Gymlink Australia was my first online business.... I dreamt up the idea for Gymlink after attending a Fitness Victoria meeting where the topic of the day being discussed by the attending gym owners was "How to Get More Members".
Having worked for years travelling Australia running new member recruitment campaigns for gyms around the country it was a question I'd always get asked.
David, How can we get more members into our gym?
One night I woke at 4am in the morning and it struck me.... "create the ultimate fitness marketing promotion that all gym owners could piggy back on to promote to attract new members into their gyms... plus get existing members to renew their memberships.
I came up with a promotion called "Who Wants to Be a Fitness Millionaire".....
Yes... Eddie did provide some inspiration
The idea was it was one national promotion that every gym could use..... and one lucky member would win 1 million dollars cash...simply for joining a gym or renewing their membership.
Imagine the publicity the industry would get I thought...... How cool would that be...
Just because you decided to get fit, join a gym or renew your membership you could become an instant millionaire.
WOW.... what an idea!
and so it began.
The fitness millionaire promotion did not eventuate...
No-one knew who Gymlink was... so there was no chance that they would pay the $3000.00 required to run the promotion. (mind you, that would only equate to 3-4 new members today - a no brainer really).
It all came back to the question that was asked that day at that Fitness Victoria meeting....
How could I help all of the gyms in Australia get more members.
and that's when Gymlink as you know it today started
The first thing to do make Gymlink a well known name in the fitness industry was to build a profile.... I wanted it to become an authority in the industry.
Being an entrepreneur I looked outside of the industry to see what was working and being done in other niches.
I saw what RealEstate.com.au was doing in the real estate industry and thought the same model would work in the fitness industry.... hence the Gymlink gym directory was born!
The concept was simple....
List all the gyms on a directory.....
Get all the gyms to offer a free pass or a try before you buy offer
Promote the directory online
Website visitors request free trial passes
Leads get sent to gyms to follow up
Memberships get sold
Gyms happy to pay Gymlink
It was what I call the triple win formula (win+win=win)...... I still use this formula today in all my businesses
I remember reading a Brian Tracy book where he said "help enough people get what they want and you'll get what you want".
For me to win..... I needed both the consumer and the gym owner to win first.
The consumer gets a free trial of a gym (no obligations)
The gym owner gets a potential new member in their gym
It didn't take too long for the fitness industry in Australia to embrace my triple win formula....
Some gyms tried to push their luck a bit and advertise 30 day free gym memberships.... and then use brute force sales tactics to get the poor prospect to sign up before they could use it.... you know who you are Genesis Fitness :)
Today... free trials, free gym passes, discount joining fees are commonplace in the fitness industry.
Even the personal training industry is starting to show some signs of waking up to the triple win formula.
Although some still don't get it.... what is a "free personal training fitness analysis" ?
Give away a free PT session!
As you can probably tell I have a passion for fitness sales and marketing
Even though my business today is all about online marketing across all niches and industries... I do have a soft spot for the fitness industry in Australia and fitness marketing for gyms and persona trainers. I love helping fitness business owners develop marketing and lead generation stategies and watch them get awesome results and see their busineses grow.
Some of the cutting edge online marketing and lead generation funnels I set up for my clients would work really well in the fitness industry, especially for the 24 hour gym franchise market where the gym owner is pretty much left to come up with their own fitness marketing ideas.
I went to visit an Anytime Fitness gym near my home and met the owner... We started chatting about marketing and lead generation ideas when he said "yeah... I was thinking about getting an LED sign and putting out the front... what do you think?........ ummmm don't you have a marketing strategy or plan in pace? I replied
"No ... head office takes care of all of that"... he said
When I asked him about what the strategy was he couldn't tell me.
I realised that he had no strategy... no idea of how he was going to get to break even point.... or how to make his gym a success.
At the time of writing this I can tell you he has since sacked his manager. He could not afford to keep him due to lack of membership sales)..... and he is now working as the manager and head gym membership sales himself.
No sales training, no marketing strategy..... no idea (no offence).
I doubt very much the attraction to buying and investing in an Anytime Fitness franchise 24-hour gym was to "work in the business"..... maybe for some... but not for most.
I believe the real the secret to attracting and retaining members is simple.... marketing + results
Marketing is how you let the wider community and your existing and past customer database know about the type of results that can be achieved by being a member of your gym. Show people results, communicate and watch your gym or personal training business boom!
Do you have a marketing strategy?
Let's have a chat about how I can help you get more leads and grow your fitness business!
Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Strategist
Want to know more? Check out my fitness marketing website.
Visit my personal website www.davidlurie.com.au to get in touch with me
PS: Here are some of my other fitness related websites that I have set up or in the process of setting up.
Local Gym Guide