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The Best Pilates Marketing Ideas

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Pilates teacher using a reformer in a studio with natural lighting.

The Pilates world is more competitive than ever, with 42,134 Pilates and yoga studios up and running in 2023.

That’s a 2.3% increase from the previous year, so standing out as a Pilates instructor is going to be crucial to your business’s staying power.

In such a crowded market, your Pilates business needs to do more than go through the motions when it comes to marketing! It’s time to lead the class by using smart strategies to engage your clients and keep them coming back.

Whether you’re new to small business marketing or a seasoned pro searching for fresh tips, we’re here to help. Let’s roll out our mats and walk through the top 14 Pilates marketing ideas to help your business stretch above the crowd.

Where to Start When Marketing Pilates

Good marketing starts by identifying the who and the how—your clients and your strategies.

Get to Know Your Clients

Understanding who’s in your classes is the key to presenting your business as the best fit for their fitness journey.

While there’s a strong, historical association between Pilates and women, especially those between 40–60, the Pilates market has subtleties to consider.

With male athletes and younger fitness subcultures embracing Pilates, considering who’s in your classes and how to make them inclusive is crucial to supporting your clients.

Think about the demographics of your classes, such as age, gender, race, education, employment, fitness level, and number of kids. What are the unique challenges and needs of these groups?

By figuring out their goals and pain points, you can better use your marketing to combat the factors that keep potential clients from signing up.

Social media and marketing icons floating over a cityscape to represent marketing engagement

Diversify Your Marketing

Pilates is whole-body functional fitness. Think about your marketing the same way. What will resonate with clients tomorrow in the trend-heavy fitness market is an educated guess, even for the pros.

So, investing your whole effort into one idea might mean the marketing equivalent of skipping leg day.

It’s smart to spread your time and money across a few of the different marketing strategies shared here. We’ve got you covered with ideas to strengthen your business marketing from head to toe.

14 Pilates Marketing Strategies to Help You Shine

Many of the best Pilates studio marketing strategies are low-cost—or even free. All you need is creativity and the drive to keep working to see results.

Let’s roll through some options to help you choose a few that fit your budget and your client base.

1. Lean Into Niche Classes

Specialized classes are a smart play to cater to your students’ different interests and ability levels, as well as to your strengths as a teacher. Your life experiences and first-hand knowledge can create some truly unique classes that help your business stand out.

Get forward momentum on class planning with these ideas:

  • Prenatal and postpartum Pilates: Low-impact exercises and core muscle strengthening make Pilates ideal for women during and after pregnancy. If you’ve had that experience yourself, share some tips from your fitness journey.
  • Pilates for athletes: Full-body strength and flexibility support athletes’ overall fitness and help prevent injury. This type of program can net you clients who wouldn’t usually try Pilates. Highlight a background in sports training or a past athletic career in your marketing to appeal to these students.
  • Seniors’ Pilates: Flexibility, joint mobility, breath control, and balance training make Pilates useful for older adults. Consider where seniors would best see your marketing to catch the attention of this crowd.
  • Reformer Pilates: Intermediate students looking to add challenge to their workouts benefit from Reformer classes. These clients are often gym members, which is helpful since Reformers can get pricey. Market at the gym to get their business.
  • Mat Pilates: Mat courses are virtual- and beginner-friendly since they require no specialized gear—just a mat and maybe some blocks or exercise bands. Consider recording an in-person mat Pilates class to make it pull double duty as a video course.

2. Strengthen Your Branding

Since 55% of brand first impressions are visual, creating a strong, recognizable identity for your studio can be the difference between a click and a swipe.

A memorable logo, clever name, or strong color and design scheme helps you stand out in clients’ minds.

Targeted design and messaging may even help you attract the students who will resonate most with your classes.

To observe how different Pilates instructors reach their target audience through branding, it’s worth your time to analyze the influencers topping Pilates feeds.

Although your budget is probably smaller, there are plenty of free tips to glean from the web presence that made these Pilates all-stars famous.

Let’s take a look at the branding of three very different Pilates influencers for inspiration.

A screenshot of the Blogilates blog page that includes the latest posts, Cassey's blog, and Pilates challenge downloads.

Cassey Ho, the activewear designer and fitness instructor behind Blogilates, markets to her audience of young, social media-savvy clients with the branding of her site.

Pastel gradients, emojis in blog posts, celebrity mentions, and the heart emoji in her logo bring a social media aesthetic to this professional website.

Casual and friendly language (Can I write you?) combines with challenges that welcome users to join a fun, active community. Her motto, Find the Joy in Fitness, reflects the upbeat, trendy, and Tiktok-worthy branding that appeals to her client base.

Screenshot of the homepage for the Fit With Coco website that includes information on the programs and videos she offers.

