When I first started my personal training business I made a bunch of fitness marketing mistakes in my business.
Looking back, some things I did to try to get new clients were so out in left field that it’s actually embarrassing even thinking about it.
But, hind site, as they say, is 20/20.
And since the new year is just around the corner and since you’re probably going to spend time, money, and effort in marketing your personal training or boot camp business I figured now would be a good time to tell you what NOT to do.
** Side Note ** If you’re a Fitness Marketing Manifesto member the December issue is loaded with a three week, step-by-step client getting system that will blow your business up! (It should arrive at your doorstep next week)
Like I said, before I got my personal training locations to blow up I made a LOT of marketing mistakes. And these days I still see a lot of fitness pros making HUGE mistakes that will ultimately end up costing you time, money, effort, and frustrations.
So without further ado… here are five fitness marketing things you should NEVER do.
1. Forget about branding
If you’re running print ads or mailing out postcards with no compelling headline, and only your “logo” and a picture of yourself then you might as well take your wallet or purse and fire it into wood chippers.
In our business your prospects don’t care about your brand, image, or logo. They don’t care what your tag line is, how many certifications you have or how long you’ve been a trainer.
All they wanna know is “Can you help me FINALLY get back into shape?”
Your print ads and postcards gotta do one thing and one thing only. They need to sift the fly shit from the pepper. In other words you’ve gotta identify the prospects from the suspects. And here’s how you’re gonna do that.
A. Use a strong, attention grabbing headline to get the prospects attention.
B. Use killer benefit bullets to tell them “what’s in it for them”
C. Use social proof, testimonials of before and after pictures of actual clients who have achieved results.
D. Use the two-step system. Make an offer for a free report or audio program in exchange for their contact info. That’s how you’ll weed the prospects form the suspects.
2. Everyone is NOT your market
Be the expert to a niche – specialize. One of the biggest mistakes I made was thinking that everyone was my potential clients. In fact at one time I had a marketing flyer (that failed to pull in a single client) that said: “we train clients from eight to eighty”.
Like I said, just admitting this stuff to you is embarrassing.
But once I figure out the type of clients that were attracted to my business and the type of people that we enjoyed training – I was able to identify my niche and market directly to them…
I knew their pains, fears, frustrations, and desires and so my marketing message spoke DIRECTLY to my future clients.
3. Avoid the chamber of complainers
Okay, I gotta qualify this one first. MOST chamber of commerce are a freak’in joke and a total waste of time. You may be in a town where the chamber is the exception…
…but my experience – and the experience of MANY of my coaching clients around the country is that the Chamber of Commerce is a waste of your valuable time.
Most of the time it’s a handful of local retailers and business who sit around and complain about how bad the economy is. Why your networking idea won’t work. And if only the shopping center they’re in would change the signage then business would pick up. They take ZERO personal responsibility.
Dudes, if you walk into a local chamber meeting and get this vibe. Walk out of there with a quickness and never go back!
4. Pretty websites don’t pull
I know that’s a blanket statement… but for the most part pretty websites with lots of flash, multiple colors, pages, and fancy music don’t generate leads.
A killer website is just like the two-step postcard I described above.
- A strong benefit rich headline
- Social proof with before and after pictures
- An irresistible offer
- And a call to action
Some of the most simple (and ugly) looking sites pull the best.
5. More money spent ≠ More clients gotten
Probably the biggest fitness marketing mistake I see is the idea that the more a marketing campaign costs the better it will perform.
That’s the biggest pile of bullshit ever.
Sure, I’ve seen expensive marketing tactics work really well. But honestly nine times out of ten they pale in comparison to the free or almost free clients getting tactics out there.
For example… my 21 day rapid fat loss program promotion is just two simple emails sent to your list and it’s responsible for getting anywhere from 10-33 new boot camp clients for every trainer that’s run the promo.
Then there’s Steve Hochman’s human billboard script that literally gets you a referral army that can put you on pace for six figures within 60 days.
Or how about what my buddy Josh Carter is doing with his body transformation programs. Again, a few emails mailed out to his list and now he’s got a waiting list.
Go for the lowest hanging fruit first. Just because it costs a ton of money does not mean it will get you a ton of clients. Don’t let the shifty sales reps sell you on BS marketing campaigns.
So there it is… five things you should NEVER do if you want more training clients.
And if you want a complete done-for-you fitness marketing system complete with ready-to-use ads, postcards, referral generating letters, scripts, and lead generation reports then check this system out.