Why Your Marketing Isn’t Working (And How To Make It Better!)

“I don’t have enough clients…”

It’s the #1 problem most trainers mention when I speak with them. (There are usually a few others below the surface!)

So, how do you fix it?

Getting clients means you need more leads, which means that you need to improve your marketing strategy.

In our Fitness Business Alignment System™ your marketing strategy is composed of 3 key parts:

  • The What
  • The Who
  • The Why

The first step is identifying what you're best at delivering (The What). This is usually the service you can build your business around and it focuses on the results you're helping clients get with your program.

It might seem a little backwards to try and figure out what you’re offering when planning your marketing strategy. But, it’s incredibly important to know where you want your leads and prospects to end up so you know how to attract them.

Always start with ‘The What’ or ‘Defining Your Core Offer™’ as we call it in the Fitness Business Alignment System.

This holds true even if you that feel as though you have an established program or service. Take a good look at what your offering and make sure it’s the best one for you to build your business around.

Once you know what you are marketing you can start to work on ‘The Who’.

This is all about creating a character and their story. In FBAS talk it’s ‘Creating Your Ideal Client™’.

Stop for a second!

Don’t get in too big of a hurry to simply identify your target market…

…that’s a mistake that most people make when going through this process.  You need to dig in deep and understand everything there is to know about your Ideal Client.

I’m talking about their characteristics, habits, wants, needs, struggles and even info about their fictitious family.

Go into as much detail as possible and then go a little deeper with it.

Be so detailed you could give this guy a face!

Be so detailed you could give this guy a face!

You ought to know your Ideal Client like you know your best friend 🙂

The next step is to create a story for them and start giving your Ideal Client an identity.   They're kind of like your business imaginary friend…

This actual person might not exist but it should represent the person that you could envision walking into your business tomorrow and being your Ideal Client.

This exercise seems a bit silly at first but it’s worth it in the long run! Once you know everything there is to know about your Ideal Client you’ll know exactly how to attract them and where to find them.

See how this is all coming together now?

Finally, you need to answer one question…

Why should your Ideal Client choose you over your competition?

When you can answer this really well you’ll have no issue bringing in clients, because you’ll be able to clearly and simply communicate the answer to ‘why you?’.

The answer is the advantages that you have in your marketplace and the things that make you the best fit for your Ideal Client.

To get things started think about what you do better than everyone else and what proof you have to back it up.

Do you get a specific result?

Do you have lots of testimonials or a success rate?

Do you have a unique way to deliver your service?

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There are endless possibilities.  Your differentiators don't have to be unique individually, but when you put them all together it should make your business stand out to your Ideal Client.

It helps to research your competition, understand how they are marketing their services and identify what your Ideal Clients are really looking for when they make a purchase.

A lot of times what your clients want isn’t the actual result, it’s a feeling they get from achieving it.

I want you to go back and read that sentence again…it’s powerful.

Make your business stand out by clearly connecting the powerful feelings your clients will get when they achieve their desired result with what you are offering them.

Seriously! If all you take away this post is that one lesson you’ll be better for it.

Now that you’ve started nailing down the big picture strategy let’s look at why most marketing plans fail.

  1. No one noticed it
  2. It didn’t connect with the right people
  3. People tried it but didn’t keep using it
  4. People like it but didn’t tell anyone about it

Fairly straightforward…

Knowing at which point your marketing failed can help you understand how to make your next plan even better. In fact, very few plans knock it out of the park on the first try.

I like to use the cycle of “test, track, optimize, repeat” to refine marketing strategies.

Let’s start looking at why someone may not notice your marketing.

The direct answer is that it didn’t stand out enough to them. People are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages throughout the day. Nearly everywhere you go you’re getting pelted with marketing.

So, how do you make it stand out?

That’s where knowing The What, Who and Why come in handy! When you’ve documented those you know the end point for your marketing, you know who to talk to and where to find them, and you can create message that stands out to them.

To get your marketing noticed you need to:

  • Put it in the right places
  • Connect with the right people
  • Stand out with the right message

Some may argue it’s all about timing, but I would counter that if you know your Ideal Client well enough and have strong enough differentiators you can create the right time.

How do you overcome the problem of your message or marketing not connecting with the right people?

Simple, go back to The Who and make sure you’ve been specific enough.

Do you know everything there is to know about your Ideal Client?

If so, you should be able to start working on messages that will connect with them and you’ll know exactly where to find the right people so it stands out.

There are always people looking for what you have to offer.

I’ll trust that you have a great service, if you have doubts then that should be priority #1.

So, why do people try and not buy?

There could be hundreds of reasons but usually it all comes down to the fact that they didn’t see enough value in what you offered to stay around. You didn’t WOW them enough or they weren’t the right type of client for you.

This can be where things get tricky. It’s easy to pass the blame to someone else and say they weren’t a good fit. But, I want you to take an honest look at the service you’re delivering to make sure it’s extraordinary and that you're really delivering on your promises.

You don’t need to convert all the people that try you out, but you can’t afford to lose those those that fit your Ideal Client profile. The best fitness businesses grow by making sure they keep those people around and turn them into raving fans.

You do that by holding up your end of the deal and coming through on all the things you promised in your marketing message.

Think about it…

When was the last time you didn’t continue being a customer of someone that met (or better exceeded) your expectations based on their promises.

Don't set expectations you can't meet. 

Finally we have to figure out what to do about those people that try your programs, buy into it, but they just aren’t referring their friends.

This can be the toughest nut to crack!

The first step is knowing your client’s comfort level with sharing their story. Your best referring clients are one’s that have not only achieved a result but those that are proud enough to tell their friends. 

You can set the stage for this by raving about your client accomplishments and showering them with praise when they hit a goal.

Do this in as many ways as possible including highlights or features on your site, YouTube video testimonials, and even giving them special shirts or gear to wear.

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Why? Because it gives them the chance to share their story (and promote your business) via lots of different channels.

Fitness is a tough sell for you as the fitness pro, so imagine how tough it is for your clients to sell their friends.

You're overcoming lots of obstacles when asking for referrals…

The client has to be comfortable telling their story

The client has to be comfortable recommending their friend get help to reach their fitness goal.

The client has to worry about being ‘preachy’ or ‘judgmental’ to their friends.

They may not want to share their secret to success with friends.

The list goes on and on!

Figure out what those obstacles and objections are for your clients and then you can start working on making it easier for them to refer.

When you truly have an extraordinary service that meets your Ideal Client’s needs better than any other in your local market your clients will talk about you!

They might not directly refer their friends, but they will rave about your business, the workout, their results, their ‘gym’ friends/family, the fun they have, your special events, etc.

Find ways to make sure your clients are talking about your business with everyone they know.

The first step is providing an extraordinary experience, which is why we always start with ‘The What’!


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