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Gather compelling testimonials in 5 steps

Sam Perry

People connect with stories. Trials and tribulations. Triumph in the face of adversity.

Because of this, testimonials are one of the best ways to promote your gym or studio.

If you have no testimonials, you’re losing out on business. Think about it: Would you be more likely to buy a product with no reviews or 20 good reviews? Heck, even 20 mixed (but not terrible) reviews?

Exactly. Humans don’t like uncertainty. Let prospects know what they’re missing out on by collecting some stellar testimonials from your athletes.

Step 1. Reach Out to Your Members

You may feel uncomfortable asking for a favor, but you have to take the initiative and request testimonials directly. No one is going to offer you a testimonial unprompted.

Feel free to ask in person if it comes up naturally, or send out an email or a text to your members. Whatever method you choose, be sure to thank any respondents for taking the time to share their story.

Once you get a few bites, you’ll want to pick the right person for an in-depth success story. The ideal testimonial giver is someone who thinks highly of your gym and has seen results — whether physical, social, or emotional — such as:

  • Better overall health
  • Increased strength
  • Weight loss
  • New friends
  • Improved mood
  • More confidence

Step 2. Ask Thoughtful Questions Via a Testimonial Form

The easiest way to capture testimonials is to send out a fillable form.

This gives the respondent time to think through their answers as well as the freedom to be fully honest. Their story may include personal struggles like low self-esteem, social isolation, or health issues, and they may be more willing to share these details in a form than in a face-to-face interview.

Here’s the list of testimonial questions we include on our UpLaunch form:

  • Why did you join us?
  • What's been your biggest accomplishment since joining us?
  • What are you working on now?
  • What's your favorite memory at our gym?
  • What motivates you to continue training here?

These questions are designed to elicit impactful answers that potential customers will connect with. If the testimonial resonates with leads on a personal level, they’ll be more likely to join your gym or studio.

Step 3. Tell The Member’s Story

The completed form should contain all the info you need to construct a testimonial. If not, you can always ask follow-up questions to flesh out the details.

Approach the testimonial as if you’re writing a short story. You’re essentially guiding readers through this person’s journey with the member starring as the main character. The testimonial should follow a narrative arc like this:

  • Beginning = what brought them to your gym or studio
  • Middle = the challenges they faced and the growth they saw along the way
  • End = what results they’ve seen and where they are now
  • To be continued = what they expect to accomplish as they continue their membership

Remember: You should emphasize the member’s story. Not the detailed history of your business, your upcoming class schedule, the great deals you’re running, etc.

Each person is the hero of their own story. Your gym or studio is merely a helper on their journey to better health and self-improvement.

Plus, they went through all the effort to share a piece of their life with you, so let their story shine!

Step 4. Embellish With Photos & Videos

Humans tend to register images faster than copy, so you’ll want to include photos alongside the text.

Consider using the following types of pictures:

  • Nice headshots
  • Before and after photos showcasing weight loss, muscle tone, or improved form
  • Action shots of workouts
  • Photos inside or in front of your gym or studio
  • Group photos of the member with you, your coaches, or other athletes
  • Photos where the member is wearing gym merch or holding swag items

This example photo includes a headshot, a direct quote, and branding all in one. While the gym member is posing so the photographer can capture the right expression, you can also see them holding a barbell.

If the person is willing to talk about their experience on video, that’s another great way to incorporate multimedia elements. Just make sure you have decent lighting and audio so the video quality doesn’t distract from the message.

Step 5. Promote the Testimonial on Social Media

First, you’ll need to choose between an organic social media post and a paid ad.

  • Organic posts are cheaper but reach fewer people
  • Paid ads get you more reach, but they’re more expensive and subject to stricter rules

Next, you’ll need to decide what social media channels to post on. The channel you choose will depend on customer demographics and how much time you have to dedicate to social media management. This may require trial and error on your part to see which platform gets you the most consistent engagement.

This example Instagram post utilizes a short testimonial from a new gym member. Notice that the photo includes two of the elements mentioned above: a workout action shot and a gym interior.

You don’t have to limit yourself to text and photos though. Get creative! You could:

Film a short video testimonial for Instagram Reels or TikTok.
Social media is pushing short-form video content, so this is a great way to get eyes on your business.

Conduct a live interview over Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
Only take this approach if the member is comfortable with it. People can leave comments in the chat for the interviewee to respond to, encouraging community building.

Create a Facebook photo album or Instagram Highlight dedicated to testimonials.
This keeps all your testimonials in one easily viewable place. Choose a cover photo with some oomph to draw visitors in.

Ask for additional reviews.
Members may not want to share their entire story, but they may be willing to give you five stars on Google, Facebook, or Yelp. Every rating counts.

Streamline the Testimonial Process With UpLaunch

Gathering testimonials can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

Don’t want to deal with reaching out to members individually? The UpLaunch Platform has automations to help you collect testimonials on a wider scale.

Have no clue where to put your testimonials once you’ve got them? The UpLaunch Agency can help you promote testimonials through paid ads on social media. We can also set up your fitness business website to feature testimonials on their own page or the homepage.

Book a demo with one of our team members today to learn more about our software or our agency services.

PAID ADS ACROSS MULTIPLE CHANNELS

Want to promote your testimonials on social media?

You've done all this work to gather your testimonials ... now it's time to put them into action.

The UpLaunch Agency offers digital marketing services to small fitness businesses. We promote your content and offers through paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, and Google to attract more leads and increase brand awareness.

Book a demo with an UpLaunch team member today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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