You can’t be everything to everyone.
That’s a rule that every successful small-business owner has learned.
A smart variation that applies for all your small-business communications, too:
You can’t say everything to everyone every day.
At least not effectively. You must know your fitness message and audience first.
Yet I meet gym or studio owners all the time who haven’t developed their business niche, plan, or communications strategy beyond, “I want to train people.”
They come to me frustrated when their website, branding, and social media don’t get any traction.
They usually have no idea why, or what to do, and admit that they’re just throwing wet spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.
As a communications adviser, I try to drill down beyond what they think is the problem and get to the heart of it:
They don’t really know why they’re in business.
If you’re clear on what you’re trying to do – AND FOR WHOM – then the rest will flow clearly from that. If you know your fitness message and audience first.
For example, if you open a gym for everybody and you just hope somebody might come in sometime, then what kind of message are you sending? How’s anyone going to know it’s for them?
Fitness Message and Audience First
Consider some extreme examples.
- My gym is for teenage boys who want college football scholarships.
- My gym is for first-time mothers to get their beach bodies back.
- My gym is for people over 50 who want to enjoy life as fully as possible for as long as possible.
Whatever it is, your key messaging, your marketing content, your images… EVERYTHING … should make that clear, right away.
Let’s say you want to reach the over-50 market. (And you really should because that’s where the money is.) If someone goes to your website and finds photos of Size 2 super-models and boyish studs with their shirts off, then the messaging sends an entirely different signal. Someone landing there won’t have any idea what you’re all about, so they won’t be able to decide if you’re the business for them.
But if it shows mature, active, happy adults? With text that says something like, “We help people over 50 get fit to enjoy life”…?
Then you’re grabbing the right people and delivering your first key message to them.
Anyone else? They’ll keep looking, and that’s OK. They’re not for you.
If your content and presentation don’t speak to anyone in PARTICULAR, then they are speaking to no one – and deafening silence is the only and inevitable response.
No Point Wasting Time
So, before we get down to the nitty gritty on your website or your Facebook posts, you need to know your fitness message and audience first.
- Who do you want to serve?
- What are your key messages and differentiators?
- What do you want consumers of your information to do? This isn’t necessarily a strict call to action, so you can’t say, “I want them to give me their business.”
With every piece of communications you send out – to anyone – you must know 1) who’s the audience; 2) what’s your message; and 3) what do you want them to do.
Otherwise, you’re just saying everything to everybody all the time, and we know what that’s like: throwing noodles at the wall.