Don’t be scared off by the thought of putting together a fitness business marketing plan. Knowing how to market your fitness business and create more brand awareness doesn't often come second nature. You know how to help clients get healthy and feel amazing—but how do you market yourself in a way that attracts more of those clients?
Not only is it difficult to promote your small business with so many fitness brands and competitors already attracting thousands of followers and hundreds of likes on each post, but it’s hard to know how to be concise and appealing while showcasing your expertise.
These key elements of a fitness marketing plan will help you develop a marketing strategy that you can begin implementing to stand out, connect with clients, and drive sales.
Read More: How To Start A Fitness Business From Home
Target Market: Who is Your Ideal Client?
Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. In a perfect world, we would be “everything to everyone,” meaning we would offer individualized programs for Great-Grandma Gail, Triathlete Dad Dan, Mom-Bod Monica, and First-Grade Frank.
The problem arises, however, when you wear too many hats and instead of focusing and excelling in one particular niche of the fitness industry, you spread yourself thin. It then becomes difficult to promote your fitness business because you haven’t identified your area of expertise or your ideal customer—you don’t know who you’re talking to, so how can you know what to say?
The best way to develop your own fitness marketing strategy is to start by identifying what marketers call a “persona.” This is the person who is interested in what you have to offer. As you think about your ideal client, answer the following:
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- Do they have any children?
- Are they married?
- What is their annual income?
- What is their current fitness level?
- What are their fitness goals?
The more you know about your persona, the better. This enables you to create a fitness marketing strategy that will help you connect with your customers and build relationships because you can better identify their pain points and speak their language.
Offering: What Makes You Different?
In order to promote your fitness business, you need to know exactly what your services are and how you are different from other competitors. Let’s say you offer in-person training and online personal training. Perhaps these are broken down into 5-packs and 10-packs or 8-weeks online and 12-weeks online. Rather than feature all of these options through your marketing efforts, keep it simple.
Choose just one or two that are most aligned with what you’re passionate about and your expertise. This will prevent option overload and encourage potential clients to reach out to you for details. It also allows you to hone in on your messaging. Instead of trying to promote four or five personal training options, you can focus on just one or two. In doing so, people come to know you for that offering, allowing you to build stronger brand awareness as well.
If you’re still not sure about which key offering makes you unique, check out these 21 differentiating factors.
Content Marketing: Does Your Messaging Resonate?
Your ideal client and most unique service offerings are the foundational elements of a marketing plan—they’re also critical for creating content that resonates. When you know who you’re speaking to and what you’re talking about, you can create content that your ideal client connects with, which is what drives success in your fitness business.
When looking at content to create and share, the challenge is often answering the question: what should I post and write? Here are some content ideas you can weave into your social digital marketing strategy (i.e., social media posts, marketing emails, and website):
Repurposed Blog Content
If you have a website, sharing abbreviated versions of your articles on social media or in emails is an easy way to get fresh content. Not only does repurposing your content provide value to your community, but it can increase traffic to your blog if you include a call to action (CTA) like: “Click the link in my bio to read the full article!”
Recipes And Food
People want to learn how to eat better, and you can help them do that. Share what you typically eat in a day, and provide an explanation of why. Share your favorite recipes and pictures of the finished meal. Share tips for creating healthy meals on-the-go. There are so many options, so choose the ones most relevant to your fitness brand and audience.
Showing up for a personal training session requires accountability, something a lot of people struggle to find on their own. If you share workout ideas and exercise moves, yes, they may try the exercises on their own. But, more importantly, you’ll be providing your potential customers with a glimpse of what your personal training sessions may look like and how you would coach them through a workout. This can help reduce the fear and uncertainty of trying something new. Share this as a video or a series of still images and explain how to use good form, which muscle groups the exercise is targeting, and what the benefits are.
Healthy Living Tips
What do your clients ask during sessions? What do many seem to struggle with? Use these topics as inspiration for sharing healthy living tips through social media posts, blog posts, and your email marketing. This is a chance to showcase your expertise and knowledge as a personal trainer.
People love seeing transformations. It makes the journey more relatable. They tell themselves “If she can do it, so can I.” It also provides a powerful visual testimony to your services and coaching as a personal trainer.
Another marketing strategy you can consider is offering a freebie such as a phone consultation or e-book. Or, you could offer a giveaways like a discounted gym membership (if you’re a gym owner) or a free workout. This lead magnet is an important part of turning followers into clients because it gets them into your fitness marketing funnel. Once they’ve signed up with their email address, you can start reaching out to them through automated email marketing campaigns or personal emails. Pull excerpts from your e-book to promote it and then remember to include your CTA to download the full e-book or sign up for the free consult.
Along with all of the fitness tips and recipe hacks, people want to learn more about YOU! How did you become a personal trainer? Have you always been in great shape? What do you struggle with? What do you love the most about your career? Being open and vulnerable is an important component of your digital marketing strategy and allows people to connect with you, which is what turns followers into customers.
Although it’s important to share your fitness story and personality with potential customers, it’s even more critical to be clear about what you can do for THEM. Highlighting your accolades or your personal fitness isn’t necessarily what resonates with a potential client. They want to understand how what you offer can help them reach their goals. Your online bio is a great place to showcase this information (who you are and what you can do for your customers) as a part of your digital marketing strategy.
