When it comes to marketing your fitness business, reaching an audience has never been more accessible. With social media, text messaging and emails, you can essentially engage with any demographic almost instantly from a computer or smartphone. But before you send out that mass email campaign or decide to run a paid ad — figuring out your foundation should be first on your agenda. Read on for a few dos and don’ts to help you make the most of marketing your fitness business.

Do: Think about how you’re positioning your business

What makes your offering unique? Are you a new gym focused on cross-training classes, or a well-established traditional Pilates studio? While it might sound like a simple question to answer, it’s easy to lose focus of your identity as a marketing campaign rolls out. The fitness industry is competitive, so chances are you’re not the only business owner in your area trying to reach new clients. Your goal is to differentiate your offering from everybody else. What services, classes, instructors or equipment do you have that nobody else does?

Find the unique value proposition that sets you apart in a sea of sameness and stick to it. Building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. Creating awareness starts by staying consistent when it comes to marketing your fitness business. Your brand identity can get lost if change your stance every other email. Figure out who you are and what you offer — and keep doing it.

Don’t: Overpromise results

You’ve seen the ads: “Lose 10 lbs. in a month,” or “Drop 20 before summer!” They may be catchy, but are they realistic or truthful? Having a strong, authentic message that’s relevant to your audience will resonate more powerfully than something that hooks them for a brief second. Guaranteeing client results can get tricky. If it sounds gimmicky or too good to be true, chances are your audience knows it is too.

Do: Focus on your target audience

Fitness go-ers are bombarded with ads every day. To ensure your message gets to the right people, tailor your pitch (and medium)! Keep in mind you may need to ‘nurture’ your prospective clients along their lifecycle journey — one student may just be hearing about you, another could be familiar with your brand and looking to become a regular. Don’t be afraid to test different messaging while marketing your fitness business. The promotion that works hard to get regulars to boost their attendance, probably won’t be the same one that helps you gain new clients. And it’s okay to have multiple ads or promotions running at once, but just be sure the right message is going out to the right audience.

Consider how you’re trying to reach each audience. If your demographic skews older, running a campaign that’s solely on social media may not be the best strategy. Once you decide who your target audience is, do some research about how they consume media.

Don’t: Discourage others from joining

Having core members and regulars is always a plus for a gym or studio. They’re the people who can help you gain new clients just by word of mouth. But if your marketing only caters to their level of experience and understanding of your business, you run the risk of deterring new, less-experienced visitors from stepping inside. Create a brand voice that’s welcoming for all, regardless of their fitness levels. You can be a business that’s serious about fitness without being intimidating.

This also applies to gender — you don’t want to find yourself struggling to bring in new members because you’ve only been targeting one. Whether it’s cycling, yoga, boot camp classes or weight training, inclusivity is key.

Do: Build a community

Whether it’s featuring a member of the week on your social media channels, or just simply being consistent in responding to comments, questions, or concerns online — ensuring that your members feel like they’re part of your community can be an effective, easy win for marketing your fitness business. Your business’ identity goes far beyond your logos, ads or emails. It’s how you treat members and how they feel walking into your space. Give them something that they’re proud to be a part of, and confident to tell others about. By building a healthy, engaging fitness community, you’re also building trust in your brand and essentially, building your membership base.

Don’t: Forget the basics

Last but not least, don’t get so caught up in putting your business out there that you forget a few of the basics. For instance, spell check comes standard on pretty much every computer and phone — use it to your advantage. Make sure the content you put out is grammatically correct, efficient and easy to comprehend. Even the best ad can lose its impact if it has a glaring typo.

Always remember that marketing your fitness business helps you reach a wide audience — wider than you may think! Double-check that your messaging is appropriate, professional and welcoming to whoever may come across your brand.

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