Learn to Love Marketing in 3 Easy Steps by Claire Winter
“I hate marketing”
“I’m no good at marketing”
“I don’t like doing marketing so I put it off”
These are things that I hear trainers say all the time and I completely get it. I’ve never been a fan of it either but I’ve learnt to embrace it rather than viewing it as a necessary evil. Here are 3 ways to reframe how you feel about it
1) Change your definition of marketing.
Explore what you don’t like about marketing and you’ll probably come up with an image of a stereotypical used car salesman using all his pressurising techniques to squeeze the maximum amount possible from the innocent purchaser.
In reality marketing isn’t some good and evil fairy story. It’s about letting people know what you do, how you do it and how it can benefit them personally. And when you think of it like that it really doesn’t seem that bad.
The key changing point for me was hearing Chris Burgess (founder of LTB) say that if someone who I could help chose to spend money on a less effective / more expensive solution to their issue because they didn’t know what I did or how I could help them then it was my fault!
Now when you throw that into the mix your marketing is no longer about getting people to buy from you.
It’s a public service!
Make your goal to ensure that everyone that you can help, i.e. those that are within the demographic(s) you work with, in the geographical area(s) you serve*, with the goal(s) you assist with, all know who you are, what you do, how you do it and how you can help them personally.
Let’s face it, achieve that and you won’t have many issues getting your client spaces filled with a simple call to action to that group.
*Note: If you work in a commercial gym then your geographical area is the membership of that gym.
2) Change your internal language on the topic to a more open-minded approach.
We all know how frustrating it is when we have a client who keeps saying they can’t do something (Particularly when they are saying it whilst performing the exact movement they are saying they can’t do.). It normally stems from an insecurity in the way they are doing it, a fear that they haven’t grasped a complicated concept and a fear of being judged. A “get in with the criticism before they do” approach and it’s the same for trainers and marketing.
Uncertainty and a fear of being judged combine and result in avoidance which we reinforce by saying we can’t do it. Once we’ve decided we can’t do it, we can happily continue using that to give us a way out and justify our avoidance.
Except we have no clients because no one knows that we exist, let alone that we can help them.
Like any task we do, marketing is something that we can learn.
It’s also something that we already know how to do when we view it as a communication strategy.
If I asked you if you are capable of letting people know who you are, what you do and how you could help them personally the answer would be yes (you might not know the most concise way of saying it but you could definitely communicate that in some form).
So stop telling yourself you can’t do marketing or you are rubbish at it! You don’t need to start saying how awesome you are at it but “I’m working at getting better at marketing” is going to be more effective than “I can’t do marketing”.
3) Practice the basics.
You know how clients tend to overcomplicate weight loss, worrying about things like meal timing and getting confused by the different things they read in their search for “THE ANSWER” whilst overlooking the key components that make up a calorie deficit?
We have a tendency to overcomplicate the concept of marketing, worrying about things like there not being enough people in our area (despite there being a population of thousands and us only needing 10 people) and getting confused by the different things we read in our search for “THE ANSWER” whilst overlooking the key components that make up a communication strategy to let people know who we are, what we do, how we do it and how it can help them personally.
In both cases the overcomplication and search for a magic answer results in a complete lack of action with time ticking on and no progress being made.
If you view marketing as a skill to learn then it makes sense that the way to get better at it is to practice.
Set yourself a minimum effective dose that you are comfortable you can achieve e.g. 3 posts a week aimed at telling your target audience what you do, how you do it and how it can help them personally or 3 conversations with people in the gym per week, aimed at letting that person know what you do, how you do it and how it can help them personally. And then do it!
For online marketing, if you are unsure of the actual logistics, find a tutorial (they are available on pretty much every platform you can think of) and learn.
In-person marketing is even easier, just talk to people! Even the youngest personal trainer has been talking for well over a decade.
Make a start
Try something, review the results, tweak what needs to be tweaked and go again.
Don’t throw everything out because the first try didn’t give you the results you wanted. Likewise, don’t give up on everything because you didn’t post one day or forgot to tell one class you run that you also do personal training.
Have patience – you actually want clients who have considered their options and contacted you based on rational evaluation rather than a passing whim.
View marketing as an investment – we’ve covered the importance of knowing things like lifetime customer value before, this gives you the information you need to work out what a customer is worth to you and therefore how much you are willing to spend to acquire one.
Make sure everyone you want to work with knows who you are, what you do, how you do it and how it could help them personally.
Don’t forget your call to action – once everyone knows that they need you make sure you let them know how they can get you.
So what are you waiting for?
Find Out More About LTB
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