Marketing for a Gym: Spotlight on F45 Detroit (2023)

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Marketing for a Gym

When it comes to marketing a gym, there are many different strategies you can choose from. We are going to outline our top three marketing ideas for gyms that we have seen success with in our experience.

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Audience Targeting in Social Media Marketing

Social Media is increasingly becoming more and more popular as years go by. Facebook alone has an estimated 1.4 billion daily active users, and each of those users spend an average of 40 minutes active on the site! That is a lot of advertising potential. Facebook makes marketing a gym especially easy with its easy audience targeting. Specifically for gyms, the location and interest targeting methods are your best friend:

  • Location: set your audience targeting to a certain mile radius from your gym’s location. This way, you know your ads are being shown to people who are in driving distance, giving them easy access to your business.
  • Interests: Facebook has an infinite list of generalized interests to choose from. For marketing a gym, think about general things like physical fitness, exercise, working out. Also focus on more niche interests that make sense for your establishment: crossfit, functional fitness, etc.

Organic Social Media and Collaborations

Connecting with others that are interested in the same things is important! Collaborating with others in your community can help build your local awareness and give you more brand authority. It also can connect you with another audience of people that you normally wouldn’t if you stayed within your own brand’s bubble. It is also important to show people more of a human connection through your social media (unpaid) posts. You can highlight testimonials from real humans, current events, and inspire people to get involved! Influencers and user-generated content (UGC) is another way to increase your scope on social media.

Trial Gym Memberships

These trials could be complimentary or paid, whichever fits your business model better. Offering potential customers a membership experience could be the deciding factor on if they sign up or not. People want to get a taste of what they will be doing. Are they going to like the instructors? Are they going to like the workout or the environment? These are all questions they will be asking themselves, and if they are not able to answer these questions it will be harder for them to commit to a subscription right off the bat.

What is F45?

With that, let’s take a look at F45; a gym in downtown Detroit that has seen success in their digital marketing strategies to acquire new members.

The fitness craze we’ve come to know as F45 has grown at an incredible rate with the intentions of growing larger. Beginning in Australia in 2012, the franchise has established over 1,750 studios worldwide. 800 of which are in the United States. This success, however, is attributable to its unorthodox structure.

Clients are plunged into 45 minute workouts. Each are composed of functional movements such as cardio and weight training. But the franchise is much more than your average gym. F45 and its instructors have responsibilities that go beyond scheduling tortuous workouts and meal planning. They are to be a friend to their customers, a confidant, counselor, and encourager. All of which are essential to elevating the mind, body and spirit of the customer. Community-driven, coaches encourage attendees to meet and high-five one another. Curious spectators are always allowed to peek in.

Marketing for a Gym: Spotlight on F45 Detroit (1)

Who is behind F45 Training Midtown Detroit?

The core values of the franchise are applied and maintained effectively, especially in its Midtown Detroit studio. Thanks to their Director of Marketing Jessica Ruddy, and her strategic messaging of these values. Ruddy has been working for the franchise for over a year. The Central Michigan University Alumna had begun on a winding course before. She finally reached her point of arrival in the fitness industry. With a degree in Recreation & Business, fitness was never in her plans.


“My goal was to be an event coordinator,” said Ruddy. “But when I got out of college, I couldn’t find a job in my field.”

Following a brief search, Ruddy quickly got the opportunity to work as the ticket sales and service representative for the Detroit Tigers. Quality work along with ambition resulted in the move to a manager position. Unfortunately, the new position became too overwhelming. She then decided to pursue other opportunities.

Marketing for a Gym: Spotlight on F45 Detroit (2)

The Beginning of it All.

While searching for another career within the realm of management, by chance, she stumbled into the fitness industry. More specifically, she had come into contact, for the first time, with F45. What the franchise was able to do for her changed her outlook on fitness. She developed a passion for fitness and improving her own health, which made her passionate about improving the health of others.

