Monday, March 26, 2007

Using PR To Generate Business

Public Relations as a marketing strategy can take the form of writing articles or columns for local newspapers, magazines, websites, offering an advice column, being a content expert for the media; television, radio or newspaper interviews, writing a press release, or having stories published about your clients and how you helped them.

Public Relations can be great for building credibility and prospect awareness, but generally does not result in an immediate surge of sales. The major benefit of PR is that it positions you a recognized expert and creates awareness of you and your services.

Getting press coverage for your business just for the sake of seeing your name in print is a complete waste of time. Public relations should be an integrated part of your overall marketing strategy.

As a fitness professional, the easiest way to get media coverage is to start locally with your neighborhood or regional newspaper. It’s easier to get your message heard by them then the national press also they are always looking for good stories about local business owners. Getting local coverage can lead to larger coverage. Also, don’t forget local newsletters and similar publications. They are generally much easier to get into and can help set you apart as a recognized expert.

When you pitch a story have an angle. Ask yourself, why is my story newsworthy? What's different about my service or my business that goes against the norm? Don’t try to use the reporter as your sales person. They hate a slick sales pitch. If you simply want to sell your services - buy an ad.

A great way to go about this is to piggyback current events or to make your pitch about one of your clients and how you have helped them. Make your client the subject of the story. This approach has the added benefit of giving you a client for life. Like I said - whenever possible, try to tie it into a national event or trend.

When you get press coverage be sure to leverage it.

Here are 6 ways you can leverage the press you get for maximum effect:

1. Send out a press release when your article or interview comes out.
2. Create a press kit that includes your bio, company overview, services offered, and all the interviews or articles you have done.
3. Put your press kit on your website by making it electronic.
4. Get reprints of your article and send it to your prospects as part of their direct mail package.
5. Send your press coverage to your local chamber of commerce if you belong. They are always looking for good stories about their members to print up in their newsletters.
6. Use your coverage to land speaking engagements. Send a reprint of your article to pertinent meeting planners and associations you want to speak at then follow up with a phone call to pitch your presentation.

If you want even more advice on how to grow your business through publicity, check out Jim Lbadie's Ultimate Publicity Kit at as I've just scratched the surface here.


Monday, March 19, 2007

The 6 Stage Sales Cycle For Fitness Professionals

Stage 1- Identifying your ideal target market. Decide exactly who you are trying to reach with your marketing message. Most fitness professionals are to broad when they are trying to identify their market and in turn their message is not specific enough to have great impact.

Stage 2 - Lead generation—finding prospects in your target market.
There are several kinds of marketing activities you can do to assist in this process including:

Direct mailings
Presenting to area associations in your target market
Public relations
Joint Ventures

Stage 3 - Prospect qualification—examining each of the potential prospects and qualifying them according to set criteria. One of the marketing efforts you can use at this stage is to make them fill something out—whether that’s an information request form, intake form, or requesting a free report.

Stage 4 - Individual consultation or assessment - where they have proven at some level they are a qualified prospect and they get to meet with you and have an individual consult or assessment—which is usually a soft sales presentation to determine if there is a good fit. Finding the prospect’s pain through questioning, identifying needs through an assessment, building value through a trial session and providing credibility with marketing materials like articles about you in the press or testimonials can develop value in your services and increase the level of confidence your prospect has in doing business with you.

Stage 5 - Sales Close – Offering your services to the client and asking them to take action. Steering clients to one or two options, assuming the sale and employing a ‘takeaway approach’ by telling the prospect that your service is not for everyone and might not be right for them unless they are genuinely serious are all effective ways to close more prospective clients.

Stage 6 - Providing the service. Once you land a client that’s just the beginning of the relationship, not the end. You always want to have an upsell, a next step. Use your ongoing marketing efforts to tell them about how you have helped other clients with different kinds of offerings. Keep them informed about your successes and media attention. Ask them for referrals on a regular basis. Don’t ever stop marketing to them.

