In a sense, fitness marketing is easier today than it was 30 years ago. Back then, you depended upon expensive newspaper and magazine ads to get your name out there. You had to physically go down to Venice Beach and try to convince people that fitness facilities were cool. Direct fitness marketing meant paying for stamps, paper and envelopes. It wasn’t cheap, so you had to make sure your prospects were super targeted.
Nowadays, we have it easy with so many low and no-cost fitness marketing tools at our fingertips. Yet, the same factors that make fitness marketing so much easier today… also make it harder. There are SO MANY fitness marketing tools at our disposal that it’s often difficult to decide where to get started. Also, you may be tempted to go with each and every new technology that arises – be it a Facebook ad or a Groupon – without knowing whether these efforts will pay off for your particular business.
Just because a certain tool worked for someone else one time does not mean it will work for you – UNLESS it has been thoroughly tested and boiled down to a science that you can then apply to your business model. If you’ve been reading my blogs and books, then you know this is exactly what I have done. I’ve cut through over 20 years of trial-and-error (and, at times, boneheaded blunders) to make fitness marketing an easy study for you.
One of the most important principles to keep in mind with fitness marketing is that it’s best to put “many irons in the fire” (not too many, mind you, but just enough for several to ignite). In other words, you want to have a diversified approach to create a bulletproof business.
Getting Started With Fitness Marketing: Making A Checklist
Here is my checklist for making a fitness marketing checklist:
1. Amass fitness marketing techniques that will work best for your business. You’ll want to have both online and offline methods of marketing to create the most comprehensive plan. If you go through my “Six Figures In 67 Days,” you will find a wealth of techniques to include in your brainstorming.
2. Learn how to automate your fitness marketing as much as possible. I used to run my business operating by the seat of my pants. I thought I was so “free” – no one could tell me how to spend my time or make me stick to a schedule. Isn’t that what working-for-yourself is all about? Soon enough, you learn that this approach is misguided, as you find you are wasting enormous amounts of time and your work is beginning to spill over into 60+ hour work weeks. What you need to do is invest in the software and systems that will make your life 100 times easier.
3. Work on promotions and fitness marketing campaigns that will reach a good number of people. Be sure that you have analytics in place, so you can gauge the successfulness of your promotion. Set performance goals for your campaigns, so you know when it’s time to retire a strategy that’s just not working. On my blog and in my books, I give you step-by-step instructions on how to replicate the success we had with some of our most productive lead-generating, retention-driving campaigns. Why take the long road, when you can get on the fast-track to making your first cool Million?
Choosing A Fitness Marketing Platform
The fitness marketing platforms you choose should be all about prospecting and reeling-in more paying clients. I find many of the best fitness marketing endeavors depends on the individual. For example, if you are addicted to Facebook and spend a lot of your spare time catching up on your social circle news and sharing details of your life, then you are likely to be good at running your Facebook community, since A) You enjoy it, and B) You know all the ins and outs of the site. On the other hand, another person may dislike the impersonal nature of sitting at a computer desk and may instead prefer interpersonal relationship building and rewarding word-of-mouth referrals.
By the same token, different clients and prospects respond to different types of fitness marketing as well. Some people like to receive mobile coupons and updates because they think it’s convenient to interact wherever they’re from. During a lunch break, they’ll hop on your app to check out your late afternoon hours, use your calorie counting tool, read your blogs and digest the inspirational quote of the day. Yet, other people may hate receiving messages from people who are not in their innermost circle of friends and they may not like browsing on the small mobile screen. However, you could possibly catch these people later on in the evening when they check their personal emails from home. Remember that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Therefore, it’s best to diversify your online and offline fitness marketing tactics to cover all bases and keep your business going strong.
Online Fitness Marketing Platforms
Online fitness marketing platforms may include:
• Website Creation
• Facebook Ads
• Social Media Communities
• Search Engine Optimization
• Article Publishing
• Press Releases
• Google PPC Ads
• Banner Ads
• Email Newsletters
• YouTube Videos / SEO
Offline Fitness Marketing Platforms
Offline, your fitness marketing platforms may include:
• Lead Boxes In Your Community
• Direct Mail Post Cards
• Direct Mail Letters
• Newspaper / Magazine Ads
• TV / Radio Ads
• Promotional Vehicle Wraps
• Door Hangers
• Event Sponsorship
• $100 Plastic Coupon Cards
• Human Billboards
• Referral Generation Contests
Ideally, you’ll be running five or six different fitness marketing systems simultaneously each month. Creating a monthly game plan will help you organize your efforts and systematize your business practices so you can save time and hassle. Trust me, it was no fun running by the seat of my pants! If you don’t believe me, ask my poor, neglected wife how fun it was to be married to me when I was working 60 hours a week for peanuts! Once my daughter was born, I knew I had to gather advice from the pros to systematize my fitness marketing and free up a better work/life balance to be there for my family.