“I had visited one of their studios, just to see if I would like it or not. This is where I witnessed the beauty of F45 and became captivated by it,” said Ruddy, “ I just had a baby, so I was really insecure and hadn’t worked out in a while. I noticed there were no mirrors and no one, except myself and the trainers, were paying attention to what I was doing. All the attendees are doing a different exercise. Even if you have a partner for your exercise, they’re only focused on what they’re doing. So there was no judgment whatsoever.”

Positively affected by her experience that day, when she took the job, she took on the franchise’s philosophy. A philosophy of acceptance without judgment.

“We truly do welcome all fitness levels, all body types, genders, religions, etc,” said Ruddy. “You could be a bodybuilder or someone who has never worked out before. The workouts are tough and challenging, but we believe in the clients and their capability to do them. Once finished we hope they leave with a sense of pride.“

After being in Detroit for over 7 years, F45 Training gave her more of a reason to stay longer. Plus, Detroit is a city where revolutionary ideas and businesses come to life, which is good for F45’s growth.

“Detroit has magic to it. I’m so lucky I got to work it for as long as I did,” said Ruddy, “The city is transforming, there are so many exciting things happening, and there is such a mixture of ethnicities. It was a natural fit for our owners to come here.“

Marketing for a Gym: Spotlight on F45 Detroit (3)

The Real Talk.

Relatability is one of Jessica’s most preferred practices of encouragement. It is essential to building connections with clients as well as creating a positive interaction with them.

“We’re all human,” said Ruddy. “We have to relate to clients on a human level to reassure them that they have the support and comfort they need. This is totally important inside and outside of the fitness world.”

When Jessica isn’t managing the studio, she engages in several activities, including reading. Her favorites are history, non-fiction, and romance. In addition, she loves to bake and cook. Most importantly she loves to be with her family, especially her husband and three-year-old son. Interestingly, family exercise is not a necessity. Though athleticism is a part of hers and her husband’s identity, which has trickled down to her son. He has swimming lessons, T-ball, and soccer to look forward to.

The motto that she lives by is, “Everything happens for a reason.”

“You may not know what it is but there is a reason behind it, and eventually you will find it out,” said Ruddy. “Just keep living your life as positively as you can and do what makes you happy.”


Marketing a gym is a very specific and specialized undertaking that requires dedication and experience. KARMA jack Digital Marketing Agency has a team of experts that is ready to get your gym on the map!

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How do I market my fitness gym? ›

  1. 7 fitness center marketing strategies to set your business apart. ...
  2. Create engaging social media content. ...
  3. Create a seamless online experience for clients and potential clients. ...
  4. Share customer success stories. ...
  5. Use targeted ads. ...
  6. Create a successful referral program. ...
  7. Re-target people in your audience.
Jan 11, 2023

How can I promote my fitness business? ›

Here are some of the most important ones.
  1. Create a professional website.
  2. Use a mobile fitness app.
  3. Embrace SEO.
  4. Highlight your authority.
  5. Try video marketing.
  6. Be social media savvy.
  7. Work with influencers.
  8. Cross-promote with other businesses.
Dec 15, 2021

How do I market my gym on social media? ›

4 steps to create your fitness social media marketing strategy
  1. Build a brand identity with differentiation. Branding is everything to your social media profiles. ...
  2. Get the right tools. ...
  3. Provide great content and interaction incentives. ...
  4. Encourage sharing and gather feedback.

How do I get new clients at the gym? ›

9 Proven Ways to Get More Personal Training Clients
  1. Ask existing clients for referrals. ...
  2. Share testimonials from your clients. ...
  3. Offer a trial session for free using Trainerize. ...
  4. Market your training services on social media. ...
  5. Write articles for fitness magazines and blogs. ...
  6. Build a professional website to showcase your skills.
Oct 20, 2022

What makes a gym stand out? ›

Have a unique mission statement, design and logo. Emphasizing the mission and goals of your gym is another tip that is equally as important as customer service in making your gym stand out. To engage in any physical exercise, every fitness freak knows you have to be motivated.

What makes a gym appealing? ›

Therefore, a good gym is a facility that promotes physical activity, provides a safe, functional, and comfortable workout environment, and creates a pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere for recreation and socialization.

