Archive for the ‘24 hour fitness center and gym and health club marketing’ Category

A fitness marketers troubling experiences while spying on gyms in Tuscaloosa Alabama

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Why most Local Gyms are barely surviving when they could be thriving.

Planet fitness is jam packed almost every day. they are the low price leaders. $10 a month is hard to compete against after all. not impossible though. But no one is willing to try it seems.

There are several gyms close by, but no one I’ve met yet in the area even knows the other gyms exist. There is perhaps the nicest gym in all of Tuscaloosa located 3/4 a mile away across from a huge apartment complex and in the middle of all the action, but no one even knows its there.

It’s always empty except for maybe one or two people. It has everything you could ask for, cleanliness, great atmosphere, excellent equipment, showers, massage chair, tanning, and their 24 hour automated. They have two things going hard against them. They are 4 times more expensive than their nearest competitor “planet fitness”. The second thing is that they don’t market, they rely on word of mouth which obviously isn’t working.

The other gyms in the area are cross fit gyms and a YMCA. None of which hardly market at all

Northport is another area with several gym’s. The biggest and best, and perhaps has the market in Northport cornered is Northridge Fitness. The place is big, clean, has a great amount of equipment, several personal trainers, and offers several programs for kids too. They market from within, they could however have many more members if they to would market more outside. Things like having a better website, put an email form on their website for potential members to sign up on, be active on apps like yelp and google business, and run radio ads. That said, they are great at customer service

The other big gym in Tuscaloosa is Fitness One, located one mile above Northridge Fitness. Its an older building, which seems a little run down, customer service is not very good, a trainer had to stop training a class just to come show me around quickly so he could get back to his class, while two employees stayed at the front desk talking. I felt bad for drawing him away from training to give me a tour while one of the staff could have shown me around. It was a super quick tour if you can imagine. Then i found out the price was double the other gyms around, it did include classes but they didn’t have an option for the folks not wanting to take a class. They also don’t market, and it shows.

The other two gyms in Northport are 24 hour smaller gyms. Old school gyms that could do really well if they cleaned their gyms and marketed to let more people know they are their. There’s defiantly a niche of people who prefer plate loaded  cleanliness seems to be an issue with some 24 hour gyms for some reason.

Cleanliness is marketing just as running a radio ad is, people pass that info along to potential members just as the person who stays in a motel 6 does about their experiences when the pull the covers back on their beds. If it doesn’t look clean, they tell others.

These are very simple fixes but most gym owners are trying to run their businesses and do the marketing too and they just don’t know what to do and usually end up following the unsuccessful marketing tactics of other gym’s, and basically end up with whats called marketing incest. They don’t know what they don’t know.



Shannon Cook is former owner of Temple Gym in Northport Alabama. He also owns the websites where he details all his experiences of owning and marketing his gym and how he sold it.

He also owns where he sells his book in exact detailing of how he opened his gym from scratch, got sued, came out alive, then almost went broke several times before transforming his gym into a 24 hour fully automated fitness center and marketed it from 50 members to over 300 in less than 3 months, then how he sold it for many times what it cost to start.

All that to say, he knows what to look for when he walks into a business that they could do immediately to market their business and most of the time double their business in a very short period of time. Its really simple if you know what to look for, and after 12 years of helping other businesses turn their gyms around, he knows what to look for. Simple things like

To get all the secrets about how to Market your gym and turn your business around, get the book now.

Get the Book “How I took my Gym form 50 members to over 300 in less than 3 months, in exact detail”



Market your Fitness Center like a 7th Grade Love Note

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

We’ve all written love notes. I have done my share of love notes and poems. In fact I just finished a goal of writing a poem a day for 30 days to my wife. Some sad, some funny, and some serious. This exercise has done wonders for my relationship.  its the same thing we’re trying to when we want to get a prospect into our businesses.

A love note is absolutely nothing but “absolute focused Marketing of ones self”

Realizing this I decided to take this approach to writing my marketing materials. I would not start off a love letter with Just my name and put a phone number on it and stop there. which is what all display advertisements are. I’d start off with an attention getter. Just like a poem does with the headline “roses are red, violets are blue”.

Some love letters are serious and some are funny. I always find myself starting off pretty serious, then funny, then back to serious when I reread the letters and poems I write to my wife. I do sometimes just write funny stuff though. After all funny was what got me my wife and I love telling jokes so it suits my style and what everyone came to expect from my marketing for my gym, from the radio ads where I wrote about the “most interesting man in the gym” to emails where the headline was about me getting divorced if I ran another special.

One of my Gym Marketing Campaigns was about “being tired of getting cheated on”.

By campaign I mean, I combined Radio ads, Emails, Road side banners, and Website. I put it into everything. It was about people going to a gym across town when they have me close by. Kinda like having a good man or woman that treats them right, looks good, goes to church, has a great job, cleans the house, does charity work, adopts stray kittens and puppy’s, tells them go with their friends to the movies and enjoy themselves, exercises and is in great shape, makes great love, cooks, doesn’t like to spend money frivolously, loves to take long walks, has blue eyes, tall, and tans like Brad Pitt in the movie “Troy”.

