The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



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Identify Your Health Club’s Ideal Client to Maximize Marketing Power

The following post was written Lindsey Morando, cofounder of Get It Done Gals, for our Best Practices series.

Question: Many club operators feel as though they’re marketing everywhere, but not getting anywhere. How can I avoid this?

Lindsey Morando: When it comes to marketing, it’s all about visibility, and there are endless ways to make your business more visible.

It all starts, however, with your business’ “why.”

What’s your mission, your passion, your story? 
Facts tell, but stories sell.
Think about the ways you can share your story with the members of your community that will engage them and evoke emotions. You have to be honest, and open, and transparent.

There’s a reason why social media has changed recently. Facebook Live is incredibly popular right now, because people want more realness and authenticity, rather than perfectly edited and scripted videos.

It’s equally important that you identify your ideal client (IC) and get inside their mind: decide whom you should be catering to and market to them.

For example, if your ideal personal training client is a busy, high-income individual who’s willing to pay full price for PT, you shouldn’t be reaching out to them with discounted packages and services.

Many business owners are afraid to focus on their IC because they’re afraid that, if they do so, they’ll inadvertently overlook others, who, as a result, won’t come their way.

It’s an unfounded fear.

The fact of the matter is that, as a club owner, you can’t be everything to everyone, but, if you serve your IC well, others also will sign up, and you’ll succeed.

Identify your IC and enumerate their challenges and pain points. What do they want to change? What do they want to achieve?

Once you know them, really understand them, only then can you prepare an effective marketing campaign.

Only then can you create true solutions for them—ones that will excite them about the possibility of working with you.

A narrower, clearer, and more detailed focus makes it possible for you to hit the target more frequently.

Think about your IC with respect to your programs and packages. Are you offering the equipment, classes, and services that they’re interested in? Are you overwhelming, or underwhelming, them with options? Is enrollment a simple, seamless process? How could it be made easier? What about it could be improved upon?

Think about your IC and find out where they like to hang out.

You may feel as though you “should” attend every community event and be on every social media platform, but you need to get rid of the shoulds and confine your efforts to income-generating activities. Before you join a group or participate in a networking event, ask yourself, “Is my IC going to be there?” If not, why are you going? It’s probably not a good use of your time.

If your IC spends most of their time at work, and doesn’t check out social media very often, you might reach them, for example, by offering to stage “lunch and learn” workshops at their company. For instance, our company’s IC makes use of Facebook and Instagram, and she prefers to attend smaller networking affairs. We know this because we ask our clients, and keep track of where our new customers come from.

And remember: It’s important to finish what you start, particularly with respect to social media. You need to show up consistently, post regularly, and correct quickly. If, for instance, you open an Instagram account, and, after 90 days, it’s not working, consider cutting it.

In short: reach your ICs where they are... and take them where they want to go.