Of all the decisions to be made in growing and building a successful fitness business, choosing the clients (the WHO) your business will serve is by far the MOST important decision of all you’ll ever make.
IF you target a large and abundant market, with a big problem to solve or goal they want to achieve, that has money they’re willing to invest in solving that problem or achieving that goal… then you’ve got the makings of a great fitness business that can grow and scale.
But if you choose a small market OR have an UNDEFINED market (which is the problem that most fitness business owners struggle with) then you’re going to find it very difficult to be successful in marketing and growing your client base… no matter how good you are at what you do.
Fortunately, there are a LOT of people that fit the criteria of a GREAT market for your fitness business.
And if you want to attract more clients, then the first step you’ve got to take is to get VERY clear about WHO your best prospective client is.
The better you know WHO they are, WHERE they live, and WHY they buy… the more effectively you can communicate with your target market (and attract them to your business!).So, let’s break down how you can do just that…
Part 1: WHO are They?
The most specific you can be in defining WHO your best client is, the better.
And the best place to start is by looking at your current client base.
Break them into three categories.
The “A” clients are those who are awesome to work with, pay their invoices on time (often in full), and make it a joy for you to do your job.
The “B” clients have some of those qualities, but not all of them.
And the “C” clients make your life hell. You should let them go. And once you know how to market and add more “A” clients to your roster, you won’t be afraid to do so.
So, let’s examine the “A” group more closely.
Are they mostly men, women, or evenly split?
What is their average age range (within 10 years)?
And what other characteristics define them? Are they moms? Executives? Working professionals?
Here are a few examples of defining the WHO:
- 30- to 40-year-old stay-at-home moms
- 40- to 50-year-old busy male executives
- 45- to 50-year-old professional women with kids who are grown-up and have left the house
The WHO is just the first step in defining your market. Once you’ve got that down, it’s time to get clear about…
Part 2: WHERE Do They Live or Work?
For local service businesses, your location must be convenient for your clients to visit multiple times each week.
Generally speaking, it’s best to be within 15-30 min travel time from where someone lives or works each day.
That way it’s easy for them to make working with you a part of their daily routine and life.
So take that “A” group you were examining before and look at what time during the day they come to see you. Is it in the early morning before work? Is it mid-morning after the kids have gone to school? Is it during their lunch hour when they break away from the office?
Are they traveling to or from home when they see you?
Or are they traveling to or from their office?
Lay out each of their addresses on a map.
Pin point your location on the map too.
Then look at what the data points tell you.
What radius or area from your facility do they live or work in?
Is the area defined by a specific postal code?
Can you further narrow down the area by neighborhood or subdivision?
If you can, great.
That means it’s even easier to know where to go looking for more people just like them.
But knowing WHO they are and WHERE they live or work is NOT nearly as important as understanding WHY they buy.
Knowing WHY they do what they do allows you to communicate (and define your marketing messaging) to them.
Part 3: WHY Do They Buy?
At the time your “A” clients signed up with you, what was driving them?
Were they most driven by the pain of dealing with a problem or the desire to achieve a goal?
And what was the dominant emotion they were feeling around the problem they were trying to solve or the goal they wanted to achieve?
When we take fitness business owners through this exercise to define their BEST prospective clients, it’s generally quite easy to get clear on the dominant emotion of male clients.
Male emotions are pretty simple to define and understand.
For women, on the other hand, emotions can be much more complex. ☺
They might be feeling 10 emotions all at the same time! However, your job (as a marketer) is to rank them and get clear on the DOMINANT emotion.
There IS a dominant emotion (feeling) they are experiencing that trumps them all.
Get clear on understanding what that is. Because that is the emotion you must be speaking and crafting ALL your marketing messages towards.
Looking at what they most wanted to gain and what they were most afraid of… at the time they were seeking you out and signed up… will lead you to even better understanding their emotional drivers.
We ALL make decisions based on emotion.
There are lots of people that are out of shape and overweight.
But only a few of them are willing to do anything about it.
Make no mistake, your best clients signed up to work with you because they were driven to take action based on the way they felt about a problem (or goal).
Every new client has a primary emotional driver that is behind their actions and decision to enroll in working with you.
And knowing their “why” allows you to best direct and lead your clients (and athletes) to success with their goals.
- That 35-year-old stay at home mom that lives in Buckhead, GA, USA? She enrolled to “get her body back” after having children. She wants to look good, feel good, and be at her best for herself and her famil
- The 48-year-old busy executive CEO that works in Northern Sydney, NSW, Australia? He’s committed to being at his best for his career and life while managing the tremendous pressures of a large company that relies on his leadership.
- And the 50-year-old professional with kids who are grown-up and out of the house that lives in Wimbledon, England? She signed up because she felt terrible about the weight she gained over the last 20 years taking care of everyone else but herself, and now she lives for outdoor challenges and hitting new fitness milestones.
Know the dominant emotional driver, and you can speak directly to what’s important to them and how they make decisions in taking action.
If you ever have clients tell you that an email or message you wrote “felt like you were speaking directly to them” then you know you’ve done this right! ☺
When you’re clear on the BEST prospective client for your business, you can align your sales and marketing activity and communication to speak directly to THEM.
And that’s how you become a fitness marketing rock-star.