The Fit Pro’s Guide To Creating Your Best Marketing Plan Ever
Creating Your Best Marketing Plan
Sometimes the best plans are simple. But, is that true for marketing as well?
If you follow many of the top marketing experts out there or read about marketing you may think that the only way to add clients to your business is a complex marketing funnel that requires you to learn how to build sites, write crazy long email campaigns and be an analytics nerd (for all the analytics nerds we love you!).
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you can grow your fitness business quickly with lots of different tactics, many of which aren’t online.
Before we get into the “how to” you need to understand what goes into a marketing plan.
A marketing plan is different than your strategy. Your strategy dictates your plan and includes your Core Offer (what you’re selling), your Prospect Profiles (who you are marketing to) and your Local Market Positionings (why your target market should choose you).
Without determining your strategy you can’t create the most effective plan. The strategy helps you stay pointed in the right direction and allows you to make decisions on what methods to use and the messaging to use in them.
Your marketing plan is composed of the following:
- Lead Acquisition Methods
- Follow Up
Those five areas make up 80% of your marketing actions. The rest of your actions will be determined by your plan and your goals.
Setting goals can be arbitrary if you don’t know what to measure in the first place. Often times you set outcome-based goals, which are usually the most important to you and your business.
However, identifying and setting goals for a few key leading indicators will improve your success rate with your marketing. Leading indicators are things that will predict a future result. They tell you “when X happens then Y should happen.” For example, when we get 20 leads we usually have 5 clients sign up in the next month.
These leading indicators help you evaluate your future progress and make sure that you aren’t just focused on the end result which you can’t control if you’re not doing enough work on the front end.
There are 4 metrics in sales and marketing to start tracking. We call them the 4 Sales and Marketing Pillars:
- New Front End Offer Clients
- New Core Offer Clients
These 4 metrics will help you identify any bottlenecks in your marketing plan and where to spend more time and energy if you want to really ramp things up. Here are some examples:
Revenue Goals: If you want to add $10,000 to your current monthly revenue, you need to take $10,000 divided by your average client value.
New Revenue Goal / Average Client Monthly Value = Total New Clients Needed
This doesn’t account for any lost revenue. So if you know your total client number and your retention number then you can figure out the extra you will have to make up…
(Total Client Number X (1-Retention Rate)) X Average Client Monthly Value = Lost Revenue
You can do this for any period of time to set your goals. We teach our coaching clients to do this quarterly. You can now reverse engineer your marketing goals to be able to hit the TOTAL NEW CLIENTS NEEDED number to reach your goal of adding in $10,000/mo of revenue.
If you need 50 new clients to hit that goal in the next quarter you likely need to be able to get 100 Front End Offer Clients and 200 Leads. To be as accurate as possible it’s helpful to know your conversion percentages from Lead to New Core Offer Client, Lead to New FEO Client, and New FEO Client to New Core Offer Client.
Now you can set up your marketing calendar and plan to be able to get to 200 leads or whatever number your business needs to hit your goals.
Don’t be overwhelmed with all the math and tracking. If you’ve been tracking these numbers you can do the math pretty easily. If you haven’t, give yourself a conservative estimate and start tracking now so you can dial it in in the future.
Lead Acquisition Methods
Now that you have goals it’s time to start figuring out where to get the lead to hit them.
This is another area where process goals and leading indicators come in handy. Marketing activities should be tracked and performance recorded. Focus your energy on doing the simple stuff really well each day and the leads will come.
Also, don’t confuse the activities that get you leads with promotions. Running a promotion is a great way to get leads, but you still have to market that promotion.
The easiest way to get started is define your 3 marketing channels. I recommend having an online, offline and internal channel in the works at all times.
Here are some examples:
- Social Media
- Paid Ads
- Email Marketing
- Joint Ventures
- Direct Mail
- Workshops/Public Speaking
- Charity Events
- Public Relations/Media
- Business of The Month
- Point of Sale Referrals
- Bring A Friend
- Referral Rewards Programs
- Referral Contests
- Family/Group Programs
Having at least one activity in each channel active at all times will ensure that you are doing enough to proactively market your business. Don’t hold back if you have more than 3 marketing channels though! Three is your minimum.
There are hundreds of lead generation methods that you can use in your business. Start by sticking to your strengths. Use your marketing strategy to guide your decisions.
Think about how your target market wants to be communicated with, where you can get your message in front of them and the best ways to get them to take the next step with your business.
Plan & Execute
The best plan in the world is worthless unless you execute it! The easiest way to execute your marketing plan is to create a marketing calendar.
We’ve got several blog posts on creating a marketing calendar to help you (and even a free download to make it easy for you):
- Marketing Calendar Checklist
- Why You Need A Marketing Calendar
- Marketing Calendar Template (Free Download)
In your marketing calendar you need to include daily and weekly activities to attract new leads. Then mix in some themed marketing around holidays or larger promotions.
