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How to Get New Clients

Once you’ve figured out who your ideal prospects are and gotten inside their heads to understand their fears, objections and motivations that might prevent them from becoming customers, the next step is to address their objections so that they do become paying customers.

Before we begin, imagine you’re Get Fit Britt from the last article. You type ‘Functional fitness YourTown’ into Google and end up on your gym’s site. What is Britt looking for? What’s going to get her to call you instead of the other three gyms she’s going to check out once she clicks the back button and looks through the other gyms that Google has suggested?

Here’s what’s going to make her call you, instead of your competitors: when your website to address her fears and objections, and lets her know that you’re going to help her meet her goals.

The most effective way to do this is by writing useful articles on your website to address each concern. When you educate visitors through good quality content, your marketing comes off as non-pushy and helpful. Unfortunately nobody wants to hear your “message”, but they do want answers to their questions. So when you educate instead of market, your visitors will 1) have their objections about trying functional fitness addressed, and 2) come to trust you as an expert who they can rely on. And when their objections are addressed, and they decide to try functional fitness, guess who they’re going to go with? Someone they trust.

Your articles will also be indexed by Google, which *loves* websites that regularly write quality content. In other words, write good content and Google will send traffic your way (more on how to optimize your articles for Google soon).

The CrossFit Journal and K-Starr’s Mobility Project are two phenomenal examples of marketing through education in the functional fitness community. You can learn from them.

As Chris over at Don’t Buy Ads writes:

A client who reads our blog daily and finds information, delivered for free, to a large audience, is more likely to commit for the long term than a client asking questions in our office. Any client who accepts you as an authority, instead of just the holder of their long-term contract, will be more likely to become a part of your gym family.

This goes double for people who have yet to become clients.

Can I Interest You in a Used Car?

This exercise requires that you look at the experience of becoming a client from someone who doesn’t train in functional fitness. As someone who probably eats, breathes, and sleeps (not to mention sweats!) functional fitness, this can be tough. Before picking up the proverbial pen to write, try talking to friends who don’t do functional fitness (or family, if you don’t have any non-athlete friends!) to understand whether the articles you’re thinking of writing would answer their concerns.

Let’s take a look at Get Fit Britt’s concerns from the last article, and the list of articles you could write to address them.

Objection / Concern Possible article
What is functional fitness? Describe functional fitness from a lay-person’s perspective. What benefits will it give them? How is it different from other fitness programs? How does it work?
Am I in good enough shape to do functional fitness? Explain how workouts are scaled (and explain what “scaling” means!) Show videos of people of all fitness levels doing functional fitness. Describe examples of scaling – “if you can’t do a pullup, you can do jumping pullups to start”)
What types of things would I have to do in a typical class? Describe how the hour-long class breaks down: warmup, strength, met-con WOD (describe what met-con means), mobility. Describe and show videos of typical workouts.
How do I get started? Do I get eased in? I’d die if I had to do the workouts I saw on your blog. Describe how your on-ramp classes / program works, and why (You need to get the technique down and probably get your base fitness level up). Talk scaling. Talk about how everybody gets started the same way and improves – even the people who are now firebreathers were once like you.
Will I lose weight doing functional fitness? Do you want to lose weight? Talk about the role of diet vs. exercise in weight loss.
Will functional fitness make me look like Arnold Schwarzenegger? Talk about the role of genetics in determining physique.
Is this gym friendly for beginners? Show videos of on-ramp graduates talking about their experience as beginners. Talk about the penalty you have if athletes don’t introduce themselves to new members. Show photos from other events prominently (holiday parties, BBQs, nights out, etc).
Do other women workout here? Interview a few of your female athletes of all shapes and sizes about their experience working out at your gym.
Do they have showers? I have to go back to work after class. I’m sure you can figure this one out :)
Is functional fitness safe? Talk about how rare rhabdo is, and who usually gets it (athletes who are used to pushing themselves) and when it usually occurs (during exercises like jumping pullups). Talk about technique vs. intensity, your coaching quality, and how functional fitness can be safe with slightly broken-down technique at high intensity.
What’s the community like? Is this place fun? Show photos of people enjoying themselves at your gym! Smiles go a long way towards making people feel comfortable!

You can do this exercise for Weekend Warrior Wayne, Fire Breather Fran, or any other persona you come up with. You’ll have a list of great pre-sales objections to address, and you can start knocking them off one by one (a manageable pace is one article a week, then moving up to two until the list is done).

So once you’ve made your potential customers feel comfortable with the idea of starting functional fitness, the next step (and subject of our next post) is to have them take some action on your site to move closer to becoming a customer.

Categories: online marketing.

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2 Responses

  1. For the type of content suggested, is this recommended as blog content or website content? Either way, you describe using it to build a relationship with new and current customers with the content, but how do you drive the customers to the website?

  2. Well, both are important. Your home page, the page someone lands on by following the CrossFit.com link to you or by searching in Google should be your main focus when thinking about building that relationship with your prospective clients. You’ll want to make sure that they aren’t ‘landing’ on the typical WOD blog with no clear call to action, “Sign up for an intro!”, “Give Us A Call!”, etc…

    The question as to how to drive customers to your website in the first place is a good one. You can spend hours and hours of time you don’t have studying the ins and outs of this question (and SEO in general) but the one good way to do it is to make sure you are posting good relevant content to your blog. Then share, share, share that content across your network social, online, and offline. Collect those posts at the end of the month and send them out as a “newsletter” to your email list of current clients, tell them to share it with their friends.

    If you are posting stuff people want to read and share then spreading it around will take care of itself!

    These are just a few options for you to think about and use, let me know if they work for you!