Social Media Marketing: Are You In the Right Place?
Creating content is time-consuming. It can be exhausting to record workouts and take photos, along with writing captions and posting regularly. On top of that, can you imagine trying to post each content piece on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat?
Instead of being everywhere, focus on where your ideal client is. Take into account the following demographic data from Sprout Social and then choose the 1 to 2 most relevant platforms only:
- Facebook: The majority of Facebook users are female, ages 18 to 49.
- Twitter: There is a fairly close split of male to females users for Twitter, with it skewing to a slightly higher percentage of men. Its demographic includes mostly 18 to 29-year-olds, followed closely by 13 to 17-year-olds.
- Instagram: The majority of Instagram users are female, ages 13-17 but with a close following of 18 to 29-year-olds.
- Pinterest: The majority of Pinterest users are female, ages 18-49.
- Snapchat: The gender split for Snapchat is half female and half male, ages 13-29.
Sales: Are You Selling to Your Followers?
It’s important to remember the sales component of your business plan. As with weight loss, there’s no such thing as a quick-fix or overnight success. You may spend weeks, even months, working to promote your fitness business before you ever receive a new client—but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be selling yourself in your fitness marketing.
It’s easy to get lost down a black hole of sharing great content without ever just asking for the sale. Don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re selling and then ask them to buy or connect with you. A good rule of thumb for maintaining a balance between sharing sales content and educational and value-based content is 80/20: 80% value-based content, 20% sales content.
Here are some examples of how to create a clear CTA when asking for someone to sign up, connect or buy:
- DM me with your email address for a FREE copy of my e-book!
- Want to learn more about reaching your fitness goals? Comment below and I’ll DM you with a link to my free e-book.
- Tired of feeling tired? Improve your energy and fitness level with my signature training program. Reply to this email for more information.
- Did you know that a routine fitness program can result in fat loss, as well as strength improvements? Message me for my program pricing.
Messaging: Are You Capturing Attention With Your Captions?
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the strategic approach to content creation, it’s time to discuss captions. When deciding what to post on social media, ask yourself: “What will get people to stop scrolling and like or comment on my post?” Storytelling is an important part of this, which means you need to have a beginning, middle, and end. It also needs to be interesting and unique to you and what you have to say.
To achieve this:
- Think outside the box—what topics are unique to you?
- Share your stories; no one else can replicate that.
- Write as though you’re talking to a friend.
- Include a question to get people thinking.
- Ask followers to reply in the comments.
- Include a CTA.
The length of your caption can vary. If you choose to write something lengthier, make sure it provides value and is a worthwhile read. Add emojis and line breaks to keep it from appearing too text-heavy.
When choosing hashtags, consider what your ideal client would be searching and then use this hashtag formula to find the hashtags that will help your posts get seen:
- 3 to 5 hashtags that have 300,000 to 1 million posts
- 3 to 5 hashtags that have 80,000 to 300,000 posts
- 3 to 5 hashtags that have 80,000 and lower posts
When searching a hashtag, the number that you see next to it is the number of posts that hashtag is being used with—that’s the number you’re looking for. In using this formula, you ensure that you’re choosing hashtags that are both broad and specific, which means your posts have the best chance of being found in search.
Community: Are You Building Relationships?
One of the most important elements of a marketing plan is community building. While it’s important to keep your bottom line and end goal in mind, your potential clients are very savvy, and if you’re strictly after their money or are too self-promotional, it won’t take long for them to recognize this and unfollow you.
Rather than focusing on the financial gains, think of social media as your network of friends. Find your personas and engage with those people daily. Answer their questions, congratulate them on that completed workout, and tell them how delicious their pasta salad looks. Treat them like the #FitFam they are, and you’ll start creating a community of potential customers that want to buy from you.
Fitness Business Promotion: Master the Elements of a Fitness Marketing Strategy
Marketing is a key component of your fitness business. Make it easier to manage by mastering the key elements of a marketing strategy and then putting each one into play. Connect with more customer, get clear on your unique offering, and don’t forget to ask for the sale. If you share your most authentic self, people will want to buy from you!
When you get a degree in exercise science from Lionel University, you learn it all. Social media, fitness entrepreneurship, nutrition coaching, and more. If you’re already personal training, an exercise science degree can take your career to the next level since you’ll be able to not only charge more per session, but also expand into other service offerings. For example, it will prepare you to offer nutrition and health coaching, lead teams in the fitness industry, and start a business just to name a few.
And, if you love fitness but aren’t a certified personal trainer yet, you get that too! In fact, you’ll get several fitness certifications in the first few months of your program at Lionel. This allows you to work as a personal trainer (and a top paid one) as you finish your degree program. You could almost consider it a well-paid internship. Plus, with all the peer and experienced faculty interaction, it’s like a personal trainer development center. You can’t get that with just an online personal training certification.
There are so many fitness job opportunities that you’ll be able to explore once you have a degree in exercise science. This is the case for all degree programs. In fact, earning an associates degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, will all put you in demand for jobs. This is because so many people have their personal training certification, but not the expert degree employers are looking for.
And, with the help of financial aid, earning your exercise science degree is even more of a possibility. All of this means you can be learning from the best right away. And, in as little as six months, you can be a top personal trainer with the information you learn. It’s the best way to kick start your dream personal training career.