Ben Francis: Student by day, a delivery boy by night, and a millionaire by 28
A 28-year boy who used to Deliver pizzas has fetched a deal for his company Gymshark that took his company worth more than 1bn euros with US private equity firm General Atlantic taking 21% of shares.
Yes, you heard me Right!!
In 2012, Ben Francis started GYMSHARK a company that deals in gym wear from his parents’ garage when he was just 19 years old. An Aston university student by day, and a pizza hut delivery boy by night.
He along with his brother and some friends bought a sewing machine and Screen printer and started to make Gym Vest and t-shirts.
He was already having an entrepreneurial mindset before Gymshark. Being a gym fanatic, he earlier made two iPhone fitness tracking apps and an online retail business relating to health supplements. Later realizing that margins in health supplements are low he shifted to the clothing business.
The real question is what clicked this time which was not in the earlier businesses???
The use of social media marketing!!
Realizing the opportunities he started using social media to market his products. But then it needed a push and the push came in the form of Social media influencers. He started sending freebies to the Key “influencers”, prominent bodybuilders, and other fitness fanatics Such as Lex Griffin and Nikki Blackketter in a hope that they will talk positively about the product to their youtube followers.
The idea worked wonders for the Gymshark more than they could ever think of and their sales gone skyrocketed. Today they are 4.6 million strong on Instagram and 1.7 million on Facebook.
- They distinguished their Instagram page especially focused on women as @gymsharkwomen having 2.8 million followers. Which is a nice move knowing that a huge number of women audiences are using Instagram. Almost 68% of the total audience is women.
- They do even have a @gymsharktrain page on Instagram where they are engaging athletes.
- They are asking their followers to shares videos and photos. Using #gymsharktrain and #gymsharkwomen which will be posted on their respective pages.
- This is again a good social media tactic as they are running their hashtag campaign using the UGC approach (User-generated content).
- Which is truly a good move. People tend to follow and buy things more which are suggested by their peers. The word of mouth has always been a great medium to engage customers for decades now and Gymshark is nailing it.
Gymshark is a clear example of a Good Social marketing strategy. They clearly defined their target audience and the medium to reach them. They focused on the UGC approach for engaging their customers and even acquiring new ones. This shows how social media can do wonders for your business if the right strategies are used.