She does $85k/mo without paid ads?!
Good morningggg gym world.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared the story of Jack Wheeler, a gym owner who makes $100k/mo from one Facebook ad campaign.
Today we’re switching gears and focusing on the other end of the spectrum – earned media.
What is earned media?
Earned media, aka organic marketing, aims to establish relationships with an audience via content posted on social media. It’s a great way to build a brand and drive leads naturally.
Located in Toronto, Canada, her gym has 140 clients and brings in $85k each month using her gym’s Instagram page.
Here’s her playbook:
Have a clear understanding of your niche.
One thing about Cassie is that she is extremely aware of the people that she serves. Cassie says her mission is to “represent underrepresented bodies in fitness,” which is evident throughout All Day Fit’s Instagram page.
This plays in her favor for two reasons:
- She is more likely to attract & retain her dream client. It’s clear whom her gym targets and what services she offers at first glance.
- It grabs the attention of companies that also want to serve this audience. Cassie’s gym has a major sponsorship from Adidas.
Witchita Falls Athletic Club is another example of a space that shows strong awareness of its target audience. The gym is run by Mark Rippetoe, a former powerlifter & the author of “Starting Strength” – a book all about barbell training.
Some members deliberately wrote negative Google reviews that mock traditional gym culture:
These reviews are meant to attract a certain type of serious person – a serious lifter.
By understanding their client bases well, both Cassie and Mark’s gyms become the go-to source.
Help & serve your niche.
Cassie uses Instagram to help her target audience. Her main source of inspiration is questions her members ask her.
Each week she publishes 3-4 high-quality posts and 3-4 high-quality stories.
This is a similar cadence to Jason Brown, the online coach making $500k/yr from Instagram.
They both advise picking one social platform and dominating it.
Stay ahead of the game.
Cassie’s biggest tip when it comes to creating & posting content is to not rely on motivation the day-of. If you do, you’ll inevitably become overwhelmed and struggle to post.
To avoid this scenario, Cassie recommends staying 1-month ahead on your content. She does this by building out a content calendar with her team at the beginning of each month.
All it takes is a 2-hour brainstorming session where the team selects a theme for each week. Then, they outline 3-4 posts and 3-4 stories that fit into that theme.
Optimize for engagement.
The amount of likes you get on a post does not determine its success.
Here’s an example — this post by Cassie only has 25 likes. However, it got 109 shares, which is much more powerful. This means that 109 people were compelled to share this piece of content with others and thereby reach a greater audience.
When it’s time to sell, sell.
It’s easy for Cassie’s audience to identify when she is selling a product or service. Much of her sales posts look like this one:
Cassie does enrollment-based selling. Meaning, you can only buy her gym’s signature program one week out of the month. Because Cassie opens and closes enrollments, there is built-in urgency, which makes it easier to sell hard.
Plan a quarterly photoshoot.
High-quality assets for social posts are an easy way to stand out from the rest of the competition, which is why Cassie hires a professional photographer every 3-months.
Because of her content calendar, she has a good idea of what kind images she’ll need over the next few months. That makes it way easier to build a pre-determined shot list.
The shoots are run by a small team, where each member gathers a distinct type of content. It includes:
- Person 1 → photos from the shot list
- Person 2 → vertical video for Reels/Stories
- Person 3 → testimonials & client stories
What can gym owners learn from Cassie
Social media won’t work for everyone – it requires a lot of effort, and even if you’re “successful” you can’t feed your family on likes and follows.
I know a lot of broke creators with a massive audience. But if you’re intentional about your social strategy, it’s a powerful tool for building a big business.
So if you’re a gym owner looking to improve your organic content:
- Use a content calendar and always be month ahead – Cassie said it takes her team 2 hours to build out a month of content. That’s time well spent because she never has to worry about “what am I going to post today?”
- Do a quarterly photoshoot – If you use Instagram, the first thing people will look at when they visit your page is the types of photo and videos you post. It’s important that the content reflects who you are and makes people want to engage with your account. You can hire a talented photographer for a few hundred bucks and make your gym stand out from all the other ones in your town.
Want to learn more?
We sat down with Cassie last week to discuss everything that goes into her social strategy. The episode is super tactical, and it’s one of my favorites that we’ve done.