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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
Joshua M Amelunke
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Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Any marketing advice from successful affiliates? We are about 8 months in after starting a CF Box in Mid Missouri and the number of clients is still pretty low. About 90% of our clients have found us by internet or word of mouth, but traffic has slowed down. We have put a lot of money into consultation companies, crossmarketing...but zero results. Anyone have ideas to spread the word to interested CFers?
Thanks
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
Dominic Sirianni
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

might try hand bills.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
Ian Kovtunovich
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua M Amelunke View Post
Any marketing advice from successful affiliates? We are about 8 months in after starting a CF Box in Mid Missouri and the number of clients is still pretty low. About 90% of our clients have found us by internet or word of mouth, but traffic has slowed down. We have put a lot of money into consultation companies, crossmarketing...but zero results. Anyone have ideas to spread the word to interested CFers?
Thanks
I have some advice from someone who was successfully marketed to several years ago: is there an alternative weekly paper in your area? I first saw an ad for a local affiliate in one of those. They were sharing space with a kung fu school, and they had moved into a new space and were doing an open house with sign-up deals and whatnot. They had snacks and stuff, and were doing short demos throughout the day, for both the kung fu and the CF. I had never seen anything like CrossFit before, and I thought it was cool as heck.

I imagine advertising rates in an alternative paper are fairly reasonable, and something low-commitment but demonstrative and informative like an open house is a great way to introduce people to what you're doing. If you have a few students there to help demo the workouts or exercises, and answer questions and shmooze with people, that's really helpful, too. I know that for me, seeing what was going on made a big difference, since often when I try to tell people about CrossFit, there's kind of a "huh?" reaction. However, when people see it, it's more like "hey, what is this hardcore thing you are doing that is making you breathe like a freight train and look like you're going to pass out?"

Two cents.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:37 AM   #4
Justin McGinley
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Do you hold events?

We run competitions and encourage members to bring out their friends and family members to watch (and if they want to, to compete). We have gotten new members from every event we've held.

Do you offer free classes for people to take to check out your gym?
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:35 AM   #5
Eric R Cohen
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Try "Lost Dog" posters, the flyers with the little tear of strips on the bottom. They may or may not work...but they are free. Put them up where ever you can. Also post on Craigslist, also free.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:55 AM   #6
Kyle Redinger
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Here's how I would rate the following advertising channels in terms of their effectiveness:
1. Word of Mouth
2. Earned Media
3. Direct Marketing (making phone calls, talking to people, free days, email blasts)
4. Event Marketing (competitions and booths at races)
5. Website
6. Flyering
7. Paid TV/Radio
8. Paid Print/Online

The Earned Media Strategy

In my opinion, your current best return on your time is earned media. It is a risky marketing strategy because you never know what journalist will say, but if you do your homework you can figure out if that journalist has a reputation for being honest or not. In Charlottesville, we have a LOT of local media but we only really trusted a handful of journalists to cover our box.

I would go figure out who that person is, gather some information on CrossFit from the New York Times, the growth rates, and the related science backing up High Intensity Interval Training and contact them. Tell them about the controversy sourrounding CrossFit, how your gym is unique and then offer to take them through a 1 to 3 month program. If you have the right gym culture, you will probably get a good article and that journalist will have loved and joined your gym (here's the cover article on our box). Journalists know a lot of people. Careful not to end up like that Philidelphia gym that waaay overdid the programming for that journalist.

I'm thinking about submitting an article to the journal on small business marketing to expand on CrossFit box marketing.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

What's your affiliate Joshua?
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Old 10-28-2009, 09:28 AM   #8
Dominic Sirianni
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

We have tried events and free classes. The best thing has been word of mouth or people who have read about CrossFit and come to us through the website.

We are really focused on the training. We figure good results will bring people in through visual changes or people telling their friends.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:51 AM   #9
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

1. Nicely designed and comfortable t-shirts
2. Business cards

Most other traditional marketing is a complete waste of your time (read - $) and $.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:17 AM   #10
William Henniger
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Re: Where to put the marketing money for a CF Box?

Leo may tell you to buy a deuce and a half!
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