Are you struggling to add new paying memberships to your gym or personal training program?
Well, you are in the right place. I believe that Facebook is the #1 platform to effectively create awareness for your gym or personal training program in order to build a predictable source for new leads, prospects, and paying members.
I walk you through the entire set up process for a Facebook ad campaign to generate leads for a personal trainer or gym.
If you’ve tried Facebook advertising and it didn’t work, this post will reveal why you failed at it before.
Conversely, if you haven’t tried advertising on Facebook for your gym or personal training business, then this post will give you a blueprint to work from.
Let’s get started.
Goals for your Fitness Facebook Ads
Before you post a single ad or write a line of copy for a fitness or personal training Facebook ad you need to know what your goals are.
Too many gyms and personal trainers rush off to start advertising on Facebook, because they’ve heard “it’s the thing to be doing these days” but spend ZERO time considering what goals they have for their campaigns.
Potential goals for your gym or personal training business might be:
- Generate Opt-ins to your email list
- Get requests for 7-day Free Trials
- Generate Requests for a free Personal Training Session
- Acquire free consult requests (this is what everyone does I recommend avoiding this)
The overall goal of any Facebook ad campaign for a gym is to attract new members and clients, but if you just post an ad saying “Hey, our gym rocks, we’re wicked trainers, come join” you’re going to be severely disappointed with your results.
For example purposes in this post we’re going to be using a two step fitness Facebook advertising campaign. First the campaign will get a potential new client to opt-in to our email list and then we’ll convert them into a trial or free training session/consult.
Only have one goal per ad. If you want to get people to opt-in for a free report or ebook and then you’ll convert them into a free trial or session with email marketing, just focus on getting the prospect to opt-in. When you give two options to take action in an ad, more often than not, you get worse results.
What’s Your Offer For Your Fitness Ads?
An offer is a thing you want a prospective new client or member to take you up on.
Offers should have the following characteristics
- Solve a problem for your prospect or answer a burning question
- Have MASSIVE value (ideally a monetary value even if it’s free)
- Be very specific
- Be time-bound or have some form of scarcity
The fourth item, be time-bound or have scarcity, is the hardest for some people to work into their offers. Strive to ensure you always have at least the first three items.
Your offer will align directly with what your Facebook ad campaign goal is.
So example offers might be:
- Free 1-Hour Personal Training Session to the Next 17 People
- 7-Day Free Pass to all our Classes and Open Gym Time
- Free Body Weight Workout Routine and 30-Day Nutrition Plan to Lose 5 lb next Month
Each of the examples offers above
- Solve a problem (in most cases people want to lose weight or get fit)
- Have real value (you can attach the value of a PT session or 25% of a monthly membership or make-up a value to the workout routine and nutrition plan)
They don’t all have scarcity or a time frame attached, although the first one does.
You could use any of those ideas above, or come up with your own, but remember your offer will greatly dictate the success you have with your gym Facebook advertising campaigns.
A bad offer to the perfect audience bombs, but a great offer to a lukewarm audience usually garner at least some results.
Who’s your Target Market?
You can have more than one target market (men, women, 20-30 somethings or older boomers), but not often in the same ad.
You must decide who you are going to target with each ad to maximize results.
Who are your best personal training clients? What’s similar about them? Are they all men? All women? What age are they?
Do the same with your members.
The simplest form of targeting of Facebook ads for Gyms and Personal Trainers is creating one warm up ad (I’ll explain what this is below) that is the same for men and women and then when you retarget/follow-up with the prospects who engage with your retargeting ad you segment them into men or women.
What is Segmenting?
A Fancy way of saying you’ll separate out the women and men and show them different ads. Ideally an ad with a man in it for the men and vice versa for the women.
Not all industries need to do this with Facebook ads, but when you’re in a market like fitness women will respond better to women in an ad and talking about certain benefits while men will be more likely to respond to men in an ad and possibly different benefits of your offer.
For our example we’re going to market our first warm up ad to everyone between 25 and 50 in your local area and then segment them into men and women in the second ad step.
This will all make sense when you’re done, I promise!
Warm Up Facebook Ads
I am a big believer in running two sets of Facebook ads for gyms and personal trainers.
The first ad is targeted at everyone in your serviceable area, this may be your entire city, neighborhood, suburb or grouping of postal/zip codes. The only targeting outside of geographic area you want to use is possibly age and sex, for our example we’ll target all men and women between 25 and 50.
The purpose of this ad is to determine who in your local area is interested in what you’re selling. In this case gym memberships, personal training, nutrition coaching etc.
