Most small businesses don’t have a huge marketing budget as it is, so I hate seeing money lost to poor marketing.  To help you cut waste and boost success in 2016, I’ve compiled a list of the six most common ways gyms lose money with bad marketing and what you can do to turn them around.

Here are some Gym Marketing ideas: thumbnail

1. Using social media to build a following

Social media is great, but too many small businesses jump in with no strategy, other than to “build a following.” You could get away with this back when Facebook reach was high, but thanks to Facebook’s constantly changing algorithm, only a tiny fraction of your followers ever see your content in their News Feeds, and you have to pay to get your content seen.I recommend using your current social media accounts to build your own list and start communicating more via email. Write quality tips and content that your followers will value and your open rate will increase every week.

2. Expecting too much too early and gave up

You all know the doom and gloom statistics – 80% of all Australian small businesses will close, sell or change hands within the first 5 years, so drop the ego and cut the unrealistic expectations.Yes – we all want to see growth and measurable results within the first few months, but if it doesn’t all fall into place, put your “big boys’ pants” on and don’t give up.Expect an 18-month ramp-up period, find a mentor with proven results and learn to market like a BOSS!

3. Not finding their target market

If you don’t understand your customers, you might as well flush your marketing budget down the toilet. Study the hearts and minds and behaviours of your audience. Do this before you define your strategy, before you buy advertising and before you create content. Figure out what to say to them, how to say it, and where to say it. The whole point of your marketing is to reach your audience. You have to KNOW who they are.

Tip: Call your Best Members and survey them so you can start to attract more people just like them. Find out why they train with you, how they heard about you, what they read, what they do in their spare time, where they go on holidays etc. The top 20% of your customers often account for more than half your revenue.

Email to request your own free copy of the Gym Hub 1page Marketing Avatar so you can be 100% clear on your target market and never get this wrong again.

4. Attempting the ‘hail Mary pass’

The ‘hail Mary pass’ is a sporting term that describes when an NFL quarter back has made little progress down field and in desperation attempts one long risky pass downfield, to go for glory.  This technique works ‘sometimes’ for the very best players in the game, but in most cases results in an intercept or a mini disaster for the team, where they quickly become worse off, then before he attempted the pass.[spacer height=”20px”]Many gyms do the same – they make the mistake of being unorganised and undereducated with marketing techniques and once a year blow the majority of their marketing budget on 1 over rated marketing company or gimmick they found online, “The hail Mary marketing technique”.  You are your gyms NFL quarter back and are responsible for the strategy used. Instead of losing your composure and leaving everything to the last minute, the best method is to have many plays (marketing strategies) in your play book and to constantly look throughout the year for small opportunities to make progress. Start with low cost marketing like emails, referral campaigns and then test and measure the results. REMEMBER: If you can’t get this new tactic to work at $1,000, it’s not likely to work at $10,000, either.

5. Thinking too far ahead and losing focus

Planning your marketing 12 months in advance is not only time consuming, but is often too rigid to take advantage of new ideas, trends and opportunities that arise along the way. Yes, I do recommend keeping your most successful campaigns that have worked in the past and attempting to optimise them by 10% each year, but outside of that I strongly recommend planning just 3months (one quarter) in advance and focus on quality execution.

6. Becoming a marketing dinosaur

Marketing evolves fast these days, so I recommend trying a couple new things each year. Its fun to learn new skills and you will be surprised how old contacts, sometimes respond to new types of marketing. Just because newspaper ads, lead boxes and letter box drops worked 20 years ago, doesn’t mean it still does now. Don’t be a dinosaur!