Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

shoestring budget

It’s hard to be satisfied with the revenue you bring in, big or small, because there are always more goals you want to reach or dreams to which you aspire. You may want to renovate your Box to have more open floor space, but that costs money. You might want to try out a new marketing strategy, and once again, that costs money.

But just because you are operating on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t implement changes at your gym. One of the areas that can get a bit pricey in terms of change is marketing. Here are a few ways to implement change through marketing strategies if you are working on a tight budget:


As the name suggests, the cost to an advertiser for this style of marketing is on a per-click basis. Costs can vary drastically based on the competitiveness of the keyword you are using. The benefit to a small business owner is the ability to target users who have already shown interest in what your company offers, which is a little bit more cost effective than blasting a marketing campaign at a broad and unknown audience.

However, the important thing to note is to avoid falling into a non-specific keyword trap. If you make the keyword for your campaign “CrossFit gym,” you are going to be spending a lot of money. Since it’s pay-per-click, it’s easy to assume many people will be searching “CrossFit gym”, which means you are going to be paying a lot more than you have in your budget. By making the keyword brand specific, like “CrossFit Box in [insert your small town]” or “CrossFit Box with childcare offering” or even as specific as “CrossFit Box with a [insert your unique class offering],” you are ensuring the right people get your ad. It is also easy to set spend limits to keep budgets in check.

Target Community Influencers

Big or small, every community has influential people in them. It may be an athlete with thousands of followers, or it might be the PTA mom that knows everyone in town. Either way, having this person on your side is beneficial and can be used to your gym’s advantage.

Offer them a few free classes for posting about your Box on their social media, or give away a T-shirt for them to wear around town or to post a photo of them wearing it. Building a partnership with these influencers essentially builds your clientele. Because they aren’t mega-influencers, they don’t come with the same mega price tags.

Leverage Your Community

What is going on this weekend in your town? Have you checked Facebook events recently? Messaging a fundraiser or event and asking to set up a booth is an easy way to gain exposure, without the high costs. Most events are looking to get booths set up and would offer you space at a low cost.

Get to know your ideal customers and find out where they spend the majority of their time. If a lot of parents are coming in to your gym, sponsor a Little League baseball team or if you have a large demographic of runners, set up a booth at a 5K charity walk/run. Use your community to your advantage.

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Peake Media. Contact her at