Fitness Business Marketing For 2019
The surge of new fitness studios, including the chain studios such as Orangetheory, can make marketing a challenge for the independent fitness business owner. You don’t have the marketing power of a franchise or brand recognition, so how do you attract more of the market to your business?
Perceived weaknesses can often be used as a strength, especially when it comes to strategically creating your fitness business marketing plan! Getting creative, leveraging your resources and taking a hard stance with your differentiators will be the difference in attracting new clients or struggling to grow.
There are a few key areas I think a fitness business marketing plan should focus on in 2019…
Social Media Marketing For Fitness Pros
Social media isn’t going anywhere and it’s easier than ever to build a local audience to share your message with and market to consistently. It takes a little time, a little effort and consistent posting of the right content to make this work, but those that are able to figure it out now will have a huge advantage in their market.
For social media marketing to work you need to:
- Entertain your audience
- Share valuable content
- Have a strong call to action
Your audience isn’t going on social media to look for workouts or tips on their squat form. They are there to waste time and escape the real world. Checking in on aunt Jane’s puppy pictures or the latest antics of their niece at pre-school is top of mind. Your ads and your content aren’t what they are searching.
To grab their attention and get them engage you need to entertain them with high energy, a little humor and captivating images or video. This is a little bit like putting on a show, but you need to maintain your authenticity.
The content your share needs to be valuable! Enter the mind of your Ideal client when you post for the day. Try to figure out what they are thinking and what problems are worrying them right now. Address those problems head on and provide simple solutions to help them get results. By you addressing their concerns they will feel more connected with you and be more likely to buyin the future.
Finally, don’t be a coward and fear the call to action. You’re not being salesy by asking someone to download a free gift, opt in for a free session or DM you with a question. It’s your obligation to tell them what to do next if they would like more help solving the problem you have been talking about.
Oh and finally, finally, don’t ignore your followers. Engage with them through comments, private messages and DMs so that you can have a conversation. When the opportunity arises take action and ask them to meet with you for a Success Session or offer a free PT session to help.
Social Proof Is More Important Than Ever
You need to have others advocate for your business and promote you! Not with referrals but through testimonials, case studies, and reviews. This social proof is going to become more and more important for you to stand out and build trust with your audience.
The ability for any company to advertise and make claims about their service or product has tainted the market. They have their guard up!
Make sure you are getting testimonials from your clients in various forms. Video, written, before/afters, reviews and images of results from technology such as Inbody all work great.
Make it a point to follow up with clients at certain periods through the year to collect testimonials or ask for reviews. For example you could ask for a review on Google or Facebook from all new clients after their first 60 days and each month you can select 10 clients to reach out to for new testimonials.
Another great way to get testimonials is by getting other professionals in the area to recognize your status as a qualified professional. If you work with doctors, therapists, or other health professionals in your area ask them for a quick statement of why they would refer someone to you or why they think you are a great trainer.
Networking Your Way To The Top
If you want to be the best and most recommended fitness business in the area you can do it without spending tons of money on ads like the franchise chains will do. You can build relationships with other businesses in the area that can recommend and promote your business.
You want to be everywhere your Ideal Client is when it comes to their time and money. Building relationships with these businesses or organizations and eventually getting them to share your content, promote you as their preferred fitness solution or refer you clients as they have the opportunity.
Again, this will take time and effort to get rolling but once it is in place you will have a blueprint for working with organizations and you will have enough of them promoting you that it will look like you are everywhere.
When I was growing my own fitness studio I am convinced that one of the biggest advantages that I had was being everywhere. We worked with local radio, local media, strategic relationships, charities, and powerful players in the community to get our message out. That omnipresence was a marketing weapon for us!
When you combine this with the power of social media you can blanket your community with your marketing message and attract tons of new Ideal Clients.
One thing that separates the growing fitness businesses from the struggling fitness business is consistency with their marketing. They invest time, energy and money to ensure they are marketing AT ALL TIMES.
Marketing isn’t an event, it is a routine.
There are numerous other marketing activities that will continue to work in 2019 such as Facebook advertising, direct mail and referral marketing. I tried to shine some light on overlooked marketing methods that you can put to use and break through to your market.
And, don’t forget the importance of your marketing strategy! The best marketing campaign will fail if the message isn’t right and it’s not targeted to the right audience.
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