There’s no better way to convince your customers that you really do know what you’re on about, than helping coach them towards their goals.
In practice, ‘inbound marketing’ can be a great way to do this for any fitness brand. Not only will a content based campaign offer something that’s genuinely of value to your customers, you may even have a bit of fun putting it together – meaning you get more done. As with just turning up for a workout at the gym – the “not quite perfect” marketing that you do, will always beat the marketing that doesn’t get done. As a fitness professional, we’d sincerely hope you have at least some interest in the steps that you can take to improve the athletic performance of your customers.
Regrettably a huge number of fitness professionals take this for granted. Whether you’re a personal trainer, clothes designer or gym owner, you need to explain why you do things the way you do. When it comes to mainstream, or even high level niche fitness, there are a lot of beliefs our there that may not be in line with how you do things. So explain the benefits of doing things your way. There is so much unintelligible information, as well as a worrying amount of misinformation, that it’s worth brining things back to the basics. Don’t rely on jargon and try to explain things, use layman’s terms to get across the practical benefits of what you’re offering. Maybe what you do isn’t perfect for everyone, that’s fine, just make sure people understand who it is perfect for. No one is going to sign up to your cutting edge HIIT class if they are still under the assumption that all they need to do is go for a jog to get fit.
A simple yet still highly effective form of coaching can be to simply write as much as you possibly can. Unlike with lifting, you can pretty much do this to failure without any ill effects. Or at least, you will never write yourself into mental exhaustion that can’t be solved with a decent workout. Whether it’s blog posts, magazine articles, extended social media posts, a series of eBooks – whatever you can, write tons. Anything that offers useful information to potential trainees will, by definition, be of interest to anyone who is looking to improve their training. Draw on your experience, observations and expertise as a professional, what may be painfully obvious to you, may be what enables one of your customers to make a real difference to their life. By the way, if you’re struggling with content creation or social media management we can help with this!
It’s easy to start thinking that as a whole, society’s perceptions of what constitutes an adequate level of fitness are somewhat warped. When BMI is still used as an indication of health and there are some fitness brands promising unbelievable results which are just that – unbelievable, a strong place to start is with what’s realistic. If your customers aren’t going from couch potato to pro bodybuilder in 6 weeks, the chances are they will be disappointed and give up, or at least look elsewhere. This is certainly an aspect of coaching (and marketing) that is difficult to get right, especially as it makes sense to promote the benefits of your business over the competition. Ultimately, you aren’t helping yourself or your customers by exaggerating what is actually achievable.
While it’s inadvisable to offer more than you can deliver, a great way to boost motivation is to set a proper goal. It’s a tried and tested way to help motivate people to actually do the training that they know they should doing. Whatever sport or sector you work in, there are tons of ideas you can offer to new, or highly experienced athletes. From suggesting a reasonable weight to lift or time to beat, to doing daily yoga for a month, or highlighting major events that can be entered; having a deadline for a goal that is measurable, realistic and achievable in a certain time is just smart. For many who are very new to training, setting a goal may not be obvious, or perhaps it is a vague as “losing weight and looking fitter”. So offering some practical goals that they can aim for is a great way to help getting them to achieve some real progress.
A genuine concern for lots of athletes is correct technique. If it’s not a concern, chances are they aren’t a very good athlete. While it often takes hours of in-person tutoring to master complex exercises and countless hours of practice, it’s still possible to provide genuinely useful advice in a short video. It’s the sort of thing that many athletes have looked up in their time – I have certainly watched more than my fair share of youtube guides on correct squatting. And I doubt I’ll stop watching them any time soon. Utilising educational videos within your marketing will can reap huge benefits in the long run.
As we’ve mentioned before, throwing raw numbers at people is unlikely to stick. Data is great, but it isn’t always the most inspiring form of communication, especially for the uninitiated. A great way to show off the evidence behind your approach is to display numbers in the pictorial form of infographics. Unfortunately there are many people out there who are misguided in their approach to training, while many types of training have their benefits, a lot of people still seem to be doing the wrong type of training for their goals. Infographics can be a great resource in the battle of bringing people onto the training that will actually work for them.
Many people who are new to fitness have no idea what a proper training programme looks like. The word “periodisation” has no meaning. Don’t worry, offering a general training programme isn’t going to undermine your professional fitness service or coaching. Obviously there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to athletic ability, but giving an indication of what a proper training programme will look like when trying to achieve a specific goal will provide a lot of context and start to manage expectations.
Inspiration and motivation
Now we aren’t saying that you should post a ton of photos of insane fitness models who have gotten themselves pumped up for exotic photo shoots. This may not be the type of marketing that appeals to a mainstream audience – although it’s more likely to work if your business targets aspiring body builders. Regardless of sport or ability, there is loads you can do to offer a little bit of a boost to peoples motivation. If I’m sitting at work debating whether or not to go to the gym on the way home, a gentle reminder of the benefits of such a workout may be what tips the balance.
Still stuck for ideas? Get in touch for some help from the sidelines with our versatile marketing for fitness brands.