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How to Increase Gym Memberships (9 Steps)

How to Increase Gym Memberships (9 Steps)

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on February 24, 2023 — Updated on November 21, 2023

Top of mind for every gym owner is learning how to increase gym memberships and how to get more clients. Customer acquisition is key for any business, maybe even more so a gym business. Getting more gym member leads and then turning those leads into new gym memberships can have real revenue and profit implications for you as a fitness business owners. Learn how gyms get more gym members, how you can attract more clients to your gym, and how you can get more gym sales and grow your gym business, then read our gym owner guide for more next level gym management tips.

Our friends over at NPE Fitness have contributed the majority of this article, so be sure to visit their website for more expert fitness business advice.

And of course, let us help arm you with world-class gym software that has a full marketing product suite of everything from marketing automations to email, SMS, and push notifications, as well as gym CRM software, and everything you need to make a fitness app.

Exercise.com is simply the best. We were using three or four different apps or softwares to do what we can now do all in one with the Exercise.com platform.
Brandon Stroupe
Founder and President, APEC Sports Performance

How To Get More Gym Members and Clients with the 9-Step
Perfect Client Journey

Let’s do the bad news first: 

Without a system for finding, signing up, and retaining gym clients, you’re going to end up struggling to grow your gym membership base and grow your gym’s income. 

That’s because without the right system, a studio/gym owner loses focus, doesn’t act strategically, and efforts become fitful and scattered. 

But there’s good news … 

With the right system, you can gain control over your gym sales, marketing, and client experience to the point where you have strong, stable gym growth long into the future. 


Here are the 9 steps of the fitness business marketing and sales system that we teach – these steps have helped tens of thousands of fitness professionals and business owners transform their businesses. 

Read More: 100+ Gym Marketing Ideas

#1 Get Clear on Who You Want to Serve

You need a target avatar. Too many people try to serve anyone and everyone. The result is no one knows what you stand for and no one feels you are speaking directly to them. Your messaging will be generic. Pick a client you are ideally set up to serve – someone who is ready and able to commit to your programs. 

#2 Attract Your Target Avatar

Depending on your gym budget, you can use a variety of inbound and outbound gym marketing strategies, including advertising. We recommend you get a clear social media strategy as well as referral and networking. These are low-cost, and once these are in place, consider advertising. 

#3 Capture Leads

You need the names and the contact information of qualified prospects to continue the process. To get people to exchange their contact information, you must offer some kind of value to them, such as a free download off your website or in exchange for those who engage with you on social media. 

Sales Funnels

#4 Educate and Nurture

Not everyone is going to want to sign up with you right away. You will have to produce content that demonstrates your credibility – that you understand and identify with their pain AND that you are the one to support them in their health and fitness challenges.

#5 Craft Offers

You need your target avatar to take the next step toward working with you. Have strong offers ready. Craft four offer types: free trial, free consult, paid trial/short term program, and paid assessment. Position those offers so the prospect is ready to take the next step, which is to contact you about providing fitness services. 


#6 Inspire Commitment

Most fitness studio/gym owners struggle with consistently inspiring clients to commit long-term health and fitness goals. The good news is there is a consistent way of leading these conversations to serve people at a deep level. The steps we teach start with pre-qualification, so you only speak with people who are ready. You need to get people comfortable, build rapport, set the agenda … and begin a process of leading the person to fully understand the challenge and commit to the steps necessary to resolving it. This starts with your team. Learn more about How to Hire Gym Staff and Build an A+ Team.

#7 Deliver Great Value

They committed. Now you join them by delivering great value and leading your clients to success. Create a world-class experience that delivers extreme value to your clients from day one. We define value this way: Value = Client Experience + Relationship + Results. Build all of these right from the start.

#8 Promote and Refer

Referrals are low-cost, high-value leads that cost you practically nothing. Ask for referrals at regular intervals (such as when a client reaches a milestone or renews). You also need to have a strong reviews program on sites such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and Next Door. New clients will look for reviews: Take charge of the process and don’t leave it to chance. 

#9 Renew and Upsell

You want a gym membership renewal strategy and to execute it. This means monitoring and reviewing client progress … beginning the conversation well before the contract period is up … and being ready to celebrate wins, discuss new goals, and setting aside time to have a serious conversation about how you can support them in further progress. 

Implement Today to Increase Gym Membership Sales

The stronger your gym membership sales system, and the more of these 9 steps you master, the more clients you will attract, sign up, serve and retain. And excellence in each of these areas will lead to strong gym membership growth for the next 12 months and beyond. 

NPE recently hosted a 3-part workshop to teach you how to grow your client base powerfully over the next 12 months – as well as build a team and increase your profitability. We recorded the whole thing and you can get access to those recordings here.

Sean Greeley, NPE Founder & CEO

Visit NPE Fitness for more expert gym membership sales advice and then let us help arm you with world-class gym software to help you grow and manage your gym better.

Get a demo and see how we can help today.

Tony Gentilcore
Exercise.com makes my life easier by providing an all-in-one solution and the opportunity to help those who otherwise would never have access to my programming!
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

Read More:

How do I attract clients to my gym?

If you build it, they won’t necessarily come. Yes, build an awesome gym and provide an amazing gym membership experience, but you will need to actively focus on customer acquisition. Advertising, referrals, social media, outbound, and the like are all important.

How do gyms get more members?

Gyms don’t get more members on accident. Gyms get more members with focused, intentional effort from gym owners and gym staff.

How can I grow my gym business?

You can grow your gym business one member at a time. You tell your personal training clients that results don’t happen over night, right? One member at a time. One rep at a time. You got this.

How do I get gym sales?

Don’t be afraid to make explicit asks. Make more offers. Increase your prices. Be confident in the value you provide and the price you charge. If you aren’t, then that is a deeper issue.

Read More:

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About the Author

Sean Greeley, NPE Founder and CEO, has an unrelenting passion for empowering fitness entrepreneurs to create the income and lifestyle they want. 

NPE delivers the #1 suite of business growth systems, tools, and coaching for fitness entrepreneurs to grow to 6-, 7-, and 8-figures. Since 2006, NPE has helped over 53,000+ fitness businesses in 96+ countries grow to the next level. NPE has been featured 8x on the Inc 500/5000 list of fastest growing companies, and has a global team based in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Website: NPE Fitness

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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