All my friends know of my disasters with online dating in the past. And let me tell you, there are many of them.
One of the main problems was trying to attract the right person – to have a good match between what I wanted and what someone was after.
If you are running a gym or sports club, you also need to think about your target audience or who are you trying to attract to your fitness or sports business. There needs to be a strong connect with what you are offering and what your target market wants.
Again, like my previous blog, what makes you so special, understanding your target audience is a basic question every gym and sports business needs to know like the back of their hand.
Now don’t say you are trying to appeal to everyone as this simply won’t work – you can’t be everything to everyone and in the end you won’t make anyone happy.
I sure wasn’t after someone who was only after a good time – hey I am just not that type of girl. With your club, there is no point wasting time, money and other resources trying to sell your facilities to those who simply are not interested in what you have to offer.
Going back to my online dating experiences, I started with the basics which would make me decide whether or not to date someone. For example they must be unmarried, a certain age, have a job and not live too far from me (you have no idea how hard it was to find someone like that).
The same goes with your target audience, you must know the basic demographics of your audience. If you aren’t sure, start with your database as this should contain the basic details of your members and leads such as:
- Male or female,
- Where they live,
- Marital status,
If your database doesn’t reveal these stats, then just look at your typical member or client- are they build like Arnold Schwarzenegger or are they gym virgins.
Knowing this information gives you a better picture of your typical member (and also helps when attracting new people as your existing members will be a good reflection on your future members). Once you understand the basics, now you can look at segmenting your audience – some examples:
- Baby boomers,
- Generation X or Y,
Now let’s drill down a little deeper. Going back to online dating, once the basics have been ticked off, I need to ensure the person has a the same value system to me, similar interests and life goals – having this in common would increase the chance of a long and healthy relationship (again easier said than done).
It is exactly the same for your fitness and sports business. Start to scratch the surface and try to uncover the reason they join or want to join your business. For example, does the person want to:
- Lose weight,
- Improve the look of their body,
- Want to get stronger or increase their strength,
- Want to go in a body building competition or their first marathon,
- Ordered by the doctor to improve their health,
- Are involved in sports and needs to improve their skills,
- Are going through a mid life crisis or are recently divorced and want to gain more confidence in their body,
- Looking to make friends or need a social outlet.
Better understanding the typical reasons why a person wants to join your fitness or sports business will help you develop a stronger and more effective marketing messages and increase the chance of converting a lead to a paying member.
Think carefully about your business and what you offer – if you owned a mixed martial arts studio or a CrossFit box, you probably wouldn’t focus your marketing on those ages over 65 years. Similarly, if you owned a 24 hour gym with no classes, there is no point trying to appeal to people who want group fitness classes.
But if you have a creche and mid morning classes, then mothers are in your sweet spot. If you find that a majority of your members are single and under 30 years of age, look at offering fun classes, social events and the latest equipment and machines to keep them interested and entertained.
Think also about the the common traits of people who live or work near your business. If your centres is in an area where they are a lot of companies, then the corporate market is for you. Have your centre near a university, targeting students is the way to go. If mostly families surround your gym, then put together some family specials to draw them to your business. If there are lots of IT workers, then how can you use technology to make your centre stand out.
When you know who your typical target audience is, use this to help find future members for you business. For example, I knew who I wanted to meet, I soon realised the more mainstream online dating sites were the way to go as opposed to trawling the bars and clubs.
So think about who you are aiming for, what social media do they use? What papers do they read? Where do they hang out? What social activities do they do? Where do they eat, work and play? Where can you find these people so you can tell them all about you?
I clearly knew who I wanted when I put myself out there in the online dating world and where I was going to find them. Can you say the same thing when it comes to your fitness business? Getting it right with what you offer to your audience will save you money, improve your revenue, increase your brand awareness, and give you happier members who will be with your for the long haul. Just like in the online dating world, when both sides get what they are after, it is a match made in heaven.