Marketing Your Gym 101: How to Attract New Members to Your Gym

If your community doesn't know you exist, chances are your gym isn't growing. That goes for any business. Without a marketing strategy a great workout at your gym is just a great workout- not a great business. If you want to use your gym and expertise to actually change lives and fuel your income– you’re going to need to run some advertising. Let’s discuss the paid, and non-paid ways to get more members in your gym.


If you decide to go the paid advertising route (which we recommend in most cases), and you want to go it alone– make sure you have every component of a winning ad so that you’re not throwing your hard earned money out the window. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare for a winning ad…

  1. Headline: The first line should include a call out of the audience you want to speak to including their gender, goals, etc. For example: “Springville women looking to lose 10 pounds in 30 days!”
  2. Copy: The description should speak to a specific person and what they would gain by clicking on your ad. Include things like: urgency, scarcity, vivid descriptions, and test long form vs short form copy.
  3. Image: Men love women, and women love women. Images of women just work better in ads. Group training photos, and high contrast images also work well so choose something that stands out in the crowd.
  4. Video: You can also replace an image with video. User generated content performs well on social media, as does flashcard videos, testimonials, and group workouts.

Bottom line when creating your own ads is to start with a winning framework, and test variations until you find what hits in your area. For more help, check out our 30 min ads course here.


If you opened your gym in hopes that ‘word would just get out’ you were probably banking on your great service to result in referrals. Most gym owners are rudely awakened when they realize referrals don’t just walk themselves through the door everyday. The gyms that are successful in growing via referrals, use incentives and often pay out for referrals.

The most effective incentive is always cash. In order to pay for referrals you need to know what it costs you to acquire a new client on average. Lets say your cost to acquire a client is $100. You could offer your members $50-$80 for every referral that signs up, either in cash, or credit towards their membership. That way, you’re still acquiring clients at a lower price than usual, and your members are incentivized to keep telling their friends about you. Not to mention, referrals on average stay longer at a gym than any other member, and you’ll have an easier time selling them– so they’re worth the expense.


As mentioned above, paid ads will always have the faster and bigger pay off when it comes to packing your gym. However, an organic presence on social media is important for adding legitimacy to your gym when someone digs further from your ads.

Some things to keep in mind when growing your social media platform include…

A. What Value/Engagement Do You Provide Your Followers?

If a prospect takes something away, or learns something from your free content, they are much more likely to come to you when it's time to buy. It's a great social media marketing strategy to add tons of free value to your followers, but the most crucial part is engagement. It's called social media for a reason. Your followers should feel like they are a part of a community through your social media. To build engagement add a call to action to your posts. A call to action is where you direct your viewers to a landing page, comment section, or direct messages by asking a question.

B. Consistency Is Key

The algorithm rewards accounts who post regularly. A daily post on Instagram is ideal, whereas TikTok rewards accounts who post even more frequently, 1-3 times a day. As far as time of day to post, the best strategy is to experiment with when your own followers are most active. This is easy to track in Instagram’s business profile analytics.

Once you know what times and days your posts get the most engagement, it's a good idea to use an automated posting schedule to make sure you don't miss your optimal windows to post.

C. Keep Up With Trends

Instagram itself is a business. Their main goal is to keep eyes on their platform for as long as possible and promote their new features. The best gym social media marketing strategy to appeal to the algorithm is by leaning into the mode of content that Instagram is pushing. For example, Instagram is now trying to compete with TikTok for attention so they are promoting reels more than traditional feed posts.

Another gym content strategy that works extremely well in the fitness industry is User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is  created by taking content created from your gym members and posting it to your profile. For example you could have members record selfie style testimonials, share pictures that your gym is tagged in, or repost stories from members.


Don’t forget to check out our FREE ads course while you’re here. For more insight on how to grow your gym, follow us on Instagram: