Part 2 is written by Robby Blanchard, owner at Rx Business coaching and gym owner of Blanchard Media as well as CrossFit Reach.
There is nothing quite like that "New Gym Smell" is there?
You open up the doors to your brand new affiliate gym. The equipment is nice and shiny with no chalk dust to be found. The rowers are primed and ready. The wall balls are waiting to hit their targets.
You're excited to get rocking and rolling and help people out in your community and at the same time you are a little nervous because it's your first time owning your own gym (maybe even a business).
But as you put the finishing touches on your Box, you have a thought...
"How do I get people to join my gym?"
In fact, it's a question that many Box owners struggle to answer because the days of "build it and they will come" are gone (if they were ever here in the first place).
So let's talk about getting your first 50 members!
First and foremost, start early. Most of the strategies included here can be executed on leading up to the 'Grand Opening' so when you open, you already have a line out the door.
In this article, I'm going to share with you several ways to fill up your affiliate gym so that you can hit the ground running. These are the same tips and strategies that I've used to help Box Owners in my Rx Business Coaching group have full (and profitable) gyms, even if they are just getting started.
Ready? Ok let's dive in...
The 6 Month Giveaway
Owning a gym is a numbers game.
The more people you can get into your doors will increase the chances that people will become members.
Start out your grand opening or beginning days by having a 6-month giveaway contest. Give away a 6-month membership to one lucky winner. You'll post it on Facebook and even place a Facebook ad for it.
Consider making a simple landing page for the giveaway where you can send people to. you'll want to have a place for that person to enter their name, email and phone number. Leadpages or Lander both offer free services that allow you to build a landing page in under 15 minutes to easily acquire entries and interested potential members.
This is super important.
Promote the giveaway, and gym opening, like crazy. Post the link to your landing page each week on facebook and tell all your friends. Keep sharing!
Once the giveaway is up, you'll pick the winner.
Follow up with all non-winners and say this...
"Hey Mrs. Smith! I just wanted to follow up to let you know that unfortunately, you didn't win the 6 month giveaway BUT I do have some good news. I'd like to offer you a 2 week trial to the gym because I'm sure you entered the contest for a reason and I'd still like you to experience what we are all about. Are you able to start Monday or Tuesday?
By doing this you are filling up your gym and for those on a 2 week trial, thats just enough time for them to get in a habit and for you to show them why they NEED to be apart of your gym.
The Human Billboard
Take 3-5 people who you know are super passionate about fitness and have maybe gotten great results from working with you. Take them to the side and tell them that you are looking for creative ways to get more clients and you thought of them.
Explain that you want to make them an ambassador to your gym and that as long as they refer 1 person to you every month that signs up, they'll get 50% off of their membership and if they refer 2 or more that month, they get their membership for free that month.
This is powerful because if you find the right person for this role, they will refer their friends to you and it'll quickly turn viral.
Walking into another business can be a little nerve-wracking at first but, if you do it right, it can be an awesome way to get new clients.
Make a list of all the local businesses that you know of in your area that your "ideal" client for you gym goes to. It can be restaurants, salons, massage therapy or similar businesses.
Put together a quick letter introducing yourself and telling them you are new to the area and how you'd like to offer them a complimentary 6 week membership.
Next, send them out and wait a week or so. Then go and visit each and every business you sent the letter to. I like to go in with a giving hand and say to them "Hi! I have some clients who are looking for a new salon...would it be ok if I referred them to you?
Of course they'll say 'yes' and they will ask what they can do to help you.
The letter serves as a great ice breaker plus a reason for you to go into their business in the first place.
This strategy has worked really well for me as I've gotten clients and built lots of solid business relationships.
Low Barrier Offers (LBO's) are a great way to get people into the door. An offer that is less than 30 days and under $100 is what I would consider to be an LBO.
What you'll want to do is set up a special page with just this offer on it along with before/afters and testimonials from clients.
By doing an LBO and setting up a page with before and afters, you are selling the result and not the price.
With something like Groupon, people are shopping on price alone.
When you offer a LBO, people are now buying based on the results that they see from your testimonials. Price is secondary.
See the difference?
These are four solid and proven strategies that can be deployed individually or all at once. The name of the game is getting your first 50 members so there's no right or wrong way. Stick with what works and scrap what doesn't but also exercise patience.
This is why starting early, and before you open, can be a great move for you. With a little time and these strategies, you should be well on your way to building your fitness community with tons of new clients and prospects.
Part 2 of 4 Part Gym Owner's Growth Guide Series. See the full guide: HERE
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