Six Dumb, Stupid, and Insane Marketing “Blunders” To Avoid (like the plague)

cluelessI was uploading a Fitness Business Summit video to YouTube the other day  when I came across a marketing video that got me all fired up.

In the video this guys was standing in front of his marker board and freely dispensing marketing ideas that were freak’in NUTS! I’m talking about stuff that a third grader would know NOT to do.

For a second I thought that it was a prank video or something. Then I realized the guy was serious…

…that’s scary because the only thing worse than not marketing your fitness business is doing the WRONG type of marketing and wasting a bunch of time and money.

That same day I got a call from one of my 12 month mentorship clients who was about to run a lead generation ad in a local publication when the sales rep ‘advised’ her that she would be better off enlarging her logo and business name to better ‘brand’ her business.

WHAT!?!

That was the genesis of this blog post. That’s when I realized that while I’m always sharing fitness marketing tactics that work. I’ve never shared with you the things to avoid.

So here are my top six marketing myths, pitfalls and dead-ends to avoid.

Myth 1: You should dedicate a “given” percentage of your revenue for marketing.

NO SUCH FORMULA EXISTS. This has got to be the biggest pile of crap ever. wastemoney

Who ever came up with the idea of spending X percent of revenue on marketing was probably in the middle of trying to close a reluctant advertiser and was forced to pull something out of his ass.

Look, if for every dollar I spend in marketing I make ten back wouldn’t I be an idiot to only spend 10% or whatever percent of my revenue because that’s what someone said is right?

Hell, I’d be sending dollars like they were going out of style!

On the other hand… if I was spending ten percent of revenue on marketing and was getting squat in return then wouldn’t it be smart to STOP the hemorrhage, fix the problem and then spend as much as I can knowing that I’m making ten bucks for every buck spent?

Myth 2: Run one marketing campaign at a time to see what works.

Who’s got the time to try one thing, then the other, then the other? That’s why so many people go bankrupt waiting for their marketing to ‘kick in.’

Speed is critical if you want to survive and thrive.

Marketing success comes from doing things simultaneously not sequentially. So if you want to see what works, just create campaigns that you can easily track.

For example: If you’re running a lead generator in the local paper then maybe your landing page is going to be XYXFitness.com. Then you can run the same lead generator online using Google pay per click and make the landing MyXYZFitness.com. Then run the same lead generator ad on Facebook and use ABCFitness.com for the landing page.

Then slap Google analytics (it’s FREE by the way) on each landing page and you can track things in even greater detail like how many people landed, how long they stayed and how many opted in, ect…

Simultaneous NOT sequential.

Myth 3: It takes a long time for your marketing to start producing results.

waitingfishingThis one REALLY pisses me off. TOTAL B.S.

This is something the editors, site owners, and publishers of newspapers and publications will tell you to mask the fact that 1) either your ad sucks and they don’t want to tell you or just don’t know the difference, or 2) their list, traffic, or subscriber base is weak.

I guess you can’t blame them – they just want to sell ad space at any cost and telling you that you need consistency and frequency is a GREAT way to have you sign a six or twelve month contract.

The truth is… If you get the Right Message in front of the Right Market using the Right Media you’ll see results almost instantly.

Don’t let them fool you into running a poorly crafted ad over and over again or for that matter running a strong ad in/on a poor site or publication.

Myth 4: Change your ads often – don’t let them get boring.

Never… EVER…E-V-E-R change or replace a WORKING print ad, banner, web site, or pay per click ad because it’s boring to you or you think it’s been running too long.

I’m not saying don’t tweak, test, and track. In fact I encourage you do.

What I am saying is that IF you have an ad or piece of copy that’s working, pulling in leads and clients and giving you a good ROI then don’t just change it because you got bored of it.

If boring gets the clicks and calls then boring is what I’ll run.

Myth 5: Offer your clients many options to increase sales.

This is one of the biggest mistakes ever and it happens way more than it should.

optionsI know that instinctively you’d think that if I can offer a prospective client a buffet of price point and services to choose from then they’re more likely to choose something.

BIG MISTAKE…

First off you should know that confused people don’t buy anything. So the more you put in front of them then more they have to go home to “think about.”

It’s fine to have several options. But keep them in your sleeve and only expose them when your primary (and most profitable) offer is not what your prospect wants or needs.

Myth 6: The purpose of your ad is to sell personal training.

halfoffOf all the INSANE marketing blunders I’ve seen this one is the least effective and most destructive.

You can sell a five dollar foot long subway sandwich off the page because everyone knows what it is and the price point is small – but you can’t sell a multi-hundred dollar a month personal training or boot camp program off the page.

Look at it this way – would you spend a LOT of money on a PERSONAL program without first knowing, liking, and trusting the person offering it? Would you spend that kind of money without being sold on the VALUE of the program first?

See, the problem is that most people get desperate, realize they need clients like NOW and throw all common sense out the window and start running promotions like 20% off, or buy ten sessions and get five free, or $1,000 off our ultimate package

I saw the ad below running in our local paper – now the place is up for sale and they have no clients.

ptadThe purpose of running ads (online or offline) are to GENERATE QUALIFIED LEADS by offering a free report, audio, video or something else of high value that your market wants.

This lead generator would give them great content and it would be loaded with social proof and stories that strategically position you as the obvious expert for that marketing. Of course the only way for a prospect to get your lead generator is give you their contact info.

If you want a detailed audio program that covers this type of two step fitness marketing in detail you can get it free here.

The bottom line is this… your marketing should be accountable. It should weed out the prospects from the suspects and if you can’t track its results… then don’t run it.

I want to hear your opinion – leave me your comments below…