It worked great having that funny aspect but getting attention by the “cheating aspect” of it. People really respond to a total fitness marketing campaign if you especially if you combine it right.

Write a love letter to your Fitness Center prospects and use it through your Radio Ads, Facebook, email subscribers, website, banners, and mailing list.

What a better time to do a Fitness center love letter marketing campaign than Valentines Day.


Here’s and example of “A Gym Marketing Love Letter”

I know I cheated, I know I lied

I heard about cross fit, but after it thought I had died

Then I heard about the $10 gym, but planet fitness was loaded to the brim

I know you gave me the very best deal, your open 24 hours, and the tanning included was a steal

You even gave me a 30 day guarantee to try and see, and all your competition did was laugh at me

They used pick up lines like they had a chance, but even zumba cost extra and I cant even dance

Tanning was extra too, everything cost more just like at the zoo

I know I tried another gym because they were dirt cheap, just like Radio Shack, and I’ll never go back

So what do you say, can I come home to stay

I miss you my gym, I’ll even go to church, we’ll go to couples therapy and talk till it hurts

Where else could I find another gym, that’s $35 a month, is open 24 hours a day, includes tanning and 3 free training sessions to get me started, and is so clean always.

Oh Temple Gym, Temple Gym, in Northport, Can I at least visit your website and watch the video tour I keep hearing so much about at

I keep hearing how really simple, and funny the video tour is, but how it tells me everything I can ever want to know about what your doing now, I even hear you have all your prices on the internet for all to see. I know your competition doesn’t like to hear this because they act like a bunch of used car sales people with their “just get them in the door then sucker them into signing what they don’t want.” I also hear you have very unique emails i can get by signing up on the form at the website.

I’ll see you soon, Love from a former gym member/soon to be current member


This is just something different you can mail out to your former members to try to reactivate them, it has poetry, maybe cheesy poetry but none the less it rhymes, it has funny, and true statements, and mostly, call to action to visit the website or come in.

Try this approach to regain former members or send out in an email to new or potential members.

Shannon Cook is the author of the Book “How to Start and Market a 24 hour Fitness Center”

Get it Here amazon button
















How to use Google Alerts to get inside scoops on what’s right or wrong with your gym

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Here’s a quick tip From for an amazing free google tool that will allow you to see what anyone online is saying about you or your business.
Its Google Alerts, and it literally takes about 3 minutes to do and start getting info about your gym that will allow you to change whats wrong or do more of whats right after reading what people are saying.
Here’s how to do it.
Enjoy the tip. Shannon Cook
The info below was taken from

How do I set up Google Alerts?

Setting up Google Alerts is a simple process — you don’t even have to have a Gmail account to use Google Alerts.

  1. Go to where you’ll see this page:
  2. Set up a Google AlertSign in if you have a Gmail account. If you don’t have a Gmail account, you can just start filling out the Google Alert form.
  3. Enter the search terms you want the Google Alert to track, separated by commas. You can edit this later if you find you have too many or too few terms. If you’re not sure what to track, start with your name and your blog’s name. You may also want to include keyword phrases related to your brand and your niche.
  4. Choose the Type of results you want Google Alerts to find and share with you.You can choose from the following:
    — News
    — Blogs
    — Video
    — Discussions
    — Books
    — Everything (so you can track it all)
  5. Choose how often you’d like to receive your Google Alerts. I like to receive mine once a day or even once a week simply because I’m trying to cut down on the time I spend checking e-mail. However, if you’re tracking a timely project or news story, you may want to choose as-it-happens. Likewise, if you’re just keeping tabs on something that mildly interests you, but isn’t critical, you can choose once a week.
  6. Choose how many results you want to get. You can receive “only the best results” or “everything” depending on your needs.
  7. Choose where you’d like the Google Alerts delivered. If you have a Gmail account, you can receive them via gmail. If you’d rather, you can receive them via RSS or another e-mail account.
  8. Click the Create Alert button and finish.


How I Spent my last $500 to Marketing my Fitness Center and made it successful

Monday, December 7th, 2015

How to Market a Fitness Center with as little as $500 and turn your fitness business around 100% with these fitness business apps and Gym Marketing Tactics that I used to take my Gym from 46 to 304 members in less than 3 months, and doubled my membership prices and stayed there without fighting the price wars all other gyms fought around me

I know what I would do because had to do it.

I was down to what I decided was the last $500 I would put into my gym business and if it didn’t work, I’d get out.

My wife and I decided after being in business for 5 years of owning a regular gym, We agreed that if we didn’t get more than the 46 members we had, we’d fold up tighter than a 7th grade love note.

For the first 5 years after I started my gym I followed all the other gym and marketed the same way they did, which was not at all or with cheesy display ads. I couldn’t find the right gym marketing system in the daylight with a flashlight.

What I did was spend a whole month doing the following to Market my Gym:

To begin with, I changed the colors of our gym from the dark depressing blue to a Yellow and Orange Sun Burst color for the feeling of energy.

I even worked Christmas day and New Years day painting. But while I painted, I bought every Marketing audio book I could and listened to them while I worked. Needless to say, I was so hyped up from all the learning and ideas flying around my lightly haired head that I  couldn’t sleep at all. I couldn’t wait to start on Marketing my gym.

