Melanie Ash is the owner of Fitness Evolution in Columbus Ohio, a small personal training studio focusing on a group setting of 4-6 people. She started in the industry doing one-on-one training after working for other commercial gyms. Melanie decided to open her own studio that provides a client experience that was unique. In April of 2017 she made that happen and rebranded as Fitness Evolution.
Melanie has been focusing on marketing and employee and staff development. She shares that she currently has done little marketing and needs direction on how to grow her studio.
I advise Melanie to think of it as becoming the “Mayor of Fitness” in your area. If you were running for office, you would go out and get those votes! It is the same in marketing your business.
She should consider who the people are that she wants to serve. If her potential clients have elementary school children, she could you join the PTA or look for mother groups in her area. Building personal relationships is the key.
Melanie asks about cross promotion and how to effectively utilize it. Cross promotion can be a great thing, and privately owned boutiques like hers have more much flexibility to do this. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients if anyone knows the owner; you can ask for an introduction. When cross promoting, remember you are approaching them, so think “what can I do for them?” and be willing to take the lead and the initiative.
She says she has heard that current promotions such as a free workout or a low dollar offer isn’t working, but she’s wondering what type of offer will help get new clients through her doors. One visit isn’t enough to make a difference, and she needs to offer them something of value. She should want to stay true to who her target client is, and convey that client experience over a period of more than just one session.
Melanie talks about growing her team and how she can spend more time working on her business, versus in it. I feel that internship programs are the easiest and most economical way to be able to teach the process the way you want it done.
Melanie reveals how being an introvert and being the face of her business is tough, and I give her recommendations on how to navigate that issue through networking and by striking up cold conversations. My advice is figure out what platform she is comfortable with, or what she is willing to do frequently enough to get comfortable doing.
She asks how to answer questions about price before you are able to fully communicate the value of what your clients are getting. Honestly, most people do not know enough about the fitness industry and about what studio owners are doing. They may only know to ask about price. What I would do is give them a range and let them know there are programs offered that will fit their goals, schedules and budgets.
Finally, I agree with her that a naturally progressed relationship and calling the prospect before an in-person meeting allows a natural intermediate step to becoming a client.
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