Execution Is Key To Fitness Marketing Success
I have fitness marketing templates I openly share with people. These are strategies, methods and systems that I KNOW, FOR A FACT, WORK. However, there is still room for failure if you are no good at executing them. For this reason, I keep in close contact with all my fitness marketing clients because I want to be there to answer any questions, give added advice and hold you accountable for success. I had one buddy who really wanted to get into fitness marketing with YouTube videos, but he was so camera shy it really wasn’t coming across as engaging as he’d hoped. With a little bit of brainstorming, we realized that his smoking-hot wife loved to be on camera – and she had all the makings of a YouTube star with her infectious laugh and dynamic on-screen personality. My buddy wrote the scripts, she delivered, and they had a really effective fitness marketing campaign on their hands.
The same can ring true for any type of fitness marketing method. For example, not everyone is a natural born wordsmith. If you’re posting blogs with formatting and grammatical errors all over the place, you could end up losing more prospects than you gain. You may be the most skilled personal trainer in your market and have excellent retention rates, but if you don’t come across as being very eloquent or intelligent in your copy, then rest assured, all new prospects will be calling your competitor (who hired the professional copywriter) instead. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and discover where you may need help. A small investment can go a long way – and can free up your valuable time as well.
The Best Fitness Marketing Is Customized
At first glance, you make think what I’m handing you is a “cookie-cutter” solution to fitness marketing because my manuals and workshops include so many specific, real-world promotions, checklists, methods and techniques. However, your learning doesn’t stop when you fly home after a fun weekend with my team. I’m going to be calling you and making sure that you get off to a dynamic start. After asking a few questions and analyzing your business model, I’ll recommend which methods I think will save you the most money and get you the most paid-in-full contracts right away. I’ll show you how to set up testing parameters so you can gauge the effectiveness of a given fitness marketing campaign in your area. Obviously how you market in New York City is different than how you market in Chino Hills. Every market has its own little hiccups.
The ABC’s of Fitness Marketing
One of the first catch phrases you learn in sales training is “Always Be Closing.” Your entire script should be designed to bring your prospects one step closer to signing up with you. Another ABC of fitness marketing is the saying, “Always Be Creating.” Every day you want to be creating new leads and promotions to keep your business fresh and exciting.
Have two fitness marketing binders on your desk at all times – one for leads and one for new promotions. Keeping this physical reminder in your peripheral vision will remind you to spend your spare time brainstorming, being creative and taking your business to the next level. Besides, the mania you feel for your enterprise has to go somewhere! Brainstorming is your outlet for all the nervous fervor you feel, so do it!
What To Do With Fitness Marketing Leads That Don’t Pan Out
In this world, there are “Yes” people, “No” people, and everyone in between who vacillates between the two. The “Yes” people will be totally into your promotion right away – asking questions and eager to try new things. Many of these “Yes” people will be friends-of-friends who have already tried your service and heard the glowing reviews.
On the other hand, there are negative “No” people who always feel like others are trying to take advantage of them, rip them off or deliver substandard service. These people may have been burned by someone else in the past or they could just be too busy or distracted to hear what you have to say. It’s best to jump ship and move on if you are sensing too much resistance. These fitness marketing haters can really do a number on one’s confidence and self-esteem if sellers are not careful.
Most people fall somewhere in between. They’ll be interested in your offer – but they’ll only buy if it provides the right value at the right price at the right time. Often, you can revisit these people who have rejected your initial offer and catch them with a different approach or at a different time. In the fitness marketing industry, we call this “rotating leads.”
It’s important that you keep track of several fitness marketing metrics:
1. Which promotions do not seem to be working / produce a lot of “No” responses
2. Which promotions have traditionally worked the best, especially for a prior “No”
The important thing to remember is that you need to use a different offer, a different approach or a different campaign altogether to convert a “No” into a “Yes.” In my fitness marketing program, you’ll learn about all different types of approaches we’ve tried with a good degree of success.
Types of Fitness Marketing Promotions To Consider
Fitness marketing pros have two main categories of promotions to deploy. One is a standard promotion that generates a steady number of leads consistently. These are our “free trials” promoted via social networking and our homepages. These are the referral bonuses and lead boxes. These promotions bring in a manageable number of leads so you can devote yourself entirely to establishing relationships with these new clients and making them happy.
The other type of fitness marketing promotion is a powerhouse promo that draws a tremendous number of leads. People always ask me, “Well, don’t I want every promotion to be a powerhouse?” The answer is “Not unless you have 100 on-call staff members waiting in the wings to handle the capacity.” You can drum up a lot of money in a short period of time running, say, a Groupon promotion or a trade show event, but this level of traffic may not be sustainable on top of all the steady, normal leads trickling in. Save these powerhouse promos for times when you see a drop-off rate – like after the “New Year’s Resolution” crowd inevitably quits the program in the spring time.
Annual Reviews Will Improve Your Fitness Marketing
Each year, you should do an assessment of your fitness marketing. Did you meet your goals this year? Did you exceed them? What campaign did you enjoy the most? What campaign did you end up hating? How was your retention rate this year? How can you offer better services? Make sure you hand out surveys to new clients to get honest assessments of your business model so you can make the necessary adjustments to improve your service. At the end of the day, no amount of fitness marketing can save a flawed program.
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