The Pecking Order

porderJust off the top of my head I can think of at least 27 different fitness marketing systems.

Twenty seven ways to get new clients.

And if I had to sit here for ten minutes and think about it I bet I could think up at least a hundred different ways to get new personal training or boot camp clients.

They all work to some degree.

BUT some work better than others.

And some cost substantially less than others. And some are w-a-y more predictable than others.

But for most fitness trainers marketing pretty much boils down to a shot in the dark.

It’s like playing darts blind folded and trying to hit the bull eye.

Sometimes it works… but most of the time it doesn’t.

Whenever I get a new private coaching client I ask them what their current marketing or client attraction system consists of and usually I hear the same two things.

1. I sent out postcards and got little to no response.
2. I ran an ad in the local paper and didn’t even break even.

And if there’s a third thing… it’s usually a radio spot that totally bombed and failed to produce even a single client.

I’m not saying print ads, postcards, and radio spots are crappy marketing ideas. In fact postcards and print ad work killer when you put the right message, offer, and proof in front of the right market.

And my coaching client Cabel McElderry is killing it with radio spots. (because he’s tested it, spent the money, and figured out what works).

But even before all that there are a bunch of other low cost (no cost) client getting systems that are far more predictable and work almost like magic.

So I thought I’d create a list of “what to do first” for your fitness marketing funnel.

I call it the Fitness Marketing Pecking Order.

bullseyeIn fact, imagine the fitness marketing pecking order as a bulls eye target.

The dead center of the target is where you start and those are the things that will get you the best results, fastest.

It all starts internally with your clients and each ring out represents the next marketing system in the pecking order. And way out there on the outer ring is your postcard, print, direct mail marketing stuff…

and even further out on the fitness marketing pecking bulls eye ring is radio and TV advertising.

This is the order I would do things if I were you is…

1. Work on internal referral generation. This is where you’ll get the most bang for your buck and it’s the most predictable (if you’re not shy). Ask you’re current clients for referrals. Reward them for referring clients. Give them gift cards to hand out to their friends and family so they feel like big shots. Create a culture of referral generation from day one.

2. Reactivate past clients. They’ve done business with you in the past? They’ll do business with you again. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Put in a personal call. Check in on them. Let them know you care. Invite them back.

3. Your email list. If you’re not building an email list of clients, prospects, past clients, friends, family, media contacts, and local business owners then you’re leaving a ton of money on the table. Email marketing is one of the most effective and low cost marketing systems available.

4.  The Human Billboard Army. This one is simple and it works best if you do boot camps and group training. Basically you’re going to have an army of local people (who are connectors) refer you leads in exchange for training. My buddy Steve Hochman created this system. You can watch this video where he explains the entire HB marketing system.

5.  Strategic Joint Ventures. Local businesses who cater to your type of cliental are perfect ‘referral partners” for you. And in fact YOU’RE perfect referral partners for them. Create a Go to them with the giving hand. Create a strategic partnership and make it a win/win for all parties. Start with the local Chiropractor, day spa, hair solon, tanning solon, health food stores or supplement shops.

6.  Get in front of your community. Public speaking gigs, fitness and fat loss workshops, and grocery store tours are a killer way to position yourself, establish authority, and generate QUALIFIED leads. Best of all it costs you nothing (other than getting out of your comfort zone).

7.  Suck leads from the internet. Run local craigs list ads, dial in your Facebook ads, dominate google organic, local, and pay per click and push all the traffic to a direct response site that converts… like this one:

8.  Pay for leads only when you have to. Send out lead generation postcards, direct mail letters, run radio and TV spots but ONLY when you’ve done the more critical things above and ONLY once you test the message to market match and have irrefutable proof that it will work.

That’s your fitness marketing pecking order.

Let me know what you think below…