When it comes to marketing your business, it is highly tempting to promote yourself in every possible way: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts, search engines, blogs, you name it. After all, the more you promote yourself, the better your chances of reaching potential clients, right? While that may sound like an effective strategy, it’s actually not. This is especially true if you are a one-man band and don’t have the support of a team behind you.
When you are doing everything on your own, you have to make sure that your time and energy are well spent. That said, the best marketing strategy is the one that is selective and intentional.
You want to choose the digital platforms and strategies that allow you to reach the people you intend to serve — your target audience. That can look different from one fitness professional to another which is why, before you can choose where and how you show up and market your brand, you first have to identify who your ideal client is.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
The first thing you need to do when planning your marketing strategy is take a step back and evaluate yourself as a brand. Ask yourself, “Who do I want to work with? Where do they get their information from?” Many new entrepreneurs establish a presence on YouTube or Instagram simply because it’s what they have seen other people in the industry do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is where your ideal clients are. Can you help anyone who wants to get fit, or are you looking to work with a specific group? Maybe you want to work with mothers who are in postpartum recovery, young college kids who want to learn to take care of themselves, or busy executives who are pressed for time but still want to prioritize their health.
Where Do They Spend Their Time?
Your potential clients should be able to find you at their point of search. That is, the point at which they are looking for exactly what you have to offer. This is a major reason why marketing on all platforms isn’t the most effective strategy; you may reach a large audience, but that may not include your ideal clients. Once you have determined who they are, ask yourself how they spend their time. What are they reading and watching? Where would they go to look for a fitness professional? Where could I show up and surprise them? Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client and walk yourself through the search process. Every step along the way is a potential platform for you to market yourself.
For example, if your intended audience is college students, Instagram may be a good place for you to show up, but that audience is very wide. It would be even more effective to market yourself on the university website, in the campus newsletter or even going in person to the campus rec center and speaking to everyone who walks through the door.
Choose Your Platforms
At this point, the hardest work is done — you know who your ideal client is and where they spend their time. Now you are ready to select the platforms you’ll use to reach them. This part is easy, but sadly, it’s not that simple. Forgive the statement of the obvious but, there are a ton of platforms out there! Far too many to choose from, which leads to that feeling I mentioned in the beginning of needing to be in all places at once. FOMO is a real thing! Trust me when I say that you are not missing out if you aren’t everywhere. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You’re missing out if you are in too many places. The real magic is in choosing platforms that are true to your brand, your bandwidth and that will give you access to the people you are most interested in working with.
These are some guidelines to keep in mind as you work through deciding where you’ll market yourself:
- Start with the basics: You need a place for your information to live. If it’s in your budget, create a website. If not, you can always create a profile on sites that list services similar to yours, like your local gym and Google Business. This will not only serve as your baseline online presence, but it will also give you a link to direct potential clients back to if they come across your information on a third-party website.
- Choose ONE social media platform to start with: Growing a following on any social media platform is equal parts art and science. You have to be consistent, engaging, and most importantly, authentic, if you want to be seen as an influencer in your field. Focus on growing your audience on one platform, and then, when you have mastered that one, you can take on another, but no more than two. (At least until you have the power of a team behind you).
- Go deeper rather than wider: If you find yourself creating content on two platforms and feel like you have the bandwidth to dedicate more time to your audience, rather than trying to take on a third or fourth platform, expand your reach on your existing ones. For example, if your Facebook page has grown, create a group where you can interact more with your followers. If your Instagram feed is consistently getting likes and comments, add weekly Live Q&A sessions. Create more ways for your followers to interact with you, or even with each other, rather than establishing new audiences on a new platform.
- This is where LinkedIn comes in: It’s important to meet your ideal clients where they are already looking for a service like yours, but it can also be really effective to show up in a place where they aren’t expecting you. If your ideal clients are busy corporate executives or entrepreneurs who, like you, are hustling hard to build their business, why not become a fitness influencer on LinkedIn? Lawyers have found clients on Tiktok, doctors have found patients on Instagram; it’s a way to cut through the noise of a saturated industry and still reach the people you want to serve.