts, or spa salons. It is better to focus on particular services and do your best to improve them.

Step 2: Hire the best fitness trainers

Many new clients come to the gym following the recommendation of friends who train there with a certain personal trainer. As a rule, when you sign up for a certain sports program, you choose the time and days you will visit the gym. Each coach works according to a specific program and has its own approaches. 

If the cost of services for all your club coaches is the same, this is wrong. There must be premium-class instructors who will work with VIP regular customers. At the same time, more expensive coaches should be the best – well-known locally and have gained a reputation for their achievements.

Let’s say if your gym focuses on weight loss, you may have different programs for the weight category:

  1. slender clients – easy programs to stay fit,
  2. overweight clients – workouts that include more physical activity,
  3. obese clients – you should provide intensive training.

Step 3: Competitor Analysis

This work should include several steps:

  1. Analysis of competitors in your city.
  2. Analysis of large gyms in large cities to determine what helped them achieve good results.
  3. Analysis of foreign gyms; the American fitness market has stepped far ahead, so you can take inspiration and implement great ideas.

Analyzing competitors is the first step to identifying the key features of each gym, taking into account the availability of group fitness and children’s programs, personal training, martial arts, nutritionists, masseurs, and solarium. Next, analyze their websites and information about the club and its online fitness coaching in the media and social networks. It is also necessary to determine the capture points for new customers: fitness business cards, pages on city portals, promotions, a website, transit advertising, TV, professional events, and bonus and loyalty programs.

Then, evaluate the intensity of competition: how often there are new marketing campaigns, price changes, and new services, and then look at their quality and market positions: who is popular and why.

Step 4: Customer Analysis

Do you offer your customers questionnaires to fill out? Knowing the client’s first and last name is a big advantage. Thanks to this data, you can learn a lot about them using the Internet in order to build more profitable relationships. For example, when you find out that a blogger is visiting your gym, you can make them a trade – a post in exchange for an individual free workout with a VIP personal trainer.

Step 5. Action!

It consists in using the information received to your advantage and putting it into practice. To do this, you need to make a plan and indicate the deadlines for their implementation. An example would be the following list:

  1. Lead generation through direct marketing.
  2. Create a beautiful site (you will have to fork out).
  3. Create pages on social networks (do not forget about a single corporate identity).
  4. Take beautiful photos of the gym, or record a motivational video for new clients.
  5. Set up email distribution.
  6. Set up targeted ads.
  7. Install a branded sign on the online fitness club.
  8. Decorate the gym inside.
  9. Choose appropriate music (in some clubs, the music has not been changed for years, and the number of tracks does not exceed ten).
  10. Design a branded uniform.
start you online business

Tips to keep your fitness business growing

We work with various segments and see that almost all online advertising tools are relevant in the fitness industry. They include contextual ads well known to everyone, popular video advertising, and promotional advertising.

But despite the abundance of digital tools, it should be remembered that gyms have their own target audience – ranging by geo, income level, price offers, and so on. It is also crucial to attract new customers and retain old ones. How do we connect these two paths for business growth?

Adjust to the situation

Coronavirus has made adjustments to the promotion strategies of many business niches: cafes and restaurants, beauty salons – the list is quite long. The changes also affected the fitness industry. Here is how the fitness business got out of this tricky situation during the period when everyone was sitting at home:

  1. Online fitness coaching replaced group and individual training with personal trainers.
  2. They sold videos of training courses – an option for classes at a convenient time for those clients who could not or did not want to connect online.
  3. They froze gym memberships for the lockdown period – a measure taken by clubs to retain loyal regular customers.
  4. They switched to selling home fitness equipment — whoever was able to quickly establish a new direction at least partly justified the losses during the downtime.

Do not forget to take into account the seasonality of demand

You have to be prepared for seasonal traffic drops. Here is how to keep your fitness business on a high level all year round:

  1. Plan site optimization work for the summer months to be fully prepared for the autumn-winter rise – this is especially true for global changes.
  2. Think over special offers for the recession period and launch contextual advertising on them. This will smooth out the drawdown of leads from the search.
  3. Redistribute budget between campaigns based on-demand statistics.

