The more I learn about marketing and selling the more I see that we make it harder than it needs to be. Fitness professionals typically choose one of two routes:

Route One: They avoid any consistent marketing efforts.

They only market when they’re in dire need of clients or when something falls in their lap like a Groupon offer.  This is about 70% of the industry.

Route Two: This group tries a bunch of stuff, but it’s more of a shotgun approach.

They’ll do some referral stuff, a press release or ad here or there.  A little networking, Deal of the Day offers and anything else they think will bring in leads. They go wide but don’t have much depth.  This is about 20% of the industry.

For that last 10% – they’re in the sweet spot.

They are focusing on who they want to get and all of their efforts are directed toward getting those clients. If you want to fall into that 10%, here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Figure out who you want to train.

Identify the top 20% of clients in your business and focus on them:

  • What do they have in common?
  • Where do they live?
  • Why do they like training with you?
  • Why did they come to you in the first place?

Get crystal clear on this. Don’t cop out and say ‘they’re all different.’  They’re not.  If your top 20% is 16 people, most of them might:

  • Be Women
  • Have Initially come for fat loss
  • Be hard workers that enjoy a challenge and have embraced getting stronger
  • Be part of households with incomes of $100,000+
  • Have kids

If at least 2/3 of your top 20% have a number of similar traits – focus on them.

Step 2: Learn everything you can about them.

You want to know things like:

  • Why did they come to you in the beginning?
  • What do they love most about your business?
  • What do they think makes you different?
  • How would they describe you?
  • What would they change about your business?
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What are their outside interests?
  • What have they done before working with you?
  • Do they belong to groups? Engage in hobbies or do charity work?
  • Are they on Facebook or Linkedin?
  • Do they read?  What?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What’s important to them?

Learn everything you can learn (within reason).

Step 3: Build your marketing message around Steps 1&2.

When you’re marketing you should always feel like you’re speaking to one person…because you are.

You may be speaking to one person 10,000 times over, but for each of them the message has to be personal.  

So figure out who that person is and what will appeal to them to get them to come in your doors.

The most valuable 2 things this message should have:

  • Plenty of benefits that are really important to them.
  • Detailed social proof from people like them.

Web copy.  Ads.  The way you describe your business.  All of it needs to be specific, not general.

Step 4: Get the Message In Front Of The Right People.

Once you know who those people are, this should be much, much easier.  You know a lot about your target market from Step 2…so use that to go find more people like them. You can:

  • Target media that your market watches or reads
  • Target them on Facebook
  • Create Joint Ventures with businesses that attract them.
  • Do neighborhood marketing where they live.
  • Speak or network with the groups they belong to.
  • Develop referral promotions that get clients to bring them in.

Just as importantly – you can say no to all those things that aren’t bringing in those people. This approach will give you focus.

Step 5: This is optional…but very effective: Become Magnetic.

Marketing can be ‘push’ or ‘pull’. Push is more like door to door selling.  It can work, but you have to knock on a lot of doors.  Pull is like having people lining up to come to your door. If you want to become Magnetic (i.e. – Pull Based) then you need to become an Expert Specialist for your target market.

  • You need to write a book that is a hook for that market.
  • You need to speak to groups they belong to.
  • You need to have a lot of social proof from people they relate to.
  • You need to get on TV, in the paper and on the radio.
  • Write for local magazines or popular blogs.  Get media credits.
  • Position yourself so people seek you out.

Once you do that, marketing is a breeze.

So there is the way that I think you should approach your marketing in less than 1000 words.  Is it really that easy…not exactly, but close.  There is work – and a decent amount of it.  But it’s focused work that will make your business a lot more fun to go to each day and make marketing and selling stuff you enjoy rather than tolerate.

Put the five steps to work and dial in your marketing and clientele.

By Pat Rigsby

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