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You’re a fitness professional looking to grow your fitness business. You’ve exhausted your Facebook friends list of your mum, your mum’s friend Margaret, and your best mate from school, and you’ve realised that deep down none of them want you to train them. You need to start running ads - but where to start? 

If you think like most fitness professionals at this stage, your gut instinct will be to put ads up on Instagram and Facebook. After all, isn’t this where you see all those fitness influencers who seem to have thousands upon thousands of clients hanging off of their every word, commenting on every post, and throwing money at them as they jet-set off around the world? 

Well, yes. But you need to understand a little something about social vs. search advertising, first. 

Search makes sense. 

When you’re starting off with your advertising, you need to start with search (i.e., Google) advertising. Social advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram comes in much later. 

The reason for this is simple: when people search for a fitness professional like yourself, they actively want help. When people scroll past you on their feed, they do not. 

Yes, maybe all those idle scrolling thumbs will stop and look at your content, will double-tap a ‘like’, maybe will even leave a ‘💯’ in the comments. But their intentionality is still low; they simply do not intend to employ you, no matter how much they like your content. That impatient, compulsive thumb will always scroll on by in the end. 

Compare this to somebody else who performs a Google search along the lines of “Personal trainer in Manchester” or “Online nutrition coach for weight loss”. The people doing this search are intentional: there is a problem in their lives and they need your help to solve it. 

When you are starting out in your fitness business journey, these are the exact sorts of people that you want to reach with your ad. Not idle thumbs, but active, intentional clients. 

Let’s prove this another way - the philosophical way - with a good old-fashioned thought experiment. 

Thought experiment 

Say you’re going to visit a new city and you’re trying to find somewhere decent to eat. You have two choices. 

First, you could open your search engine of choice and type in “restaurants in [your location]”, scroll through the reviews, find one you like and head there.

Or… you could open up your Instagram, Facebook or other social media and keep scrolling until you come across an ad for some restaurant that you like the look of in the city. 

Chances are, you’ll do the former, unless you’ve got all the time in the world to kill and fancy wasting many, many hours of your life for vanishingly little reward. 

The same is true in the fitness industry. Your clients are searching for you - not on social media, but on Google. So harness the power of Google ads to connect your business with their needs! 

So… when do I advertise on socials? 

When Google advertising plateaus off, that’s when you can add social ads on top. 

As a leading digital fitness marketing agency, FitMedia has worked with clients across the board - from small, individually-run PT businesses to giant international companies in the fitness industry. Some of these can easily put ££££ per day behind search advertising on Google, and still see huge amounts of growth in terms of leads gained, without any social advertising whatsoever. 

Of course, at a certain point (when search advertising stops growing your client base so quickly), you should add in social advertising as a ‘cherry on top’. Don’t take money away from your Google ads (since these will always produce the greatest quantity and quality of intentional leads), but add in an extra pot of cash to each new platform you want to introduce. 

By substituting out money from search advertising to socials, you would be diluting your impact across all platforms, likely reducing your overall number of leads from the campaign. 

Think of search advertising as the bread and butter and social advertising as the cherry on top.

Here at FitMedia, we are experts at helping fitness professionals grow their fitness businesses through well-placed, intelligent, data-driven marketing campaigns. 

Give us a call for an hour’s consultation (totally free!) this week by filling out a few quick questions at www.fitmedia.net/apply to see what we can do for you.

Disclaimer: We are not a law firm, and nor are we the UK Government (though perhaps we should be?). This article should not be taken as legal advice; for that, you’ll want to get in touch with a registered GDPR professional and/or a lawyer. 

GDPR compliance was the buzzword of 2018. When new EU guidelines were announced in May of that year, companies had to evaluate their data management, clean lists, and add a double opt-in to sign-up processes. 

The problem is that GDPR was not a one-time box-checking exercise. After the initial rush to make sure a given business was compliant, many have forgotten to keep up with data regulations and returned to their old ways of thinking.

In a post-Brexit UK, the EU GDPR guidance no longer applies in the same way. However, the UK has incorporated EU GDPR into its UK Data Protection law, so you should continue to use the guidance in a UK business context. The new UK-GDPR took effect on January 31 2020. 

It is worth noting that if you have clients in both the EU and the UK, you will have to follow the GDPR laws and the UK-GDPR laws. 

Managing your database maintains good business ethics and can have brilliant benefits for your marketing campaigns. We’ll talk about that later on, but first, let’s take a quick recap... 

What is GDPR? 

In the UK, GDPR falls under the Data Protection Act 2018. It states that everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow a set of rules called the data protection principles to make sure data is used fairly, lawfully, and transparently.

There are seven principles of GDPR. They aren’t exactly hard rules, but instead act as a framework to state the purpose of data protection.

  1. Lawfulness, fairness and transparency 
  2. Purpose limitation 
  3. Data minimisation 
  4. Accuracy 
  5. Storage limitation 
  6. Integrity and confidentiality 
  7. Accountability (new to the UK law)

You can find out more about each of these areas under Article 5 of the legislation. In short, you (as a company or a freelancer) should be responsible and thoughtful about how you collect and use data. You should also regularly check and clean data and choose only to collect what you need.

