Brand Experience

Facebook Ads – How to add 30 to 60 clients per month and keep them

11 June, 2019

The challenge – How do we scale quicker and what happens if we don’t?

The number one thing most gyms want is more ideal clients. Not just uncommitted, low paying clients, but clients which actually pay your worth and value your service.

5 years ago you could boost client success story on Facebook and instantly get a dozen leads with very minimal spend. Sadly, the early birds get the worm.

But the gold rush certainly isn’t over. Right now, depending on your location, you can generate leads for your fitness business on Facebook and Instagram for up to $25 each, all the way down to 20 cents each. That usually means you can spend $1000 on ads and sign up 10-30 new clients.

First I want to walk through some of numbers with you to illustrate the massive power of this, then instead of just theory, I’ll give you fluff-free ACTIONABLE tools you can implement TODAY to improve your numbers and life.

Facebook ads as the engine

Most fitness business owners will spend a couple hundred dollars on Facebook ads, not see favourable short-term results, and quit. To run campaigns yourself it takes time to split test and refine until they are profitable, unless you hire an experienced expert to shortcut the process.

I have personally managed multiple 6 figures in Facebook Ad spend over the last 12 months alone, and let me tell you, it works! So let’s run some of the numbers…

Some math on how ads work, with retention and referrals – Multiply effect

Let’s say by the time you’ve paid for advertising, marketing management and sales staff, your cost per sale is up to $400 to acquire a group training client worth $200 per month. A number of gym owners will stop there and walk away.

Okay – So it takes you 2 months to break even from this one client… But most gyms we work with across the globe report an average lifetime of 6-18 months per client, with exceptions. Even if it’s just 6 months that’s $1200 and a 3x ROI.

Now let’s say we’ve put in place proper referral systems, which I’ll explain later, and you gain just 1 referral (there’s no reason you can’t achieve this) from every client you sign up. Now you have a 6x ROI (in just 6 months) from your initial investment of $400.

And here’s where it gets interesting…

If you spend $5,000 you’ll make back $30,000 over 6 months, plus have those who retain longer and refer more.

Spend $5,000/m for 12 months straight and you’ll make back $360,000.

Spend $10,000/m and make back $720,000… And so on. That’s a 1200% ROI in ONE year compared to term deposit or public traded stocks which may yield 3-7%!

The front end offer –

Now you’re sold on the idea – How do we get people in the door through Facebook?

My favourite is paid trials. Forget the common “7 day pass”, “2 free PT sessions” or “No joining fee” promotions, by far the most effective way is to run a paid trial of either 3, 4 or 6 weeks. This way you sift out those who aren’t willing to pay anything, and can set up direct debit on day one for when they finish the trial.

To the public, these ‘trials’ are known as ‘challenges’, and I know you’ve seen them everywhere. For a lot of businesses they don’t work, but that’s only cause they’re weak in the marketing and sales department.

Before we continue I want to stress this; If you’re selling a high ticket transformation package like a personal trainer might, you can still apply the same method except you would have a 12+ week initial term and charge full price from day one. You still however follow the same marketing approach for getting leads.

A simple way is to have a 28 day challenge at the same price or less than your regular monthly fee, where at the conclusion of their first 28 days their agreement automatically rolls over into reoccurring direct debit membership (this solves most awkward upselling situations towards the end).

In my gym we prefer to discount the initial ‘challenge’ simply to get more numbers through the door, cause we know we’ll keep many of them at full price after.

Niche cycling –

This is how you ACTUALLY market a challenge effectively. Ready?

Don’t call it a “Challenge”!

There’s two main reasons. The first is because ‘Challenge’ is a bit of a buzz word in the industry, everyone has seen it used far too many times and it’s just not exciting to anyone nor speaks to any market’s core desires.

The second reason, and possibly the most crucial thing you’ll learn today, is that you MUST be splitting your market into niches!

In any given radius from your location you can easily split the local market into niches such as; Seniors, mums, dads, kids, business owners, corporates, etc. But at a MINIMUM you should be segmenting it into six: 18-35, 35-50, 50+, all with men and women split.

Think of these six segments as barrels of fish. What happens if you pool all the fish together in one barrel is, like over-fishing, you’ll deplete the fish supply to a point you can no longer catch anything.

