When people ask how they can promote their fitness business, they usually end up with the same generic advice: get on social media, post on TikTok and run some adverts.
The solution is not ‘be on social’ or ‘run adverts’ — if that was the solution all gyms and fitness businesses would thrive and wouldn’t struggle getting more customers.
All the generic advice is a band aid for a deeper problem.
Here are ten ideas that you can use to promote your fitness business:
- Forget everything you know about marketing. The advice that we see online that compares Nike, Adidas and other huge brands might not be suitable for you. As a small business owner you need to focus on a different strategy. But it all starts with one question: “what is your end goal?” If you want to sell the business in five years you are going to have one strategy, if you want to increase sales you will have a different strategy, and if you want to build a brand that’s another strategy again.
- Don’t sell the product. So many fitness brands focus on the product — Puregym has gym membership for £10 a month. Focus on selling the transformation, create a content strategy that includes how your future customers will see you.
- Interview potential customers. Have Zoom meetings with those that you want to target — not the ones that already are buying from you. Go to your competitor’s social media accounts — tap on followers and send them DM’s asking for their time, 10 minutes. Ask questions about why they are going to the gym they are going to or why are they buying from that company. Ask them what they are looking for in a business like yours. Don’t sell anything to them. Create content around the insights you gather.
- Sell a story. This is a contradiction to what I said previously with the Nike / Adidas advice but we can look at what these companies do and take things that are useful — like an a la carte menu. Nike doesn’t sell shoes, they focus on selling a goal, a story, they celebrate athletes and they celebrate their customers.
- Use creativity. This doesn’t mean that you just shoot a different video for your business. It means that you create creative briefs and think of how you can use creativity to your advantage.
- Create something unique that’s worth speaking about. Find a purple cow in your business. This is a concept that Seth Godin wrote in his book called The Purple Cow. Create something that is outrageous and unique about your business that people talk about. Think about Gymbox — they say they are the ‘antidote of boring gyms’. One thing that comes to mind is they have a DJ playing music every night there, their interior is like a nightclub not a gym. It was easy for me to ‘convince’ my friend Arthur to join them because I had enough things to talk about.
- Create three content pillars for your business. At the top of the funnel — brand awareness content where you talk about controversial things or relatable content. Middle of the funnel content — this is where you build trust. Bottom of the funnel — sales. This is where you convert people to buy your things.
- What works for others will not work for you. There is data that suggests that if you saw a Nike ad for the first time you wouldn’t buy direct off one advert. Nike invested millions to build that brand equity in mind. It’s not a coincidence.
- What do your audience want to achieve? This is the question you need to have in mind when creating your content strategy. Nobody wants a Personal Trainer — they want to feel great about themselves after that session. Nobody wants to go to the gym, they want the feeling or the status symbol. Runners don’t want to buy electrolytes just for fun, they want to avoid the pain of stiffness.
- Create a content strategy. Invest more time in post-production rather than thinking of ideas on the spot. Do you think James Smith grew his audience to 1 million by luck? No, he worked on his content strategy, he worked on his production and most important people relate to him because his content strategy is to be real.
If you use these strategies you will be able to grow your fitness business and differentiate.
I would add one more tip — hire an agency. It makes a difference. If you are thinking of doing that, let’s have a chat. I’m sure my agency, Way Boutique will be able to help you.