For example, you can hold (data control) the personal information of an ex-member or ex-client for up to seven years after termination of the contract. It would, however, be unethical to market to that contact after contract termination. 

Who does it affect? 

GDPR legislation affects anybody who handles personal data, no matter the context. For the fitness industry this means gyms, personal trainers, and physical or online shops that sell products or services. 

The aim of the Data Protection Act is to hold the data handler responsible for safekeeping personal information and also to give a customer the right to find out what information a business or organisation is storing about them. 

There are two key roles to remember when reading about GDPR policy: the ‘data controller’ and the ‘data processor’. A ‘data controller’ will be the one who collects and controls the information, whilst a ‘data processor’ will be the one who uses the information. A company can act as both simultaneously, or else just one or the other. 

Okay, so how does GDPR apply to the fitness industry? 

With any of the following business models, it is important to first ensure that you have legal grounds to hold the information and data.

How gyms collect data

As a member-based business model, gyms will store personal and sensitive information about their members such as name, email address, home address, phone number, age, gender, and payment details. 

Third parties should not gain access to this information unless you have explicitly stated to your members that this would be the case upon sign-up. 

How PTs collect data 

As a personal trainer, you may collect and keep on file sensitive data about clients similar to what we mentioned above. We recommend that you keep this information in a structured format (e.g., a database), in a safe system to which only you and any relevant employees have access. 

How online service or product-based businesses collect data

Fitness coaches or businesses that sell products or services online will collect data through cookies, sales, and newsletter sign-ups. You should provide an opt-in to receive marketing information and you can use this process to your advantage (we’ll talk about this more below). 

In all of the cases mentioned above, if a customer asks you to remove their details from your database / stop contacting them, you are required to remove their data completely. 

Where do I need to implement UK-GDPR? 

In short, UK-GDPR needs to be implemented anywhere data is collected, even verbally. 

Click on the items below to see what GDPR guidelines could look like for each area: 

  • Customer database / email list
  • Your website 
  • Your websites privacy policy (a legal requirement) 
  • Promotions or competitions run on social media or website

Customer database / email list 

We’d suggest starting with a database clean to ensure you’re on the right track - making sure to carry this out at least every six months to a year. This includes: 

  • Removing unsubscribed customers from your database
  • Clean out duplicate addresses 
  • Bounced contacts 
  • ‘Spammy’ email addresses like ‘info@’ 

You might also want to segment your database so that you can send out more effective email campaigns. You can do this in whichever way benefits your business - by interest or location for example. If you’re starting out with segmentation or trying to re-engage contacts, we’d recommend segmenting customers by their activity level to keep track of their customer journey and campaign success. 

If it’s been a long time since you cleaned a list and you’re not sure who is a warm contact, send out a re-engagement email asking them what news they’d like to opt-in to. This might even re-engage some conversations you’ve been meaning to pick up! 

For email campaigns, you always need to include an unsubscribe option, which most email software builds in as standard nowadays. 


On your website, ensure opt-ins are included anywhere you collect data and maybe even ask customers what kind of information they would like to see from you, whether that be marketing information, offers, products, or top tips. 

Make sure that you’re only collecting the data that you need from customers - remember, one of the seven principles of GDPR is data minimisation - and be clear about why the customer is giving you their information. 

Privacy policy 

Communicate your data protection compliance in your privacy policy and make it known whenever you’re promoting your marketing material how you handle data. 

If you have multiple employees across the business, provide them with up-to-date training and information on how to handle data. It’s also a good idea to review who has access to documents containing sensitive or personal information. 

Promotions or competitions 

Running competitions or promotions are a great way to engage customers and gain sign-ups or your email list. But you don’t want to be caught out by GDPR here. 

Make it clear what information you’re collecting and why. If you plan to contact them in the future, ask them to opt in to updates. 

What are the benefits of being GDPR compliant? 

First of all, being transparent and honest with customers or clients showcases that you care about their safety and privacy. Customers will be aware of how their data is being used and have a level of trust - and you don’t need us to tell you that clients’ trust is crucial for building a business!

For example, if a customer has opted in to receive news on new products or services, they’re less likely to be annoyed about receiving marketing emails and more likely to engage with it. 

Database management improves your marketing impact over time. When you send emails to lists of inactive customers, you’re actually harming your online reputation and more than likely sending your emails to people’s spam. 

We recommend creating segmented lists of customers, including warm and cool contacts so you can get the best results from your campaigns and be GDPR compliant. You need to clean your lists of unsubscribed contacts (usually email software does this for you, but it’s always worth double checking) and ensure you’re not holding this data unnecessarily. 

Last but not least, a major benefit of being GDPR compliant is simply not getting fined. Companies and individuals can face a fine if they are found to be in breach of data protection. In the UK, the maximum fine is £17.5 million, or 4 percent of annual global turnover, whichever is greater. While you may think “it won’t happen to me” - prevention is better than neglect. 

