The Obvious Choice: How to Dominate the Local Market

A man looks up at a graphic on a wall that shows connections between people.

You probably can’t dominate the fitness market.

But you can probably dominate your local market.

In fact, if you use the right tactics and focus on making connections, your business can become the obvious choice for people in the immediate vicinity.

And when that happens, you win, your staff members win, and your community wins.

Your 6-Mile/10-Kilometer Market

Back in 2017, the marketing firm Dstillery released some data:

  • The average distance between a person’s home and their gym is about 4 miles.
  • People will travel farther—about 5.5 miles—for higher-priced specialty gyms.
  • People will only travel about 3.2 miles for lower-priced gyms.

You sell coaching, so let’s use 6 miles/10 km to map your prime turf for connections.

Try this:

  • Select Map Tools, then Draw a Circle Tool on this site
  • Enter a radius of 6 miles or 10 km.
  • Zoom in to find your gym’s location.
  • Click to draw your circle.

The million-dollar question: What if everyone within that circle knows your business is the best place to receive fitness and nutrition coaching?


  • You would personally make more than $100,000 a year, and you’d be on your way to $1 million net worth.
  • Your business would be profitable, and your staff members would be well paid.
  • Members of your community would be healthier and fitter.

So how do you become the go-to fitness business in your local community?

You must make connections.

In this series, we’ll talk about business-to-business (B2B) connections and connections to individuals. Here, I’ll give you a tactic to help you start building your local web (our mentors have dozens, and they help our clients select the exact tactic that will help the gym most “right now”).

B2B Connections

Connecting is an active enterprise: You place the plug into the socket, for example.

But many entrepreneurs don’t take action. They just assume connections will be made. That’s the equivalent of looking at the plug and assuming it will find its way into the socket. It won’t.

Here’s where you must address your mindset: You are not a fitness coach. You are the CEO of a local business. Start making local connections!

When I was younger, I copied and pasted email addresses found in chamber of commerce material and built a mailing list. That’s not as easy to do today, but you get the idea: You must meet people and introduce yourself.

I would ask myself, “Where do my best clients congregate when they’re not in my gym?” and I’d go there. I’d join their running groups. I’d join their Facebook groups. I’d join Strava or the chamber of commerce, or I’d volunteer to coach their kids’ sports. I’d make it my personal goal to shake 365 new hands a year.

Imagine you did that: introduced yourself to one local business owner every day or even every week.

Don’t skim past this mental exercise. Literally think for a minute about what would happen if 52 to 365 business owners inside your 6-mile radius know who you are and what you do.

  • What if the owner of the hair salon that specializes in wedding parties knows you can help people lose weight?
  • What if the owner of the sporting-goods store knows you train local athletes?
  • What if the screen printer who makes uniforms for 100 local baseball teams knows you offer a preseason training program for kids?
  • What if the owner of the chiropractic practice knows you’re great at creating customized programs that help people safely build strength?

I could go on for hours. I hope you get the point.

If you don’t, here’s proof:

  • I have personally connected with local care providers and created relationships. One single connection has been worth tens of thousands of dollars over the years.
  • One Two-Brain gym owner, Michaela Munsterman, is building her business, Elite Medical Exercise in Austin, Texas, by introducing herself with homemade salsa and cinnamon rolls at the offices of local care providers. Michaela doesn’t run ads. And she made our leaderboard for average revenue per member per month in December 2023; it runs from $427 and $798.

Take Action

Do this tomorrow morning:

Get a jug of takeout coffee and walk into a neighboring business. Say something like this: “I run the gym across the parking lot and wanted to introduce myself. I brought coffee. How’s business?”

Make friends. Don’t try to sell anything. Just ask questions about the business and respond to any queries you get. Shake hands and smile on your way out.

When clients at that business ask about you (they will), your neighbor will say, “I know they’re great!” You’d be surprised how important that endorsement is.

If you do this, you’ll be “plus one” in the connection department.

Do it every week, and you’ll be on your way to dominating your local market.

If you don’t want to be “the obvious choice” in your area, save the $30 in coffee and the hour of your time. Spend it scrolling Instagram posts to find hot marketing hacks to flood your gym with leads.

I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning to grow my business.

What will you do?


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.