I’ve met most of the top fitness marketing experts over the last year.
I wanted to pick their brain and see what they had to say when it comes to marketing.
As you’ll see below, you’ll get a variety of answers but most of the answers center around the same theme.
After reading this post, what do you think it will be?
What Is the #1 Mistake Fit Pros Make in Marketing?
“Not thinking critically about who they’re actually marketing to.
It’s crucial to take the time and really get inside the head of the people who use your services.
What do they REALLY want, what words do they use, what do they hope for, etc.”
About Mark Fisher
Ridiculous Humans. Serious Fitness.
The tagline says it all.
Mark Fisher and his team have created one of the most successful and unique studios anywhere.
They’ve had an incredible 3-year growth of 1487%.
They landed on the coveted INC 5000 list of fasted growing companies in 2014 at 312.
You can check out his website Markfisherfitness.com to learn more.
“It’s a simple, inexpensive strategy that 95% of Fit Pros aren’t using:
Turn your business card into a client lead magnet.
On the back of your business card add a promotional offer, like an introductory discount or free ebook from your website.
Then, get in the habit of leaving your business cards at cafes, community boards and favorite shops.
It’s the best way to drive new clients directly to your door for under $50!”
About Jill Tomich
Jill Tomich has a fitness marketing agency in Honolulu and help fitness pros in all aspects of their marketing.
You can check her out at FitTemplates.com
“Focusing on techniques rather than principles.
Should I do google search ads? Or Facebook ads? Should I do direct mail? Or email marketing?
These are questions about particular techniques vs. principles.
And they all presuppose there’s a “magic bullet” solution to marketing.
Hint: Just like nutrition and exercise, there’s no magic pill.
It’s all about finding the one that works for your history, current needs, and future goals).
All in all, marketing boils down to:
Learn more about your customer.
Develop systems to listen more. To discover their real needs and desires.
(Not just the surface answers they provide during initial consults).
To uncover the exact “jobs”, they’re hiring you to do.
(Hint: It rarely sounds like “washboard abs” or “drop 2 dress sizes”).
Do something awesome to deliver that thing.
Both are often lacking in fitness. Most work is mediocre, not awesome.
And rarely does it deliver the thing clients really want.
If you can do both you’re onto something and have a higher probability of success.
Tell everyone about it.
This is where most people focus, skipping step 1 and 2 – For my part, they all work together.
Once you know what you’re supposed to be selling, that’s when you create something awesome to deliver that thing.
You can then scream it from the rooftops.
Match the techniques to your ideal market and their needs and you’ve got a winner.”
About John Berardi
John Berardi, PhD., CSCS, is a founder of Precision Nutrition and is an adviser to Apple, Equinox, Nike, and Titleist.
He was recently selected as one of the 20 smartest fitness professionals in the world.
John Berardi is also one of the 100 most influential people in fitness.
To date, Dr. Berardi and his Precision Nutrition team have coached over 30,000 trainers and coaches through the renowned Precision Nutrition Level 1 and Level 2 Certification programs.
“The #1 Mistake I see Fitness Professionals making is not understanding their target market and their ideal client and failing to tailor their marketing to solve their ideal clients biggest problem.
Most fitness professionals create a massive disconnect with people who see their marketing material because their message is WAY too broad.
It doesn’t connect with the people who would take action and come in and train with them.
I see a lot of trainers failing to do this all the time and it is costing them clients.
When I ask some fitness professionals who their ideal clients are, they come back to me with things like:
- ‘Anyone who wants to get fit’.
- ‘Anyone who needs to lose a few kilos’.
- (What’s even worse is when they say) “anyone who’ll pay me”.
This is not the approach to take if you want to build a sustainable business that you love.
If you focus on doing this right, you’ll really stand out from the crowd and you’ll attract a lot more clients and the kind of clients you want to work with.
So this is how to make sure your fitness marketing message is focused towards who you want to train.
Your marketing message must speak directly to your ideal client.
You must understand their demographics, but more importantly, you need to know the psychological side of things too…
You want your marketing message to enter the conversation that’s already going on in their head.
From there, you want to lead them to you and your product being the solution to the problem they’re likely to be experiencing.
That’s where success in marketing lies.”
