It’s OK if you’re an entrepreneur but don’t know how to write amazing Facebook ads for your gym.
You can learn!
In this post, we’ll teach you exactly how to create ad copy that grabs attention and convinces your ideal clients to click, enter your funnel and eventually make a purchase.
Read on to find out:
- How to structure a Facebook ad for a gym.
- When to use lots of words and when to be brief.
- How to write ads that will ensure your leads are qualified.
- How to write attention-grabbing headlines.
- How to showcase an irresistible front-end offer.
- How to add scarcity and urgency that force people to act now.
- If and when to use emojis in ads.
- How to engage a reader and make a connection.
- How to build credibility and showcase expertise.
Your Gym, Your Avatar, and Your Ads
Before you start creating ads, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to.
For example, think about trying to sell personal training in-person to a 70-year old grandparent and a 22-year-old Navy SEAL. You’re selling the exact same service: fitness coaching. But you’re going to use very different language with each person.
Many gym owners make a huge mistake when writing Facebook ads: They try to talk to everyone and but can’t connect with anyone. To avoid this problem, you need to know exactly which people you want engage with your messaging.
Imagine the exact person you want to click your ad and join your gym. Take out a sheet of paper and write down every single trait for this fictional person—your avatar. Include their age, gender, marital and family status, employment history, income level, goals, recreational activities, area of residence and so on.
Once you have your list, ask two key questions:
- What does this person want or need?
- What does this person struggle with?
Now you’ve defined you avatar. It might help to give this person a name and imagine what they look like. When you’re writing your ad, you’re going to be talking to this person.
Your Front-End Offer and Your Funnel
In marketing, a front-end offer is the thing that brings in a new customer. It might be a regular service or something completely new. All that matters is that your ideal client finds this offer compelling.
We could spend days talking about front-end offers, so we’ll keep it very brief here: You must create a front-end offer that gives your avatar what they want or solves their problems.
Example: A rugged, high-intensity, ass-kicking, six-week functional fitness program that gets army recruits ready for basic training.
Example 2: A 90-day kickstart or challenge that helps busy parents in [your area] lose 10 lb. before the New Year.
When people are interested in your front-end offer, they should see a call to action like “sign up” or “click here for more info.” That click should send them to a landing page that collects their contact info (in case they don’t sign up) and encourages them to actually sign up.
Resource: “Teardown of 8 Gym Landing Pages”
We won’t get into the mechanics of the funnel. Just remember that if your ad does its job, you need a way to collect contact info and get people to sign up (GLM takes care of this stuff for its clients).
How to Write Great Facebook Ads for Gyms
Your ad’s main purpose: Get people interested enough to take action—either to sign up for a service or supply contact info that will allow you to nurture them or retarget them with other marketing campaigns.
Here are the elements that make it happen.
Image or Video
You need something eye catching in the Facebook newsfeed. This can be an image or a short video of about 15 seconds.
If you choose an image, it should reflect your brand and your avatar. Don’t present grandparents to Navy SEALS—and vice versa.
If you go with video, make sure it conveys the point without audio because many people scroll without sound.
How do you know what images and videos work? You must test and monitor your metrics. Facebook’s dynamic creative option is a big help: If you upload variations of text and images, Facebook will actually figure out the best combo for you.
Now, on to writing the ads.
Major Facebook Ad Elements: Hey You!
First, you need to grab attention with a short, blunt headline. In your ad, this line will be the most prominent, so make it count. Think of this line as blowing a whistle in a crowd: It should get people to stop and look at you.
You have just 40 characters available before text might be truncated and Adespresso.com data suggests a sweet spot of about five words (you can use more).
There are a few approaches you can use.
- Target your audience: Attention Busy New York Parents!
- Solve a problem: Prepare Healthy Meals in Minutes!
- Describe your service: Tough Workouts That Get Results!
Whatever you do, don’t try to be ultra-clever or overly creative. Be direct. You have milliseconds to make an impression with your headline.
Can you use emojis? If they catch the eye without diluting the message, you sure can. Just remember that emojis count as two characters, not one.
The “description” is the smaller, shorter line under the headline. You’ve only got 30 characters before the text might be truncated and this line might not show up on mobile devices. Use it to add a little more detail.
Example 1: Effective 20-min HIIT workouts!
Example 2: Dishes that hit the spot!
Example 3: Burn hundreds of calories!
For Facebook’s character limits and other info, click here.
