What’s Wrong With Our Marketing in the Fitness Industry?

Whats Wrong With Our Marketing in the Fitness Industry

Today I have a great article for personal trainers and boot camp owners. It is from Vito La Fata. I heard Vito present at Fitness Business Summit a few years back and saw him there last year. He did an amazing presentation and has a lot of amazing ideas on how you can make 2013 your best fitness business year. Enjoy!

~ Rick


In a nutshell, we don’t have much of it!

We do one of two things mostly:

1. We use daily passes and one-week passes and hope this is marketing. Or,
2. We use the shotgun marketing approach.

What is Shotgun Marketing?

Have you ever seen a shotgun blast?

It’s hundreds of pellets packed into one big casing and when it fires it sprays everywhere. The shooter is hoping that at least one of those pellets hit the target slowing it down enough to get another chance to shoot at it. While, not a bad strategy for shooting ducks in the air, not the best strategy for our marketing efforts unless you want to kill your business.

Yet, this is exactly what many fitness businesses are doing with their marketing. They are trying to jam a bunch of pellets into one shot, hoping something hits the target.

An example of shotgun marketing is, “Then I’m speaking to everyone marketing,” — whether you are 8 or 9 years old, whether you are an athlete, want to lose fat, are a senior citizen, or recovering from an injury this program is for your marketing!

You’ve seen it, it has 50 bullet points, tells you all about the equipment and amenities, and tries to hit everyone.

There is no emotional trigger, no promise of an outcome. It’s just an attempt to shout into a crowd and hope someone hears you.

I’m guilty of this when I started in the industry and broke out on my own. You see, I used to work for Crunch back in NYC about 10-11 years ago before I moved out to work for them in OC. I can remember when I first started Fitness Evolution in the gym of my apartment building, then in my garage, and then finally opening my studio doors; I was trying to get anyone to train with me. I was blasting this shotgun marketing approach wherever I could and it wasn’t working to grow my business.

Why do we do this?

Often one of the biggest issues that trainers are faced with — they suck at writing copy. It’s daunting and not a skill they have developed yet.

Then I discovered a strategy to get inside my client’s head using 4 simple questions.

This little strategy, which is more of a system you can use whenever you are looking to create your marketing, gets into the emotional pain points, the mental and psychological triggers that get your prospect to respond to your marketing.

Marketing is only effective when someone acts upon it. Marketing is the art of getting people to feel, so they buy.

So, let’s get your clients feeling and acting, and not just thinking, so they are buying.

Step 1: Create an avatar. Or your ideal client.

Grab as much social, economic, and psycho-social data as you can on your client. This is basic stuff any marketing course teaches you. Where your ideal client lives, age, income, kids, etc. But let’s go deeper. The thing you might want to hone in on is the psycho-social stuff. Where do their kids go to school? Where do they shop, and eat? Daycare centers they favor, etc. This gives you some clues into their daily habits and behaviors which could prove to be valuable. And those stores or centers could be potential places to place your marketing since that’s where your “ideal” client is hanging out.

Step 2: Ask yourself these four questions.

1. What are your avatar’s goals for the next 12 months?

An a. Try not to go longer than 12 months because the reality is your avatar wants something in their life fixed now. They don’t want the cure to what ails them to be 52 weeks away. So give them short-term benefits, that will move them forward NOW. You will of course progress them through more, but right now your first hurdle is to get them in your door.

2. What are your avatar’s frustrations?

a. Everyone has things that are pissing them off that they would like to see go away. Find out what those very specific things are and then go about creating a framework to solve them using your services for your client.

3. What does your avatar value?

An a. The overweight mom has different values than the youth athlete, which are different than the busy executive.

b. Drill down on those values because those are going to be the words, emotions, and bullet points you will use versus telling people about your treadmills, suspension devices, and equipment.

4. What has your avatar tried before that has worked or not worked?

An a. This is often a missed strategy. It’s kind of like market research. You want to know what your prospects have done that’s worked and they enjoy, so you can include that in your offerings. And you also want to know what they don’t like, so you don’t have that in your offerings.

b. You want to know what they are getting pitched from all your competitors, so you can go out and differentiate yourself.

These 4 basic consumer insight questions will help you find the “language” to talk to your market using their words and not your own. A simple go-to strategy that works every time to make your marketing simple, clean and effective.

Now, go out there and grab five of your best clients and start asking these questions because January marketing is around the corner and it’s a make or breaks time of year.

If you would like to get more training on how to run killer group training marketing systems in your business visit www.21daygtm2.com and get some FREE training videos right now.

Vito La Fata is an International Presenter for IDEA, IHRSA, Mindbody Online, Filex, and more. He runs multiple successful businesses including Fitness Evolution (his studio) and Fitness Profit Systems that help fitness professionals find simpler, better ways to run highly profitable businesses.

Vito has created a program to help fitness professionals that are doing group training make 2013 their best year. It is called the Group Training Marketing Machine.