Many social media gurus and websites claim to know the best ways to market your fitness business to potential customers. Although many of these strategies work for some people, they are not suitable for all.
While an online presence is essential, you also have traditional but still powerful options. These four proven marketing strategies can help you improve your overall marketing plan.
Business cards are a great way to make new connections. Although a business card is a great way to open doors, you must walk through them. You can think of them as trading cards. When you give one away, ensure you get something back, such as a card or a phone number.
It is important to follow up. Invite potential clients to classes or offer a consultation for free. You can take the pressure off by saying, “Come and see what I do, so that you can help me spread word, but you don’t have to buy anything.” Visit the website of the colleague or referral source if you trade cards. Connect with the source by checking in. You can then share what you find interesting about the source’s philosophy. Invite them to a class and ask if they are interested in trading or making plans to meet for coffee.
Hanging flyers on bulletin boards is not a good idea. Building relationships is the best way to maximize bulletin board exposure. Before you start hanging flyers, make a habit of visiting coffee shops, juice bars and natural grocers. You can get to know the staff by going to the same place each week at the same time.
While you enjoy a cup or smoothie, you can work on your marketing plan. It’s your ticket to networking and a marketing expense. Be friendly and approachable when meeting people. If you have built relationships, your flyer will be more meaningful. You can spend time with people you enjoy, and you will be surrounded by like-minded people who share your interests.
Can you hear me now?
It’s not unusual to get fed up with your inbox. Why not try something new and surprising? Pick up the phone and connect with others. Some people prefer to text, but many appreciate a call to confirm appointments, check in after a new routine, or reconnect if they have drifted from the gym.
Differentiating and calling can make you stand out from the rest. Voicemails are better than text messages or emails because they show that you care about the person and value their time.
Word of mouth
Referrals are strongest when they come from people we trust, like, and know. A friend’s recommendation is more persuasive than a flyer. People are more likely to choose a gym or personal trainer they like and trust. Try saying this to your clients: “I love having you as my client and wonder if there are other people who might benefit from a free session.” You sound more generous than needy when you use these words.
You can remove the pressure by offering a free class or group hike so your clients can invite others to try what you offer. Ask your clients what motivates them to recommend you: a gift certificate for someone they know, a class pass or something else. You know your clients are running a business, so it’s a good idea to have an honest conversation with them now and again.