Promotion of a fitness club in social networks

Again, for small online fitness projects, social media can be the main source of customer acquisition. For large multifunctional centers, this is also a good communication channel and a way to attract new customers.

General social media tips:

  1. Focus on those social networks where your target audience communicates (but not those where you feel comfortable yourself).
  2. Make regular posts.
  3. Use fitness hashtags and geotags.
  4. Do not overload with intrusive advertising and affiliate promotions.
  5. Keep the group active with polls, contests, and engaging posts.
  6. Use for promotion club accounts and the pages of coaches and the director/owner of the fitness business if they have a personal brand.
  7. Post real photos. The “before / after” photos, previously agreed with clients, show the training process.
  8. On Instagram, use stories and reels.
  9. Implement paid services of the mass following (mass subscription) carefully to avoid getting banned. It would help if you did not start using them immediately after registration. You need to give your account a few weeks to “calm down.” Remember that such services are just a way to attract an audience to your account.
  10. If your budget allows, promote with influencers on YouTube and Instagram. Before starting negotiations, evaluate the core of the target audience, its involvement, and the blogger’s influence.
  11. Use targeted ads to promote posts. Set up targeting by demographics, geolocation, the competitors’ audience, and interests.
turn your subscribers

Psychological triggers that turn subscribers into customers

Psychological triggers are effective tools to generate leads that will eventually become real customers. These triggers work on an emotional level, triggering thoughts or ideas in readers without even realizing it. 

What are they:

  • Touch customer pain points. By touching on their pain points, you want to offer your product or service as a solution to their problem. Let them know that you understand their struggles and can lead them where they want to go.
  • Create urgency. Fear causes us to perceive limited quantities as more valuable, so marketers have been using this technique for several years now.
  • Create curiosity. It is an excellent way to generate interest by showing examples of customers who have achieved their goals with your product. This will make subscribers to your fitness account think about what you are doing to help others and whether you can do the same for them.
  • Show them the benefits. For example, let’s say you own a fitness business and sell a program that includes a meal plan and exercise regimen. Tell clients how it will help them feel more energized, make their skin healthier, reduce stress, and tone their body.
  • Show social proof. Social proof is the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. The idea is that if everyone is using your product, that means it’s cool.
  • Build a connection. When you open up and connect with your audience, they are more likely to buy from you and provide support. Likely several companies are selling the same thing as you, but your likeability is what can make your products stand out and make people buy from you.

Fitness clubs are a relatively popular type of business, and competition is already high. In these difficult conditions, it is essential to use a combination of different ways to fight for customers. Until recently, people came to fitness centers mainly to lose weight. But today, more than 50% of visitors sign up for other reasons, such as improving their well-being, enjoying physical activity, etc. It is important to understand their needs, arouse interest, and remind themselves to attract customers to a fitness club.


Follow several ways to make your fitness club popular:

  1. A website or landing page is an online business card for your business.
  2. SEO promotion is the optimization of a website for search engines.
  3. Contextual advertising. A faster but less expensive way to promote.
  4. Social media promotion.
  5. Email and messengers.

Instagram is one of the main fields for promoting your fitness business now. To be successful in promoting your fitness club on Instagram, follow these recommendations:

  1. Post only high-quality photos.
  2. Develop your own style.
  3. Use photo editing apps.
  4. Post “Before” and “After” photos.
  5. Use relevant hashtags.
  6. Tag people in photos.
  7. Post valuable content.
  8. Plan your visuals.

To attract the largest possible audience to your fitness club, you need to:

  1. Efficiently plan group class schedules to be convenient in time for different groups of people.
  2. Create and maintain groups on social networks.
  3. Set up targeted advertising on social networks.
  4. Set up contextual advertising by which your site can be found in the search engine.
  5. Make flyers and business cards, and install outdoor advertising.

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