How to Advertise Your Fitness Business to College Students
Yoga and pilates businesses tend to target advertising to soccer moms, martial arts studios focus on young students, most other types of gyms, be it a CrossFit box, 24 hour location, or regular fitness center, focus their marketing efforts on the entirety of the general populace.
Can you see where we’re going with this? There’s one HUGE client segment that has been completely ignored, and that’s the college student demographic. College students are an untapped market for fitness businesses. Yes, you have you occasional college yoga studio or the recreation center on campus, but beyond that, most students are lacking any sort of a professional quality workout experience.
Here are four easy ways to increase your studio’s college membership:
1. Create College-Specific Pricing Deals
College students are notoriously cheap. However, if you get large enough class sizes you can still turn a pretty profit off discounted college memberships. We usually suggest that our clients give out a free week of class to entice new members to give their business a try. However, if you’re offering a nice discount to college students, you might not want to offer a free week of class; a free 3-day pass might work for you. Regardless, offer a 25% to 50% monthly discount for college students. You’ll see a solid boost in membership and still be able to run at a profit. Takeaway – College students don’t have as much money as your current members. That said, if you’re going to do some fitness advertising focused at college students, you’re going to want to make sure that your prices are more in line with their financial situation.
2. Publicize Your Business Around Campus using Guerrilla Marketing
Last but not least, the easiest way to market your fitness business to college kids is to get some publicity around campus. Have your graphic designer draw up some eye-catching posters that you can post in the student unions and campus coffee-shops. Brainstorm areas where you’ll be able to find your perfect college member. Lastly, if you’re thinking of using one of our text message marketing products to boost your membership, you could include your text message coupon code on the poster; something like, “Text CAMPUSYOGA to 95577 for a Free 3-Day Pass!”
There’s nothing better than a good guerrilla marketing campaign. Pay a local agency to plaster the campus with marketing materials. Make it fun and exciting. Maybe make a scavenger hunt or something along those lines. Either way, get up as much advertising on the college campus to attract those college-aged members.
3. Start a Teacher-Training Program
This might be a bit more of a long-term goal, but if you can, start a teacher-training program. Most smaller studios won’t have the infrastructure to set up a teacher program, but if you’ve got the resources, do it. You’ll be able to recruit hoards of college grads (who still have friends in the college scene) that are looking for a job that isn’t corporate America. Once you start training college-aged teachers, you’ll be able to employ them in your own studio. Takeaway – There are hundreds of college graduates that are finishing school with hard-to-sell liberal arts degrees. If you’re able to employee them as teachers, you’re going to help the economy and get more young college students as members.
4. Hire College Students to Teach Classes
If you have the ability to hire another teacher, we highly suggest hiring a teacher that is also a student at the local college. What better way to increase your business than have an employee mingling with your desired clientele. Your teacher will tell all his/her friends about the studio they teach at and will start drawing a crowd of their faithful college followers. Think back to when you didn’t own your fitness business. I have a good friend that teaches a yoga class a few times a week at a local studio. She’s constantly posting about it on Facebook, trying to get her friends to sign up. You’re not going to get that same kind of enthusiasm from an older teacher that doesn’t “get” social media like the younger generation. Remember listening to that girl at the party convince all her girlfriends to come to her studio to learn Bikram? Yup, it worked for her and it’ll work for your business too! Takeaway – If you want to get more college-aged fitness memberships, you’re going to need to hire a trainer/teacher from that same age group. They’ll bring in friends and talk about their classes on social media.