A 25 year old tends to be more conscious of the way they look whereas a 55 year old wishes to remain strong and independent as they age, so it makes no sense to market to both of these demographics with the same messaging.

Not only will marketing to all of them in a single barrel mean you have no second barrel to move to when you’re done, but you’ll also be doing it extremely inefficiently as talking to ‘everyone’ means you resonate with no one – Which could be achieved through niching.

The added bonus once we’ve defined our niche is we can give our ‘challenge’ and specific sexy name taking us away from the noise and into a completely blue ocean without price comparison.

Imagine a 50 year old lady scrolling threw her socials seeing your competitors ads for a ‘6 week challenge’ featuring photos of men and women in their 30’s, when suddenly she sees your ad featuring a smiling group of older ladies, and it’s for a ‘50+ Strength Builder for Local Ladies’.
Much more effective, right?

The same applies to any niche – In todays crowded space affinity in messaging to your specific target is crucial. Once you’ve honed into the desires of your target market they will beg to work with you.

Hint: Nobody actually wants to work out. What they want is an awesome energetic lively body and the way that will effect their life… So market this!

Retention touchpoints –

Now that we’ve got people coming in the door, how do we keep them and stop the ‘churn and burn’?

Your job, as the hub for their health and fitness, is to keep them motivated and on track. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to worry about this but that simply isn’t the case. The majority of the public frequently wish to give up or get distracted, so you must continue to keep them engaged and chasing the next shiny object.

Even if your core service isn’t personal training there are elements from PT you should implement into everyone’s service if you wish to retain them.

Have set periodic 1-1 check-ins with them every 1, 2 or 3 months, ensure they’re doing all movements correctly, keep them accountable on their eating and follow them up if they don’t attend too many days in a row.

The data shows if they don’t attend at least 5 times in their first 2 weeks upon sign up, you have a very low chance of retaining them past week 6. You must do everything in your power to ensure they show up frequently especially in the first few weeks.

On week one you have to help them set real goals and a plan to achieve it, with real KPI’s they can track. Set the frame of a long term, multi-year journey. They may initially come in to lose weight, but make sure they understand once they lose the weight their focus will change to something like strength building and/or endurance.

As a minimum, on week 3 review progress so they can clearly see results beginning to show.
Have they lost 2kg so far? Do they feel better about themselves? At week 6 they may have lost 5kg and it’s your job to ensure they understand this. Can they see they have another 18 weeks left to lose another 15kg?

Community is a huge factor. The social accountability and fun a strong community provides will keep
members paying you long after they want to quit. How are you welcoming them into the community?

Do you post a photo shoutout on social media welcoming new members?

Do you make a special effort to introduce them to existing members?

Are there external group activities you host for everyone, such as rock climbing, workshops, hiking, after-class coffee? Partnered exercises?

Even simple things like sending them cards on their birthday and Christmas are appreciated.

Referral touchpoints –

One of the most untapped sources of quality clients is often your existing clients.

When someone first joins you, ready to action and excited to share the news with their friends, don’t you think it would be a great time to give them some beautiful presented gift vouchers they can hand their friends to get THEM to come along too?

Yet only maybe 1 in 100 gyms do this…

Or host frequent social events they can bring friends to?

Or ’21 Day Referral Challenges’ where all members compete to win prizes based off number of referrals?

Give members gift vouchers to give to their friends on Christmas?

These should get you thinking… Your members don’t know how to refer, it’s a somewhat awkward process, so you have to tell them HOW to do it, and give them the TOOLS to do it. Then, incentivise them with something more exciting than “Two weeks free”.

Conclusion –

While I could write a book on this (I’m working on it!) there’s only so much I can cram into one article. The fact is – This works.

No, your area isn’t uniquely poor. No, people in your area don’t just suck. And yes, Facebook ads do work. I’ve heard it all before and helped gyms across several continents… It’s never the area which lets a gym down, it’s the owner and the business systems.

If you do get the right marketing, sales, retention and referral systems in place, along with great management processes, an A Team, and a fantastic service delivered to clients, then happy days! You could be one of the few who add 60+ per month!

Even without all that in place, there’s still the opportunity to add dozens of clients per month. Just keep learning, testing, and stick with it!

It’s been a pleasure sharing this with you and congratulations on reading so far, now go do some work! To reach out or find plenty of free educational content visit my website here