OK, let’s roll up our sleeves and discuss the biggest opportunity to grow your business with fitness marketing systems.
Let’s make sure we’re on the same page when talking about systems, and then we’ll dive into specific marketing systems.
First and foremost, growth in any business comes from the systems that operate the business and deliver the product/service. A system is a documented, repeatable, reliable and predictable process for responsibilities and tasks.
What’s a marketing system?
A marketing system is a documented repeatable, reliable and predictable process for generating new business.
When I started building systems for our businesses, I had no idea where to start. Like you, I don’t have an MBA, but I read business blogs, consume plenty of books and learn from the success of my mentors. Each source had something I “absolutely needed” to do. Learn copywriting, email marketing, pricing, productization, SEO, SEM, social media, upsells, segmentation, process mapping, ideation, A/B testing, and on and on but the pattern across all successful businesses were the documented, and well tested, marketing systems.
Building systems is precisely where we all tend to get stuck.
I happen to know a little bit about building systems and more specifically marketing systems repeatable growth. I HAD to learn this because I wanted to avoid missing the glaring component of success. I wanted to build a system, a process, for generating new business, filtering through the wrong ones, and finding GREAT marketing systems that were fun, impactful, and profitable.
As a result, my team and I have built successful systems (playbooks, checklists, processes, etc.).
That is not an accident.
So why is it so hard for us to start?
My assessment is that most of you are excellent at avoiding systems. ‘Oh, I don’t have a standardized process…therefore, I’m going to sit around for years and wait for the system to fall magically from the sky! That will do it!‘ Or I’ll hire an operational genie who can make the systems for me.
WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS.
Today, I’ll teach you the five systems of starting your fitness business marketing systems, — let’s start together.
We’re not going to touch on Business systems in this article but as an example: How to clean the bathroom checklist is a business system.
#1 “Critical” Fitness Marketing System – Performance tracking
Inspect what you expect, if you want to get respect.
Checks and balances are a part of every business, and every employee needs to understand that checks ensure systems run smoothly, and tasks get done.
You might be asking, how do you keep track of all of this performance tracking?
A simple way to keep track of business systems is by using Google Drive.
Why Google Drive
- it’s free
- gives you the potential to download and store files
- and manage details of your small business using text, video, and checklists.
The tools in Google Drive provide you with a way to track all the information you need to understand if your business and marketing is running smoothly.
Tracking key performance indicators, tasks, etc. doesn’t have to be complex. It’s always better to keep it very simple. To make something repeatable and integrated into your business, it will need to work for various levels of experience and age.
Use Google Drive’s Sheets application to document name, contact information (phone and email), date of first contact, source of lead, area of interest and a funnel chart showing where they are in your sales process.
By tracking these items, you’ll learn where your leaks are in your business and where to focus energy to patch things up. Fixing leaks is paramount because leaks are bottlenecks in your system, and if you can’t locate them, you won’t be able to test ways to improve them.
Tracking your marketing system can often reveal:
- hidden assets
- underperforming activities
- overlooked opportunities
- undervalued relationships
- untapped selling systems
- seldomly used marketing approaches
All of these areas, and questions about how to improve can be answered once you have a reliable tracking fitness marketing system in place, and you frequently use it.
#2 “Critical” Fitness Marketing System #2 – Attract (lead generation system)
A “must have” for any fitness business is an effective lead generation system. Typically, when you ask about lead generation gym owners only focus on referrals.
Yes, referrals are a top lead generating source, but to maximize these referrals you should have a system for collecting and nurturing these referrals. If your method is to ask for the referred prospects name and phone number at the point of sale, then you’re out of luck. As time passes, it’s harder to get high-quality leads by just asking for their contact info.
You must systematically follow new and innovative ways to get referrals and generate leads from your current clients.
Referral lead generation examples:
- bring a friend for a free consult
- fundraiser workouts
- partner nutrition or fitness challenges
- networking (at events with your current clients)
If you need more marketing campaigns read: 10 Ideas to Creatively Market Your Gym to Get New Members & Keep Current Members Happy
An additional “must have” in your fitness marketing system is inbound marketing.
“Sustainable lead generation is what inbound marketing is capable of doing for businesses.“
“Inbound marketing is similar to giving someone who’s starving a little bit of food. Once you’ve whetted their appetite, they’re going to be hungrier. This is a pull, or also known as attract, methodology. This makes you more valuable to your ideal buyer, and when you’re seen as more valuable, they come to you rather than you chasing them. You don’t need to disrupt their day to day with your ads, or bash them over the head and drag them back to your cave. Just demonstrate you can help them by offering them useful content, and you’ll greatly impact your business model.”
