After owning and operating a group fitness studio for years, SWETI Services founder, Joe Berti, soon learned marketing was the most difficult part of owning a studio. He tried finding an agency to help but they were often too expensive or didn’t have the expertise he was looking for. Shortly after, he launched SWETI Services. Through running a studio of his own and working with hundreds of studios across the country, Joe has learned a thing or two about effective branding and marketing.
Here, he shares some tips and wisdom on how you can market yourself to increase new memberships:
What would you say is the #1 most important part of branding and messaging for a gym or studio to increase revenue?
The ideal branding or messaging appeals to someone’s emotions or something that matters to them personally. They have to be able to see themselves working out at your gym or studio. They don’t care as much about what your logo looks like as you do -- they are selfish, thinking about themselves. Does the class schedule fit when they are available? Are the instructors someone they would want to work out with? Is the vibe of the studio what they like?
What are some ways a gym or studio can stand out with their messaging?
Being clear is important -- something that’s easy to remember, descriptive of what you do, and is catchy unless you have a ton of money to establish your brand. Create a list of fitness businesses you know are successful and then ask yourself, what about their name or messaging helped them on that path to success? Need some examples? How about SoulCycle, OrangeTheory, Lifetime Fitness or Core Power Yoga?
What are some ways you can set your staff up for success when talking to prospective members about your studio? Learning what is important to an individual is key. From there you can communicate your message or offering in a way that relates to them. What time of day do they work out? What types of workouts do they like? What is important to them? Are there any barriers to them getting started? I have seen membership coordinators jump right into discussing a free week or a discounted first month, knowing that the person they were speaking with was a multi-millionaire who did not care about money.
How do you best communicate your brand in various mediums? (In marketing or in person) There needs to be a mix that covers the multitude of ways people will interact with your brand. Mix in some success stories, pure branding messages, images of people in your target market, offers to attract people who are enticed by an offer, and messaging for people who are having a hard time getting started with a workout routine.
Build a profile of your target customer and determine what is important to them. And remember, some messages work better in Facebook ads, for example, than they do in email marketing so be sure to do some testing and don’t be afraid to mix it up! Just make sure everything matches your overall brand and tone.
What would you say is the best forum to turn a customer into a member after a potential customer has expressed interest?
In person is always best, followed by a phone call if they originally called or emailed you. Individuals are getting too many emails, reading less than 30% of the emails they receive. Email marketing is still a critical part of your marketing approach, but realize that not all emails will be actually read.
Let’s say a potential member turns you down. What next?
Ask them why and then listen to them, responding only after you have fully heard what they have to say. Empathize and connect with them personally to hopefully help get them over the hump of joining, or to at least keep you in mind for when they’re ready down the road.
Want even more help effectively marketing your studio? Schedule your free consultation with us today!