Do You Have To Pay For Digital Marketing?

by Mark Fisher

Before I give you today’s heapin’ of gym business knowledge, I want to tell you about an event I have coming up.

Join me in Alexandria, VA, at the 2023 IDEA Personal Trainer Institute for my session, “Time Management for Fitness Professionals.” 

You’ll get early-bird pricing when you register before tomorrow 2/10, AND save an additional $20 when you use my code, PTI23Fisher. Learn more HERE

Now, today’s missive covers a very common question for training gym owners:

Do you have to pay for digital marketing?

The short answer is “maybe, but not necessarily.”

First, let’s concede paid digital marketing is the most powerful and accessible set of marketing tools in the history of small business. Whether you’re doing outbound/interruption marketing on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, or paid inbound on Google to show up for keyword searches in your area, previous generations could only have dreamed of this level of targeting and tracking.

Now it’s true, prices have skyrocketed over the past several years. But if you know what you’re doing, you can still get quality leads at prices that work for your business. And those prices will still be much cheaper than many other paid channels. And WAY less work than most offline marketing strategies.

However, depending on the size of your training gym, there may be other lower hanging –– and free! –– marketing fruit. While paid digital marketing can fill your coffers with leads, in most cases you’re best to start with things like referral marketing, email marketing to your contacts, and posting on organic social media.

Furthermore, leads from paid digital strategies are colder. You’ll need dialed in follow-up systems and more sophisticated sales skills to move them down the funnel into taking the first action and signing up for your trial. Otherwise you’ll be getting lots of contacts, but very few new members.

Beyond first contact, digital leads often need to be nurtured and warmed up over time. This is another reason to place paid digital marketing after email marketing in your order of operations. Because if you add these leads to your regular email marketing, the ones that don’t sign up right away will come to know, like, and trust you over time by consuming your content.

Ultimately, there WILL come a time when you’ll want to layer on paid digital strategies to expedite your results and increase your leadflow. 

NOTE: In many situations, it may make sense for you to outsource paid digital marketing. But marketing agencies are expensive. So you’ll usually want to bridge the gap by learning the basics of running ads on your own before hiring it out. After all, you can outsource the execution, but you’re still responsible for the results

(Want help here? We have a course on paid digital marketing for Facebook/Instagram and another for Google ads inside Unicorn University, exclusively available to members of the Unicorn Society.)

So in closing, YES, at a certain point you will most certainly want to run paid digital ads to get the best results.

Just remember:

  1. Be sure your non-paid marketing efforts are on solid footing
  2. Develop a base understanding of digital marketing so you’re not throwing money away
  3. Refine your follow-up/sales process so you’re not putting leads into a bucket full of holes

Marketing works, but only if you’re doing it right,


PS: Here are four ways to get more BFU in your life:

  • Learn more about our coaching group The Unicorn Society HERE.
  • Subscribe to our Business for Unicorns podcast HERE. 
  • Subscribe to Mark’s YouTube channel HERE
  • Pick up a copy of my (new!) book HERE.

PPS: Speaking of “more BFU,” have you checked out my YouTube channel lately?

To see my latest video, click the thumbnail below.

5 Ways To Make Your Gym Cleaner



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Is AI taking your job? Maybe…?

Below are some bold predictions about how artificial intelligence platforms like ChatGPT3 and DALL-E are going to impact your work as a gym owner. You and your staff will still play the most important role. The “human stuff” will be hard and probably impossible to...

Want to See How Other Gyms Are Run?

Do you ever wonder how other gym owners pay their trainers? Are you ever curious about how other gyms are generating leads? Would you like to know how other gym owners are paying themselves? If so, you’re invited to participate in our first EVER Business for Unicorns...

#1 New Gym Owner Mistake

Let’s talk about the most common mistake I see new gym owners make… REAL TALK: This one is a DOOZY. It comes from a wonderful place. And it’s hard as hell to back your way out of. You see, many-a-new gym owner are excited for the chance to right the wrongs visited...

Seen My *Newest* Project? [Gym World Worldwide]

Keeping it brief today, but wanted to be sure you saw my newest project. That’s right… MOAR MF CONTENT! My pals John Franklin and Mateo Lopez from Kilo have joined forces with yours truly to start a new kind of fitness industry YouTube show: Gym World Worldwide! We...

My Birfday!

But Monday was my birthday.  I’ve cheated death.  Yet again!! Between my birthday and the time management workshop I did a few weeks back, I’ve got time on the brain. To that end, I wanted to share a resource with you that can help you use your time more effectively....

MF’s *Book* (!!!) Is HERE

I’ve completed the book! It’s done! Huzzah! CLAIM YOUR COPY Now as a loyal subscriber, here’s a warning: this book is a compilation of BFU emails written over a two year period. This means if you luuuurve this here weekly email, you may have already read all these...