Facebook Ads for Local Fitness Businesses with Jono Petrohilos

Facebook Ads for Local Fitness Businesses with Jono Petrohilos

Facebook Ads, when done properly, are the easiest and quickest way to grow your fitness business. Facebook Ads not done properly are the easiest and quickest way to throw your money down the drain.

Lucky for you, I have a Facebook Ad system that works all the time, every time 🙂

Step 1: Objective

Facebook gives us plenty of options when it comes to choosing objectives… Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, Engagement, Video Views etc etc.

I only use one objective – “Lead Generation”. The reason I chose this objective is because I want an ROI on my Ad. If I spent $500 on Facebook Ads I want to make sure I make that back directly from that Advertisement and the best way to do that is by generating leads.

I know if I spend $500 on Ads, I am going to get a minimum of 50 leads.

I also know that approximately 10% of these leads are going to take me up on my offer immediately (which is a 3 month membership – valued at $500).

Which means if I put $500 on Facebook Ads I am going to get a 5 times return on investment (probably more because chances are these members will stay training with me for longer) + 45 leads in my database.

Using this system here – i’m actually get PAID to market!

And i’m still getting Brand Awareness, Traffic, Engagement etc

Step 2: Your Offer

The offer working the best with Facebook Ads at the moment is a time based challenge. Something between 6 weeks and 12 weeks. It shouldn’t be discounted – it should be what you normally would charge and it should cost around $300. For example – if you normally charge $50 per week then your 6 week challenge costs $50 a week x 6 (or $300). If you normally charge $30 per week, then your 10 week challenge is $30 per week x 10 (or $300).

Step 3: Selecting the Photo

The most important component of your Facebook Ad is the photo. If your photo sucks, it doesn’t matter how good your headline / copy / targeting / offer is because nobody is even going to stop and read it.

The photos that are working best on Facebook at the moment are ones with a small group of people (5-10) that are smiling and looking like they have just finished a Group Workout. It’s that simple!

There are however a few “catches”:

  • Everyone needs to be smiling, if you have even one person in the photo not looking happy, that will ruin the photo.
  • The people in the photo can’t look overly fit and attractive. A few fit people in the group is ok but if everyone in the photo looks like a model, it’s too intimidating for people who don’t consider themselves fit.
  • People can’t be doing exercise in the photo. Most people who aren’t currently training don’t like the idea of exercises – it’s hard and boring. They do however want the ‘result’ of exercising – which is being happy and smiling with a group of friends.
  • The photo can’t look too professional. Most Facebook users are bombarded with marketing / advertising, if your Ad looks like Ad, the user will scroll straight past it. You want the Ad to look ‘organic’ like it’s just another photo the user’s friend posted on Facebook, except everyone in this photo looks really happy!

Step 4: The Headline

This is the easiest part of your Ad. The headline is simply

(Insert Suburb) Locals: (x) Week Challenge

Two important components:

  1. Mentioning the name of your suburb – that’s what’s going to get locals to step and pay attention. There’s very few adverts that mention the suburb where someone lives – just by doing that, you’ll capture the person’s attention.
  2. The word “challenge” – it just works

Step 5: The Copy


X Week Challenge
(Insert Suburb) Location
Starts Monday 7th June
Click below to learn more

That’s it! Mention the location, mention the word challenge, mention the start date (for real urgency) and give a call to action. Don’t complicate it.

Step 6: Targeting


If you’re a local business – you don’t need to worry about interests. The most important thing with targeting is the radius! I can’t give an exact number here because in the middle of Sydney – no one needs to travel more than 2-3km to train but if you’re in a regional / rural area – 5km-10km can be considered close.

I can’t give you a number either because a 2km radius in the middle of Sydney may reach 100,000 people whereas a 10km radius Tamworth may only reach 10,000. Furthermore – 10km travel in Sydney could be an hour drive in peak hour – a 10km travel in a regional / rural area could be 10mins!

What I will say is the radius is often way SMALLER than what the Fitness Business owner thinks it is. The user needs to see the Ad and immediately think “oh wow – that’s so close to me”. For example, I live in Sydney and I would POTENTIALLY travel up 10km to train at a facility if I knew it really well, there was a specific trainer I liked, a friend trained there etc, however if I saw it on a Facebook Ad it would not stop my scroll.

Age and Gender

This is where it gets a little tricky. If you only trainer women – then obviously you’re only going to target women. If you train men and women however, it can often be advantageous to just target women because they are more likely to opt in and register for a “challenge” so you will probably get leads at a cheaper price if you just target women.

Age is also tricky – here’s where you want to be a little more liberal, it’s not necessarily your ‘ideal customer’s age’ it’s more – “what’s the youngest person you would train” and “what’s the oldest person you train” – that’s what you want your age demographic’s to be.

Step 7: The Lead Form

When you choose a Lead Generation Ad, when the user clicks ‘learn more’ they will be taken to a form on Facebook to enter their details. The more information we ask for, the less likely the user will opt in, so keep it simple – Full Name, Email and Phone Number, that’s it!


That’s it :)!

Follow the steps above and you’ll get decent results for your Facebook Ad!

If you want a little more help / support, at Fitness Education Online, we do run Ads for Fitness Businesses – if you’re interested feel free to contact me on any of the links below.

Also at Fitness Education Online, we have the largest Facebook Group in Australia (and one of the largest in the world for Fitness Professionals. Everyone in there is super supportive and we all share tips and ideas, I would love to invite you to join via this link.


CEO at Fitness Education Online

Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to providing CEC courses for Personal Trainers.

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