About Jaimee Maree
Jaimee Maree has created one of the most successful fitness marketing communities dedicated to helping fitness professionals in all aspects of online marketing. She’s based in Australia.
“Marketing is communication.
Marketing is a way of influencing and inspiring people.
Marketing is also a way of helping people believe they can do it.
With that said the mistake most fit pros make is not creating marketing that is valuable.
The marketing in itself should solve a problem to the frustration a person is having.
This creates value now and makes them think about a future with you helping them to their end goal.
Most people that don’t buy from you don’t do it for three reasons:
1. They are not even interested in your product or service. (Usually, these people will never reach out to you anyway).
2. They don’t trust you or have confidence that you can get them results.
3. They don’t trust themselves or have the confidence to take action to achieve the result (In short they don’t believe in themselves enough).
So the marketing should solve #1 and #2, through social proof, case studies, and great content that solves problems to the frustrations and makes people believe they can do it.
The most underutilized form of marketing is one that is valuable.
(This can be done through blogs, e-mails, webinars, seminars, videos, funnel sequences, etc.)”
About Luka Hocevar
Luke Hocevar has created one of the most successful gyms VigorgroundFitness in the Seattle area.
He’s also an:
- Strength/fitness/business coach (yes, all that).
- World traveler.
Among all this, Luke is also someone who simply enjoys life. He’s also a former, pro-basketball player who is working on hooping consistently again. You can check his fitness business mentor-ship program at The Pack Fitness Business.
“The #1 Mistake Fit Pros Make In Their Marketing is looking like everyone else.
Most fitness pros who do actually market simply borrow the tactics and messages others are using.
All they then need to do is deploy them ‘as is.’
They’re left with a business that doesn’t stand out from the crowd and no real reason the prospect should choose them over the competition.”
About Pat Rigsby
Pat Rigsby is one of the most successful fitness business coaches out there.
He’s created over 20 fitness businesses and has achieved huge success helping fitness professionals with their businesses.
He’s currently focusing on helping fitness pros created their ideal business.
“The biggest mistake that fitness pros make in their marketing is not clearly identifying their ideal client or buyer personas.
Without a clear understanding of who you are trying to get your message to and what they need to hear to be persuaded to learn more about what you have to offer…
Marketing becomes very random.
When you get to know your ideal client and buyer personas, it’s much easier to craft your message.
You can determine the mediums to use in your marketing, where to place your marketing and what you need to use in your marketing.
It’s the difference between being tactical and using tools in your marketing vs using tools with a strategy.
One is a random approach that you hope will work and the other is a calculated approach that you know will work.”
About Ryan Ketchum
“As a new business owner, Ryan spent lots of time researching how to be a better business owner.
He did this by learning as much as he could about marketing, sales, and business development.
He read books, watched webinars, and spent as much time as he could learning from reputable business owners.
Pretty soon, Ryan realized that in addition to fitness, he loved everything on the business side as well.
About that time he met Nick Berry and began coaching other fitness business entrepreneurs.
This was done through the Fitness Consulting Group (FCG).
Again, Ryan Ketchum used his real-life experiences and challenges that he faced as a fitness professional and applied the same principles and training that had driven his business to success.
As Ryan continued to see the reward of helping other fitness professionals grow their business, he decided to launch his second business.
Vertex Performance Systems (VPS).
They offered a variety of tools to help Fitness Professionals.
VPS always had a close partner relationship with FCG, but in January of 2015, they officially united forces as one brand.
Fitness Revolution— To work together to continue to bring change to the fitness industry.”
“The #1 marketing mistake fitness pros make is underestimating the value of social media.
Not only does it help to build a fitness brand, it also creates a professional image.
Engagement on social media is important.
But some fitness pros become misguided about the true value of social marketing when they post content that is no longer consistent with their brand and/or steers them away from the image they want to portray.”
About Amy Dixon
Amy Dixon was recently awarded IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year in 2015.
She owns and operates multiple successful fitness businesses and has created a huge following from her OWN shows.
You can learn more about her here.
“The number 1 mistake that FitPro’s make is not customizing programs and solutions for individual clients.
They either provide a solution that worked for them, or they provide cookie cutter programs.
