Erica’s new book ‘Simple Tips, Smart Ideas : Build a Bigger, Better Business’ is out now. Full of her usual easy-to-use advice, lots of case studies, quick tips, diagrams and innovative ways to think about growing your business – its 288 full colour pages will help you transform your business. Available from Amazon, Foyles and other leading booksellers.
I was recently watching the Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin series Grace & Frankie on Netflix. Recalling her aerobics video work-outs back in the day, I realised that here was a lady who was focusing on healthy exercise, eating sensibly and meditation to keep at her best as she moved through life. With the explosion of interest in health and wellbeing across the globe, there is a huge amount of guidance to choose from across the internet and social media. So how do you work out what suits your body best, whose workout or regime can achieve the results you want and how do you connect with them? In asking this question, how about we flip it round? As a health and fitness practitioner, how do you find your audience? How do you stand out in a noisy competitive world ensuring your offer finds traction?
Understand why it is your regular clients come to you
This sounds very simplistic, but as a business it is critical to unpack the secrets to your class or one-to-one success. Do you have a unique approach, does your methodology affect different aspects of a client’s physique, are you working to identify particular issues? Knowing and focusing on your core commercial strengths is important. If you don’t know it, how can you sell it, promote it and expect others to shout about it? Use your experience, qualifications, testimonials, and way of working to develop your USP (unique selling point).
Develop a clear brand
Just as you buy into brands and have a relationship with them, you need to ensure your branding is strong and aspirational. You want your growing followers to see you as unambiguous and with a clear voice across all your marketing touch-points. This world is very crowded; do you have a fresh, genuine brand for people to find and connect with? If you don’t, take time to develop it. If you do, is it consistent?
Ensure you know what you are marketing
As you begin to develop your studio followers, focus on what it is you are marketing. Think through how you can adapt this to online. What will it require to build content, how are you going to engage? Are you looking to sell products and courses online, or are you looking to build an audience and go down the affiliate revenue, influencer marketing route? Or a combination of both? You need to take time to look at the different business models that online will offer you and understand how to make the most of the one/s you choose.
Study the influencers, blogs and social media stars that are doing well
With social media being so readily available, learn how to view and interpret the models of those you respect, those you feel are doing well and compare them to those you feel are doing less well. What is the difference? Why? Can you mitigate these factors as you build your own brand?
Don’t feel you have to know all the answers
With the explosion of social media and its use by so many different businesses, you shouldn’t expect to be an instant expert. Would it help you to do a social media strategy course to ensure you get your social media offer and engagement right? Whether online or at a weekend bootcamp, learning how to develop target personas, build audience and create effective and impactful campaigns will give you the tools and help you need to build your online business faster, potentially saving you time and money.
Using social media to build your health and fitness business needs to be just as well-planned and methodical as any other commercial activity. It is about getting your brand right, the offer right, building a solid commercial strategy and then implementing the marketing consistently across the right channels to the target audience you have identified.
The difference from Jane Fonda’s workout video heydays is that your business can now engage with your audience in an infinitely more personal, close-up way than she ever did – so use it to build the business you want.