If you have any questions on managing your data or putting GDPR practices in place, reach out to us for a free, no-obligation call over at www.fitmedia.net/apply. Our team will be happy to help!

Your Fitness Business Needs Google Analytics 4… 

Here’s how to set it up and start using it! 

Google. It’s one of the few companies worldwide that has become so successful that their name has become a verb. 

I mean, think about it. 

If your friend asks you, “Hey, how do I find a marketing agency that specialises in meeting the specific needs of my fitness business?”, you will give one of two responses: either “I dunno, google it.” or, if you are in the know about this sort of thing, “Book a free call with FitMedia today!” 

Googling has become synonymous with searching the internet for funny pictures of cats, finding the answers to exam papers, and, yes, even finding articles about Google Analytics 4 tailored especially for fitness professionals. 

But there is so much more to it than that. 

In addition to Google Search, Google has a whole host of marketing tools to help you grow your business and succeed in search… the most popular, by far, being Google Analytics. 

In this article, we’ll go through what Google Analytics is, why you need it, how it will benefit you, and how to set it up and get going straight away. 

What is Google Analytics (GA)? 

Google Analytics, simply put, tracks and reports website traffic, giving you access to boatloads of data about how users interact with different parts of your website. GA tells you which pages are visited most and least frequently, how long visitors stay on the site, which devices they use, and where in the world they are. 

If you want to optimise the user experience of visitors to your website, this is exactly the sort of data you need. 

Already have Google Analytics set up? Check again… 

You could be using an older, endangered version of GA known as Universal Analytics. Be careful here, because Universal Analytics is going to be redundant after 1st July 2023, with all of its data deleted. 

Universal Analytics is the older version of Google Analytics, also known as GA3. GA4 is the brand-spankin’-new edition of Universal Analytics with a host of new features. 

GA4 tracks the same users more effectively between different devices, integrates AI to give powerful analytical insights into user behaviour, and allows more granular data controls. It also integrates better with Google Ads. Privacy is also a greater focus with GA4 than it was with Universal Analytics, as third-party cookies are increasingly being phased out. 

To stay relevant, you have no real choice but to move with the times to GA4 so that you don’t end up being surpassed by rival fitness professionals who have a better understanding of their audience’s behaviour. This article will tell you exactly how to do that, but first… 

How could Google Analytics benefit my fitness business marketing? 

If you are a seasoned user of Google Analytics, you already know what a giant boost this service can provide your business on the marketing front. For those who haven’t already reaped the benefits, let me break if down for you: 

  • Understanding your audience. GA tells you everything you could possibly want to know about the visitors to your site, including location, age, sex, interests, and more. This means you know who you’re marketing to, who you’re attracting, and how this fits in with your goals. 
  • Tracking conversions. You can use the Goals feature to track whenever a user completes a desired action, such as requesting a call, signing up for a class, filling out a form, or purchasing a product. 
  • Website optimisation. The most and least visited pages on your website can tell you a lot about your potential clients’ intentions. Their bounce rates and session durations, too, will help you to identify areas to strengthen overall user engagement. 
  • Marketing campaign analysis. Because it’s all a part of the Google ecosystem, GA integrates perfectly with Google Ads to track their effectiveness and return on investment (ROI). 

There’s a plethora of other reasons why GA (in particular, GA4) is worth setting up to grow your fitness business, but we think you’re already convinced. 

And if you aren’t, we’re not entirely sure what you’re doing here, anyway. ;) 

How can I set up Google Analytics 4 on my website? 

Step 0: Create a Google Analytics account. (You don’t need to do this step if you already have an account with Google Analytics, even if it was only for the earlier Universal Analytics account.) 

Step 1: Set up a new ‘Property’. In your GA account, click on the Admin panel (bottom-left corner) and find the ‘Create Property’ option. Once you’ve clicked that, follow the instructions to set up a GA4 property. 

Step 2: Get your ‘Measurement ID’. Once GA4 is properly set up, you’ll get a Measurement ID — similar to the Tracking ID back in the Universal Analytics days — given as either a number or a snippet of code. 

Step 3: Install the Measurement ID on your website. Exactly how you do this depends on how your website is built. For many website platforms, simply add this small chunk of code to your website’s header. There are plugins for WordPress and other similar website platforms to make this easier, in which case you only need to enter the longer number. If your website is a custom build, you may need to ask your web developer to do this for you. 

Once you have done this, you will have access to all your Google Analytics data through your GA account. Real-time reports (what is happening right now on your website), audience reports (longer-term breakdowns of your audience’s demographics, behaviour, and interests), acquisition reports (to track where your audience are finding you from, whether through ads, social media, search engines, or otherwise) and more are all at your fingertips. 

Easy, huh? 

If you’re stuck with installing, integrating or interpreting Google Analytics 4 into your website, don’t hesitate to book a free call with the FitMedia team. We’ll be happy to assist you: www.fitmedia.net/apply.