How Top Gyms Get Clients: 4 Funnels for the Win

A graphic showing the four marketing funnels Two-Brain Business helps gym owners build.

Reading our 2023 “State of the Industry Guide” will tell you how gyms get more clients.

For example, turn to Page 15 and you’ll see that 49.1 percent of gyms were running ads in August 2023, 83.1 percent were using social media to attract clients and 73 percent were using Affinity Marketing (referrals). Interestingly, 7 percent were using only ads.

The best gyms in the world use all of these things. And they do it nonstop.

The biggest flaw in the marketing plan of most gyms that aren’t growing: The owner doesn’t have a plan. They try something once and then let it drop.

They meet 10 clients, ask for referrals and then never do it again—even if they successfully obtained referrals.

They spend $100 on Facebook ads, and if the first attempt doesn’t land, they say “Facebook ads don’t work for me” and give up forever.

They post on Instagram every day for a week but don’t interact with their followers and never build momentum.

They try ChatGPT to generate a blog post or two but don’t build an email list, and they stop publishing after two weeks.

Now compare this to the gyms with the most clients.

None of them are perfect marketing machines, but all of them:

  • Have a clearly defined funnel they can draw for you on a napkin. Or two funnels, or three, or four.
  • They feed the funnel every single day, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
  • They track how well their funnel is working every week (or at least every month) and fix the leaks.
  • Some work with an ad agency short term, but all of them work a mentor long term.

How do we know? Because we track their numbers with them. We watch to see what they do.

Every month, we publish leaderboards that rank the top gyms in various critical categories. Then we ask the best gym owners, “What are you doing differently?”

We publish those interviews on our podcast sometimes, and we update our materials for Two-Brain gyms all the time.

Four Essential Funnels

We build four funnels with Two-Brain clients now: first a referral funnel, then a simple social-media funnel, then a paid-ads funnel, and then a content funnel.

We build them one at a time: We make sure the referral funnel is working before we start building the next one. One solid funnel is better than two funnels that are just kinda working.

We keep each funnel going all the time. We don’t take a one-and-done approach with any of them.

We track how well each funnel is working every month.

This might sound like it’s the full-time job of a professional marketer. But really, funnel management takes about two hours per week once they’re set up.

The top gyms in the world aren’t owned by marketing experts anymore. They’re owned by coaches like you and me, who understand that virtuosity—consistent execution of the basics with skill—is the secret to progress.

It’s not about the newest or the most secret marketing strategy. It’s about paying attention to marketing, having a plan and having someone else look at your metrics with you.

To book a call with my team, click here.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.