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Standing Out From the Crowd: Simplifying your Fitness Marketing Strategy

This fitness business thing isn’t gettin’ any easier!

The market is saturated with new fitness offerings for your potential clients to choose from and it’s only getting easier for someone to enter into the fitness market.

Think about it, just about anyone that can put up a Facebook page (not even a webpage) can start training people!

That could be a little scary for some of you, but fear not…

It doesn’t take a lot to stand out in the fitness market.

While many businesses will try to attract the masses and cater to everyone’s needs there will be a few that identify who they serve best and provide a service that those individuals can’t find anywhere else.

Planet Fitness is a great example. You can hate them all you want, but there is a lesson to be learned.

Their market is the average every day person that is scared to death of the gym. They either need to or want to get in shape without putting in the work. They don’t want to worry about going into a gym full of fit people that will judge them.

It’s a big market and they are dominating it. It’s low cost, low hassle and a perfect environment.

The fact that you make fun of and hate them only proves my point. You are the exact opposite of their target market! Their marketing strategy is working; it’s eliminating those that aren’t their ideal clients from coming to their gyms. Just think about it – a new Planet Fitness will sell thousands of memberships before the doors even open.

There’s a local gym here that I have been going to for yoga sessions that is extremely targeted and doing pretty well from what I can tell, even with the clients that aren’t in their wheelhouse. It’s a Barre method gym that holds yoga, Pilates and a few other styles of group classes. It’s in an extremely nice complex that has some expensive condo units in it and is surrounded by several other businesses that cater to the upper-middle class.

Their target market is women, more specifically women, probably in their late 30s to early 40s, in the upper middle class that want a flexible schedule and enjoy the group training environment. Most likely I would say they are stay at home types that have kids and are looking for a fun way to stay in shape without lifting weights.

You won’t find a barbell or heavy dumbbell in the place and there really isn’t much in terms of weight loss being talked about on the website or in their gym. It’s more of a mind body gym than a fitness or training facility, but they know their market and they attract their market.

In fact, I have referred 5 people there since my first class a week ago!

While I might not be their avatar they have one class in particular called Broga® that’s catered towards guys that want to do some mobility and relaxation work. It was a perfect fit for me and as soon as I heard about it I scheduled my class.

Their ideal clients (the women in the other classes) are referring and building their new offerings with a new, smaller segment of clients. It’s amazing what happens when you stand out a bit from the crowd.

Getting a grip on your ideal client or avatar will make your fitness marketing strategy much easier to implement and more effective.

If you haven’t done this before take a few minutes to look at your ideal client, not just in terms of their goals but in who they actually are as a person.

Things like:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Hobbies
  • Family
  • Occupation
  • Interests
  • Education

You can’t go into too much detail with your avatar. It’s important for you to create a profile for them, even giving them a name.

This will help you hone in on your marketing message and how you position your fitness business among the crowded market place.

Remember, your potential clients are getting bombarded with mixed messages about fitness and nutrition. It’s critical that you are able to speak directly to them about their needs and desires so you can connect with them on their level.

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The best way to do this is to define your Ideal Client.

Once you have your ideal client in place it’s time to develop your fitness marketing strategy. A great marketing strategy is simple.   And it doesn’t get much more simple than this…




Discovering Your Fitness Marketing Assets

Your marketing assets are directly tied to your strengths and personality traits. In most fitness businesses you as the owner are the biggest market asset for your business.

You will be the face of the company and your skill sets will start to dictate your marketing strategy and the systems you implement that will end up driving your business.

Marketing assets include:

  • Charisma
  • Networking Ability
  • Public Speaking Ability
  • Technical Skills (Web Development)
  • Social Media Skills
  • Resources

Ask yourself the following questions to get you started…

Am I an extrovert or introvert?

How big is my network?

How well connected am I to my network?

What resources do I have? (Financial, etc.)

What is my personality type?

Where I am strongest when it comes to delivering a message?

Do you have the ability to create online marketing channels such as websites or squeeze pages?

If no, can you afford to hire them out?

Are you active on social media?

Are you a good writer?

Are you a good public speaker?

Those are just a few questions to get you started with creating your list of assets. The good news is you only need to be strong in a few areas to create a great marketing strategy.

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not and don’t copy what others are doing just because it is working for them.

Your marketing assets need to be true strengths of yours and you need to find ways to implement them that relates to your avatar.

Think outside the box and find ways to leverage your strengths. It is better to be great at a few things than mediocre at all of them.

If you have team that is working with you feel free to leverage their strengths as well and tap into any marketing potential that arises as your grow your business.   These exercises can be done with any member of your team that is in sales and marketing.

