One of my favourite TV shows is Kath and Kim. Not only was it such a cleverly written show but I loved the classic quotes which have became part of the Australian vocabulary. Who can forget, “Noice, different, unusual”, “I can feel it in my waters,” and “now I’ve got one word to say to you….”
One of my favourite quotes was “look at moi, look at moi” and when it comes to your fitness business, I can’t think of a more appropriate thing to ask. How are you going to get people to take notice of your business when there are more fitness businesses operating than ever before (see my blog on why it is so important to be checking out the competition).
When you don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing, how do you make your business stand out from all the others? What is going to give you the edge over your competitors?
Firstly, you must work out what you do better than anyone else – for example, do you have:
- The latest and most modern equipment,
- The latest group fitness classes,
- The most experienced instructors and personal trainers,
- Classes tailored towards non-typical gym goers such as the elderly, disabled, children, those recovering from an injury,
- Programs for special interest groups – brides and grooms, runners, athletes, bodybuilders, people training for their first marathon,
- The most community minded gym,
- The best and most exciting promotions – for example, hosting a weight loss or muscle building promotion. Everyone entering has a before photo and starting weight and by the end of the contest they will all take after photos and post their end weight. The person who has lost the most weight wins the contest and you’ll have some great before and after photos to share online.
- Extra facilities such as free parking, free fitness assessments or a creche.
You get the idea – you have to offer something that no other fitness business does otherwise, why should I join your gym and not the one around the corner?
Now consider your physical building – you may not be able to change the location but what can you do to get people to take notice of your facilities?
Now don’t cringe, but if it is appropriate consider using sign spinners or an inflatable blow up. When you are opening a new gym or have a big promotion running, what better way to capture people’s attention than to get a mascot to spin your sign. Hire a sign spinner to dance and workout on the corner while spinning your fitness business sign. This could promote your gym as being fun and unique from the gym down the road.
If this isn’t your thing, make sure you have big banners or signage so even if someone is driving by, there is a chance they will see your business brand. Or get your staff to hit the streets and talk to the locals giving out free passes.
If you don’t have a physical studio, look at getting some banners made up so whenever you are training someone (such as in a park), people know who you are (and have some business cards available for people to take away too).
As always don’t forget the online world – your Facebook page or Web site is often the first thing a person will visit (even before they step foot in your centre) so it has to make a good impression. For your Web site make sure it has:
- A blog that positions your staff as fitness experts. You can write blog posts offering workout tips, diet and nutrition ideas, sports info, health tips, etc. There are endless topics to write about giving your customers valuable information plus your blog helps with your SEO.
- Use testimonials – they are more powerful than any marketing message you can think of. You can never have too many success stories.
- Have professional photos taken and use videos and feature these on your site – this is one of the most effective ways to showcase the best of your facilities.
Now with your social media, be honest, if you saw your Facebook or Twitter page, would you visit it or even like it? Ask yourself:
- Is your profile up to date?
- Do you post regularly and consistently?
- Use lots of images and videos?
- Encourage feedback and sharing from members?
- Have lots of exciting competitions and giveaways?
Nothing stays the same forever, so make sure you are up to date with fitness trends and how you can take advantage of them for your business. Offer a unique service, promotion, location or guarantee. Look for opportunities not being met in the market which you can take advantage of.
Ensure your unique proposition is in all your marketing so you stand out from the crowd.
And to finish how I started with another classic Kath and Kim quote, I am off to the gym now to work “the abs, the glutes, the dorfs and the clacks!” Though I am still at a loss as to how to work my “clacks.”