Your Fitness Business : 7 Ways to Get Free Publicity
You might think that your fitness business isn’t newsworthy. Think again! Do something to help others, and you, in turn, will reap rewards. The opportunities are only limited by your own imagination.
- Canned food drive
“Free Enrollment when you bring in 5 canned foods!” You can partner with your local soup kitchen or Salvation Army, and then tell the newspapers and news stations about the partnership…they love the occasional feel good story! (And of course, you’re also helping those in need, which always feels good)
- Write for your local newspaper
Contact your local paper(s) and let them know you would like to write a weekly fitness tip/article for them. Look into other publications that are distributed in your area? Community newsletters? Free newsstand periodicals? What about online resources? Are there websites catering to your area? Write articles for them. If you can’t write, have one of your staff members write. Be sure to mention your business in their bio or article closing.
- Partner with your local radio station
You can have a radio station sponsor an 8-week weight loss contest. Get a DJ as your advocate. They can announce the contest to the listeners, have them submit applications, maybe even get teams set up between two DJ’s. All participants can have a free membership during the contest in exchange for many plugs for your club over the 8 weeks.
- Run a contest for charity
Get members to have friends and family pledge an amount per mile your members spend on the treadmill or for every step they climb on the stair master. Even if you only get two people to participate, it doesn’t matter. Tell the radio station about it and they will do a story on it. It’s different, it’s interesting, and it’s not negative news…which seems to be all there is these days.
- Provide free seminars
These can either be onsite at your facility or at a community center. If you call or visit your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about a listing of presentations they provide the community, you will be amazed at all that is offered. People give presentations on anything from basket weaving to coding HTML. If they don’t already have someone regularly presenting on fitness-related topics, just ask them to put you on the schedule.
They will then announce all upcoming presentations to their member and email list. Come up with a good headline for your presentation though. “Fitness Tips” just won’t cut it. How about, “How to lose that 10 Pounds before Bikini Season” or “Show Me the Diet You’re on and I’ll Show You Why it isn’t Working: A Round-table Discussion” or “7 Things You Can do Right Now to Begin Losing Weight Tomorrow”. If you hold your seminar at your gym, announce it to all of your members and allow them to bring friends. Then contact your local newspaper and have them announce it to their readers.
- Write a Report
It doesn’t have to be incredibly long … perhaps only 10-20 pages. Write about weight loss myths, yo-yo diets, overweight children; anything that is a hot topic right now. Contact your local newspapers and let them know that you, a local fitness expert, have written a free report for the community.
It can be promoted as, “FREE Report Reveals the 10 Reasons Why Your Current Diet isn’t working!” or “FREE Book written by Smith Town fitness expert reveals why our children are gaining weight and what to do about it.” Your Free Report can also announce when your next seminar is, as well.
- Make one of your members a hero
Media loves success stories, especially ones that involve someone overcoming incredible odds. You probably know several members in your gym with an amazing story. Have these members submit a 300-word article on how they have overcome the odds and how your club has helped them. Once you select a winner, send a press release to the newspaper: “Local Smith Town citizen wins Hero award”.
Of course, give something to everyone who submits an application. Perhaps frame and post all of the success stories and create a “Smith Town Fitness Wall of Heroes” at your club to let all of your members be inspired. Think of how powerful this would be to show a prospect as you’re touring them!
Of course, these seven strategies only scratch the surface of how you can get free publicity in your fitness facility. Be creative and you will see your club become more popular the more proactive you are in your PR efforts.