Did that subject line pique your interest..???
Leads are the life blood of all fitness businesses, right?
It’s the one thing every fitness business owner (and probably you) think about every single day!
- Lead Generation
- Lead Quality
- Lead Conversion
We’ve been drilled that business survival is a matter of getting more LEADS.
There are over 1,000 fitness sales and marketing gurus who specialize in helping fitness business owners GET MORE LEADS.
And, yet, the most successful fitness business owners never seem to sweat bullets over leads.
WHY IS THAT…?
First off, it’s because they don’t chase LEADS.
The most successful fitness businesses cultivate and nurture REFERRALS!
“Whoa….” you might be thinking….”Isn’t a lead and a referral the same thing?”
There’s a HUGE difference.
And, maybe that’s why so many fitness businesses “bite the dust” spending way too much time and money CHASING LEADS!
One thing is for sure.
In today’s new fitness marketing strategies the clients, members and customers are DIFFERENT.
After 18 months of social distancing they seek “connection”
They are much more tech-savvy than a year ago
They have much higher expectations than ever before
FOUR (4) SECRETS TO REFERRALS
Before I provide these secrets, let me just offer this basic difference:
Referrals generally come to you (passive, self-driven)
Leads are what you chase after (requires your time, energy and money)
SECRET #1: INSPIRE CONFIDENCE & PROFESSIONALISM
If an accountant hands you a homemade business card that was obviously printed on an inkjet printer…. you’d be a little skeptical… right?
The same holds true of your business.
- YOU need to look professional
- Your facility must look professional
- Your website must look professional
- Your marketing, testimonials, social media, etc., must all look professional
It’s critical to show both prospects and referrals that you can deliver on the promise — especially if someone has already made that promise on your behalf (referral).
SECRET #2: NICHE & ALIGN PERSPECTIVES
Just like the medical field, our industry is becoming even more highly specialized.
The “generalist” population will continue to join to the cheapest or most convenient place they can find – like Planet Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness or a neighborhood studio that offers group sessions at a super low price.
The big rewards and profitability will go to those who specialize in specific niches.
Yes, it takes longer to ramp up, but in the long-term specialized niches will be 10X more successful and profitable.
Example: Ask any up and coming baseball athlete, and they will tell you Eric Cressey is on their radar (online and physical locations).
You can go as deep and narrow as you choose (we work with a coach who trains classical musicians that travel), but here are just a few broad niches.
Sport Specific Training (MMA, Wrestling, Bodybuilding, Football, Skiing, etc.)
Kid’s & Teenagers (messaging to the parents)
Age 60+ (male or female)
Firefighters, Police, Military
Once the niche is established, the messaging, word smithing and images become a clear and distinct voice in an overly saturated market.
Let me repeat: Specialization is key to all future fitness and health coaching businesses — both online as well as brick and mortar locations.
SECRET #3: CLARITY…
Like it or not, most referrals will visit your website long before they actually make contact with you.
So, understand that your website must function as your best salesperson.
Yes… testimonials, schedules, staff bios and services must all be there.
But, your website needs to do MORE than that. It most go beyond the presentation of your offers.
It must ENGAGE your visitors.
And, it actually needs to answer specific objections.
It must mitigate the fear and stress someone feels before making a decision.
“Do I need to workout every day?”
“What if I haven’t worked out since high school?”
“What should I wear to my workout?”
“Is my body going to cramp-up?”
“Is it better to workout in the morning or evening?”
“How long is each workout?”
The best fitness websites clearly answer the common pre-sale questions.
And, they provide additional information about the specific niche as a way to further display expertise and knowledge.
And, of course, the more specialized you are, the more specific the website messaging can be.
SECRET #4: CONNECTION…
Finally…. I saved the best for last.
As mentioned earlier — now more than ever… people… prospects… referrals…. seek a CONNECTION.
The old churn ‘n burn mentality of get-’em-in and get-’em-out is no longer relevant.
A website that’s nothing more than a digital sales pitch… well, those days are long gone, too.
And, God forbid your prospects find your ads stalking them wherever they go on the internet because you’ve deployed a retargeting campaign. (Jeezzz… just stop that, right now!)
It needs to be deeper (even with strangers you don’t even know).
Sure… they pay you money… but, frankly, for the specialized fitness professional money is just a formality.
Think about this business we’re in….
People allow us in.
They let us see and know them in one of their most vulnerable states – their physical condition.
They are TRUSTING us with this highly personal information.
So, this can, and should, turn into an emotional connection based on trust, confidence, integrity, friendship…. and dare I say some sort of love (as in fellowship).
Developing and allowing this type of emotional connection to evolve will be the future of the most successful fitness, training and coaching businesses.
It’s already happening…