Guest Post by Georgette Pann
Recently I’ve heard some fitness professionals telling me that they’re having a hard time getting clients. Most of these professionals blame the economy. They assume that all fitness professionals are struggling to fill their bootcamps and training sessions.
But you know what? That’s not true. There are some fitness professionals who’re absolutely thriving right now. Every year, even during the worst economic slumps, they fill their bootcamps and training sessions to capacity. And these fitness pros don’t need to work 14-hour days or get a second job just to make ends meet.
So what’s their secret?
Simple: successful fitness pros are using a strategic combination of push and pull marketing strategies to fill their training sessions and bootcamps.
Let me explain the difference:
• Push marketing: This is where you “push” your advertising out to your prospects. For example, you might place a newspaper classified advertisement or take an ad out on local radio.
• Pull marketing: This is where you use marketing strategies which pull or attract your prospects. In other words, they come find you because they have a problem and they’ve heard that you can solve it. Examples of pull strategies include publishing a fitness newsletter and starting up a referral program.
Now, most people know about push marketing – and they use a lot of it. Problem is, push marketing is inferior to pull marketing. That’s because blanketing the local media with ads is expensive, time consuming and doesn’t produce the same kinds of results as pull marketing.
Yes, push marketing has a place in your business. But if you really want to see your business grow this year, then you need to refocus your attention on pull marketing strategies. And that means you need to figure out ways to attract clients to you, build your brand recognition so that you have “top of mind awareness,” and set yourself apart from your competitors.
Here are seven ways to start getting that top of mind awareness and attracting clients…
Use Social Media
The beauty of social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter is that these platforms are designed as an easy way to share content.
So you get two benefits:
1. You can share fitness tips so that your prospects begin to know, like and trust you (all of which works to attract people to you and your business).
2. Your fans and contacts can easily share your information with their friends. This word-of-mouth advertising is a pull marketing strategy.
Create a Referral Program
One of the problems with traditional push marketing is that your prospects don’t really believe you. They think you’re biased about your services because… well… you are! And so word-of-mouth marketing, such as giving incentives to people to tell their friends about your services, is a powerful pull marketing strategy.
Develop a Loyalty Program
One of the easiest ways to fill a new bootcamp is to ask your existing clients to join. And you can ensure people stay with you by giving them rewards (such as discounts) for remaining a loyal client.
Publish a Newsletter
You can do this offline or online, though doing it online using a service like Aweber.com or GetResponse.com makes it easy. This allows you to share information, build your brand and develop that top of mind awareness.
Same benefits here as publishing a newsletter – you can connect with prospects and let them grow to know, like and trust you. Plus it’s easy to get started when you use a blogging platform such as www.wordpress.org. And you can get sites made and up and running quickly and affordably at Fit Pro Sites
Tap Into Joint Ventures
Look around at the people who’re catering to the same audience as you. For example, nutritionists serve the same clients as you do. And that means you can join forces by endorsing each other. Because your partners’ clients already know, like and trust their recommendations, you don’t need to spend a lot of time or money trying to persuade these prospects.
This works great for building your brand and showing people that you can solve their problems. All you have to do is give local talks, such as speaking about the importance of exercise at a weight-loss support group or talking to gym members about how a circuit training program will help them become better athletes. Then collect your listeners’ contact info and follow up with them when you get home.
If you’re pouring a lot of money and time into advertising with very little return, it’s time to think about refocusing on pull marketing strategies. Think of ways to get your name out there, build your brand, and give your existing clients quick and easy ways to spread the word about your bootcamps, training sessions and other services. A good place to start? With the seven marketing strategies you just learned about above.
Georgette Pann: has over 25 years in the health and fitness industry and is owner of NutriFitness Personal Training Studio and Bootcamps. She is author and creator of the best selling Sure Victory Bootcamp Business in a Box and Sure Results: The Ultimate Book of Bootcamp Workouts
Big Chris McCombs helps coaches, personal trainers, fitness gurus, gym owners, and entrepreneurs who are the face of their business build cults of devout clients and customers who pay, stay, and refer