Content Marketing in Gyms: A 5-Step Framework

Content Marketing

You might be the best gym around but no one will know about you unless you tell them.

In his mentorship practice, Chris Cooper stresses the need for his clients to produce meaningful, consistent content in order to get and maintain clients. But where to start?

In this podcast, Chris lays out a content model that will get you in the practice of regularly producing content. In this clear, step-by-step guide, you’ll learn what you must do each day to produce great content that resonates with your existing clients and attracts new ones.

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2:50 – Publish 5x per week on a platform that you own

3:23 – Motivation Monday: Give people a reason to come to your gym

4:13 – Teaching Tuesday: Teach something helpful (meal prep, how to do a squat, etc)

5:00 – “Who” Wednesday: Who is coming to your gym? Tell their story

6:15 – Thank-you Thursday: Gratitude post

8:00 – Bright Spot Friday

Mike Warkentin: 

You’ve got a great business, but no one will know about it unless you tell people. The solution? Content, but producing it often creates more problems for gym owners. Today on Two-Brain Radio, Chris Cooper has the solution.

Chris Cooper: 

Hey, everybody, it’s Coop and today I’m gonna give you the five-step framework to creating good, consistent, meaningful content that will actually help your business and your clients. If this is a helpful episode for you, please hit like or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. One of my biggest challenges as a mentor is getting you to create more. 

The reality is that media is more than your safety net. It is your platform. Without publishing content, nobody knows who you are, or even what you do. Most of your friends probably don’t even know that you own a gym and nobody in your town knows why your gym is better. So for years, I’ve been saying, you gotta produce more content. We have courses on how to produce better content. We have editorial calendar samples that you can use. We have every tool that you could possibly use except for a content model. 

And so today I’m gonna give you a content model that will get you started, get you in practice of creating daily content. And instead of just telling you why you need to do this, I’m gonna tell you exactly what to do every single day. And once you get this habit down, you can just continue it forever. And if you wanna expand your content, start doing more long form, add a blog, add a podcast. Whatever. I don’t care. 

One thing though, is that I need you to publish this content on a platform that you own. You do not own YouTube. You do not own Facebook or Instagram or TikTok. Somebody else owns those platforms. And so any content that you post on those platforms is temporary. It’s going to go away, or at least people will stop seeing it. If you publish this content on a platform that you own like your website, it will always be there. And forget about improving SEO, You just wanna have a bank of stuff that you can draw on. 

So—and I’ll share this just with you Tinkers—our blog content was new every single day for the first six years that Two-Brain Business was around. This year we’re mostly repeating last year’s blog content because it was so good. Two thirds of it was written by other mentors, but all of it really stuck with people. And so we have this refining process and the refining process right now is use our greatest hits. And so that’s what we publish to the blog. So here’s the framework. 

You’re gonna publish content five days a week on a platform that you own. Now, if video is what you wanna do, then by all means, publish this stuff on YouTube, but then embed it on a platform that you own, okay? Embed the video onto your blog. If you are better off talking and you wanna do a podcast, great, publish it to apple podcast, but then embed it on your website. You always wanna direct people to your website, get them off social media, get them off Instagram, Facebook, and onto your website. That is like the growing number one most important part of marketing that people have not figured out is how to get their audience off of the platform that they’re on and onto the platform that you own. Okay? 

Here’s the framework. Monday: Motivation. Give people a reason to come to your gym and work out this week. That reason could be because they should. That reason could be a motivational post about a member who’s gotten results. But the post “motivational Monday” doesn’t have to be called motivational Monday. That’s just the theme. You want to give them a reason, right? So here is why you need to work out this week. You can write a blog about it. You can do a podcast. You can interview somebody motivational. You can do a video. Here’s why I wanna see you in the gym this week. You can do a preview of your programming. As long as you tell people, here’s how it will help you. In fact, that’s a great post to do. Here is our programming. This week, here is how this workout will help you lose weight. Here is how this workout will help you gain strength. Okay? 

Tuesday is for teaching. So Monday motivation, Tuesday, teaching. In this addition of your media, you’re going to teach something. It could be the importance of meal prep. It could be, you know, what are heart rate zones. It could be how to do a squat. You can do this on video. You can do it on a blog with pictures. If you want to, whatever you want, you’re going to teach something. If all else fails, stand in front of a class, have one person in your class, hold up a phone and record your lesson at the whiteboard. Okay ? Teach something. Even if you have to use something that somebody else has written, like quote them on it. You know, if there’s something that I’ve written, you can quote me on it. Just put it right on your blog. That’s fine. 

Wednesday is for who. Who is coming to your gym. It’s for telling client stories and all you have to do here. You don’t have to do like the big custom profile. All you have to do is talk to one client. Why do you come to the gym? Tell us all about you. Tell us your story. Forget about, you know, the science of social proof and all that stuff. Just brag about your clients, because nobody else in their life will tell their story. So Wednesday is for who? 

