I just replied to this post over at pedal-on from a new studio owner looking for ways to market his studio in the off-season. I thought you may also be in this position, so I’m posting it here as well. The best advice I’ve heard for marketing your studio during the “off season” is to go where your potential customers are in the summer months. Stop at your local whole foods and grab the free community papers in the entrance. These papers include listings of all the fitness related activities in your area; 5k’s, bike rides, triathlons, tuff mudders, etc. Go to them and do some guerrilla marketing to get the word out.
Offline marketing at local fitness events is like shooting fish in a barrel with hundreds, if not thousands of fitness enthusiasts (your potential customers) all in one place.
- Do the Burma Shave thing. Measure the grade of the hill/climbs and post it on a sign on the side of the road, along with words of encouragement + your studio’s name and logo on it.
Here’s a short video showing how to measure grade of a road I made a few years ago.
- Chalk the street at key places.
- Print up “post it notes” with some special offer. Then find some help and stick them on the driver’s rear view mirror of cars parked near the starting line. “Why the rear view mirror’ you may ask? If you just stick a sheet of paper under the windshield wiper people will see them on their way back to their car and will already have decided to throw away the one you placed on their car, before the get there. Your sticky note won’t be noticed until they are in the car.
- Consider becoming a sponsor of the event or, if $$ are tight, offer to provide the event with a bunch of volunteers (or something else of value) in exchange for some form of promotion.
- My favorite example – a business hired a bunch of high school cross country teammates to run a race wearing the businesses T shirts. Their stroke of genius was having them start near the back and politely greet & encourage the hundreds of slower people they passed. Then they all got together at the finish to cheer on the finishers. With every kid on the planet on Facebook, I’m thinking this would be super easy to do.
What cleaver guerrilla marketing ideas do you use?