A simple trick for charging premium prices


Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

In fitness, social proof is everything. It differentiates your services from the millions of others like it.

Happy Sunday, gym world. Here’s what I have for you:

Money-making fitness tattoos

A CrossFit coach from Cincinnati got a Wodapalooza tattoo and now gets to attend Wodapalooza for free, for life.

I was inspired and told Facebook that if a gym owner got a Kilo tattoo, I’d give them a free website for life.

Two days later, these beauties were on my feed:

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You may be thinking, “that’s crazy?!”

But our websites are $19/wk, so they just built themselves a passive income stream.

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In fitness, social proof is everything. It differentiates your services from the millions of others like it.

Yet, few gyms systematically create it.

The average fitness business has a few poorly shot testimonial videos and some canned text like:

  • “Amazing community.” – Steve
  • “It’s more than a gym. It’s a family.” -Sharron
  • “The BEST coaches.” -Karen

Standing out, and charging stand-out prices, can be as simple as a few good before/after photos. There’s a reason large D2C fitness companies plaster them on every sales page.

Having social proof in gym software is no different.

When I started Kilo, I reverse-engineered the social proof I wanted BEFORE I built the product and then took steps to turn that vision into reality.

For example, I wanted endorsements from recognizable personalities in the space. So I made a list and did my best to form partnerships:

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I also wanted customer tattoos. The inspiration came from a vibrator ad that was showcased on Marketing Examples.

Here’s exactly what I wrote down in my planning document:

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It took three years to make it happen, but we did it!

Maybe tats aren’t your thing but you can still steal this process to improve your business’s social proof.

My Simple Social Proof Process

  1. Get inspired
    1. Look at leaders in your industry. Here’s a great gym example.
    2. Look at other industries. Here’s a great agency social proof page.
  2. Write down what you want.
    1. Get specific and include the exact copy and sample images if you can.
  3. Take small steps to make it real. This includes:
    1. Improving your product or service
    2. Incentivizing your best customers to leave reviews
    3. Allocating budget for professional photos/videos

Don’t be afraid to share this document with your team. It’ll help them see your vision for your company.

LA Fitness’s new concept

LA Fitness recently opened Club Studio, a gym with five boutique studios under one roof.

The idea is that by adding boutique classes, they’ll be able to charge a premium price (≈$200.)

When selecting concepts, they didn’t reinvent the wheel:

  1. CS4 (aka knock-off Orangetheory)
  2. Ride (aka knock-off SoulCycle)
  3. Box (aka knock-off Rumble)
  4. Hot yoga (aka knock-off Y7)
  5. Rebound (trampoline classes)
  6. Reformer (I am not going to pretend I know anything about pilates)
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Where else have we seen a bunch of different concepts under one roof?

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Ah, yes, the mall food court.

Do gym-goers want a fitness food court?

Club Studio claims that combining boutique fitness and providing luxury amenities enhances the gym experience.

But anyone who has been to a real Chick-Fil-A & a Chick-Fil-A in a mall food court knows that the experience is very different.

The same goes with fitness classes. Anyone can offer a spin class, but so much of the experience depends on the instructor, and good instructors are expensive.

Top boutique instructors earn $100+ a class. I doubt LA Fitness plans to pay that kind of scrill. Will that affect the experience?

We’ll see.

How to stand out during the “boutiquification” of big box gyms

With more big box gyms moving upmarket you may be rethinking your gym’s strategy.

If you run a small coaching gym, you will not be able to compete with the big-boxes on amenities or price.

Adding more programs isn’t the answer either. I know multiple CrossFit gym owners that added yoga or cycling studios so they could “double their revenue.”

Spoiler: it didn’t work.

Fight the urge to make your business more complex and double down on your strengths. Become the go-to spot for your core service because people will always pay a premium for the best.

Fat personal trainers, drama at Planet Fitness, ISSA’s TikTok ads, & more fitness news

For more Gym World news, check out this week’s show.

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Until next week,


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