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The Fitness Zone

Marketing for Fitness Professionals
December 18, 2014 | by Brett Hopkins

Whether you have been in the business for a while or you're deciding to venture out on your own, starting a new business of any kind can be daunting. Kicking it off in the fitness industry can feel overwhelming when faced with the local competition, but it’s possible for you to be successful with the right marketing tools.

The purpose of this article is to not give you all the answers, but to prompt you with questions you can ask yourself about your own business. You will constantly be challenged by marketing issues, and it’s quite often the slightest tweaks which can make the biggest difference.

With over ten of years of experience in the fitness industry, Brett Hopkins from the Australian Institute of Fitness South Australia shares 6 key marketing questions you should be asking yourself:

- Where should you allocate your hard earned dollars to generate more leads?

- How can you communicate to your target market?

- What is your market message?

- Why should someone answer your call to action and become your client?

- How do you fit in the industry and what makes you unique?

When it comes to marketing, one of the biggest downfalls in any business is not knowing your numbers. People often say they’re marketing effectively because they’re getting leads but find it difficult to improve, as they often find it hard to answer these simple questions.

1.  What’s your number one marketing source?

If your number one marketing source isn’t referrals, it should be. Asking for referrals matters, as is the manner in which you ask for them. It should be approached thoughtfully, and be more than, “Hi, do you know anyone that wants to do this?.”

Have a think about some new and unique ways that your current clients can refer your services to the people they know. Positive word of mouth is one of the best, cheapest and easiest ways to get new business.

2.  What is your return on investment on each marketing source?

Do you know what your most economical marketing source is? That is, the dollars spent, divided by the total leads from that source.

- $1,000 on flyers that generates 10 leads is $100 per ad

- $200 spent on Facebook ads that generates 5 leads is $40 a lead

Which source is better? These are the things you need to try, but more importantly monitor and manage. Try not to look at the overall spend, but rather how much each lead is costing you.

3.  What channels do you use to do your marketing?

One of the easiest ways to find out how people are coming in contact with you and your business is simply by asking them. Many fitness professionals don’t ask, but it’s important to know at the end of each month what your top sources are. Cross check that you are allocating enough resources to your top 3 sources. Do you need to drop the marketing source that is 4th, 5th or 6th on your list and costing you money? It can be as simple as asking clients where they heard about you when they sign up to your classes/services.

4.  Spend heavy weight time on heavy weight return

We always talk about return on your monetary investments, but very rarely on managing and monitoring return on your time. Every time you are spending time on something that has little to no return, you’re minimising your income potential. Unless these marketing initiatives are in your top lead sources, ask yourself what else you could be doing that’s more effective. For me, calling existing members to ensure they are motivated and happy is worth heavyweight time.

5.  Brand alliance

Are you marketing in areas that best represent you and your brand? Be sure to think about where you place your name or logo, and who is going to see it. Be sure that if you supply your logo for someone or something, it can’t be stretched out of shape or misinterpreted. Think about who you want to align yourself to. If you put your logo on something it means you endorse the product, so be stringent on where you place it. Don’t just think that having your name anywhere and everywhere will bring about a positive result. Be sure to choose your avenues carefully.

6.  Self-promotion

When people ask you what you do, what do you say?

Replying casually by saying you’re a personal trainer won’t really achieve much. Perhaps this one question could bring in potential client (or cost you the same amount spent on lead generation) - so doesn’t it deserve a solid answer. If you have the opportunity to sell yourself to someone, why not make the most of it?

Now is the time to start putting these tools and considerations into action to strengthen your business. By looking at these various aspects of your business, you’ll be able to work smarter and use your resources more efficiently to market your growing brand.

About Brett Hopkins

Brett is the Mission Commander of the Australian Institute of Fitness SA/NT.

This content is not intended to be used as individual health or fitness advice divorced from that imparted by medical, health or fitness professionals. Medical clearance should always be sought before commencing an exercise regime. The Institute and the authors do no take any responsibility for accident or injury caused as a result of this information.

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