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Scott Schutte 05-05-2008 12:39 PM

What has been successful and not successful for marketing your gym? We are about to open a gym in Missouri and are looking for the best tools to use. Any help and advice would be helpful, thanks.:welcome:

Randy Tarasevich 05-05-2008 03:18 PM

Re: Marketing
#1 Word of Mouth/Referrals
#2 Cheap-*** website
#3 Client Advertising - many work in large corp. and place flyers; results
#4 Flyers strategically placed in local businesses

Leonid Soubbotine 05-05-2008 05:27 PM

Re: Marketing
Cheap-*** website - Why do CF Affilliates insist on having POS cheap website is beyond me.

John D. Burch 05-05-2008 05:44 PM

Re: Marketing
Hey Scott,

When you say "gym" I assume you mean you're opening a CF box. If this isn't the case the following advice may not be as relevant.

Here's what we've found at Petranek Fitness over the past 18 months:

First , teach a great class and have great "touch points" with your clients... monthly check-in calls to get feedback is a amazing low cost way to help your clients tell your "story" to all of their friends. This story (again, if you are indeed doing an amazing job at impacting peoples lives... not just giving them a good workout) will be something that you can't buy with any amount of $$.

All of the other things (flyers, handouts and materials) are necessary but hardly the "game changer" that you will want to provide impact. A game changer is a tool that provides 5x ROI (Return on Investment) at minimum. A publicist is a great way to do this since media outlets are in desperate need of unique content and what's more unique than a CF workout...? If you can't (yet) afford a publicist find one of your clients who is an avid fan of blogging on-line. You may have seen us in Muscle and Fitness or Men's Journal this past month thanks to our publicist however we have had a ton of exposure from stories that our CLIENTS have written in their blogs...

Please don't underestimate the power of an article that casts a wide net and does the filtering job for you. People will read your story then come in or call having already done their homework and are primed for you to help them.

And incase you need some figures to support this argument... last year we spent about $3000 on marketing and mailers and got 3-4 clients... our articles in publications and on-line (cost about $12K) got us about 60 clients. So that is 4x the cost but it is 20x the ROI

Now don't neglect doing mailers and flyers just understand there is an opportunity cost to investing.

I hope this helps find your game changer.


Rolando Ezequiel Martinez 05-06-2008 03:17 AM

Re: Marketing
Our website is what brings 99% of our members in to our door and not somewhere else. I agree - spend time developing a professional website.

Randy Tarasevich 05-06-2008 06:28 AM

Re: Marketing

Originally Posted by Leonid Soubbotine (Post 305165)
Cheap-*** website - Why do CF Affilliates insist on having POS cheap website is beyond me.

The blog-style website, like everything else CF, is supposed to be low-budget. This is how HQ started it. Many people don't have the means, or the desire, to pay someone an arm and a leg to develop and maintain their site. I know I didn't when I first started my affiliate. The advice that was given to me was "better to have some web presence as opposed to none. When you stack some money, then get yourself a better site. Cheap-*** websites get the job done, for a fraction of the cost.

I've noticed that the only people who really seem to care/critique are web geeks and web designers. The average layperson doesn't care.

Randy Tarasevich 05-06-2008 06:33 AM

Re: Marketing
95% of my people came by referral. The 5% came because they saw some flyers I placed in local businesses. My website has mainly been used as a support, not the basis of my business.

I also wrote a press release and sent it to the largest local paper, which published it in the Sunday paper. That was pretty cool.

I'm also sending my people out to compete in local fitness events (Strongman Comp. for charity, YMCA 5k run, etc.) with them wearing SECTCF shirts for advertising.

Lisbeth Darsh 05-06-2008 06:43 AM

Re: Marketing

Originally Posted by Randy Tarasevich (Post 305450)
Cheap-*** websites get the job done, for a fraction of the cost.

I've noticed that the only people who really seem to care/critique are web geeks and web designers. The average layperson doesn't care.

I would disagree. The average person may not analyze why they like a site but they will be more drawn to a well-designed site.

That being said, do I have an outstanding-looking site yet? No. Am I working towards that? Yes. One of my new members is a web developer and we have plans in the works.

What to do if you can't afford to pay someone for a well-designed website? Barter. And, if that doesn't work, at least make the effort to provide good quality, original content. That's what people are searching for -- something that speaks to them.

And if you're not a writer, that's okay. Find articles that others write and provide the link on your blog. Join the Affiliate Content Network. Or provide good video. Buy a Flip for $131 and learn to use Movie Maker. Add music and develop a visual eye. Anything that you provide to your membership that they value will reflect well on you.

And, if you're maintaining a blog, at the very least make sure that you spell everything correctly and that all of your links work. Just because your site is cheap doesn't mean it has to look cheap. Make an effort. That's your affiliate's face to the world. Work hard to make it look good.

And, talk again and again to your local press. We have three articles on us coming out within a 10-day period in the local newspapers. Be nice to the reporters and be genuine. Despite the rap the press gets in our society, they're some good people too.

Leonid Soubbotine 05-06-2008 06:44 AM

Re: Marketing
Rolando - your blog looks really good btw. One of the best I've seen.

Lisbeth - well said.

Interesting you say that - because 50% of our clients are referrals and 50% of them come from website.
After all if you open CF affilliate as a business and not just a charity/fun thing to do - treat it like one.
If you position yourself as a Mercedes or BMW of training, give the service that they would provide. Don't treat your clients like they're in a Used Geo Metro dealership. Do your best and take pride in what you do and do great. Not in what you do ****ty.

Randy Tarasevich 05-06-2008 07:01 AM

Re: Marketing
I am suprised that I have not gotten more more members as a result of the Internet/website. The other suprising thing was how many people complimented me on my website, knowing that I have no website design knowledge. I always knew that the blog-style was cheesy and that it was have to be upgraded as soon as possible. It just seemed like that's what most affiliates were using and they seemed to be pretty successful.

Leo and Lisbeth, you both made awsome points! I will take those into serious consideration.

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