The most expensive thing you can have is a short term client because it takes 6 times as much to find a new client than to service an existing one.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Would you like to be wealthy?

A few things to think about if you want to become wealthy:

Working 50 hours a week, if you want to make $100,000 a year, your ‘work hours’ need to be worth $40.

To earn $150,000, they need to be worth $60.

To earn $200,000, they need to be worth $80.

That’s not your per session rate – that’s what every working hour must yield. So, perhaps now is the time to start delegating some of that $7.00 / hr. work, huh?

On a related note, here are the top 20 millionaire’s success factors according to the book The Millionaire Mind, by Thomas Stanley, Ph.D.

Millionaire’s Success Factors

Being honest with all people
Being well disciplined
Getting along with people
Having a supportive spouse
Working harder than most people
Loving your career / business
Having strong leadership qualities
Having a very competitive personality
Being very well organized
Having an ability to sell
Making wise investments
Seeing opportunities others do not see
Being your own boss
Willing to take financial risks given the right return
Having good mentors
Having the urge to be well respected
Investing in your own business
Finding a profitable niche
Having extraordinary energy
Being physically fit

Look that list over and see what areas you consider yourself strong in and what areas need the most improvement. I certainly am.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Articles for you to check out...

Just had an article run in Fitness Business Pro you might want to check out. You can see it at:

Check out the Step-By-Step: Personal Training archives, lots of good stuff from Jim Labadie and myself.


Monday, March 05, 2007

"I just don't think..."

Have you ever had someone tell you that you can't do something? That you should just 'settle' for something less than your goal? That what you want is beyond reach or unrealistic?

Happens all the time. People try to steal your dreams away.

This weekend I got a quick reminder of how much someone can accomplish if they ignore the naysayers.

I and my wife Holly went to the Arnold Classic with Nick Berry and his fiance' (yep - he's getting married. Bet there are hearts breaking worldwide over that.) The event was cool, but a couple of people stood out to me.

Arnold Schwarzenegger - amazing. Here's a guy who came from tiny Austria, a country with a population of a little more than 8 million (which makes it about 2/3 the size of Ohio) in central Europe. He left bodybuilding at age 28 (though he did have a comeback 5 years later) as the greatest bodybuilder the sport had ever seen. Most people would consider that a lifetime worth of achievement. But that was just the beginning...

When he decided to embark on an acting career, he was repeatedly told he didn't stand a chance because of his thick accent, unpronouncable last name and overly large muscles.

Seemed to work out ok.

He then jumped into the political arena, and despite having no political background and being a Republican in a predominantly Democratic state - won the governor's office by a decided margin.

He's estimated to have a net worth of over 800 million dollars and made his first million before the age of 30...long before the acting riches started rolling in.

He also married a Kennedy.

Not too bad for a guy that could barely speak english when he came to the U.S.

And the other inspirational figure on the trip:

Randy Couture - 43 years old. Damn. He pretty much manhandled a guy 13 years younger, 40 lbs heavier, 6 inches taller with a much better record to regain the UFC's Heavyweight Title.

While the whole arena and probably 90% of those watching on Pay Per View were rooting for Courture to beat Tim Silvia - most all of them were hoping rather than expecting a Courture victory. What ensued was a Rocky-like performance that evoked cheers in the BW 3's we watched from that are typically reserved for Superbowls or Ohio State - Michigan games.

Regardless of your opinion of Arnold, Bodybuilding, Politics, Randy Courture or the UFC - these two guys both ignored the naysayers and overcame long odds to climb to the tops of their respective fields. They both reminded me that achieving your goals - regardless of how lofty - is simply a matter of staing the course and ignoring the naysayers.

What's standing in your way?

On a side note - We watched A.J. Roberts barely miss a 1003 lb squat Sunday morning. He's only 21...can you imagine what A.J.'s going to accomplish by the time he's 30? He has a new product coming out tomorrow - Ultimate Program Design - where he shares expert interviews with about a dozen of the industry's elite strength coaches as well as his own expertise. It's going to be a must addition to your library.