How To Promote a Fitness Class
December 7, 2021
Gain a qualification to become a fitness instructor – check.
Find your area of expertise – check.
Design a fitness class – check.
You’re almost ready to launch your fitness classes and are full of energy to take on a new wave of fitness clients. But how do you attract new attendees? Here we’ll take a look at how to promote a fitness class.
A guide on how to promote a fitness class:
Follow our 12 steps on how to promote a fitness class and your fitness sessions will be the talk of the town – and beyond!
- Build a website
- Boost your SEO
- Make booking easy
- Write a blog
- Create a fitness challenge
- Use social media
- Offer online classes
- Send out a newsletter
- Engage in community groups
- Promote loyalty schemes
- Talk to people in the gym
- Sponsor local events
1. Build a website
Before you begin to brainstorm creative campaign ideas, you need a solid foundation. This starts with building a website. Your website is the hub of your business and is an opportunity to really sell yourself. Having a polished and professional site will lead to higher engagement and as people become more invested in your brand, they become more inclined to book a class. Some of the essential elements you should include on your website are:
- Bio – include your background, experience and any fitness qualifications
- A timetable of fitness classes
- Description of each class and the fitness level it’s suitable for
- Client testimonials
- Contact information
- Links to your social media profiles
Having a clear navigation panel will improve the user experience and prospects are likely to spend longer on your site. We suggest that you have a different category page for each area of fitness you cover. E.g. dance, cardio, strength and conditioning, boxercise. An even more advanced feature is to create a filter. This is handy for users that may be new to fitness and want to browse your classes by difficulty level, for example.
2. Boost your SEO
How are people supposed to book your classes if they can’t find your website? Here’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes into play. It’s a process used to make your site more visible in search results, improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
A lot of SEO can be quite specialist and advanced. However, an area of SEO that’s easy to try yourself is optimising your website for certain keywords. The idea is that when people search for this particular keyword, your fitness page comes out on top in the search page results. You can do this by working the keywords naturally into the copy on your site. Be careful to not overdo it though as Google can penalise your site for ‘keyword stuffing’.
Most instructors offer fitness classes in nearby communities. If this applies to you, you’ll want to optimise your website for local SEO. This means that you should target keywords related to your area e.g. ‘spin class for beginners in X location’. Notice how the keyword is very specific rather than a generic term of ‘fitness class’. Specific keywords have lower competition and they generate more qualified leads so try and target these long-tailed keywords. Ideally, you should target a different keyword for each page of your website to help Google understand the distinction between your content.
If your classes are online, you will want to target a broader audience. The online fitness world is huge so this can be tricky, especially if you’re just starting out. Keep the keywords long-tailed but swap out the location for the term ‘online’. For example, ‘30 minute online spin class for beginners’. As you begin to build your authority online, these practices will become easier.
3. Make booking easy
So, someone’s found your website, browsed your offering and chosen a fitness class that sparks their interest. Now they’re ready to find the availability of the class and book their slot. And wouldn’t it be great if they could pay for it too in the process?
Step 3 is the time for an online booking system to shine. This special piece of software offers the ultimate convenience for your clients. All you have to do is connect your website to the booking app and embed a ‘book now’ widget on every class page. Users can then schedule their fitness class and pay for it there and then. Better still, users can book at any time of the day on any device – it doesn’t get simpler than that! No-shows will become a distant memory as the system will send automated email/SMS reminders to clients.
Not only does a booking system benefit customers, but it also makes your processes run smoother too. One of the top benefits of an online scheduling system is that it takes care of the admin so you can focus on more important things like planning your sessions. It also features a wealth of integrations so you can manage every aspect of your business from one dashboard.
4. Write a blog
Writing a blog is another method of boosting your SEO and is a fun way to promote a fitness class. This is a great chance for you to establish your expertise in a certain area of fitness and get your audience engaged.
Create in-depth fitness guides and resources to showcase your knowledge; review the latest home workout equipment or give your opinion on the fitness trends causing a stir in the industry. To strengthen a sense of community, you could even interview some of your top clients about their journey to better health.
5. Create a fitness challenge
Everyone loves a challenge and a fitness challenge is a great way to create a buzz around your business. Create a leaderboard with a prize for the winner to add that extra level of competition. This is a great method to boost your class numbers as people will often attend with friends for moral support.
Take this step with caution though. Suss out the demographics that fitness challenges are more suited to. For example, give this idea a miss if you’re hosting beginner classes with members that aren’t familiar with each other. They may feel uncomfortable and not return, which is not what you want.
You’re better off targeting the fitness fanatics that are stuck in a rut with their routine. A challenge could give them the push they needed and will encourage repeat attendance.
August and December are quiet months for fitness class sign-ups so this would be the optimum time to promote a challenge. Some simple fitness challenges that you could create are:
- Flexibility challenge – demonstrate exercises of increasing flexibility, with the goal being to hold an advanced yoga pose
- Step challenge – see who can walk the most steps in a set time period
- Strength challenge – targets those who want to increase their strength, who can lift the most weight?
- Improve your personal best by 10% – record participant’s performance for a particular activity and compare it to the previous month
- Burpee challenge – who can complete the most burpees in 2 minutes?