I started at night practicing writing and perfecting my 4 page Brochures, yes 4 pages, and YES they were read completely by most. What I did was, after I built my website in the beginning, I basically printed a copy of my website and put them in a clear “Take One Box” on the outside of the door to my gym. This was a great tool because most people if they came up during non-open door hours, would get one and have all the info they could stand about the gym.

P.S. Put prices and membership options on your brochures and website for all to see. Your’e not a used car salesperson and have the “If I can just get them into the door” mentality. You’ll lose business faster than a hooker with a fever blister.

NOTE: I had already converted my gym into a 24 hour Fitness Center at this point but still had no one coming in and I couldn’t figure out why. Here’s what I found out over my 11  years of owning my gym and making it successful.

Fitness Marketing Separation-  definition by Shannon Cook: Being in a crowd of other gyms, holding your gym up and waving it like hell until the prospect notices you and ask you “why should I come to your gym over all these others surrounding you?”, Then giving them reasons until they say OK! 

So…. I got the painting done, cleaned the place like the bathroom at Ritz Carlton lobby, then went to Marketing.

Here’s what I would do TODAY if I only had five hundred dollars and One month to make it work or go under.

  1. Website: Even the 70 year old people now are using “The iphone” as they say, to look everything up. If you aren’t following everything I laid out in the book, its too much to go in depth here, but I’ll condense it like the 12 days of fitness marketing if I can.

After you read this post go to and you can see the template I used that works as well as any gym’s website ever. But come back here after you take a gander.

2. Email Auto Responder get an Email Auto Responder system from aweber, and start collecting emails, I can’t tell you enough what this will do for your business, but you must send the right emails out, no crap like catch phrases. Nothing like “your gym, your life”, would you open that? I don’t think so. This is where a copywriter can help you, I learned from writing hundreds of emails what would get opened and what wouldn’t. Click HERE to get your aweber account going now.

Something like “I’f I get divorced I’m blaming you”. that got opened a lot, then of course you have to keep them reading past the title all the way to the end. In the end I led them to a special I was running at the gym and I may get divorced for doing it because it was so good, like when I first started offering a 30 day guarantee which my wife didn’t really like at all, but ended up trusting me.

3. Video Tour- After the website was right, then email form in place, I then made a video tour. click the link to see mine. This was the best salesperson I ever had. It pre-sold 95% of my memberships for me. Prospects would come into the gym and I would start to show them around and they would almost always say “no thanks, I know how everything works, I saw your video”

4.  Have A Guarantee!-   You will probably be scared to do this one, but its a proven fact, If your product or service is any good at all then you’ll have very few returns. I only gave money back one time ever! Out of hundreds of memberships sold.

I found it worked so well that I went to a 60 day guarantee the last two years and never had one come back and ask for their money back. I believed in my gym, I even offer my book “Marketing Dumbbells”with a 6 month guarantee because I’ve only ever had one person want their money back after reading it too. Your not the gym for everyone, but a gym is an emotional experience and once they actually make the decision to try you out basically they’ve decided almost no matter what they don’t want to go through the process of changing. I have also found out that after they have joined my email list, they usually take 3 to 6 months to decide to join, but after their in your gym marketing funnel along with 300 others you can imagine how the compound effect starts to roll and there’s always someone coming in from an email or the website.

Everything I just mentioned, Getting a website template and hosting account, email auto responder,  youtube video and put it on your website, and Offering a Guarantee will only cost you less than a hundred dollars.

Then i’d spend the remaining $400 on radio ads.

5.  Radio Ads- Yes, I’d pour every last dime into radio ads, not facebook ads or google ad words, If I had to make sure my message got out asap or I was going to be out of business, I’d do this one last thing. A radio ad blast. I had such good luck doing the combination of the above things, then radio ads, that I’d spend my last dime on them. click on the text to be taken to my website where you can hear some of my radio ads for yourself.

Here’s how I used the combo from all the things above:

The Radio ads drove people to call or to the website, the website to the email sign up form or to watch the video tour, the sign up form to the emails themselves, the emails to the website or the gym, the Guarantee hopefully sends them over the edge of just “thinking” about it to “trying” it out.

Now, if you want to find all the above fitness marketing tactics and how to start a 24 hour gym in exact detail, go to 


To get all the secrets about how to Market your gym and turn your business around, get the book now.

Get the Book “Marketing Dumbbells” to discover exactly “How I took my Gym form 46 members to 304 in less than 3 months”


The 24 hour door access system and software combo to convert your gym int a 24 hour fitness center for under $5,000

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Click the link below to open the Free 21 page paper on the exact 24 hour system and software I used to convert my gym into a 24 hour fully automated access gym and Tanning salon. Then I show you the first step to reinventing your fitness marketing by showing you how to create your new gym Unique Selling Proposition and get noticed in one phrase. Also, I show you some funny ads and how you can steal them to create business for your gym.


The 24 Hour Door Access System and software combo that you must have to make your gym an automated Gym for under $5,000

By Shannon Cook