Most big box gyms like Goodlife, Gold’s Gym and other franchised gyms were the first to establish gym corporate partnerships to increase their memberships and retention. Our team at konnectme often get asked how do these bigger gyms do it, and what exactly do they do to implement it correctly, In this blog we will be unveiling their strategies so you can also start having your own partnerships today.
Below is the step-by-step plan on how to establish gym corporate partnerships, which comprises:
1. Who in your gym should pilot the program.
2. Top 4 companies that your gym should partner with.
3. 2 must have tools you need to make the corporate partnership smooth.
4. 5 steps to approaching B2B partnerships.
5. How to leverage the partnership to get more members and as a member retention tool.
6. How to incorporate your partnerships into your gym digital marketing strategy.
The Steps on How to Establish Gym Corporate Partnerships.
Step 1: Choosing the right person to be the corporate face.
In most cases, the face of your fitness studio is usually “you” the owner, maybe the general manager or better yet, hire a corporate manager. It gets very complicated when the face of your company is just a salesperson. If you are dealing with other local business owners, it is better that you do it yourself or a manager who has been with you for a long time..
Step 2: Which Businesses should you target to establish corporate partnerships for your gym?
From working with many fitness facilities, our team finds that you should be targeting the following businesses:
1. Auto Insurance Lawyers. This is because some of their injured clients usually undergo some sort of a physical rehabilitation. You need to build relationships with them to make sure that their clients go to you. Also, you need to create a billing system that will help these lawyers because they usually have a special billing system.
2. Doctors, rehabilitation physicians such as Chiropractor / Physiotherapist. Same as an auto insurance lawyer, these practitioners usually have clients that are badly injured and need to work out. The difference is that the doctor’s clients are usually the ones who will 100% need to go to the gym to prevent injury after successful rehabilitation. Moral of this point is that you need to establish a corporate partnership with these practitioners so they think about you when it’s time to send out their clients from their care.
3. Local Restaurants. Local restaurants usually have a high turnover with staffing, but that is actually a good thing for a business owner. This is because a local restaurant usually only employs someone who is local. By having a corporate partnership with a local restaurant, you are able to do the following:
A. Continuous Contacting: Email them every 2 months to ask if they have any new employees who would like to try your gym.
B. Set up a Lead-box: Have a lead-box set up at their restaurant to target people who are waiting in line
C. More Advertising: Tell the owner that if 10 people signs up for a membership, then he can get a free membership. This will make him advertise your gym more! You can also ask the owner if you could set up some flyers at their restaurant.
D. Member retention and Staffing benefits. Ask for benefits for your staff, such as 10% discount or so. This benefit can also be for your members. Such as showing their key fob and they get 5% off at the restaurant. This will help with your retention!
Step 3: The tools you need to set up a gym corporate partnership.
- A corporate agreement. Though you are going to be offering a free corporate partnership, you still need to create a very simple corporate agreement to outline the exact benefits that you will be giving them and vice versa. This is to protect your business from other business owners who might say “you offered me something higher” while having nothing to prove it. One of the best things of having an actual agreement is that you can set the benefit to expire in 2 years so that you can adjust your discounted memberships to match inflation.
- A Corporate Flyer or Video. Create a corporate flyer and record a video that explains what your gym offers. Most business owners are busy and do not have the time to read through a 21 slide presentation about how they should partner up with you. It is vital that you keep the flyer under 2 pages and keep the video under 3 minutes. Be direct to the point and always have a call to action at the end of your marketing material.
Step 4: The Best Approach to Establish Gym Corporate Partnerships.
Like every Business to Business, building rapport is the first thing that you or your corporate manager should be focusing on. Being a corporate manager at a gym that I previously worked that, I got to experience that the steps below are a few of the most effective ways to have a successful corporate partnership.
- Build a local corporate outreach list. When our team at konnectme starts start working with you, we provide you with a list of businesses that you can contact. Schedule a strategy call today and find out how to bring your gym digital marketing to the next level.
- Setting up a call or in person meeting to Introduce your company.
- Sending a flyer or a video after the meeting.
- Have a follow up system on your calendar to remind yourself about the partnership’s agreement’s expiry and for your monthly follow-ups.
- Have your personal trainer go talk in their monthly meeting regarding fitness that will benefit their workplace.
- Invite the business owner for a “no selling” personal training session accompanied by your best personal trainer to see your gym.
Step 5. Leverage the corporate partnership for new memberships and as a member retention tool.
New Memberships. Gain more members by leveraging your corporate partnerships.
1. Setting up lead boxes.
2. Follow up with the owner to refer new employees to you.
3. New PT clients from Doctors and Rehab practitioners. You must follow up with them!
Member Retention Tool: Leveraging your partnership to retain members can be a powerful tool if you follow these steps:
1. Asking for an exclusive discount for your members. This can be 5-15% discount, which depends on what kind of business you are partnering up with. Having a discount for your members at a local restaurant is not only a benefit to you, but it is actually more of a benefit for the restaurant. However, keep in mind that most people go to a restaurant bring their friends with them, so they won’t just be paying $10, the average restaurant customer spends $35, and that doubles when they bring a friend. So what’s a 5% discount, really?
2. Asking your partnership to provide flyers or marketing materials that you can add into your member welcome package. Providing marketing materials will not only benefit your partnership, but it will also show that your gym is very active within the community. Moreover, partnerships will give your brand a more solid look from your members.
3. Building a fitness community.
Let’s face it, most gyms may have an ideal member, but are also bound within their target market that are within a 5-15km radius. Being bound into the same demographic only means that all gyms must build a membership base that is built to catering to the highest local demographic. This starts with knowing your target market and building a fitness oriented community that everyone local knows.
Step 6: Using your partnership as part of your Gym Digital Marketing Strategy.
Establishing a corporate partnership for your gym is a very beneficial part of your gym’s digital marketing strategy. Outlined below are the reasons.
- Website Referrals:
Some business websites like showing off their partnerships, you too can benefit with referrals by asking to be a part of their website.
the more websites that are referring to your website, the more google sees your website as a high-ranking website.
- Low-Cost advertising.
The ROI for having a partnership is huge!
Taking 1 minute to send one corporate email a month may get you 1 or 2 memberships.
1 minute per month for a $1000 membership is a very low member acquisition cost, if you ask me.
- Local SEO & Your Gym Brand’s Authority.
By having a partnership where other business websites are referring back to you, your fitness facility will be seen as the local authority in fitness.
Other than branding benefits, google also looks at your website to see if other businesses are referring back to you.
By doing so, google can determine if your website is something they should show on local searches.
The How to. Our team at konnectme utilizes your corporate partnership by doing the following.
- Showcase your partnership to your members using drip campaigns.
- Create flyers for your corporate partnership.
- Create the videos for your partnership.
- We showcase your partnerships on your website
- Set up a follow up to your partnerships using drip campaigns.