Strength and Pilates instructor Courtney Fisher keeps her full name out of branding to promote the Fit With Coco Method first.

Still social media-friendly but less trendy, her clean, minimal branding pairs soothing neutrals with pops of color that direct users’ eyes to helpful buttons.

This homepage emphasizes programs rather than the personality of the trainer. A header proclaims this is More Than Just a Workout and supports that message with classes for all fitness levels and a dual emphasis on Pilates and strength training.

The branding message is that Fit With Coco is a serene, modern, total-wellness experience for anyone.

A screenshot of the Fit Fiona J homepage that includes information on who she is, what she offers, and a quick summary of her different programs.

Fiona Judd, a certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer, uses branding to communicate her fitness niche: strength training for women over 40.

An intense action shot with bold shadows and the trainer strongly featured gives viewers what they expect from traditional fitness marketing.

The barbell logo is professional and classic, while a pop of plum in the design is rich and conservatively stylish.

Split between a bold sans serif font and a soft cursive, her tagline, Reach Your Fitness Goals at Home, says it all. Strong and feminine, classic and professional, her branding fits her audience and program focus perfectly.

So, what can you learn from well-thought-out branding?

  • Consider how design elements like colors, shapes, and language reflect your training philosophy.
  • Think about what types of images and messages would resonate with your clients.
  • Decide whether you as the trainer or your unique skill set and method are the draw.
  • Create a strong, recognizable logo, or use a freelance site like Fiverr to find an affordable professional design option.

3. Build Your Website

As a place to sell your programs, display your contact info, and describe your brand, a professional website is a must for your Pilates studio marketing.

If you’re not tech-savvy, platforms like Wix offer site templates to keep the design portion easy and user-friendly. Just choose your pages, drop them in, and upload your information.

You might also consider specialized platforms like Fitwith.io or the app Everfit.io, designed to give small fitness businesses a place to interact with clients.

You don’t need a massive budget or an elaborate site to have an effective web presence. Insurance Canopy policyholder Ashley Richard used Squarespace to create a sleek professional website for her Pilates business. View her website in our interview with Ashley.

4. Work In Traditional Marketing

Sometimes simple can be effective. From branded merch for events to business cards to stickers, traditional print marketing can have a place in your plan, especially if you teach local, in-person classes.

If your classes meet at a gym or community center, marketing to an audience already interested in fitness in your area might be as easy as a well-designed flyer.

Pilates Flyer Template

Companies like Vistaprint can create physical merch and marketing materials or help out with digital templates and website or logo design.

This Pilates flyer template would make a sleek class list flyer for a gym bulletin board or a helpful addition to the event page of your website. Just fill in your information and order prints or upload a digital file.

Flyer template advertising Pilates classes.

5. Leverage Social Media

Pilates is flourishing on social media, with Instagram hashtags like #Pilates (27M), #Pilateslovers (5.3M), and #Pilatesinstructor (3M) netting huge followings.

Since 78% of consumers say brand social media posts influence their buying decisions, you have a strong chance of reaching new clients with an engaging social media post.

Look to top industry influencers on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook for insights into what works for Pilates marketing in real time. Which posts get the most likes and engagement?

Social media is particularly good at marketing online classes to distance students, but it can also raise awareness and brand loyalty locally.

Use social media to keep in touch with your students, advertise events, create community, and keep your brand top of mind.

Consider these content ideas to change up your social media rotation:

  • Images of Pilates movements along with instructions to try them out
  • Bite-sized video workouts targeting common body pains or fitness goals
  • Healthy recipes and nutrition tips
  • Inspirational, calming, or motivational messages
  • Equipment and exercise apparel recommendations
  • Merch or free lesson giveaway contests for those who comment, tag a friend, or sign up
  • Behind-the-scenes footage of special events and classes

Need some help with design? Here are a few easy and low-cost sources of ready-made Pilates marketing templates.

Pilates Social Media Post Templates

Want to give your social media a consistent, polished look? Social media templates on Canva make your posts pop.

Flex your branding skills by updating the colors and fonts to match your website, uploading your videos or photos, and adding text to get your point across.

For your captions, focus on useful info that explains and supports the image or video you chose.

End by inviting readers to take an action like signing up for a class, engaging in the comments, saving the workout, or tagging a friend.

Check out our example Instagram posts for inspiration (and help yourself to these free templates!)

Peakformstudio 🤸‍♂️ Ready to roll out the mat and try something new? Get a taste of Pilates with TWO FREE sessions of our online Pilates for Beginners class! 🌟

Follow, tag a workout buddy, and comment your top fitness goal for 2024 to join the fun. It’s the perfect sample to kickstart your fitness regime.

