How To Craft Compelling Copy As A Fitness Professional by Catherine Reohorn
This piece was first written by Cath for our magazine in 2020.
As a fitness professional, you might not think of yourself as a writer. But from the captions and written posts on your social media channels to the written blog articles on your website – you probably write more than you think.
Content marketing like blogs and delivering value on email and social media is a long game that establishes you as a go-to expert in the industry.
Copywriting is a slightly different beast. Where content tells, copy sells. You’re trying to be persuasive with your copy. To get your reader to take a specific action. In the case of your personal training business, it’ll be to book a call with you, to turn up to their induction, to download your free lead magnet.
Here are four tips for improving the quality of your writing…
1. Know Who You’re Writing For
In part, this is about having a clear about your ideal client, but it goes deeper than that. The easiest way to do this is to think about the client you’ve loved working with. Think about the awesome results you’ve got with them, and how they’re an absolute breeze to work with. Then imagine what their day is like, from start to finish. What stresses and upsets they come up against, where they go for lunch, what podcasts they listen to on their commute – really dig into their lives in as much detail as you possibly can.
Then think about how they’d talk about these problems, where they’d turn to for support, what they’d be Googling, what hashtags they follow on Instagram, what subreddits they follow. These are primary sources for you to see the exact language that they use to talk about their health and fitness worries.
The way you talk about their problems in your copy needs to speak to them so clearly that you’re almost calling them out by name. You want your prospect to read your copy, and it’s so insightful, it’s like you’ve plucked a private thought right out of their mind and articulated it in a way that they may not have been able to themselves. The copy should make the prospect think, “Wow, this person really gets me!”
Tip 1: Know who you’re talking to and know how they talk about their health & fitness goals.
2. Write One Idea At A Time
The majority of the places you’ll be writing copy will be to your email list (if you don’t already have an email list, get that set up as soon as you can), and on your social media channels. This is where your audience already knows you, already likes and trusts you as an authority.
The mistake a lot of personal trainers make is that they try to do too many things in each post. Treat each piece of copy as a single idea. This might seem too simple at first, but it will give your message some much-needed clarity.
You’re not writing for other personal trainers to read it, so you don’t need to worry about writing with fancy language, or impressing anyone with how clever you are. The goal of your copy is to get a potential client to take action – and people don’t take action if they are confused. Keep your language basic, keep your train of thought on a single track, and read your post out loud to spot any parts where your reader might get lost or confused.
Tip 2: Explain one thing at a time – clearly and simply.
3. Use A Structure
There are a ton of ideas out there about which is the best structure to use in your copy to be as persuasive as possible.
Problem, agitate, solution: This structure opens by highlighting that you understand the prospect’s problem; where you’d use the language that they would use to talk about their issues. Agitation means stirring the pot a bit, leaning on some of those emotional stories and triggers about what might happen if they chose not to work with you right now. The solution is where you show that you have the exact service they need to avoid all this future pain and misery and that working with you is the logical next step.
AIDA: Awareness of the problem, gathering interest in your solution, creating a desire for your services by building an emotional connection, and encouraging action from your prospect through a call to action.
Or there’s The 4 P’s: Promise, where you explain to your audience what’s in it for them, what benefits you’re selling, Picture, where you use storytelling to paint a vivid picture for the client about what their life could be like if they worked with you. Proof, where you break out the old transformation pictures and testimonials showing people that you’ve worked with, people like them before on problems just like theirs before. Push is the final stage where you drive people towards taking a specific action that you want from them.
There are absolutely loads of these structures, but which specific one you use doesn’t really matter. You’ll want to include some aspects of storytelling in your copy which paint you as the solution to their pains no matter which one you choose though.
Tip 3: People connect to your writing emotionally first, and then use logic to justify their choices. Give them both in your copy for them to take action.
Writing well often means writing often. You’ll likely already be posting regularly on social media for audience engagement – but now you can consider each time you post to be an opportunity to practice this craft.
Writing well often means reading often too. Make a note of whose content you read from top to bottom. That’s compelling copy because the purpose of each line of copy is to keep someone reading right through to the end. By engaging with material that you find interesting, you’ll start to pick up on what you find engaging. Is it the stories, or the emotional changes people go through, do you like clickbaity titles or funny posts?
Identifying what you find attractive in other people’s writing isn’t to copy their style, but to help you to focus on what you’d like to cultivate in your own. Keeping examples of other people’s writing for inspiration is called a “swipe file”, and I’d recommend keeping fitness swipe files for anything you read all the way to the end.
Tip 4: Write and read a lot. Keep a swipe file of ideas that appeal to you.
Find Out More About Cath
Catherine Reohorn runs Kind Copy, a company dedicated to writing copy for some of the fitness industry’s biggest entrepreneurs. She also coaches fitness professionals to help them write better copy on social media, their websites and wherever else they market their business. Follow her on Instagram.