Open Your Own Gym Part II: Marketing 101
There are two things that have to be done right away, and that is find your niche and target market. Pick a section within the industry that you are absolutely going to master. You should become the go to coach in your area on something like: speed, Olympic weightlifting, jumping, nutrition, weight loss, or whatever. Your goal should be to narrow that niche as much as possible for example if you teach Crossfit, target the people who prefer strength. At Mash Elite Performance we are the experts in Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and athletic performance all of our areas go together well. After you choose your niche, then you must define your target market for example children, high school age, young adults, middle age, or older. The niche needs to match the market for example sports performance is great for middle school thru high school age children.
Once you’ve chosen your niche and market now it’s time to sit down and look at your marketing budget. If you have the funds, I would recommend an initial blitz of direct mail, groupon, living social, or any other highly effective advertising source. Direct mail, groupon, and living social are awesome sources because you can see the return come directly back into your facility. I am going to write a whole article about these three advertising tools specifically.
The heart of my marketing however has always been a free source of advertising called Social Media. BECOME AN EXPERT! I am still looking for ways to improve in this area, and I suggest that you never stop improving in this area. The way that I quickly built my business was to give free seminars almost every week. The seminar will give you a focused audience that will quickly learn that you are the expert, and everyone likes free. The first question that you might ask is , “What topic do I choose?” The answer is a topic that will attract the market that you are after. When I first started, athletes were my only market, so a reasonable topic was “How to Improve Speed”. I would target the athletes, the coaches, but more importantly the parents. When you are coaching athletes, you have to have the parents on your side. They have to trust you, and they have to like you. You are going to be a huge part of raising their children.
The seminars give you a lead in to email, call, and visit coaches and parents. I emailed every coach and parent in the area. I then followed up with calls and visits, but I didn’t have to aggravate anyone. I was telling them about something free that would actually teach them something. This quickly got my name all throughout the community, and it brought some key people to my seminars. I used Facebook to do Events where I could invite all of my friends in the area, and I used Twittter to further market the event. I recommend learning to blog, learning to make videos for Youtube, make a cool website, but more importantly blog about topics that teach people something which leads to followers. Your blog, your videos, and everything else should lead back to your website. The website should give a clear and exciting description of your facility, and it should lead to a seminar visit or generate a person asking about your facility. The web between youtube, facebook, twitter, Instagram, and your website is an important puzzle to piece together. I also recommend that whatever you put out into the community that you spend some time making it a quality product. Your blogs and videos will be a reflection of you and your organization.
Last put as much or more time in marketing as you do in coaching at the beginning of your career. Don’t be the person who thinks that they can open their facility and people will come filing in your doors. Hit the streets! Get to know everyone and every business in your area! Definitely get some business cards and fliers, but then get’em in the hands of all the people within a 3-5 mile radius. I recommend setting goals for your daily, weekly, and monthly marketing for example give out 10 business cards per day, hand out 20 fliers per day, send out 100 emails per week, make 10 phone calls per day, have 5 in-person appointments per week, make 5 videos per week, write 6 blogs per week, and two facebook/twitter messages per day. If you follow that plan in a month’s time, you would give out 300 business cards, 600 fliers, send out 430 emails, 300 phone calls, have 22 appointments, make 22 videos, write 26 blogs, and 60 facebook/twitter messages. I hope this blog gets your new facility booming, so you can focus on what you love, Coaching!
If you have any questions about this blog, or you are interested in an up coming Level “Learn 2 Open Your Own Gym” Seminar email me at:
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