“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.”
― Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors (1943 – 1971).
Stop trying to be like others. Stop copying others. The fitness industry is rampant with trainers believing in ‘others’ success; others ability – and not their own.
Trainers, whether new, old or well ambitious have this belief where if they copy what others are doing, they’ll gain the same success.
Every time I set up a successful gym marketing campaign for my new clients and it’s an instant hit, quickly other trainers try copying the ad…
…thinking the ad itself (not the campaign) is the key to its success.
There’s one reason why trainers love copying successful trainers ads: It’s easy.
But there’s a complex structure behind every marketing campaign. In many cases it’s secret and cannot be duplicated by an outsider. Your ability to ‘copy’ is based on what you can see. If you only see the ad, then copying it, (hoping it’ll bring you the same results) will lead to your failure.
Trainers whom I teach this phenomenon (and know it) still have anxiety when they see nearby trainers copying and using similar wording in their ads.
“Oh, John this other trainer today put up an ad, promoting their program which is similar to mine. They used the same wording, the same prices, the same format and the same layout. I’m so frustrated why they’ll just copy and undercut me like that. I’m worried they’re going to steal my leads!”
“No they won’t” I replied. “You watch, they’ll get only a few sign-ups (if any), they’re going to fail, and never run anything against you again.”
“Really?!… Should I do anything to protect my business?”
“Nope. The market has spoken. Just sit back with me, relax and watch your competitors fail”
You see, if you’ve set up your marketing campaign correctly, you’ll never have competition. You carve out your niche and if you inject your personality into it correctly, you speak directly with the people attracted to your business.
But be warned; as a result of your success, prepare to watch other trainers in your community change career paths within 12-15 months. Meaning, if you’re a gym based trainer, you’ll see new trainers struggling to get business – and lose their career ambitions. The same will happen to any trainer, even those who’ve made a lifelong career out of it.
Marketing is not just about ‘copying’ what others are doing and hoping you’ll achieve the same results. It’s identifying the structure of what works and filling in the gaps. For example, if a trainer runs a successful promotion – and all you see from the outside are a few posters, social media videos, posts and ‘limited time only’ slogans planted everywhere… and you copy it and change a few things for your own promotion – then, you’ll fail.
The reason? You’ve replicated the ads, not the marketing structure.
When people make buying decisions, something gets triggered inside themselves at a much deeper level; multiple processors persuading and motivating the inner workings of the mind – which all connect and trigger a buying response.
That’s where personality comes into it.
In this day and age, trust is important. In case you don’t know, trust doesn’t mean you’re kind and caring. It means your message and branding is in alignment with the personality of the person communicating with your message.
For example, an extroverted type will respond to the excitement of huge group classes with social interaction or one-on-one PT consisting a variety of workouts with a ‘talkative’ trainer – knowing the extroverted persons mind will be kept active throughout the experience.
To that person, you’ll be perceived as someone who ‘gets’ him or her, therefore you’re felt as a trustworthy trainer. On the other hand, to the introvert, you’ll be repelled and described as ‘scary’ and will instead be compelled to search for the more reserved, ‘private’ personal trainer.
In other words, your perceived energy level in your marketing is one component in communicating your message.
Another component may be lifestyle. Do you want to attract clients who like following an organised structure; who are motivated by seeing progress – or would you rather clients who want to train with you because it’s a fun event, a curious adventure and they just like interacting with you?
Either way you look at it, you must know the kinds of people you want in your business and your message and campaign must reflect that. Remember, it’s more than just running an ‘ad.’
It’s always something a prospect has seen, felt or heard about you that triggered the buying responses inside them.
Have you ever had the experience of a lead coming to you and instantly feeling the connection – which resulted in the easiest sale ever? Most PT’s have experienced this at least once.
On the other hand, PT’s have experienced and are experiencing a bunch of non-converting leads – who initially made the effort to come and see them, and leaving with “I’ll think about it.”
There’s always a reason why a person converted and why they did not. Sometimes it can be as simple as ‘price’ (it shouldn’t happen often) – and at other times – a more complex process outside your awareness. In either case, it’s your fault as to why you’re being rejected. It’s you, not your leads or the ‘market’. You must take responsibility for yourself because it happens inside first.
If you’re attracting leads which are difficult to convert, then ask yourself what you need to change with your message. If you’re converting clients and they don’t ‘gel’ with you – and don’t stay for long, ask yourself what you did wrong, why it happened and what you could do differently. Think of yourself as the ‘core’ which controls your environment. If something’s not right with the environment, then the core is to blame. Coming from that mindset – you’ll improve as an individual and you turn into a problem solver who’s responsible and in charge of your business life.
Who you are as an individual is your core and it reflects who you are to your outside environment. Your marketing message must reflect who you are. It must be in alignment with everything you do. Sometimes your marketing can attract a certain person into your business, but as soon as that ‘sense’ is broken by any misalignment (character, appearance, mannerisms, beliefs, body language, dress – or something else), then the trust is broken. Clients will cease to be clients and leads will not convert.
Even if you use all the latest sales ‘techniques’ to convert your client – the fact you had to use any sales tactics is an indication you’re not marketing to your full potential – and you’re not attracting the ideal leads into your business.
Your personality is everything and your ability to attract clients is affected by how well your message is absorbed by your target market. It goes beyond solely focusing on ‘price’ and what you offer. Your target market has a criteria for their motivation. Is your message meeting that criteria – or is it just another ‘train with me today because I have an ad.’
So the next time you run an ad, ask yourself this: Does this ad persuade the right emotions based on the personality of my brand…or is it giving the opposite effect?
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”