Still not sure about inbound marketing. Learn more: What is Inbound Marketing and Why it Matters
No matter the activities, the objective is to use these strategies in your fitness marketing system to track whether or not they’re successful and what modifications are needed.
Make sure to execute your “go to” activities consistently. For example, bring a friend week should be the same week every month. For fundraiser workouts, have them each month for a new organization. Track networking goals like the number of new people you need to meet or number of events to attend each week.
You will never know which of these activities or the variables within them to alter for improvements until you consistently run and track the results.
#3 “Critical” Fitness Marketing System (Attack)
An attack marketing system is an externally focused fitness marketing system. It’s all about driving lots of strangers who are potentially interested in your help into your marketing funnel. This is where you take your fitness business to the next level.
Systematically turning every $1 invested into $2 back.
Typically, budgets are tight or already allocated so setting up these attack fitness marketing systems may be difficult at first.
That’s not a problem. This is very normal.
Fitness marketing isn’t about who has the biggest budget, it’s about creatively and cheaply building out a process for putting your business in front of your ideal strangers.
You can have the best service in the world, but if no one knows about it you’ll fail.
I frequently recommend joint venture or strategic alliances as the first step, as it’s often the easiest. Informally, survey your clients and learn the places that matter to them. Where are they spending their time and money. Whether it’s salons, restaurants, apparel stores, outdoor activities, wineries, etc.
Once you’ve identified these places of value to your clients, contact these businesses to set up a joint venture to help promote both businesses.
For example, a large gym, ABC Gym, with five locations partnered with a locally owned restaurant owner to offer a healthy item on the menu, strategically named the ABC Gym Salmon Salad. It’s a win-win for the Gym and the restaurant. When employees and trainers are asked where clients can find a healthy meal, they recommend the restaurant offering the Gym’s Salmon Salad. The Gym gets prime brand placement in the menu. Anyone looking in the salad area of the menu is a potential client.
Remember, the idea is to promote both businesses and make it a win-win. If you want a joint venture to be successful, make it as easy as possible for the other business owner. Do all the work for them by providing them with the materials they need to support their end of the deal. For example: If they’re going to send an email to their database, provide them with the email copy.
Other great avenues for attack (lead generation) are offering seminars, public speaking, Facebook ads, networking organizations, and coupon sites. Many of the in-person attack options will depend on you or your team’s strengths.
To expand of Facebook Ads as a pieces of your fitness marketing system, I recommend checking out our online training webinar: Facebook Ads for Gyms
#4 “Must Have” Fitness Marketing System #4 – Market Dominating Website
People generally visit your website 10-12 times before they will take an action.
Does your website:
- get people to come BACK
- get visitors to convert to a client, subscriber, or an appointment
- offer your visitors a way to refer their friends
Let’s face the facts. No matter how tech savvy you or your team is, your client’s are looking for help online. This means they are looking for a direct response to the various needs and questions. I can’t stress this enough. It’s more than just having an online presence, it’s about having a website plan an essential role in your marketing system.
Leverage experts and time by hiring an agency experienced with fitness website design to provide you a competitive advantage. It’s a valuable investment in the future of your business.
Consider this. When searching for a restaurant online, would you choose the restaurant with a terrible website that looks like it was built from a template that the owners nephews put together? Most likely, no. Therefore, don’t expect your ideal clients to contact you from a website that looks just as bad.
Don’t fight digital. Use the web in it’s highest and best use:
- For direct response
- Not simply branding
- For information (articles, e-books, podcasts, videos, etc…)
- Not as an intermediary but as a hub for your business.
By hiring professionals, you’ll avoid making mistakes. Your website will speak to your ideal buyer, clearly represent the value you offer them, and capture visitors with well performing calls to action.
Our world is connected and most people will find you or at the very least research your business on the web. A market dominating website is a critical part of your fitness marketing system.
#5 “Critical” Fitness Marketing System – Follow ups
Your success in fitness marketing is directly tied to your ability to follow up. Once you attack, attract and capture your ideal buyers, you have to stay in front of them and nurture the relationship over time.
Many people aren’t ready to buy yet. They’ve yet to reach the decision phase of the buyer’s journey.
One of the best ways to nurture a relationship with newly acquired contacts is through email marketing. By capturing visitors through content offers on your website, you’ll be able to develop an email list of local targets that you can nurture over time.
Take this nurturing to the next level by directly contacting these potential clients while they’re hot. Email automation is great but don’t lose the human touch to fitness marketing.
Make sure to have a follow-up system with email templates and call scripts in place. Test how your ideal client responds to the conversations and always refine your messaging.
It’s time to put your energy into high yielding activities. Integrate these fitness marketing systems into your business and you’ll see an increase in website traffic, leads, and revenue.