“I need to figure out this marketing nonsense.” – A common complaint I often hear box owners voice.
Many times, these same owners turn to marketing ‘experts’ to enlighten them on the process of marketing their gym business. But more often than not, these supposed experts don’t provide much, if any, practical, tangible tools.
Instead, they simply spew rhetoric. Things like, “You need to focus on getting your message out to your target audience,” or, “You need to be on all the social media channels.”
Yeah, no duh! BUT HOW?
HOW do I get my message to my target audience? WHAT are the best ways to use social media?
Chandler Walker, the owner of StoneAge Fuel in Reno Nevada, and the MadLab Group’s Director of Marketing —and the brains behind the new MadLab Marketing Project—has some some simple, yet useful, practical tools to help you build and market your gym’s brand to your target audience.
Let’s focus on just one area today: CREATING CONTENT!
From your website pages, to your blog posts, to client newsletters, e-mails, or Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter posts, if you’re a gym owner, you’re probably producing content quite frequently. The point is: It’s important to do it well!
Here are Walker’s tips:
7. Write down your story, your vision, and who your perfect clients are
Use this story and vision as your guide whenever you’re creating content.
6. Tell a story through quality content that builds brand awareness
With each post, ask yourself if your story is consistent and if you’re targeting it to the ideal clients you’d like to attract. For example, if you’re a MadLab gym, you’re probably looking to attract people who are looking for personal training and an individual coach for life to manage their health and wellness—similar to the way they have the have a doctor and an accountant for life.
The story you tell on all your content channels should reflect this group of people. This story will look very different than the story you would tell if you’re vision was to attract cheap groupon-seekers looking for a deal on a free month of fitness.
The point is: Build your daily and weekly content, blogs, newsletters, around your end goal and your brand’s story. The ultimate goal, of course, is to entice people to move from social media to your website, where you will continue to tell your story, until they eventually feel like they can trust you, and like you can help them. At that point, they will put their e-mail address into your system and ask to come train with you.
5. Show off your personality
“Don’t be afraid to be a bit goofy and show that you’re human,” Walker said.
On the flipside, if you’re a data guy, present quality data or science. The point is to be YOU. Your content will seem a lot more genuine, and passionate, if it reflects your personality than if you’re forcing yourself to be someone you’re not.
4. If you’re not a writer, hire one!
The Internet is filled with posts that never get read!
The Internet is also filled with a ton of high-quality writing that people DO read.
While it might be less important on Instagram to write with perfect grammar, blog posts that are riddled with typos, or poor sentence structure, aren’t pleasant to read. If you’re not a writer, contract it out. Or at the very least, hire a proofreader!
3. Set up a content calendar with each day of the week and what you’re going to post
Whether you use google calendar or Hootsuite (or some other similar program) for planning and scheduling your posts, laying out your plan for the week and month will allow you to develop a plan of attack that makes sense for you. And it will keep you posting consistently, which goes a long way in building and marketing your brand.
A calendar will also allow you to measure what’s working best. For example, do your posts have more success in the morning or evening? What days get the most traffic? What days are best for longer blog pieces? What types of posts are your members, and prospects, responding to well: Testimonials? Vidoes? Blogs about nutrition? Great pictures? Athlete of the month posts?
2. Choose colors to represent your brand
This might sound obvious, but when you’re trying to build your brand to become something recognizable to your local market, consistency in your colours and logo—on social media, inside your gym, on your t-shirts etc—will help with brand awareness.
1. Don’t sell. Provide value!
Use your marketing efforts to show the value in the services that you offer, as opposed to advertising things like, “50% off your first month! Buy now before the offer expires!”
“Click bait tactics violate the trust of the consumer you’re building a relationship with. By encouraging them to buy before they are ready with a limited time offer, you’re not allowing them to make a good decision on your product and service,” Walker said.
Instead, sell your story. Your service. Your value.
“People will buy your story. When they hear a story they can relate to, it changes the entire ballgame. Now you have something that speaks to them and they feel like they can trust you.”
Further reading by Chandler Walker here.