I hate to break it to you, but if you’ve just bough 5,000 business cards and you’ve spent the last two weeks hanging flyers around your neighborhood, then you aren’t marketing your fitness business.
If you made a website and you’re telling all your friends about it, you aren’t marketing your fitness business.
Even if you’ve bought a giant billboard and your huge face is plastered across the busiest highway in your state, you still aren’t marketing— at least, not in a way that’s going to work.
Marketing for your fitness business will only be successful if you use certain techniques and methodologies known to work for our industry. And that technique that you’ll need to master? It’s called Direct Response Marketing.
Forget everything you know about classic advertising. You aren’t going to be on TV, radio won’t do you much good, and you can’t just slap a slogan on a billboard or hand out a few flyers. No one knows you. They don’t know who you are, what you do, what makes you special, or why you’re definitely their best option. So you’ll have to teach them.
And THAT, friends, is Direct Response Marketing. Instead of a slogan it’s a full on letter, or series of letters (emails, in your case) that encourage prospects to join your training program.
And there are certain ways you need to write these emails that will encourage people to take action, to join your program.
So to help you acquire this skill and start putting together some marketing that works, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of Direct Response Marketing with 7 helpful tips.
Tip #1 – It’s All About the List
Many of you have heard this one before, but for those that haven’t, here it is again: your marketing is nothing without a list.
And by list I mean an email list of current, past and prospective clients.
The most powerful direct response marketing you can do for your fitness business will rely completely on a list of quality emails. This is where you’ll get to know your prospects and show them how likable you are, it’s where you’ll teach valuable content that helps them with fitness and nutrition challenges, and it is the perfect platform from which to make offers.
See, you’ll provide tons of great content, like fitness articles, recipes and motivation, and you’ll provide this content absolutely free.
Or you can use a FitPro Newsletter to build your email list of local prospects and have it automatically deliver great content each week to your clients on autopilot.
But every once in a while, after a content email or an awesome free recipe you’ve sent, you’ll promote a new special or a referral contest or a paid in full program.
These are called LOB’s, or Low Barrier Offers, and they’re typically “tester” programs that people can try – which is why the best LBO’s are under 30 days long and under $100.
And as long as you mix these offers in with awesome content, they’ll be very well received. In fact, your list will be happy to buy from you.
Tip #2 – Write as you, not someone who doesn’t exist.
The key to this type of marketing, the central ideology that makes it effective, is the use of your voice.
You need to represent your businesses as yourself. That’s how you’ll build your own authority and build the Like, Know, Trust factor.
But this is actually great news, because it means you don’t need to learn to write with some soulless corporate voice or like you’re some weird narrator who doesn’t really exist. Instead, you can just be you. That should be easy, right?
You’ll also want to make sure that your messages and emails sound very conversational. That’s right, forget your formal writing classes, you get to speak from the heart.
Because that’s what people respond to: a genuine voice from a genuine person. They want to know that it’s you, a real person talking directly to them, encouraging them to try your program.
Tip #3 – Be Easy to Read
Your emails must be very easy to read. No overly complicated sentences, no jargon prospects won’t understand, and don’t try to sound especially smart.
These aren’t technical journals, they’re friendly messages from the neighborhood fitness expert. I understand that you know the anatomy like no one else, but the time to showcase that knowledge is NOT in your marketing.
This is a pretty general rule for copywriting but it’s especially true when it comes to direct response copywriting. You don’t want to create any reasons for them to leave your email before they’ve finished reading.
So be readable, otherwise no one is going to read you.
In fact, one thing I often teach about email marketing is to look at it as infotainment (Information and entertainment).
Tip #4 – You’re not Just Selling, You’re Educating, Positioning and Building Rapport
You aren’t Apple. You aren’t Disney. You can’t just mention your name and get immediate responses and positive recognition. That means you’ve got to educate your prospects about who you are, what you offer, and why your offer is the best.
And all that education means you’ll most likely be writing some rather lengthy messages to these people.
Now, there’s no hard and fast rule. When it comes to length, it’s really all about taking all the time you need. No more, no less.
So decide exactly what you think your prospects will need to know before they’re convinced. Then take just as much time as you need getting to that point.
If you make it fun, interesting and engaging, they’ll read it. Even if it’s long.
Tip #5 – Get Emotional
Purchasing personal training is a very emotional decision. So use those emotions! Communicate your benefits and your features on an emotional level and you’ll be a much more effective seller.
So instead of talking about how great your training is, tell them how awesome they’re going to feel once they lose just 5 pounds. And instead of emphasizing your new modern equipment, explain how much fun it is to workout with you and how motivating your class can be.
No one buys for the logical reasons alone. Sure, they matter and they’ll help convince someone that what they want is something they need. But emotions are at the root of every sale and your copy needs to recognize this.
Talk about their pains, discuss their joys, explain how they can end their hurts— this is where direct response gets its real power.
Tip #6 – Make Sure You’re Selling what they Want
Why would someone sign up for your personal training? Is it because they love squats? Is it because they’re gym junkies who just want a friend to train with? Is it because they’re excited to finally use the battle ropes?
Or is it because they hate the gym, they’re awful at working out alone, and they just want to lose weight but can’t do it by themselves?
Prospects don’t usually care about how great your personal training or boot camp studio is, and no one purchases training for the training itself, all they want is to lose weight.
As far as your clients are concerned, their money is buying a thinner waste and better looking thighs.
So sell that!
Don’t waste your time with lists of features your prospects couldn’t care less about. Sell them and guarantee them results. That’s the only way you’ll get anyone excited about coming to work out with you.
Tip #7 – Always Include a Call to Action
Direct Response Marketing is defined by its purpose: to encourage a prospect to take one, particular action.
That means your content emails can’t simply be great content, they’ve got to end with a call to action that encourages readers to visit your website, watch your video, purchase a product or buy training.
And it also means that you’re copy needs to stay laser focused. You can’t bounce around, be distracted, or ask them to purchase multiple products. That defeats the purpose.
One piece of copy, one ultimate goal: that’s the power of direct response.
So what’s my call to action for you today? To go and practice all this stuff!
Look, if so far your marketing has only consisted of flyers and business cards, you’re in trouble. It’s time to get some real and effective marketing out there so you can bring in new clients and grow your business.
This may seem like a daunting task but it’s one you have no choice but to master.
And don’t worry, what’s great about this kind of marketing is that you don’t have to be the best writer and you don’t need to have perfect grammar or compositional skills. You just need to be genuine and you need to put out compelling messages.
And since you’re a trainer who’s used to motivating people all the time, I think this should come pretty naturally to you.
So here’s what you’re going to do next to improve your direct response copywriting skills…
1) Write down who your ideal avatar is. Male or female? Age. Their exact goals. And what their day looks like. Once you do this now you know who you’re writing your emails to.
2) Write out what your the best at. Maybe it’s fat loss, performance, strength gain, functional training.
3) Write out 20 headlines or subject lines that you can create content around. For example, the headline for this post is “fitness marketing that actually works.” You might write something like this if fat loss is your niche…
– how to drop your first ten pounds
– how to break a weight loss plateau
– how to find motivation to workout 4 days a week
….and so on.
Now that you have your email marketing topics you can move on to the last and final step which is to build an email list of local people who fit your avatar and want what you offer.
The easiest way to do that is by sucking traffic out of Facebook and your website and onto your email list. And the email marketing platform you’ll want to use to build your list and communicate to it automatically is this one – used by over 4,500 fitness pros to build an email marketing list.
Seriously, there are few resources more powerful than an effective understanding of this type of marketing. It will make a world of difference for you and make you untouchable amongst your competitors.