A warm up Facebook ad for a gym could be a slideshow video with text you create using an app like Animoto. The video would be 30 seconds long and take an angle of why your gym is great, the results your members achieve etc.
Click here to see how I use Animoto to create slideshow videos for Facebook Ads.
The formula for creating an effective warm-up ad is:
GRAB ATTENTION FAST -> EXPLAIN THE NEED -> FILL THE NEED -> MAKE THE OFFER OR CTA
Don’t make a commercial that talks about your brand. Unfortunately no one cares , they care about them and what you can do for them to solve their problem or fill their need.
The idea is someone interested in joining a gym, getting fit and/or losing weight will see this video in their newsfeed, stop their thumb scroll for a moment and watch some if not all of it.
You want to ensure the images, video clips and text you choose speaks to the problem the viewer is having and how your gym can solve it.
If you’re a personal trainer, same idea. Focus on how you help bring accountability and structure to your clients fitness programs.
Blog Posts as Warm Up Ads
Another type of warm-up ad is a blog post or article that follows the same formula I outlined for a video.
For the purpose of this gym and personal training Facebook advertising guide we’re going to assume you use a video. Videos tend to work better for how we’re going to do things, but if you have an article written, or could write one that grabs attention, explains a need and then fills a need, it doesn’t hurt to test it with an ad targeting the same demographics in your local area.
An example article might be: Why You’re Doing Weight Loss Wrong and the Two Changes that Can Make it Right
I don’t know what would be in that nutrition article exactly, maybe why following fad diets is stupid, why weight loss is calories in and calories out and how tracking your intake each day and replacing all empty calories with vegetables would get you to your goal. At the end of the article introduce your free session, trial or consult. Maybe even a nutrition consult for a topic like that.
Whether it’s a video or article, the most important piece is when someone watches or clicks and we can discern that person likely has the need or problem we spoke about. In this case they want to lose weight or get fit.
Set-up your Warm-Up Ad
The final step is to launch the fitness ad on Facebook for your warm up ad.
If you have never set up a Facebook ad before then you’ll want to check out this video here. It’s a beginners tutorial on how to set up a Facebook advertising campaign.
For those that know how set up your ad here are the parameters to follow, assuming it’s a video.
- Campaign should be for video views
- Choose a budget of at least $5.00 a day, but if your area and target demographics has more than 100,000 people in it I would advise a budget of $10 to $20 a day
- Target the geographical area around your gym that makes the most sense. Don’t try to get too broad, you’ll only waste money.
- Target the demographics we discussed above (men and women, 25-50)
- Edit your placements to be only Facebook News Feed for mobile and desktop (we’ll discuss Instagram later on)
- Create your ad with no call to action button
Next step is to create a custom audience of people we can remarket to who watched at least 75% of your video.
Not sure what Remarketing/retargeting means?
Simply put it’s the process of creating an audience of people who have engaged with your website, videos, or Facebook page over a set period of time (e.g. 7 days, 14 days, 30 days) and then targeting them again (hence retargeting) with another ad.
Creating Facebook Custom Audiences for Retargeting
Lets create a custom audience on Facebook of people who have watched 75% or more of your fitness or personal training video ad.
For those that aren’t familiar, a custom Facebook audience is a group of people who have engaged with our ads, website or Facebook page. If you’re not familiar with how to create one check out this video.
We’re going to create an audience of people who have watched at least 75% of our warm up ad.
Because 75% is long enough that we know they were engaged. You don’t accidentally watch twenty-two seconds (75% of 30 seconds) of a video on Facebook do you?
These are the people we’re now going to make an offer to by retargeting them with another ad.
Make them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
To this point we’ve setup your warm up facebook ad for your gym or personal training business and we’ve created a custom audience of people on Facebook who watched at least 75% of your video.
Now it’s time to make those 75% viewers an offer.
Let’s keep it simple, and we’ll make an offer for either a Free Personal Training session or Free 7-Day Membership to your Gym.
A word on consults. People don’t want a consult, they want to lose weight, get lean, get strong, get bigger, have more energy etc. No one wants a consult, so don’t call it that.
Here are better ways to say it:
- Free Fat Burning Personal Training Session
- Free 7-Day Membership to Calorie Burning Classes
It’s saying the same thing, I know, but just add in those “buzz words” to let the prospect know “Yeah, that’s what I want!”. Small words are powerful.
Two options to setup this Facebook retargeting ad for your gym or personal training business.
- An image ad that links to a landing page where prospects can give you their info to take you up on your offer
- Use a Facebook lead ad to collect prospects info without them having to even leave Facebook.