What is marketing strategy in marketing? ›

A marketing strategy is a long-term plan for achieving a company's goals by understanding the needs of customers and creating a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage. It encompasses everything from determining who your customers are to deciding what channels you use to reach those customers.

How do I attract online fitness clients? ›

10 Helpful Tips: How to Get Online Personal Training Clients
  1. Start with Your Local Community. ...
  2. Grow Your Online Audience. ...
  3. Set up a “Book now” button on social media. ...
  4. Share Customer Reviews. ...
  5. Ask for Referrals. ...
  6. Offer Free Nutritional Advice. ...
  7. Join the Personal Trainer Network. ...
  8. Get in Touch with Other Fitness Professionals.

How do I become a successful gym influencer? ›

Let's dig into our nine-step plan for how to become a fitness influencer.
  1. Pick your niche.
  2. Choose a platform & learn the algorithm.
  3. Establish your social brand.
  4. Learn technical skills.
  5. Identify your content pillars.
  6. Build your initial following.
  7. Build a media kit based on current stats.
Aug 16, 2022

How do you target a gym audience? ›

The process starts by identifying the appropriate fitness segments you wish to target at your facility. There are several segments, but the most common are weight loss, social, bodybuilding, elite performers and sport. From there, you can segment further based on demographics such as age, gender, location, or behavior.

How do I start posting gym content? ›

How to Create a Successful Fitness Instagram in 5 Easy Steps
  1. Clarify Your Goals. You're eager to get started and make the page live, but it's better to take some time to map out a plan first. ...
  2. Set up an Account. Now you're ready to set up an account, which is simple. ...
  3. Build Content. ...
  4. Boost Content That Works. ...
  5. Follow and Engage.
Jan 6, 2021

What do customers want in a gym? ›

People want a gym where they can take classes and run through their workout routine without having to look for equipment. They like the convenience of knowing that everything is laid out before them, easy to find, and won't be taken by another customer when it's time for their class or training session.

Who are the main customers for a gym? ›

4 Target Audience Ideas for Gym & Fitness Advertising
  • People who are looking to join Gyms & Athletic Clubs. ...
  • People who are looking for Fitness Classes & Personal Training Services. ...
  • People who Crave Fast Food. ...
  • People who are shopping for Workout Clothes.
Mar 4, 2020

What scares a gym owner the most? ›

Gym and fitness owners face various issues like wrong cost budgeting, backup plans, identifying problems and their solutions, wrong hiring of staff, and much more.

What is the most important rule in a gym? ›

Put everything back where it belongs

This might be the number-one gym etiquette rule. Don't leave a trail of equipment behind you: If you use something, put it back. You learned this in kindergarten.

What is the best gym strategy? ›

Here, 13 incredibly efficient strategies, courtesy of the latest research, to get the biggest benefit out of every one of your workouts.
  • Lift weights. ...
  • Listen to music. ...
  • Swap stretching for a dynamic warmup. ...
  • Preface your workout with carbs. ...
  • Do intervals. ...
  • Drink water. ...
  • Use free weights. ...
  • Get a better night's sleep.
Mar 3, 2016

How can I sell my gym membership fast? ›

Use these ten tips for boosting your gym membership sales to make your new members excited about their experience with your fitness business!
  1. Create Urgency With Limited-Time Offers. ...
  2. Incentivize Friends and Family Memberships. ...
  3. Offer A Free First. ...
  4. Offer Bundles. ...
  5. Provide Guidance. ...
  6. Create Flexible Payment Plans.
Apr 1, 2022

How do you generate leads and sales for a gym? ›

Gym & Fitness Marketing: 13 Simple Ways To Get More Leads And Sales
  1. Update Your Gym's Website. ...
  2. Create an Enticing Offer for New Clients. ...
  3. Monitor the Competition. ...
  4. Create Educational Content. ...
  5. Prioritize Local SEO. ...
  6. Use Social Media Marketing. ...
  7. Invest in Facebook Advertising. ...
  8. Invest in Google Advertising.
Oct 18, 2021


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