Finally, you need a call to action. Select the Facebook option that works best for your content: Sign Up, Learn More, Book Now, Shop Now, Download.
Writing Your Main Text
This is the “meat” of the ad. If your headline and image did their job of getting people to take notice, your main text needs to push people to take action.
Here, you’ve got 125 characters available before truncation—but don’t be afraid to go long. We’ll say that with one qualifier: If you go long, your first section must give people a reason to keep reading.
The main benefits of long ads: They allow you to tell stories, confront objections, make connections, add scarcity and urgency, play with emojis, list numerous benefits and pre-qualify leads so your sales reps don’t waste time.
The main benefit of short ads: Attention spans are short and some people won’t take the time to read long blocks of text. And some offers are self-explanatory. For instance, you don’t need to spend 200 words explaining that $50 off will help people save money. Everyone knows what a sale is.
Pro Tip: Write a few longer ads and a few shorter ads and let Facebook’s dynamic creative system figure out which one works best.
Writing Short Facebook Ads for Gyms
If you’re going to tell your whole story in 125 characters, every word counts.
Your best options are asking questions, solving problems and sharing social proof that creates credibility.
Questions engage your audience and help you connect. Imagine you’ve just messed up a presentation at work and you see an ad with this text: “Do you want to lose your fear of public speaking?” Gym example: “Are you too out of shape to play with your kid?”
Problem solving presents prospective clients with an “easy button” that takes away pain. Imagine if you’re going camping for a week and don’t want to carry heavy batteries. This ad would solve your problem: “This light, compact, solar-powered smartphone charger is making hikers everywhere smile.” Gym example: “In-home personal training cuts down on travel time and eliminates parking costs!”
Social proof assures prospective clients that you can deliver what you promise. Imagine seeing a happy, fit, attractive person your age and ad copy that says, “I made $10,000 in one week with Moving Units sales training.” Fitness example: “‘Jake’s Gym helped me get into the best shape of my life in six weeks!’ —Jen Smith.”
Can you fit all three elements into 125 characters? Yes. Consider a picture of a smiling client and this text: “Want to be stronger? We’ve helped 1,000 40+ men like John increase their bench press by 30 lb. or more in 30 days.”
You’ll probably need to be more specific most of the time. If you can’t think of ways to get everything into a short ad, focus on one element—or write a longer ad (see below).
Here’s another very effective strategy for short Facebook ads for gyms: something people often refer to as a “5130” post. Example: “We’ve got space for just 5 people who want to improve their fitness dramatically in 90 days.”
The formula: X people get 1 result in X time. The benefit here? A sense of urgency created by the limited number of spots available, a clear goal and a precise timeline. You can even use this technique with an organic post from your personal account. Some gym owners have acquired clients this way without spending a dime.
Remember: With short ads you want people to take action, so hit the main point fast and hard.
Imagine you are an ideal client reading the ad: What one thing do you need to hear? Do you need to solve a problem? Do you have a burning question that needs answering? Do you need to hear about someone just like you who had success?
Writing Longer Facebook Ads for Fitness Businesses
Some people need to see more before taking action. Long-form ad copy is created just for them.
As mentioned above, long-form copy can also save you money. You don’t want the wrong people to click your call to action, book sales appointments, and then ghost you or waste your time because they didn’t understand what your gym actually does. Long-form copy solves that problem by screening out those who aren’t a good fit for your business.
Some of the elements of short ads show up here, too. But you don’t have to be super brief—even though you should still be direct. We’ll list a number of elements of long-form copy below. Think of them, as “building blocks” you can use to write an ad. You can definitely switch the order of these elements to get the best result.
To help you out, we’ll provide examples based on a gym that wants to sell 30-minute personal training sessions to busy female professionals who work near the gym.
Instant Engagement: Questions and Stories
As with short ads, your first lines are critical when it comes to writing long ads. You have to hook people or they’ll move on. You need to get people to keep reading about your gym.
So work hard to connect with people right away: Say something that will cause your ideal client to perk up. A question often works very well.
Example: “Do you have enough money to get fit but not enough time?”
If you don’t want to ask a question, here’s another approach that allows you to serve up social proof provided by a current client: “Cindy didn’t think a busy accountant like her could get fitter in just 30 minutes—but she’s a believer now.”
People love stories. They’re “sticky.” Think about some of the great ads you’ve seen, perhaps at during the Super Bowl. The best ones are usually “short stories” that draw in the viewer. Those stories often have elements of social proof and transformation—both are powerful motivators.