Creating Your Fitness Marketing Arsenal

Once you have created your list of assets it’s time to start developing the “how’s and what’s” of your marketing plan. This is where we start to get specific about your strategies and implementation.

If your assets are connecting with people and your network then it’s time to start mapping out your master networking list and setting up a schedule to connect with the individuals on that list.

Not only that, but you need to start working on a plan to continually be growing that list beyond it’s current state.

If your assets are more inline with the online world and your ability to create squeeze pages, videos and marketing funnels then it’s time to start determining how you will grow an email list and begin nurturing that list to eventually become clients.

Facebook marketing would also be included here, but it doesn’t end there. Too often I have seen fitness business owners set up Facebook ads that produce a high number of leads but they forget to nurture the prospect to get them in the door.

Collecting the lead is only the first step in the entire sales and marketing process.

The list could go and on….

Good at public speaking? Start setting up events or speaking engagements.

Good at writing? Start your blog, write consistently and offer to write for small local publications to generate some interest.

Your Fitness Marketing Action Plan!!!

Assets and your arsenal are worthless if you don’t take action.

Action is where most fitness business owners fail miserably!

It’s also the most misunderstood part of marketing. You can have great squeeze pages, opt in gifts and a networking list a mile long but if you aren’t doing anything with them it’s ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS!

Marketing isn’t about the strategy, it’s about the action!

If you have a marketing strategy, one of the tools in your arsenal, that isn’t working simply ask yourself this one question…

…How many people saw/heard it?

Great marketing is putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time.   So, what are you doing to make sure your ideal clients are seeing a message that excites them exactly when they need it?

Seriously, take a minute to answer that question…

…I’ll wait…

A little humbling right?

I recently experienced the exact same thing with VPS. Leads weren’t coming in quite as quickly as I would have liked them and I was a little frustrated with the results.

Then it hit me! I hadn’t actively been doing anything to attract the trainers and coaches that are a great fit for VPS.

Sure, I have opt ins all over the internet and a few things going here and there, but I had no real plan of attack to get in front of a new audience or the right audience.

Once I realized what I was doing wrong, or not doing at all, it was a quick fix. I put together a great opt in gift that provided a great deal of value to trainers that fit my avatar.

Once we established the free gift it was time to go and get in front of the right people so we set up a Facebook marketing campaign and I also connected with a few of my friends and colleagues in the industry to reach out to their email list and contacts to help me spread the word.

In just 48 hours we brought in nearly 1,000 leads through just 2 channels of marketing.

Next on my list will be reaching out to other blogs and my network to find writing opportunities so that I can create some content and build some interest in VPS with their audience.

I’ve also applied to speak at 5 or more different industry events on various topics to get in front of a new audience.

I know my assets and I have started to create an arsenal to connect with my avatar. Now I have to take action!

Not all of your actions are going to result in an immediate return like the 1,000 leads did for us. But if you are consistently taking action, refining your arsenal and the methods in which you employ the skills and tools in your arsenal eventually you will hit a homerun.

The 4th “A”

There’s a 4th “A” that is too important to leave out of our discussion today…

Always get referrals!

In the past we’ve made referral getting seem easy.

It is and isn’t at the same time!

Confusing right?! Well referrals are easy once you have defined your avatar, created a culture and environment that caters to that avatar and you deliver on your promises.

When you nail those three, referrals become easy.

There are lots of ways to get referrals but the easiest is to make it obvious to your clients that you are a referral based business and then make it extremely easy for them to refer someone to you.

Getting names in exchange for a t-shirt is great (when it works) but when you can get someone to bring their friend along with them to a workout because they can’t wait to share the experience with them that’s when you know you have a great referral business.

How to get more referrals:

  • Be great! Deliver on your promises, create an environment that people want to share with their friends, and get your clients results. It really doesn’t take much more than that to be great in the fitness industry.
  • Seize the opportunity! Every chance you get to ask for a referral or remind your clients that you are a referral based business take it. Any mention of friends or family members should immediately raise a flag to you and your team to remind the client of your referral programs.
  • Make it easy! Don’t make clients jump through hoops to refer you friends. Attack it from every angle with cards, free gifts, bring a friend days and other opportunities like transformation contests to have your clients share their fitness experience with their friends.
  • Reward consistently! It doesn’t have to be money or even free stuff, although that’s a great way to do it, it can be a simple thank you and display of your appreciation to the client.   People want to be appreciated and recognized so find ways to accomplish those things that fit in your budget and meet your clients’ needs.

Marketing really is that simple!   I promise that if you define your avatar, outline your assets, develop your arsenal, take action and always work to get referrals you will be one of the stand out businesses in your community.

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