Image Ad and Landing Page
You need two things to make this ad work.
- Image(s) to use for your ad(s)
- Landing page to collect leads from
I recommend having at least two different images (although more to test isn’t a bad idea) but at least have one that appeals to women and another for men. We’re going to set up two different ads, one for each sex.
You’re also going to need a landing page to send prospects to where they can give you their information. This could be a simple page on your website with a form, or you could create a landing page using a tool like Instapage.
Whatever page you send your prospects to make sure it’s to the point, has a form to fill out to claim your offer and talks about the benefits of taking your offer.
I suggest collecting the following information from your leads:
- Phone number (you MUST call and follow-up fast)
Once someone submits your form I suggest you follow-up ASAP. This person is never more ready to take action then they are right at the time they fill out that form, so don’t wait a few hours or worse a few days before contacting them and they have time to decide “Nah, I don’t really want to get in shape and lose that weight”
Getting into building a landing page and creating images is outside the scope of this article. To learn more about that I suggest grabbing my Local Business Facebook Ads program.
Facebook Lead Ad
A lead ad, if you’re not familiar, is the same setup as an image ad but rather than linking off Facebook to a landing page, when the prospect clicks the ad it opens a form right on Facebook with their details already filled in from their Facebook profile.
The pros of going this route are that people don’t have to leave Facebook and they don’t have to fill anything in, so the barrier to claiming your offer is VERY low.
The con of this method is you only have your image and copy above the image to persuade the prospect to claim the offer. If you keep it simple in your ad and say something like:
“Claim your FREE 1-Hour Fat Burning Personal Training Session with TRAINER NAME now. Only 4 left for this month.”
That’s pretty straight forward, and I feel would work well.
The technical side to setting up a lead ad and getting your leads information is a little strange, so check out this video if you’re not familiar with how to setup a Facebook lead ad.
I suggest collecting the same information from your leads with a a Facebook lead ad as you would with a landing page.
What Goes in my Offer Ad?
Since we’re talking about Facebook advertising for gyms and personal trainers you want to use images of people ideally doing the thing you’re making the offer for or people who look happy that they’ve succeeded at something (e.g. lost the weight they wanted).
Selling the Transformation
The term transformation is used a lot in Fitness marketing. Your images and landing page copy, whenever possible, must sell the transformation people will experience in your program from the current discontent state they are in now to the after state which is when they will be lean and stronger.
f it’s a 7-Day pass to your classes, then use an image of people in your classes. If it’s a free personal training session then use an image of someone in a session.
If you can, avoid using stock photos. Use actual photos of your actual members and clients (with their OK of course).
As I mentioned above I suggest creating one ad for women and one for men, also if you want to get more specific you can make four ads:
- Men & weight loss
- Men & muscle gain
- Women & weight loss
- Women & toning/muscle gain
The copy of your ad should be to the point. Something like:
“Claim your FREE 1-Hour Fat Burning Personal Training Session with TRAINER NAME now. Only 4 left for this month.”
Let’s break that ad down a bit.
- You’re asking them to do something (claim their free session)
- You’re calling it something specific (1-Hour Fat Burning Personal Training Session)
- You’re personalizing it to a trainer
- You’re creating scarcity with stating there’s only 4 left this month.
The 4 left this month is for illustrative purposes only, but creating some form of urgency in your marketing is essential, especially when running ads on Facebook for your fitness business.
I’m not suggesting you should lie in your marketing. To be 100% ethical I would suggest only offering so many of your packages each month. Then letting them know they only have 24-hours to claim it and sign-up for their session or start of their membership.
You may not get as many leads, but you’ll get quality ones that actually come in the door. I know from working with and talking to gym owners, getting leads is one thing, but getting them in the door to talk with is a whole other story, hence why I said call ASAP after someone submits a form.
That’s the final step of your facebook ad funnel for gyms and personal trainers.
I know we covered a lot in this post, but if you’ll take the steps outlined and just get started I guarantee you will find success with this.
Just a quick word about Instagram
What about Instagram?
I know a lot of fitness professionals use Instagram. I didn’t mention it in this guide because we were focused specifically on Facebook, but you can use a similar method to advertise on Instagram.
I would create a separate campaign that specifically targets Instagram, because the images and videos on Instagram are formatted slightly different than they are on Facebook.
I hope you enjoyed this post and it gives you a clearer picture about how to succeed with Facebook ads for a gym or personal training business.
There are a lot of moving pieces to this I know. But I know that you can do it.