Whatever anyone tells you your business will not grow itself, and your services and products will not sell themselves.
When I first launched my software product Training Tilt I had one customer who signed up to the software got his products and services set up and launched his site. That's great he was up and running ready to go. A few months later I got an email asking me why I thought he hadn't sold anything through the site yet. I asked him what sort of marketing he was doing and whether he thought that was working for him. In reply he said he's not doing any marketing because he's not much of a salesman.
He did however post on his Facebook page that his new site was "now live". I checked out his Facebook page and he had about 300 likes on his page. Considering that there are common stats that show only around 5% of your audience will actually see any one post that's about 15 people then if you consider conversion rates of maybe 5% then you are looking at making a sale to 0.75 people. You can round that up or you can round it down but it doesn't really matter you get the picture. His return on investment (zero) was spot on. Put nothing in, get nothing out.
Many people think of the internet as a type of highway and your website is like a gas station that has people whizzing by and they'll call in and fill up their gas tank and while they are there they'll grab a coke and a hot dog. Happy days. But the reality is actually much different, think of your website like a cottage down a quiet, dead end country road behind an overgrown hedge. If you don't tell people where you are don't expect anyone to turn up for a tea and a scone.
I am totally guilty of this myself in my own business. To be honest this is partly what this blog is about. Sharing what I've learnt with others and at the same time promoting my own business. That's OK with me, put in work get results.
There are a bunch of other reasons why you aren't doing any marketing.
My results speak for themselves
Actually they really don't and they never will. Results 100% do not speak for themselves. Getting amazing results for your clients is the first thing that is absolutely required to have a successful fitness business but results alone won't mean much if you can't lever them and turn them into new clients and new revenue. Results will make a difference if you use them in your marketing. A great way to do this is through success stories on your website, first you need to find a client who is willing to be part of a story. If you've generally achieved amazing results for you clients this shouldn't be too hard. A case study could be around 500 words with some good photos and shares the story or the journey of you client. Another simple way is through client testimonials on your website. Each one needs only to be about 100 words long and an image of the client helps. If you've got a Training Tilt website all you need to do is go the testimonials admin page and add them in there and they'll appear on your site automatically.
Marketing is manipulative
So this is sort of true, you use marketing to attempt to "persuade" people to buy your products and services. Ask yourself this though; are your products and services worth buying? do you provide value and results to your clients? are people looking for something or someone to help them be healthier, fitter and stronger people? Of course they are, so if you provide those things then you aren't manipulating people you are just saying "Hey, I'm here and I can help"
People don't trust marketing
You are right, people often don't trust marketing and sometimes you need to build trust first. You can start to do that with what I've already mentioned with client success stories and testimonials but there are other ways too. The best way to build trust on line is by providing value to you potential clients before they have even considered getting out their wallet. This is where content marketing comes in. By providing a lot of valuable and informative free content you can build trust in your audience and then they will be more likely to purchase your product. For example just putting an ad on Facebook saying "hey buy my stuff" is much less effective than writing a blog post on "10 tips to become a healthier stronger you" and then at the bottom of the post you can include something like "If you want to take the next step in your health Journey get in touch or signup to one of our on line training plans". It's not quite as simple as that as effective content marketing requires consistently good content over time but hopefully you get the idea; provide value, gain trust, offer something more and get paid.
In my next post I'll be talking about how to use Content Marketing to build a sustainable business with little or no cost (but plenty of hard work).
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