Free classes go to the first 30 commenters, so save your spot now! 👇

#PilatesTaster #BeginnersWelcome #FitnessFreebie
Peakformstudio 🌟 Has life been rough on your back lately? Try these five Pilates moves for a healthier and happier spine:

1️⃣Kick off with Pelvic Tilts to ease into motion (x15)
2️⃣Flow into Bridge Pose for a strength boost (x10)
3️⃣Flex with the Mermaid Stretch to feel some side release (x8, each side)
4️⃣Engage with Rolling Like a Ball for a fun challenge (x10)
5️⃣Anchor with Plank to solidify your core (x3, 20 seconds each)

Did you know a stronger core can take some of the stress off your back? Go to peakformstudio.com and sign up for my Core Harmony series full of beginner-friendly ab exercises. It’s the perfect pairing.

Which exercise makes your back feel like a million bucks? 💰 Tell me in the comments!

#CoreControl #PilatesForLife #StrongSpine

Social Media Schedule Template

Have you considered using artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT or Copy.ai to create a social media plan? Rather than posting randomly, centering your posts around a theme each week helps you stay focused on what you’d like to accomplish.

Try an AI prompt like this to create an outline template:

Please create a schedule of social media posts for a new Pilates studio with two weeks of post ideas.

The resulting schedule might look something like this, segmenting topics by weekly categories:

Week 1: Introduction & Engagement

  • Monday: Meet the Instructor
    • Post: Share a personal bio of yourself, including your Pilates journey, qualifications, and what inspired you to become an instructor.
    • Hashtags: #MeetTheInstructor #PilatesPassion
  • Wednesday: Pilates Tip of the Week
    • Post: Share a short video or infographic on a basic Pilates move, focusing on form and benefits.
    • Hashtags: #PilatesTips #WellnessWednesday
  • Friday: Client Spotlight
    • Post: Feature a story or testimonial from a client discussing their progress and experience.
    • Hashtags: #ClientSpotlight #FitnessJourney

Week 2: Education & Promotion

  • Monday: Mythbuster Monday
    • Post: Address a common Pilates myth and clarify with factual information.
    • Hashtags: #MythbusterMonday #PilatesFacts
  • Wednesday: Workout Wednesday
    • Post: Share a 15-minute Pilates workout routine that followers can do at home.
    • Hashtags: #WorkoutWednesday #HomeFitness
  • Friday: Flash Sale Friday
    • Post: Offer a special discount for new sign-ups or a referral bonus for clients.
    • Hashtags: #FlashSaleFriday #PilatesPromo

The more specific you can be with your niche, timeline, and the type of content you want, the better the result will fit your strategy for marketing Pilates.

AI is time-saving, but you know your brand best. Make adjustments to fit your business and tastes.

6. Engage Core Followers With Challenges and Promotions

Nothing grabs people’s attention like a prize. Give your clients and social media followers a chance to get involved by launching a fitness challenge or contest.

Fitness gear and merch raffles based on social media comments are the classic route for a promotion, but they might not engage potential clients with your brand as well as you would hope.

Get creative with your promotions by looping in your business, platforms, and services:

  • Throw a seasonal fitness challenge that builds on clients’ existing goals and requires them to follow along with workouts on your social media to win.
    • Fit for Fall Challenge, Workout through Winter Challenge, Beach-Ready Challenge
  • Use a time-based fitness challenge with a workout series or nutrition plan on your website that builds both healthy habits and a new customer.
    • 10-Day Fitness Challenge, 2-Week Shred, 5 Days of Healthier Eating
  • Create a challenge tied to a discount or use of your branded platforms.
    • Complete all 10 days and mark them in the app to be entered to win a month of free lessons.

7. Retain Clients With Loyalty Programs

The average American consumer belongs to 16.7 customer loyalty programs. The popularity of these programs means that clients increasingly expect to see material benefits for their participation.

You can reward students for sticking with you by instituting a simple loyalty program. Assign points to actions you want clients to take, then keep track of their progress—even low-tech options like a stamp card can work.

Once they hit a certain number of points, thank them for being part of your success with a discount, priority signup for new classes, or a gift. Make sure the reward is valuable enough to match the action you’re requesting.

Actions that gain points in your loyalty program could include:

  • Perfect attendance
  • Signing up for multiple classes
  • Taking a survey
  • Posting reviews
  • Mentioning and tagging your brand on social media

8. Gain New Clients With Referral Programs

In all the hype over digital marketing, it’s easy to overlook the oldest strategy for Pilates studio marketing: word of mouth.

Existing clients are the best source of leads on locals who have a reason to trust and try out your in-person sessions.

Encourage clients to invite their friends and family to join your studio with referral programs that reward them for being brand ambassadors.

For help tracking referrals, loyalty program points, or earned rewards, embed platforms like Smile.io, LoyaltyLion, and ReferralCandy on your website.

9. Reach Out for Partnerships

If you run a one-person studio, promoting your Pilates practice can feel overwhelming.