Great marketers will use their calendar to build interest and get exposure for one of their promotions.
You’ll see the biggest return when you can use your daily and marketing activities to promote your upcoming challenge or big marketing event.
This allows you to not only streamline your efforts (making it easier on you) but to really reinforce your message with your target market.
If you don’t have an active promotion going right now your goal is for your marketing to all have a call to action. The call to action is inviting someone to take the next step with you which could be your Success Session (consult) or signing up for your Front End Offer.
Finding a purpose for each marketing activity that you do will help you become more effective as well.
For example, this blog post was written to help you with your marketing but also to take the next step and download our marketing calendar template or sign up for the Academy. We will get traffic to the post from social media, our email list and also through some paid marketing. That’s a streamlined marketing plan.
When you write, post on social media, network or ask for referrals you have a singular purpose for each of those activities. Instead of doing them and hoping for SOME result, go into them by setting the expectation of getting ONE result.
A blog post can lead to a Success Session request, a FB ad leads to an email opt in, a networking event leads to a joint venture connection, a speaking event leads to 5 new consults, etc.
Simply having a purpose for each marketing activity will make you more effective!
Most fit pros stop their marketing efforts after they get a leads info. Or they only get the “gimme” leads that are from referrals, word of mouth or that reach out to request a consult.
When you get more effective at marketing and really want to grow your business you’ll start attracting more leads that aren’t quite ready to buy yet. They may request a little info, join your newsletter list or show up for a workshop.
Them not being ready to join right now DOES NOT mean that they will never be ready. It also doesn’t mean they are bad leads, tire kickers or lazy. It simply means you haven’t quite shown them the value in what you provide yet and that what you offer will help them solve a problem they have.
Putting a simple follow up process in place will benefit your marketing greatly. You’re spending valuable time, energy, and even money on leads. You might as well make the most out of each you get.
Mix in email, phone calls, and texts to your follow up process. While a lot of the follow up can be automated don’t rely on it solely. Pick up the phone and call or text leads as you get them.
Recently I was trying to find a moving company to move into our new house. I’m a prime customer for these companies. I’m busy and willing to pay to have someone deal with this stuff so I don’t have to. And I have some disposable income to pay for it.
I filled out forms or quote requests on at least 5 sites. I read some reviews ahead of time as well. Of the 5 or so companies that I requested a quote from only 1, that’s right ONLY ONE, replied back with a personal email and then called me.
The others sent a generic form to me with a low ball quote. The owner that called me set up a time to come to my house, meet with my wife and do an assessment of our house to give us the most accurate quote possible.
Needless to say I didn’t even entertain the other companies despite the fact that their quotes were anywhere from 20-33% less than this company. I hired the guy on the spot. For a service that’s worth quite a bit to his company he took the extra step to build value with me and won the deal.
Are you doing the same for your clients? I’m guessing they spend just about as much with you over the course of their time with your business as I will with this moving company.
You may need to do a little more than call and set up a consult to stand out. This moving company can do that because their competition is only sending out automated quotes. Your competition is likely doing free consults or trials.
So what value can you offer in your follow up?
Document a simple 3-4 step follow up process and add it to your marketing. You’ll thank me later.
Marketing can be a lot of work. If you’re going invest that time, energy and money into your business (and you MUST) then you need to know if it’s working. That means tracking and measuring. You need to be tracking the basics in your business.
Our coaching clients are all required to fill out a tracking sheet for their leads and complete a marketing calendar so that, as coaches, we can see what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. Without tracking you’re simply guessing.
Tracking helps you:
- Figure out what’s working
- Know where to invest your time and money if you have a limited amount
- Determine if you’re on track to hit your goals
Start by tracking your 4 Sales and Marketing Pillars. Don’t worry about tracking specific activities until you are tracking these. Once you’ve got the basics down you can start to add tracking things like conversion percentages, revenue added, lead channel performance, etc.
Your Biggest Benefit…
There are lots of benefits to having a great marketing plan. One of the biggest is that it allows you to strategically optimize and prioritize your marketing.
You’ll know what works, and what doesn’t. You can evaluate what is worth doing more of, what’s worth trying to improve and what to quit doing.
It means the end of being frustrated because you didn’t hit your new revenue goals. You can stop being frustrated that your marketing isn’t working and start focusing on finding ways to make it work.
It’s the difference in your clients have a training and nutrition plan to hit their fitness goals or doing random workouts and not following a nutrition protocol.
Their chances of success go up greatly when they have a plan to follow. You don’t leave your clients success to chance, so why would you leave your business growth to chance?
Getting started with your plan is easy. Set your goals, find your 3 lead channels, put together your marketing calendar, and start tracking. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect when you start. You’ll learn how to improve it as you go.
If you want a little help getting started consider joining The Academy for just $39/mo where you’ll learn how to put together a marketing plan in your first 30 days. Try it out for 60 days risk free!