Here’s the secret and it comes from StoryBrand: The story usually shouldn’t be about your gym. It should be about the client. The client wants to be the hero of the story and great copywriters know it.
If you choose to tell a story, find ways to get the reader involved and make sure that something changes as a result of engagement with your gym.
For example, you could write something like this:
“You’re probably just like Cindy: you prioritize your career and your family. You put everyone else first. But you’ve got some personal fitness goals and so did Cindy.
“She didn’t have time to drive back to the gym after dropping her kids off at home after work, but she could whip over to see us for a 30-minute PT session at lunch. Now, after 3 months of training, she’s stronger than she’s ever been and feels great about being a role model for her kids.”
Selling Gym Memberships on Facebook
Your gym Facebook ad might not exactly be a “sales meeting,” but make no mistake. You’re selling something.
In long-form Facebook ad copy for a gym or coaching business, you have a great opportunity to use some of the best sales techniques. You’ll have to make some assumptions, of course—but that’s why we created your avatar.
So imagine your ideal clients. What are the most common objections you can anticipate? And what pain can you remove from their lives? Let’s go back to Cindy.
“Cindy was skeptical at first. ‘You’re telling me I can improve my health working out for 30 minutes twice a week?’ She didn’t believe it was possible, so I showed her the results other clients got with our 30-minute PT program. When Cindy saw that a friend from a firm down the street had added 20 lbs. to her squat in a month, she was excited. When we showed her more people just like her, she was raring to get stared.”
We’ve confronted an objection and injected some social proof. Now let’s remove some pain.
“There was just one other problem: if Cindy used her lunch break to work out, she wouldn’t have time to grab food. When I told her we provide post-workout meals to our busy PT clients, she signed up right away.”
You can think of all sorts of objections: You’ve heard them all at your gym. So address some common ones and provide reasons why the reader should cross these objections off the list.
Credibility, Change, Outreach—and More
The long-form copy for your gym is just the place to blow your horn a little. Remember, this is all about the reader. But you want that reader to trust you. So make a connection.
“I know you. You’re sick of empty promises from fitness companies. I get it. I hate that stuff, too. To be honest, we wouldn’t be celebrating a decade in business if we ran our gym on broken dreams and snake oil. We pride ourselves on getting real results for our clients.
“We know we can transform your life in just 30 minutes twice a week because we’ve done it before. And we’ve got 5 spots available in our PT program. We’d like to show you a personalized plan created just for you based on your goals. If you’ve got 15 minutes this week, book a free appointment to find out more about training with us.”
Here, we’ve asked for trust, we’ve promised change and we’ve asked for action. To sweeten the deal, we’ve added scarcity, we’ve created urgency and we’ve mentioned some minor logistical details to anticipate questions readers might have—like “how long is a free consultation?”
Facebook Gym Ads: Essential Tools
Here are the key elements of long-form Facebook ads for gym owners:
- Asking questions.
- Telling stories.
- Connecting with readers.
- Confronting objections and addressing pain points.
- Building credibility.
- Promising change and results.
- Adding urgency and scarcity.
- Asking for action.
And don’t forget emojis. You can definitely pepper your copy with emojis. People love them.
Here’s one more example of a concise long-form ad:
📈 You’re a busy professional, and you don’t have time to train 90 minutes a day.
🔥 Good news: You don’t need to. 🔥
Because we specialize in helping busy women get fit in just 30 minutes.
✅ We’ve done it for 10 years and our clients rave about the great results they get in just half an hour.
🕛 They train with us whenever they have a break in their workday, and then they’re free to spend time with their families in the evening.
Curious how our 30-minute PT sessions can help you accomplish your fitness goals?
🏃♀️ Don’t wait! Book a 15-minute appointment to talk with us this week. We’ll tell you exactly how we can help you get fit and get home in time for dinner.
👉 Book now: LINK
Write Great Facebook Ads and Sell Gym Memberships
There you go: We’ve showed you exactly how to write amazing Facebook ads for your gym.
Use the info above to create short, direct ads that hit like an uppercut and send readers rushing to click your call-to-action button.
Or weave your words into a masterful ad that slowly convinces readers that you completely understand them and have the best solutions to their problems.
After that, review your data, adjust and optimize, and fill your gym with high-value clients you love working with.
To hear how Gym Lead Machine can turn your website into an essential, revenue-generating part of your marketing funnel, book a sales call today.