At MyFitCoach, we spend our days helping others to build their fitness businesses and over the last few years, we have learned a lot about what traits are likely to make your business successful. Over the next several weeks we will be sharing a series about what we have found to be most important in establishing your fitness business.
As we mentioned in last week’s article, you will be able to create a brand and marketing strategy that works when you know who you are trying to reach. In fact there are many benefits to narrowing your target market and even some dangers if you don’t.
It is tempting as a small business to accept every business opportunity or customer who comes your way, but trying to provide different services to various types of clients will set you up for failure.
The best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to become an expert in one area and to focus on customers who are looking for your specific services.
Let’s use one of the examples from last week’s article and start to narrow the target market for these coaches:
I am a physique competition coach who creates online training and nutrition programs for novice competitors.
Who is the ideal client for this coach?
- Novice physique competitors
- Looking for online programming (don’t need to be local)
This coach is likely capable of also working with clients who are looking to lose baby weight after pregnancy or help athletes to increase their speed to become more competitive. But doing this waters down the coach’s skill set. Instead of targeting one specific type of client and becoming an authority on physique competitions, he gets lost in the crowd of personal trainers in his area. Plus, he is not working on what he is passionate about…in an effort to provide multiple services, he is losing focus on his why! (If you haven’t already discovered your why, you should start by reading the first article in this series: Discovering Your Why)
It may seem counterintuitive to exclude clients when you are trying to grow your business, but if you focus on your specific target market, you will build more than a client base, you will build a brand and a reputation as an expert in your field. Plus, you can always direct clients to other coaches who specialize in other areas. The client will get what they need from a trainer and your colleague will appreciate the referral, and who knows, they may send some clients that fit your target market your way in the future.
How do you start narrowing your target market?
Now you know the benefits to having a specific target market, but how do you get started?
First, look at your current customer base. What clients are your ideal clients? Would other clients like them benefit from your services? Looking at your specific service as you defined it last week, who are you already providing that service to? (If you haven’t clearly defined your services, you need to check out last week’s article: Defining Your Services). If you could design the dream client, what would they look like?
- Fitness Goals
- Geographic Area
Don’t forget to look at Psychographics.
Psychographics are the more personal characteristics of a person.
- Interests, hobbies
Hopefully by now you have a good picture of your target market. But how do you learn how to market specifically to them?
This part takes a little bit of work, but it will be worth it. Start by doing some online research. See if you can find some research on your target market (no need to reinvent the wheel). Here are a few ways to gather information about your ideal client:
- Read current research about marketing to your ideal client
- Follow blogs written by or to your target market
- Visit blogs or forums where members of your target market communicate their opinions
- Create an online survey
- Ask your current clients for feedback
Once you have gathered your data, you will be more familiar with your ideal client and will be equipped to market directly to your target market.
Once you start implementing your marketing plan, you will need to assess what is working and what needs to be tweaked…and in time you will establish yourself as the expert that you are and will attract the right clients!
Let us know if you need guidance with this step, it can feel overwhelming, but we are happy to help you work through it!