Hands down, the question I’m asked most frequently is, “How do I get new bodies in the door?” It’s an important one. Even the most successful businesses churn members, so we all have to be prepared with strategies to attract, nurture and retain new clients. Always.
Before I go on, I do need to add a disclaimer: your attraction strategies are only as powerful as your salespeople. People sell services. So, if you don’t have a great followup process that includes likable, authentic, sales-minded folk who LOVE what you do and can really educate and inspire, I want you to hit the red x at the top of your screen and go watch this free training. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
But let’s say you’re all set up with a killer followup strategy, and you need new clients to fill the top of your funnel. It all boils down to one thing: the KLT factor.
Prospective clients need to Know, Like and Trust you enough to enter their credit card information into your system. So let’s break down how to do it.
It sounds simple, right? Prospective clients need to know you exist. But consider this, have you ever had a newbie wander into your 5 year old studio and say, “I had no idea you were here”? If you have, it’s time to build some brand awareness.
Online, one of the best places to do that is through Google Ads. Why? By the time someone’s googling ‘yoga near me,” they’re HOT and ready to buy. You still need to have a fantastic message and a story to tell, but there’s a lot less nurturing that needs to be done when someone comes to you through Google. If your marketing budget is limited, this is where you’ll see the most bang for your buck online (right at this moment - if you happen to read this in 2 weeks, don’t @ me — that’s how fast these things change).
For a brick and mortar studio, some of the most powerful strategies for building brand awareness are actually done OFFLINE. Think referral programs, partnerships with other businesses and really great, clear signage can all drive major interest in your biz. Don’t believe me? My fiance just installed a new sign at his jiu jitsu studio that says…ready? JIU JITSU. And with ZERO strategy besides a Google Ad, he’s seen a huge uptick in members this WEEK. It matters.
On my discovery calls with clients, nearly all of them say the same thing (which is sincerely appreciated): “I feel like I already know you.” It’s not an accident. I invest hours of time every week planning and shooting video that’s meant to both educate AND leave just a liiiittle bit of unknown that inspires the watcher to take the next step. The most powerful means of developing a relationship with your audience is helping them feel like they know you — through video.
Video is such an important medium because it’s our only real means of showing our personalities, mannerisms and authenticity online. Think about it, writing is great (I’m doing it now!) but video is faster, more digestible and much more likely to illicit an emotional response in the watcher, which is exactly what we want.
It’s also how we build the likability factor — by letting the audience into our world. Through video, they know we’re real people, on a real mission and that we actually have the goods to help them get their lives together.
But just in case that’s not enough…
Social proof is an insanely powerful influencer on decision-making. Reviews and testimonials matter. Get them. There are a few wonderful companies (I like Broadly) that automatically harvest reviews from clients and place them where they count - on Google ;)
It’s one thing to talk about the results you help your clients achieve (and you should) but it’s another to have someone do the legwork for you. And this is no joke - for nearly all brick and mortar fitness businesses, almost 50% of their new customers come through good ol’ fashioned word-of-mouth — so make sure your people are speaking as loudly as they can, and reward them for doing so.
Some other words of advice: customer attraction is as much an art as it is a science, and this is the long game. For as long as you have a business, you’ll never stop needing to generate new leads, and the landscape is constantly changing. You’re going to have to test, track and tweak your offers until you find one or two or three that really work. Full disclosure: we’re testing six ads at my studio right now. So try not to beat yourself up when a campaign goes awry — we’ve all been there. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who learn from their mistakes, pick themselves up and continue to adapt. The tenacious survive, promise!