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Gym Personas 101: Understanding Your Ideal Member

Sara Perry

There’s no marketing magic wand you can wave to immediately attract new members to your fitness business.

The successful gyms we work with are always testing their campaigns and tactics to make them more effective for their audience – or in other words, optimizing their strategy.

But before you can optimize your strategy, you need to understand who you’re optimizing it for.

That’s where gym personas come in.

Gym personas are shorthand for understanding your ideal customer. They provide insight into customer behavior so you can optimize your marketing campaigns and bring more members through your door.

Let’s get started building your gym personas.

What Is a Gym Persona?

A gym persona is a representation of your target market or ideal customer. A well-built persona shows you exactly who your members are so you can deliver relevant offers and programs.

Your target market can’t be all people within a 20-mile radius who are between five and 70 years old – personas need to be specific to be effective.

Personas can include:

· Age

· Gender

· Location

· Fears

· Goals

· Values

· School

· Challenges

· Other interests

· And more! For a persona to be effective, it should be as detailed as possible and provide insight into motivations as well as demographics. Give your persona a name to add some personality and make them easier to reference.

Gym persona profile outlining demographics and characteristics
Gym persona profile outlining demographics and characteristics

Start by asking your current students or members why they chose your gym. If you hear generic responses like “coaches” or “cost,” ask follow up questions to dive in deeper.

How Do You Build a Gym Persona?

The details you include in your gym personas may change depending on the needs of your gym and your members.

Here are some basic categories to get you started:

· Name

· Age

· Interest

· Location

· Family status

· Economic status

· Employment position or industry

· Attitude

· Goals

You’ll need more than one persona if you serve a range of members. For example, a martial arts school that offers self-defense classes, a tiny tigers program, and anti-bullying programs for teens would need to develop at least three separate personas. Each of those groups would have a different set of needs, so crafting separate personas will make it easier for you to tailor your campaigns and programs for them.

Interviewing Current Members

Speak with your members directly to learn why they’re interested in your gym. If you collect basic demographics through your lead form, use your interview questions to supplement that data. Ask deeper, more specific questions like “Why did you choose my gym over others?” to get a better understanding of the motivations driving the behavior patterns you observe.

Working With Existing Data

You need to understand the behavioral patterns of your ideal and current members to craft an effective persona. The good news? You should already have some of that data!

Collect information via your lead form and analyze your gym’s member data to identify common demographics and characteristics, like age, location, gender, and income level. Observing your members’ workout patterns can also provide insight into how they’re engaging with your gym

What if You’re Starting From Scratch?

Starting from scratch can be intimidating, but it can also be a good thing! The key to running is a successful gym is understanding how to best serve your members, so creating new personas means you’re on the right path.

Begin by identifying your target audience and outlining which demographics are the most likely to attend your gym. Check out similar gyms as well! Reading testimonials for similar fitness businesses is a great way to learn why members are choosing gyms like yours.

While crafting your personas, write down the information you wish you had. Using those notes, develop a list of questions you can ask future members to refine your personas.

Once you understand who your ideal member is, you can start the fun part – figuring out the best way to appeal to them and keep them around! For example, if you know that community is an important aspect of why members love your fitness business, you may want to look at starting a referral program or hosting a bring-a-friend event. Members who love the community you’ve built will be eager to get other friends, acquaintances, and colleagues into your gym.


Connect With Your Audience

You’ve crafted your gym personas – now it’s time to use them. The UpLaunch Broadcast Center allows you to send emails and text messages to customized groups of leads and members – all from directly within the UpLaunch Platform!

Ready to Craft Your Gym Personas?
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