These tend to involve dangerous diets that are created simply because most trainers are too lazy to do the work.
They don’t want to go through the process to find out how to really get their client results.
You must learn how to think for yourself.
Thinking is life’s most important lesson.”
About Hayden Wilson
Hayden Wilson has been helping personal trainers grow their business online since 2013.
He also hosts a popular podcast The PT Prophet Podcast.
You can check out his site at The PT Prophet for more information.
“They fail to consider how they will track cost/lead and cost/customer.
This usually leads to a marketing guessing game or stalling their ability to grow by not investing enough in the things that are actually working”
About Cabel McElderry
Cabel McElderry is from Alberta, Canada and has helped hundreds of fitness professionals reach 6 figures and more.
He’s now the COO of the Fit Body Franchise.
You can check out his site at Profitable Personal Trainer or his popular Youtube channel
“Not distinguishing themselves.
Personal trainers, when first starting out, get real excited about their new business.
They want to cater to as many people as possible.
So they advertise that they can help absolutely anyone with any fitness need.
In the gym I work at, all the trainers wear black bottoms and a blue trainer shirt.
From a distance, we look no different to the members, and to them, they probably didn’t have a clue that each trainer has a specific specialty they are great at.
In their eyes, we are all the same, and one trainer was as good as the next.
Failing to realize this is one of the most common mistake made by personal trainers.
You don’t need thousands of clients so there’s no point in appealing to millions of people.”
About Khaled Elmarsi
Khaled Elmarsi is the founder of the Nor-Cal Fitness Summit.
It’s a fitness business summit dedicated to helping fitness pros achieve new personal and professional heights.
“For me, the number 1 mistake that Fitpros make in their marketing is the expectation that potential clients will buy on 1st contact, whether that’s from a Facebook ad, from social media or on their websites.
Its much better, in my opinion, to ask for a small commitment like an email address and providing value before asking for the same. Increasingly thought it will be even more beneficial to provide value even before asking for an email address which is why regularly blogging and putting out content is a great strategy.”
About Liam Thompson
Liam Thompson is the co-founder of Internet Fit Pro. A company that builds websites for fitness pros and also helps fitness pros build their online presence. He’s originally from Ireland but lives in the UK and enjoys traveling and making money online.
“The #1 Mistake Fit Pros Make In Their Marketing is not understanding the pain of their prospects. Legendary direct response marketer Robert Collier said: “You must enter the conversations in your prospects minds”. When you do that you know about your clients frustrations, fears, dreams, and aspirations. My best advice is to do everything possible to get into the minds of your prospects. Create marketing focused on their deepest desires.”
About AJ Mihrzad
AJ Mihrzad specializes in teaching personal trainers how to build successful online personal training businesses.
He’s host of the popular online super coach podcast where he interviews top coaches and learns what makes them tick.
Sharing the highlight real only to people with REAL problems, REAL LIFE to deal with.
This makes PT’s intimidating and TOTALLY ‘un-relatable’.
It’s also why people continue to give more money to companies like weight watchers etc.
Put the shirt on… Slow down with the motivational quotes and share your story.
The whole story.
Oh and spend less time on social media and more time on marketing you can actually MEASURE
About Paul Mort
Paul Mort is known as the “email marketing king” in the fitness world. He teaches other Fitness Pros how to use email marketing effectively in their business. You can learn more about Paul by checking his podcast where he discusses all things marketing, business, and life-related.
”It’s a lack of focus.For example, during a coaching call, they’ll say: “I have ideas for five different membership sites so I’ll launch this one next week and the second one in three weeks!”. That’s a recipe for failure. Competition is increasing so you must focus on your target market and gaining traction. That’s the key to my success and the key for my most successful clients!”
About Ryan Lee
Ryan Lee is the godfather of fitness marketing. He’s one of the first fitness pros that started teaching marketing online.
Since 2008, he’s taking a hiatus from the fitness world but now he’s back teaching fitness pros marketing. You can check out his Facebook page below.
What’s the common theme between all these different answers?
Each of these experts has different backgrounds and are from different parts of the world, but they state a common theme.
You must specialize and be unique from everyone else.
This is the main message that most of these experts can agree with.