6. Use social media
Social media is the place to be if you’re looking to promote a fitness class, particularly Instagram and Facebook. There are so many routes you can take with this step alone. We’ll share some top ideas for your social media strategy:
Upload a series of polls to your Instagram story to start up a conversation with your followers. For example, get people to vote on their favourite and least favourite exercises. This also doubles up as market research and could inspire future fitness classes.
Ask a question
Even though social media is a great way to promote a fitness class, don’t feel like you have to talk about fitness 24/7. Branching out into other topics of discussion can create strong relationships amongst attendees. Post fun questions into your Facebook group to get to know each other better. Questions such as ‘What’s the best TV show you’ve watched lately?’ or ‘What’s your dream holiday destination?’ are easy questions that are sure to produce a flood of answers. Why not give it a try?
Add a couple of relevant, targeted hashtags to your social media posts to reach a wider fitness community. Some popular hashtags to start with are #fitnessmotivation #groupfitnessclasses #fitnesscoach #workoutroutine #runningcommunity.
Take groups photos after the class
Humans are social beings and love to feel part of a group. By posting group photos after a class, you’ll reinforce that community feeling amongst current members and also motivate prospects to join in on the fun! People are likely to hit ‘like’ on a group photo and share it to their network too. Giving you increased engagement and brand visibility for free, it’s a win-win!
Go live on Instagram
The live streaming fitness market is expected to grow 35% per year till 2026 so it makes sense to tap into this market. You could host a live Q & A session all about the fitness industry or even stream short 10 minute workouts. Be strategic with when you go live though as you want to maximise engagement. Perhaps schedule workouts in the morning before the workday starts and a more chilled Q & A in the evening.
7. Offer online classes
Especially in the winter months, people like to exercise from the comfort of their own homes, so the statistic that the online fitness industry is projected to grow between 30% and 33.1% per year doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Give your members what they want and offer online classes. If you opt for an online booking system, you can integrate it with Zoom. Therefore, attendees can join the video call in a few clicks after making their booking.
Expanding your offering will not only widen your audience but it’ll set you apart from the competition. It can also be cost-effective since you don’t have to pay for travel costs or room hire. All you need is a strong internet connection and a quality web camera.
8. Send out a newsletter
Get your attendees to subscribe to email newsletters to keep in the loop about everything related to your fitness programs. A bonus tip is to integrate the booking software with MailChimp as this allows you to design professional emails from a simple template. Your online booking system will store clients’ information so you can send bulk emails with the click of a button.
Digital newsletters help to bring all of your other promotional elements together. From your blog and social media posts to your latest fitness challenge. Information that you could use to promote a fitness class includes:
- New class releases
- Upcoming fitness challenges
- Winners of your previous fitness challenge
- Words of encouragement for new clients
- Special offers on your fitness classes
- Your latest blog post
- Details on upcoming local events you’ll be attending
Newsletters complement your other marketing efforts so can’t be done alone. We’d suggest that you send an email newsletter to your contacts bi-weekly or once a month, depending on whether you have a lot of information to share at the time. Any more frequently and you risk irritating your clients as their inbox overflows.
9. Engage in community groups
This step goes hand in hand with our suggestion to use social media to promote a fitness class. Join and actively engage in Facebook groups related to fitness, or even just community groups aimed at your target demographic. Answer people’s questions and even post videos on how to perform certain exercises correctly. From gaining this insight into your work, the bookings for your fitness classes will come flying in.
10. Promote loyalty schemes
Want to build a reliable client base that will attend your fitness class week in week out? One of the simplest solutions is to promote a loyalty program where members can collect points to win rewards. Incorporate a referral scheme within the offer to make the most out of this strategy.
Some examples of fitness class promotions:
- Bring a friend for 5 or more classes and get a free set of yoga blocks
- Collect 100 loyalty points to earn a free personal training session
- Get your first HIIT class for free when you join with a friend
- Attend the class for 8 consecutive weeks to be entered into a prize draw
If you have a large number of spaces to shift, consider corporate schemes. The health and wellbeing of employees is a hot topic at the minute so bosses will be looking for activities related closely to fitness. Approach companies with a tailored fitness program for their staff.
11. Talk to people in the gym
We’ve talked about a fair few digital methods to promote a fitness class but sometimes all it takes is good old-fashioned networking. Who’d have thought it!
Start by approaching people in the gym to talk about their current fitness routine. It should be pretty easy to strike up a conversation since you’ll have common ground. After giving a small introduction, pass on your business card. You don’t want the interaction to feel like a sales pitch so once you connect on social media, they’ll be able to see your classes for themselves.
12. Sponsor local events
Fitness classes are all about bringing a community of people together. So what better way to promote a fitness class than sponsor local events? Although this will cost you a few more pennies than our other suggestions, it’s an effective way to get your brand name and services out there.
Keep in the loop with the local news and sponsor events that are relevant to your fitness classes. For example, sponsoring a local football team is more likely to attract a suitable audience of sport and fitness enthusiasts. Whereas you may not have such luck when sponsoring the monthly car boot sale.
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