Marketing a fitness company can be tough, especially if you don’t have a background in business. Many gym founders are fitness professionals, not MBA graduates, so the marketing aspect can sometimes be daunting. Plus, it’s a competitive and crowded industry so even experienced marketers can struggle.
If you want to attract more members or differentiate yourself from competitors, then how do you know where to start? Should you invest in advertising, focus on social media, or hit the streets with promotional flyers?
In this article – we cover some of the fundamentals and share the very first thing you should do to develop an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategies Vs Tactics
Strategies are WHAT you’ll do, tactics are HOW you’ll do it.
- Strategies – might include positioning yourself as a specialist in calisthenics training or targeting amateur triathletes.
- Tactics – could be giving calisthenics-themed interviews on podcasts, or running race prep seminars.
Most people skip straight to tactics and think about the tangible things they want to do. But this is a big mistake…
Without a strategy behind your tactics, nothing is coordinated. And if your marketing isn’t coordinated, then it won’t be as effective. You might make a splash here and there, but you won’t really move the needle towards your bigger business objectives. So, what’s the first step?
The Crucial First Step That Most People Miss
Being strategic means thinking long term, instead of being reactive. And the most fundamental part of developing your marketing strategy is to identify your ideal client. This is the crucial first step that most people miss.
Your ideal clients are the people you REALLY want to work with… They’re the people who are ideally suited to your products or services. The ones who’ll truly appreciate and value what you have to offer, and have the money to pay for it.
You can think of ideal clients as your target audience, customer avatar, or client persona – they’re all essentially the same thing. The reason we like ‘ideal client’ is because it refers to the buyer as a person, instead of an abstract concept. But it’s really a case of semantics, so don’t get too caught up on the wording.
The important thing is that you spend the time to identify them. It’s a step that most fitness businesses skip over, or assume they already know. But that’s a rookie mistake and sabotages your marketing strategy from the start.
So, why is it so important to identify your ideal client? Here are 4 key reasons…
#1 – Understanding
Firstly, it helps you better understand them. This enables you to develop more effective products, services, marketing messages, and sales pitches, that actually appeal to THEIR specific needs. Understanding your ideal client informs all aspects of fitness marketing, from which social media platform you should focus on, to the best place for advertising.
#2 – Targeting
It also allows you to target your marketing efforts at specific types of people instead of the mass market. Talking directly to people who are ideally suited for your services, makes your sales and marketing efforts MUCH more effective. And this means you’ll get a much better return on your time and money.
#3 – Focus
It also enables you to focus your time, money, and effort on attracting clients that YOU want to work with. Instead of being reactive, and trying to sell to anyone who might be interested, you can be much more selective about who YOU want to spend time training. And then be proactive about attracting those types of client.
#4 – Efficiency
And lastly, it shortens and simplifies the sales process, which saves you time and effort. Because ultimately, it’s much easier to sell to someone who wants and can afford your services.
Marketing 101 – Identify Your Ideal Client
When developing your gym marketing plan, identifying your ideal client should be your first step. It’ll help you understand and target them, so you can focus your efforts to save time and money.
If you’re interested in learning exactly how to do it, then check out our online course on How To Sell Personal Training. It breaks down the process into bite-size chunks and gives you a step-by-step guide to identifying your ideal client with laser precision. You’ll then know exactly how to target and appeal to them, which will boost all aspects of your sales and marketing. Click here to learn more.