How to Make Your Gym Stand Out and Increase Revenue

How to Make Your Gym Stand Out and Increase Revenue

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), there are over 41,370 gyms and fitness facilities across the United States. For gym owners, that means a crowded and increasingly competitive market. You might have a great location, innovative group classes, and world-class trainers, but are you doing all you can to make your gym stand out?

In this guide, we share nine unique ideas to increase gym membership and revenue. With these practical tips, you’ll also be empowered to turn your current customers into loyal brand advocates who can grow your gym even further.

9 Unique Ideas to Increase Gym Memberships and Revenue

From hosting community events to investing in new equipment and developing your trainers, here are nine ways to attract new members, while keeping your current clients loyal. 

1. Host Community Events with Other Businesses


Don’t underestimate the power of creative collaboration. Think outside the box and partner with local businesses to attract new faces and strengthen your gym’s ties to the community. For example, this spring we headed to Stagecoach to host a wellness event spanning three days. We partnered with some of our favorite businesses, such as Best Day Brewing for non-alcoholic micheladas and Turtlebox for the sound, and provided ice bath tubs for guests to use during the party! In fact, we're working on our newest ice bath, the Party Plunge to host more community events and bring people together over a love for wellness.

By working with local businesses, you can attract new audiences interested in what everyone has to offer. Plus, you can cross-promote each other's products or services, expanding your reach. It’s a win-win for all involved. These events aren’t just a great tactic for increasing membership signups, they can also be a perk for existing members, adding more value and boosting retention.

2. Promote Customer Reviews and Stories

Your current customers can be one of your most valuable assets, so if you aren’t already showcasing their success stories or glowing reviews, you’re missing out. Using user-generated content (UGC) is a tried-and-true way to build trust and inspire new members to begin their fitness journey

Here are a few ways to encourage members to share their stories and write more reviews:

  • Remind members to share their experiences on platforms such as Google and Yelp.
  • Highlight testimonials on your website and in marketing materials to build trust with potential new members.
  • Share authentic transformation stories that resonate with your target clientele.
  • To take it further, consider making a dedicated hub on your website to show off success stories, before-and-after photos, and other reviews that will help demonstrate your gym’s success.
  • Finally, make sure you respond to your reviews, especially the bad ones. Responding to bad reviews will show you value feedback and you’re committed to making the gym the best place for your members.

3. Use Social Media to Reach New Audiences

Social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok are not only one of the easiest ways to reach new audiences but also an incredible way to connect with potential customers. Consistent and creative social posting not only increases brand visibility but also fosters a sense of community and belonging among your followers, encouraging them to join your gym. However, you must create a marketing strategy that aligns with your brand and gym’s specialties. 

Of course, you can always utilize paid social media ads to help, but organically reaching a large audience is still very much possible. Some of the best ways to reach new audiences in an engaging way could include showcasing special events, short interviews with your trainers, collaborating with local fitness creators, or creating viral content that reaches millions! The possibilities are endless!

4. Stay Ahead of Emerging Wellness Trends

One of the best ways you can make your gym stand out is to stay ahead of emerging wellness trends. As a gym owner, you should constantly keep up with the latest fitness research and work to integrate new methods. This strategy keeps current members engaged while attracting new ones looking for the latest fitness experiences. 

Try offering cutting-edge services such as health-monitoring tech or adopting new strategies such as contrast therapy to recover faster. Doing so will demonstrate your commitment to innovation and keep your gym feeling fresh and exciting.

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5. Treat Your Gym Trainers Like Brand Ambassadors

Think of your trainers as the face of the brand and treat them like ambassadors to enhance your gym’s reputation. A dedicated team creates a positive working environment that prospective members will find appealing, and your current members will appreciate. 

Plus, by ensuring your trainers feel valued, they are more likely to be motivated and passionate about where they work. This not only helps attract new members through their word-of-mouth but also works well in retaining your existing customers. A few ways to turn your trainers into ambassadors can include:

  • Invest in their professional development and train them on the gym’s brand messaging.
  • Create a team of “in-house” influencers and encourage trainers to build their personal brand on social media. 
  • Highlight their achievements and specialties on your site.
  • Finally, ask them for input on new classes and workshops they’d like to lead or contribute.

6. Develop a Holistic Fitness Experience for Members

Holistic fitness, which focuses on incorporating mind, body, and nutrition into a well-rounded routine, can set your fitness facility apart. Try incorporating wellness elements such as nutrition counseling, mental health support, and alternative therapies like yoga and meditation. 

You can even host workshops on stress management, healthy eating, and breathwork, which all add immense value to a gym membership. By addressing the complete health of your members, you’re showcasing your gym as a one-stop wellness destination, attracting a wider audience and fostering member loyalty.

7. Create and Sell Branded Merchandise

Who doesn’t love to wear merchandise from their favorite brands? If your gym doesn’t have its own branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, water bottles, or bumper stickers, it might be time to consider doing so. Not only will it be an additional revenue stream for your facility, but it can be an excellent promotional strategy. 

By designing high-quality items, you can turn your members into walking advertisements and increase overall brand awareness. For nearly guaranteed success with this strategy, consider member input in the design process to create items they are excited to wear!

8. Establish a Gym Membership Referral Program

Referral programs can be a powerful tool in growing your gym memberships through word-of-mouth promotion. This is best done by offering incentives to your current members if they refer their friends and family. These incentives could include free classes, discounted rates, and even branded merchandise. 

To ensure success, make sure the program is simple, yet rewarding. You will also want to communicate the details to your current members regularly. This can be done through emails, social media, or even signs in the locker room. How you keep track of the top referrers can be up to you, but many fitness management software companies offer this as a feature of their service.

9. Invest in New and Upgraded Gym Equipment

According to Wellness Creative, 30% of gyms invest less than $1,000 per year on improving or upgrading their gym equipment! For many gym-goers, though, state-of-the-art equipment is what will help your gym stand out from the competition. So don’t let your gear become outdated! 

Invest strategically in new and innovative workout gear to stay competitive. This could include the latest cardio machines, state-of-the-art commercial saunas for recovery, or upgrades to the locker rooms. Remember, a modern and well-equipped gym is an attractive gym.

take the plunge

Take the Plunge and Start Growing Your Gym Today!

Utilizing these unique gym ideas and techniques can help your gym stand out from the competition. Not only that, but you can also expect better relationships with your current clients, while also increasing the rate of new memberships and total gym revenue. Reach out to us today if you’d like to learn how a commercial Plunge or sauna can enhance the gym experience and help your business grow!