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How You Can Employ Persuasive Fitness Marketing

A Fitness Marketing Post by Pat Rigsby

dreamstime xs 19914840 How You Can Employ Persuasive Fitness Marketing

We have all heard the 80/20 principle – you get 80% of your results from 20% of your fitness marketing efforts. So, work smart. Why waste time and money doing a bunch of things that aren’t paying off? Instead, be selective and strategic with who you target and how you approach them, and then hit them with marketing that will make them sit up and pay attention.

Here’s an example of a five-step plan that will make your fitness marketing more persuasive and more effective:

Step One: Define Your Ideal Client

Start by looking at your existing client base. Identify the traits your best clients (your top twenty‐percent) have in common. Then, go after prospects with similar profiles. This allows you to streamline your marketing efforts. Instead of trying to market to everyone, you can just market to the people who are most likely to LOVE what you do.  So determine who your best clients are, then find out information like this:

  • Are your best clients women or men?
  • How far do they live from your facility?
  • How old are they?
  • What neighborhoods do they live in?
  • What groups do they belong to?
  • Where do they work?
  • Where do they shop?
  • What other businesses do they frequent?
  • How did they find out about you?
  • What were their goals when they came to you?
  • What things do they like best about your training / business?

How do you find this information out?  You ask them.  Call them. Take them out to lunch. Not only will they be able to clearly identify the traits of your ideal clients, but they’ll also be able to open plenty of doors for you to start reaching those clients.

Step Two: Get In Front Of Them

Once you’ve identified your ideal client, you need to determine how you can get in front of them.  Here are some simple ideas:

Public Speaking – If you know where they work or what groups they belong to, go speak there.  Lunch and Learns for businesses.  Short talks for groups.  Use the people you’re already training as a means of opening those doors for you.

Facebook – The people you’re currently training are likely friends with people that also fit in your target market.  Take photos at every class and post them on Facebook.  Tag your clients and the pics will show up on their wall. 

Facebook #2 – Run Facebook ads specifically targeting those demographics.  Facebook is incredible for this as it lets you target virtually everything from age and gender to interests.  So start using Facebook ads.

Networking – If you know the groups your Ideal Client belongs to, go join them and get to know people.  Build relationships. 

Direct Mail – I don’t talk about direct mail much, but that’s not because it doesn’t work.  It’s because most people do it wrong.  Instead of sending 5000 postcards out to a random group of people only identified by income and blowing $2000, send a 3 letter sequence to neighborhoods where your clients live and use their testimonial in the mailings.

Referral Promos – If you want more clients like the ones you have, ask your clients to bring their friends.  We’ve talked at length about referral promos here, but there is no better way to get more people like the ones you have than to get you clients to bring their friends.

Step Three: Start Educating Them

Even after you’ve identified your ideal client,  marketing to a targeted list, it is not likely that everyone will be ready to become a client right away. The trick is to start the conversation – to educate them as to the benefits of your training by providing content that makes them think about all the reasons why they SHOULD be interested.

Business guru Chet Holmes says that at any given time only "3% of people are actually buying, another 6‐7% are open to it, 30% aren’t thinking about it, 30% don’t think they are interested, and 30% know they are not interested." if this is even close to accurate, then your job is to create a message which will pique the interest of all involved. Don’t just sell training. Provide credible information that validates the need for what you offer. A prefect way to do this is through a recurring email newsletter that positions you as an expert and provides great information.

Step Four: Be Persuasive

It’s not just what you say, but how you say it that counts. Robert Cialdini, THE expert on persuasion and influence, has identified what he calls "Six Weapons of Influence" (principles that direct human behavior), which can be powerful, persuasive agents. Weaving aspects of Cialdini’s teachings into your messaging can be extremely effective.

Here are the 6:

  • Social Proof
  • Authority
  • Likeability
  • Reciprocation
  • Consistency
  • Scarcity

By mixing these elements with some of your own personality you have a winning formula. 

Start with a strong headline that focuses on the prospect and immediately offers a benefit, blend in some of the 6 elements listed above, add some solid education and include a Call-To-Action and you’re all set.

Step Five: Systematically Execute

Remember that building a business serving your Ideal Client is a process – not a single event… you need to make your approach systematic.  I know that the first newsletter I sent out had 17 subscribers – and half of them were our employees. Now we have over 60,000 on our newsletter list.  But this has happened one subscriber at a time and we’ve never missed a newsletter.  So set a schedule. Stick to the schedule. Determination and consistency yield results.

As a side note – we’ll soon be rolling out a system to help you do this type of fitness marketing called the Fitness Business Dashboard.  It will automate a LOT of this process for you, so stay tuned…

Dedicated to your success,


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