And I’ll tell you something. One more thing here. If you cannot get an interview with somebody, that’s okay. If all you do is write about how much you respect, admire, love this person. That’s still amazing content. Usually we only do this when somebody dies and we brag about them in their eulogy, right? What would you write as this person’s eulogy? If they passed away, heaven forbid, just write that or say it, or video yourself talking about it. I’m so proud of this person. Here’s why. Okay . If you’re giving away personal details, like they’ve lost 30 pounds of weight, you might wanna check with them first before you publish it broadly, but send it to them anyway. Even if they’re the only person who sees it, it is worth doing this and double hint. You can do this with your staff too. Okay. So Wednesday is for who? 

Thursday is for: Thank up. Not just thank you. I’m grateful for you, but thank up. So you wanna publish something that’s like a gratitude post. “Hey, thank you to the 6:30-a.m. class for such an amazing workout this morning. I did not have the motivation. I was feeling tired, but when I got into the class with you guys … . You know. “Hey, thank you to the 7 p.m. class, man. I love it. Everybody showed up on time. We were ready to go. And everybody was paying attention and we got right to work and everybody hit PRs.”

So you’re reinforcing maybe the behavior that you want your class to see instead of like reprimanding people for not paying attention or posting stupid memes about people who don’t pay attention, right, to other gym owners. 

This is your gratitude post. And this takes a little bit of practice, but you’re doing Bright Spots Fridays already in the Two-Brain group. And so, you know what these are all about. Just post something that you’re thankful for, or a person that you’re thankful for. And, you know, share that as your gratitude post, you can use this to reinforce good behavior. You can use this to create new connections with other people like, “Oh, I am so thankful for Mary. She’s working really hard. She’s overwhelmed at work. Her accounting firm is just swamped right now. I am so thankful for the extra effort that she’s putting in right now. I am so thankful for Dave who built our plyo boxes.” 

Okay. In fact, if you want to, if you wanna see maybe my best example, you can just Google “Catalyst Fitness Thanks Dave” and you’ll see my best ever Thankful Thursday post. 

And then Friday is Bright Spots Friday. So, you already know this one. What you wanna do is you wanna start Bright Spots Friday in your Facebook group. And when somebody has a tremendous bright spot, you contact them personally. You say, “I am so thankful for you. I really wanna brag you up. Can I share your post publicly?” And if they say, “Yeah, but keep it anonymous,” then you just copy their text and you publish that. That’s fine. Now of course , what they’re talking about is like the results that they’ve made in your program. Okay. That’s totally cool. It’s still a bright spot, right? And you’re sharing stories of social success. You’re sharing social proof, but really what you’re doing is you are bragging about that person instead of just sharing like a testimonial. 

If the person says, “I don’t want you to share this publicly, it’s private to me,” I would still share it with my coaches. Or if you have a sales team, it’s really important to share this stuff internally because your coaches need to see the value of what they’re bringing, right? They need to see reinforcement of the mission. 

So when you get to the Tinker level, I’ve said in the past that 25 percent of your media should be internal focused. If you’re publishing a lot of media especially, your internal team won’t see it all. And if they’re only coaching at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, they won’t see the success stories from everybody else. And if they’re not active on Facebook, they’ll miss Bright Spots Friday. And if they’re, you know, not reading your blog or your emails, then they’re probably missing the upcoming events at the gym, whatever. But you wanna make sure that they see it. And so what I recommend is, you know, a short, weekly summary to all of your team , maybe that’s a short, like internal private podcast. Maybe that’s a short email/love letter just to your team. Maybe that’s like a private Facebook group where you share these wins every day.

So here’s the content template. Here’s the model I want you to follow. Motivation Mondays. Why should they come to the gym this week? You can give a a preview if you want to.

 Teaching Tuesdays, establish your authority, teach me something to help. 

Who Wednesdays tell a client story. 

Thankful Thursdays, thank up Thursdays where you can make connections for people. You can brag about how thankful you are. You can brag about your staff if you want to. 

And Bright Spots Fridays.

If you follow that every week, you will establish a base of compound content that compounds over time. And you’ll more importantly, get into the habit of publishing every day.

Look, it’s more important that you publish every day than that you’re publishing great content. Your new content will bury the old stuff. If you’re getting something bad said about you, the only way to get rid of that is to bury it in your own content. One, you know, phrase that’s in my head every single day is that the winners write the history books. And if you want people to understand what you’re doing, if you want them to see your perspective, you have to tell them, I can’t say again, like just how important this is. The people who get a lot of trust in a lot of customers are not necessarily the best coaches. They might even be wrong more often than you are. You’re probably doing a better job with your business than they are doing. But if they are publishing more than you, nobody will know it. The winners write the history books. 

I hope this helps you. Let me know if it did.

Mike Warkentin: 

That was Two-Brain Radio. Chris is always cranking out the content, so be sure to subscribe so you see it all. And hammer a like on this show before you go. Now here’s Coop one more time.

Chris Cooper: 

If you aren’t in the Gym Owner’s United group on Facebook, this is my personal invitation to join. It’s the only public Facebook group that I participate in. And I’m in there all the time with tips, tactics, and free resources. I’d love to network with you and help you grow your business. Join Gym Owners United on Facebook.

Thanks for listening!

Thanks for listening! Run a Profitable Gym airs twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Be sure to subscribe for tips, tactics and insight from Chris Coooper, as well as interviews with the world’s top gym owners.

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One more thing!

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