Strategy › How to market personal training and group fitness services in 2 steps.
How To › Marketing Strategy › Tactics › Personal Training Business
This is an extremely important distinction to make. One, marketing strategy - "What you say", a long-term process of promoting and selling products or services that both leverage competitive advantages and market demands. Two, marketing tactics - "How you say it", execution—characterized by dynamic means of advertising your services or products. E.g., a simple way of remembering the difference between marketing strategy and marketing tactics is to say out loud "My marketing strategy is to help stay-at-home mothers lose weight after pregnancy, and I will accomplish this goal with marketing tactics like partnering with maternity clothing boutiques to present savvy and well designed collateral materials, creating a professional fitness website and offering free fitness seminars for stay-at-home mom's at my local hospital."
Step 1 › What makes you so special?
Developing a complete marketing plan for your personal training business begins with simply identifying your unique selling proposition (What makes you different or special amongst competitors?). What specific "niche" do you serve? This may seem like a dummy-proof question—however, we receive enquires daily from personal trainers who cannot define their competitive advantage. These same trainers describe themselves as "professional" or "the best personal trainer in...", and my favorite "I design personalized exercise routines for my clients" (as if "personal training" means something else?). What makes you special, a unique well established service, is your competitive advantage.
I suggest that you take a good look in the mirror. Be honest with yourself, understand and articulate your true identity. Do you really serve all populations? Do you really train professional athletes or do you mostly have success working with beginning exercisers? There is nothing wrong with marketing services for entry level fitness enthusiasts. If you are an entry level fitness professional—be honest with yourself and your target market. Never market a message that isn't truly within your particular scope of practice and professional experience.
My point is, marketing generic descriptions of what you "want" your business to be vs what your business truly "is"—is not effective. If you clearly define your professional unique selling proposition or competitive advantage based on honest experience, as surveyed from your consumer point of view, and market what makes you and your services valuable to prospective clients, everybody wins.
Step 2 › How will you market your message?
You have a clear understanding of your target market based on research and an anticipated or projected growth of certain demographics within your market, good. Additionally, you are honest with yourself and have identified your true professional strengths and competitive advantage or unique selling proposition, great! Now it's time to look at how you will share your message and zero in on establishing marketing tactics to meet your overall marketing strategy.
Let's say that we take from the example given above and concentrate on developing fitness services including one-on-one personal fitness training and group fitness training services for stay-at-home mom's within five miles of your fitness studio. Question: What is the long-term strategy? Answer: I want to work within my local area, with stay-at-home mothers ages 22-34 who have had a baby within 1 year. Is this too specific? No. Remember, when you are establishing your competitive advantage you are simply identifying viable demand and marketing your competitive advantage. You are willing to do what others are not willing to do. Meaning that you are happy to grow your personal training business concentrating on one specific marketing effort at a time. You can't be everything to everyone at the same time—this is how your business will grow.
Once you have proven long-term viability in one specific area you can replicate the process in other areas to meet growing market demand and competing businesses. E.g., a significant percentage of stay-at-home mom's you serve today will turn into working mom's with busy schedules and open up changing needs and expectations allowing you to deliver a variety of solutions. Perhaps you begin early morning fitness boot camps for women, then three months later husbands start rolling in so you hire additional qualified personal trainers to service your booming family fitness studio! Believe me, once you prove a model your competitors will chase you down and copy everything they can in order to compete with you.
If you would like to develop a marketing strategy for personal training, group fitness classes or a specialized area of service, please contact me today to help you develop your unique selling proposition or competitive advantage, create a marketing plan and organize marketing tactics to make your business boom!
Strategy › Tactics › Marketing for Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors