Whether you’re a new personal trainer entering the fitness industry for the first time, you already have a brick-and-mortar gym. Even so, it is essential to use PR and marketing to grow your business. Given the tremendous competition in the health and fitness industry, it is important to understand how to increase your impact and income.
Many personal trainers and gyms struggle to grow their business and get media exposure because they do not have a proper business plan or corresponding PR and marketing efforts. They are under the impression that clients will just come pouring in once they have received their certification. Unfortunately, without an effective marketing plan, no one will know about your products or services regardless of how excellent they are.
Why is the fitness industry booming?
The health and fitness industry has been growing over the last ten years, and there are no signs that it will slow down any time soon. There are many reasons why the industry is booming, which include; high health insurance costs, increasing demand for healthier foods, wearables, streaming exercise classes, budget-friendly gyms, among other things.
Health insurance can be costly, especially in the United States. It has become clear that healthy people are cheaper to insure. For this reason, people have started adopting healthy lifestyles to trim their insurance costs.
Another reason is the consumer demand for healthier, more natural, and organic options. This trend has made people more conscious of their food.
The current struggle during COVID-19
The fitness industry will never disappear completely. Even so, changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused the industry a fair amount of turmoil due to the closure of non-essential public places. We will look at some common PR and marketing strategies for fitness professionals further into the article. First, let’s look at how COVID-19 has affected the industry and how brands can implement specific strategies to increase market volatility.
The fitness industry has evolved a lot in the last couple of years. What used to be a market filled with large open gyms started filling up with high-end boutique fitness studios that cater to specific exercises. We’ve also seen a boom in high-value, low-price gyms that rely on volume. Many in the fitness industry have suffered significant financial losses, and the economic downturn has left a lasting impact. However, some companies have managed to keep generating revenue because they have found new ways to reach their audience in the digital world. Let’s see how.
1) Gym equipment is selling out
Even as people stay home, work remotely, and practise social distancing, they still want to stay in shape. For this reason, they are flocking to sites that sell at-home gym equipment. Due to the high volume of orders for gym equipment, companies that sell these products are thriving.
2) Digital classes are more popular
Most business meetings these days are through Zoom or other digital platforms. Why not adapt this strategy to fitness classes? The pandemic has increased the market for virtual fitness classes. This has forced traditional gyms to focus more on offering virtual classes, products for at-home workouts, and apparel that excites the fitness community.
Fitness companies have started offering digital fitness programs through social media platforms and other digital platforms because they understand that that is where their target audience will be. They have created classes for everything from intense cardio classes to yoga because they know that people need to find a way to stay active.
3) Offer incentives
Another way that companies have stayed successful is by offering incentives. Customers are more likely to stay with a company and use word-of-mouth marketing when they get benefits in return. Fitness companies that show their members that they care about their health gain brand loyalty.
Other ways that a company can remain successful in the market are by staying informed, complying with recommendations, and keeping members up to date.
Existing customers and prospects generally gravitate towards companies that show compassion and understand what needs to be done in a crisis.
Communication is also essential during this time because it keeps the company on its customers’ minds and keeps them updated on what the company is doing concerning the pandemic.
Exercise is more important now than ever because it is a crucial component of stress relief. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are unpredictable. However, successful companies are those that have a good crisis management strategy. They can pivot to create new PR and marketing strategies and show that they understand what is going on. At the same time, they can boost their revenue and win more clients over.
PR and marketing strategies for fitness professionals
With the continual rise in the health and fitness industry, personal trainers and brick-and-mortar gyms need to develop effective PR and marketing strategies to reach their target audience. The purpose of public relations and marketing is not merely to sell or promote a product or service. Good PR also focuses on relationship management with potential and current customers and increases brand awareness. Since the fitness industry is all about helping people achieve their full potential, developing positive relationships is an important part of attracting customers.
Here are some effective PR and marketing tips to help you develop your fitness business.
1) Regular content creation
The most successful fitness professionals use a combination of valuable skills to establish their businesses. Creating content related to the industry allows you to share valuable knowledge and connect, educate, and engage with your audience.
Using your owned media channels, you can write posts for your channels, create videos, and contribute to other industry blogs to increase authority. By developing workouts, personal stories, and tips for healthy living, you can improve SEO and boost organic traffic. Another tactic would be to write for existing health and fitness blogs to showcase your expertise within the industry. Through public relations tactics, you can make an email list of various media outlets and start reaching out to the person in charge of content.
Staying up to date with an email list and creating content can be very time-consuming and stressful. This is why PR agencies like Pressfarm exist. Instead of creating a media list from scratch, you can use Pressfarm to identify quality media contacts to reach out to with each new story. You can also use their existing database of over 1 million journalists, bloggers and influencers to find relevant media outlets based on your industry.
The team at Pressfarm can also help you create quality content that appeals to these media professionals. With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and an eye-catching media kit, you can capture media attention when it matters most.
2) Use social media marketing
Social media platforms are becoming one of the essential components of any public relations strategy. With so many people and businesses using social media, it is not enough to simply have a social media account. You need to go one step further to ensure you know how to use these accounts and maintain an active online presence.
With a consistent online presence, you can show that your business is tech-savvy, open to communication with the public, and transparent with your message.
To effectively utilize social media platforms, you need first to understand your audience on every platform. Posting fitness-related content would be the way to go in this situation. One thing to remember is that variety is critical, so posting about a range of topics will get people interested. Responding to messages and inquiries is another way to retain attention. Along with that, encouraging clients to post about their workouts helps you build a relationship with them and can get others personally connected with the brand.
3) Find and utilize referrals the right way
Clients are busy people too. They can forget to recommend services if there is nothing in it for them. Creating a referral strategy that is mutually beneficial for both the client and the business gives clients an incentive to refer one of their friends or their social media community to the company. For example, a good way to encourage referrals would be to offer a free session or some valuable insight into the health and fitness industry. This way, your clients can provide referrals knowing they are getting something in return.
Cross-referrals are also beneficial to fitness companies because plenty of other professionals do not specifically work with exercise and fitness plans. By reaching out to other professionals like chiropractors, nutritionists, and physical therapists, you can ask if they are looking for fitness services. You can also reach out to different local health businesses to help market your services. Talking to a local coffee shop, or supplement store can initiate a mutually beneficial relationship where each company recommends the other company’s services.
4) Build a great community
In the fitness industry, a big part of building a successful brand is bringing clients together. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to get more clients. In order to do this marketing right, you need to develop a strong connection with your clients.
Forming a great community requires you to have a great product or service. To get people interested, you should add testimonials from past clients to your website. This way, prospects can see reviews and posts from previous clients who had a great experience working with your business. These posts encourage a community to come together and support a business.
5) Go to local meetups and events
While social media marketing continues to rise, you should not forget about personal connections. Going to local meetups and industry events helps fitness professionals to develop relationships with future clients and other experts in the field. While at these events, you should share information about your brand. Make sure you highlight your services and explain how you can help clients reach their health and fitness goals. Since people feel a connection with someone who opens up about their health and fitness journey, it’s also a good idea to share your personal stories. Ultimately, by going to these events, you can develop relationships and attract your dream clients.
These are just a few PR and marketing strategies that you can use to build an effective campaign for your fitness brand. At the end of the day, building the perfect campaign will require some trial and error. Experimenting with different strategies until you find a formula that works for your brand is always a good idea.
Regardless of what industry you may be in, PR and marketing are essential tools for achieving positive media coverage. While you may have everything required for an effective PR and marketing campaign, you may not always have the ability to implement it fully. By hiring PR professionals, fitness professionals can focus your attention on other parts of the business and achieve media coverage for your new health and fitness venture.