Professional Brand Development for your Fitness Business – The Why’s and The How’s
As a trained fitness professional you know everything there is to know about healthy lifestyle choices. You also know that the average man and woman on the street would feel invigorated, refreshed and look their best if they incorporated more exercise and healthy eating into their lives. So perhaps fuelled with enthusiasm and excitement about sharing your knowledge with others you have taken the plunge to set up your own fitness business.
But before you dive headfirst into your newest venture and start planning your personal training programs, fitness classes, boot camps and weight loss programs you must carefully considered your marketing plan. How will you market your new fitness company to people who want to get fit and look good? If you’ve got no further than envisioning clients appearing at your fitness center doors, then this is the article for you. You can’t just run around the streets in your fitness gear, flexing your muscles and showing off your tight abs to drum up business.
The fundamental thing for a successful marketing campaign and for a profitable business is to ensure you have a strong brand – from the company name, logo and website to every single item that the client will see. A great brand identity incorporates everything that you do.
In today’s competitive fitness industry, a professionally branded company is an absolute necessity. So bring in an experienced brand development company to help kick start your fitness business. They will firstly develop the Branding Strategy by categorizing all the details: your services and brand attributes and how they differ to your competitors’, your target market, your ideas, your hopes and aspirations. And they will want to understand the personality of your brand which must come across in all publicity material – is it friendly and informal or focused and serious? Armed with this information, the brand development company will finalize a strategy which will result in more exposure for your new venture and more clients queuing up to try out your services.
The key elements of a well defined Branding Strategy are as follows:
Tagline: You need a great, catchy and memorable tagline – a short one-liner that represents the essence of your company and leaves the customer wanting to know more. Taglines such as ‘Commit to be Fit’ add to the overall message of your company name. Others may focus on what the customer will achieve if they work out with you, for example ‘Results guaranteed’.
Logo: A logo must be eye catching, memorable, and must visually represent your business. That’s quite a tall order for a small piece of artwork but a brand development company will use their proficiency in graphic design plus their experience in brand development to create the right logo for your company. It’s an incredibly important item to nail as it is destined to become the recognizable symbol of your company and will be used on every piece of customer facing material.
Advertising: For the launch of your fitness company you may decide to target your local keep fit enthusiasts via local newspaper advertising, flyer drops or billboard adverts. The brand development company will use their graphic design skills to create these adverts to sell your fitness services whether they are personal training, boot camps, injury rehabilitation or general fitness classes – or indeed all of the above. As an introductory incentive, you may offer free trail fitness classes or a price reduction when two or more members join at the same time – whatever promotion you choose, the professional graphic designers will craft their skills to make the offers jump out from the advert so they cannot be unnoticed.
Client Information: You will need a number of essential documents to hand out to new members, such as the price list, the class timetable, and any terms and conditions that you want them to abide by. All should be professionally designed, retaining brand harmony throughout.
Website: A website is obligatory for your new fitness company if you want to compete with other companies and for clients to find out about you. Nowadays people search for everything on the web so you can bet your bottom dollar that when someone is feeling a little flabby and unfit, it will be trusty old Google they turn to first for a solution.
Your brand development company will create a website which promotes your fitness services, is easy to navigate and allows new customers to request more information or purchase a membership.
- Homepage – This must have some inspiring photos of fitness workouts in addition to your logo and tagline. Add information about why your services are different and better than the rest. If you offer specialized boot camps run by an ex-army officer, state it. If your personal training programs guarantee visible results, make it as clear as a bell. And if you want to attract women who are too shy to exercise in the company of the opposite sex, make sure you clearly promote your women-only fitness classes. When there is so much competition amongst fitness company websites, you really need to hook in a new site visitor from the first visit.
- Visuals – Add photos and videos of your fitness classes and training sessions. These are really useful for clients who are comparing different fitness companies – the more information available, the more easily they can make their final choice.
- Services – Explain the details – prices, timetable and how to join up. Explain how your personal training service really is personal – to match the client’s fitness levels, physiology and personality. It is imperative that a fitness program is motivational, educational and also enjoyable so explain how you mix these elements into your training programs.
- Meet the Team – Add a section where you can list the training qualifications and experience of the trainers, and how they stay up to date with new developments in the fitness industry. Include a photo of each – people like to see who they will be dealing with.
- Press Releases and Media Coverage – At the launch of your fitness business you may not have a great deal of media coverage, but add any press releases you issue to the website.
- Articles – People who visit your website want to know if you are an authority in your field. Write informative articles to share your wealth of knowledge with others. Popular articles are the ‘How To…..’ type. For example write articles on how to stay motivated and how to eat well, how to maintain weight loss. The more informed you present yourself to be, the more your customers will trust you. And that is of the utmost importance when they are relying on you to re-sculpt their body, improve energy levels or get them in shape for a marathon challenge.
- Blogs – Fun blogs are another great way to engage your website visitors. Post some lighthearted news, details of a new class or run a competition where the winner gets a free personal training session. And don’t be shy to be opinionated! People tire of reading the same old rehashed information. So if you have an interesting or unusual opinion about the world of fitness, then incorporate it into your blog. Encourage your website visitors to leave comments and ask questions – which of course you must then go back and answer.
- Client testimonials – Create an area for clients to leave feedback on your fitness services. You know when you have helped to change someone’s life dramatically through your personal training, injury rehabilitation or general fitness programs. But newcomers to your website have absolutely no idea. So encourage your satisfied clients to leave feedback online.
- Prices – Include a section which lists the prices of your services and any special offers available. If you want your customers to be able to pay for their membership online, a professional brand development company can also develop this, allowing customers to add the membership to their shopping cart and pay by credit card – all securely and easily.
As you can appreciate, your fitness company website is a very important and powerful tool to persuade people that your company is the one to train with. The brand development company will of course ensure your contact details are clearly displayed and will encourage visitors to take some kind of action – either sign up for your newsletter, contact you for more information or pay for a membership. These call-to-action steps will always be displayed prominently on your website.
Furthermore, a brand development company is highly experienced in search engine optimization – the complex algorithm that Google, Bing and the like use to rank websites in response to customer searches. The brand development company will identify important key words to use in your website which will flag your fitness services to the search engines. The articles and blogs that you post on your website are also extremely useful. Search engines like to see that you are an authority in your area and when more activity is logged on your website, the search engines will automatically promote you higher up the search result rankings.
Social Media: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter are amongst the most popular social media channels. If you’re not posting or tweeting somewhere then you are missing out on some great promotional opportunities. Similarly to your website, social media is a great outlet for your videos, blogs, articles and photos. Your brand development company can help set up your social media presence to encourage the creation of a community of customers who like your brand. And once one person likes your brand, they will share with a friend, who will share with a friend and so on, and so on. Such is the potential power of ‘viral’ social media marketing.
Internet Marketing: When customers sign up for your newsletter on your website they will form the basis of your client database. Send out regular electronic newsletters about your special fitness offers and general news items about health, training and staying in shape. The professional brand development company has the expertise and know-how to design impressive newsletters which have clear call-to-action steps. Then all you need to do is simply email to all and wait for the recipients to contact you.
Fitness Exhibitions: If there are any health and fitness exhibitions happening close to your business, jump at the chance to take part. They are a great way to meet potential clients face-to-face and explain who you are and what services you offer. Take professionally branded flyers and information booklets to hand out, as well as some promotional products which can include customized water bottles or T-shirts – always great favorites with the fitness crowd. Of course the brand development team will once again come up trumps and design all the materials you require to suit the occasion and retain brand harmony.