Why not make your solo session a partner exercise? Co-marketing campaigns with related businesses let you lean on each other’s audiences for a broader reach.

Not interested in brand sponsorships and affiliate programs? You can still find collaborators using fitness trainer communities and your local instructor network. Plus, you share the costs of marketing and support another small business.

Consider wellness businesses that complement but don’t compete with your services.

For example, if you don’t do nutrition coaching, why not collaborate with a specialist?

Here are a few easy lifts for a co-marketing campaign to get you started:

  • Co-host a webinar or guest on each other’s podcasts
  • Give discounts to each other’s email lists
  • Tag and promote each other on social media
  • Host an event together and split the expenses
Large Pilates event outside in a park

10. Hold Events

Speaking of events, why not turn Pilates marketing into a FOMO-inducing experience? Potential clients who don’t feel confident signing up for a serious exercise class might join the fun for a special, one-time event—and then fall in love with your program.

Encourage signups and give current clients an easy way to bring in friends and family with some of these Pilates event ideas:

Fitness Sampler Events

Feeling uncomfortable or uncertain about how to exercise is one of Americans’ biggest barriers to fitness. Collaborate with other fitness instructors to let participants try short sessions of exercise programs like Pilates, yoga, HIIT, and Zumba for one low price at one event.

You’ll find clients that resonate with your program and have partners to split the costs. It’s a win/win/win.

Partner Events

Team up with a meditation or breathwork specialist for a day of intense exercise followed by a relaxing and centering cooldown. You and your partner might find clients who want to incorporate a new discipline into their exercise routine.

Pairs and Couples Events

Sessions designed for groups provide existing clients with a natural way to invite people in their network.

Try couples Pilates, Pilates with Mom, or bring a friend events with special pairs exercises.

Social Events

Fitness classes are popular for people looking to make friends and connections locally. Foster community within your client base by holding a Pilates event with drinks or snacks afterward.

Open Days

How about a try-before-you-buy event? Hold open days where any new participant can join the lesson for free, and encourage clients to bring their friends.

Pilates in the Park adds an outdoor element, provides plenty of space, and might even draw in passersby if you set up signage.

Promoting your events before the fact on social media is a given, but make sure to publicize how the event went, too.

Event photos and videos (posted with students’ consent) show non-experts successfully doing Pilates and having a great time in the bargain.

11. Apply to Win Business Awards

For a free boost in authority and credibility you might not have considered, try applying for a local business or fitness award.

Winning can give you free publicity and a vote of confidence in your professional skills to display on your site. Link to press releases or website mentions on your About Me page to show off your win.

Start your search here for relevant business awards that speak to your clients:

12. Pump Up Your Local SEO

According to Google Trends, searches for Pilates tripled from 2018 to 2023 and continue to rise.

Since 46% of searches target local businesses, now is the time to ensure you’re getting your cut of those searches for coaching in your area.

Creating your free Google Business Profile makes you more likely to get a specialized Google search or Google Maps result with details about your business.

Other online directories can also make your site more visible on search engines.

Bonus: many of these directories are free to use, so they put zero drain on your Pilates marketing budget while boosting your profile!

Pilates instructor doing digital marketing on a laptop.

13. Stay Connected With Email Marketing

Email marketing is a proven strategy for converting views into action, with a 2.8% conversion rate for businesses that talk directly to their clients.

Your first step will be to set up an email list of your past, current, and potential clients.

Collect emails from students in your class, and encourage social media and website visitors to sign up for giveaways, perks, or resources with their email addresses.

Once you have a list or two started, consider what kind of messages might inspire each group to engage with your business.

Use your email lists to:

  • Announce new specialty classes
  • Introduce an instructor when you make a new hire
  • Promote an upcoming event or class
  • Send out a newsletter with studio updates
  • Reward your email list with priority scheduling
  • Remind students about referral programs

14. Show Off Your Expertise With an Insurance Badge

Saying you’re reliable is helpful—-proving it is better.

More than just buying Pilates classes, you ask clients to buy into the belief that your program will get them safely to their fitness goals. That’s why providing evidence with website trust signals like security and insurance badges is a strong Pilates marketing idea.

Pilates instructor insurance from Insurance Canopy shows clients you take their safety seriously.

Accidents like pulled muscles and broken equipment are a hazard of the job—so getting covered against costly claims is the safe choice for your business and your students.

When you buy a policy with us, we include an insurance badge to display on your site that signals to clients that you’re a responsible professional.

Tighten Up Your Marketing Plan

The hardest part of any fitness program is getting started. Once you have the gear, the moves, and find the right place to work out, the rest is just consistency.

Marketing Pilates works the same way. Now that you have the promotion ideas and resources to get your creativity flowing, you’re ready to extend your business’s reach with confidence.

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