Marketing Yourself by Public Speaking

I know many of you are immediately anxious at the idea of getting up in front of people and speaking. Of course, there’s a name for that, glossophobia. This fear of public speaking is a very common phobia and one that is believed to affect up to 75% of the population. At the same time, it is one of the best ways for you to market yourself and your business. In presenting valuable information to an audience in a professional, entertaining way, you can go far in getting people to know, like, and trust you and that is at the heart of marketing.

Mark Nutting presenting on brain fitness at a local Pecha Kucha.

Getting comfortable with public speaking is, for the most part, a matter of just getting up there and doing it. With time and experience, it gets easier to do. Here are some simple tips to get started (and it’s not about picturing your audience naked):

  • If you can, take a public speaking class and/or take an improv class. Improv is a great way to get confident in your ability to “come up with something” in front of an audience. It also allows you to throw in humor in a natural way, in the moment, and not sticking in a planned joke that rarely works. When you can do that, your anxiety level will be much lower.
  • Plan a short presentation. Getting up for 5 minutes is a lot less daunting than for an hour or more.
  • Make it about something that you are passionate about, something you’d be excited to share with others.
  • Start with a “safe” audience. Friends, family, and colleagues are less likely to make you feel nervous and can make for a great initial audience.
  • Whether you are using notes or doing a Powerpoint presentation, don’t script it. Bullet point the information you want to address, but know the topic well enough that the bullet points simply keep you on track.
  • Tell stories when you can. People find stories that make your case more engaging than a straight up list of facts.
  • Look for new opportunities to speak. Maybe it’s doing a short presentation in front of the local Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce, PTA, etc. (i.e. Pecha Kucha is a form of presenting that is 20 presentation slides (usually very visual slides) that are up for 20 seconds and then automatically move to the next slide. The whole presentation is less than 7 minutes and can be a fun way to get started speaking in front of strangers. See if there are any taking place near you.)
  • Make sure that your topic is something of interest to that particular audience.
  • Start to seek out more opportunities to speak. Again, the more you get in front of an audience, the easier it will be.
  • Create opportunities to speak if none exist. Hold talks or workshops or classes and invite your target audience to attend.
  • Lose your worry. Ha! That sounds simple enough, right? The truth is that we are nervous mostly because we believe we are going to be judged and judged harshly if we screw up. The truth is that most people know that getting up in front of others is challenging and will always give you the benefit of the doubt… as long as you provide content that is of interest to them.

Imagine that you go see a presenter. She delivers great content on something you were interested in and she did it in a professional way and made you laugh. Wouldn’t this take you a long way in knowing, liking, and trusting her? If you needed the service or product that she offered, wouldn’t she be the one that you would go to? This wasn’t one on one either. She made everyone in the audience feel that way and that’s why getting skilled at public speaking can be so great for marketing your business.

Now go. Start your journey on becoming someone who is confident addressing the masses.

Gotta Catch Em All… Trading Cards

The first baseball cards came out in the 1860s. The idea of collecting a complete set of whatever type card someone might be collecting has been a passion of many people for a very long time. Whether it’s sports cards, Marvel superheroes, or Pokemon, we’ve “gotta catch em all”. I don’t know what got me thinking about this, but I had, what I believe to be, a fun idea.

Members and clients feel more connected to a facility if they know, like, and trust the individuals that make up the organization. What if… you created a set of trading cards of your entire staff? Then, as a promotion, you tasked the members and/or clients to collect them all and offered prizes to those that accomplished that. They would get a bigger prize if they got them all signed, of course, because signed cards are always worth more.

You could give out random cards (just like you would find them in a gum package) for certain achievements such as taking a certain class or trying one of the club’s shakes. As in other card collecting, they could trade duplicates for cards they didn’t have yet.

Again, this would help members and clients connect with managers, trainers, teachers, cleaning staff, etc. and with that, a deeper connection to the club. I would try this in a heartbeat if we weren’t currently a two person operated boutique studio with two additional teachers. That doesn’t leave a lot of collecting to be done. (the pics above are just mock-ups)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if you decide to try it, I’d love to follow your progress with it.

It’s-Not-About-You!

Once again, I feel the need to remind fitness professionals that Facebook and IG pics and videos that show themselves in their intense, half naked glory is not driving new members to their business. “Look at me! Look at how good I look! Look how driven I am. Train with me if you want to look as phenomenal as I do.” (That’s only a little bit exaggerated.)

I’m not saying they don’t get a lot of likes and comments. People like to look at great bodies and insane workouts (while sitting on their sofas at home). However, do they think, “Yeah, I want that person to be my trainer.”? It’s not as likely as you may think.

First, a spectacular body can be very intimidating. It can make people feel that unless they reach that pinnacle, they are losers. The thoughts of, “I could never reach that.” is constantly at play in their head.

Second, photos or videos of intense workouts makes viewers think, “That’s just too hard!” and “I can’t do that!” Let’s face it, people were fascinated watching The Biggest Loser, but the images of overweight individuals working out so hard that they were sick or crying or both did not inspire that many people to start working out. Remember, 80% of the US population doesn’t get the prescribed amount of exercise and 70% are overweight or obese.

What inspires people are pictures of caring, kind personal trainers and people similar to them working out with doable exercises and intensities. In selecting photos or videos, think about your target market. Who are they? What do they want? Use media that represents them, not you. Because it’s just not about you.

Newsjacking: Riding News’ Coattails

At the writing of this article, these things are in the news:

  • the US is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave
  • the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ passes ‘Avatar’ to become biggest movie ever
  • it’s 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon
  • it’s National Ice Cream Day
  • Marvel announces at San Diego Comic-Con, its Phase 4 projects including the vampire hunter, Blade, to be played by two-time Oscar winner, Mahershala Ali.

“Newsjacking…”, in the words of David Meerman Scott (who wrote a book with the same name) “… is the art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story so you and your ideas get noticed.”

It's National Ice Cream Day! (1)

We’re having a heat wave and it’s National Ice Cream Day! What’s a person to do? Enjoy! It’s nothing a little Group Power won’t work off tomorrow morning. 😉 #heatwave #grouppower #nationalicecreamday #icecream #iscream#onlyineaston #jivafitness

So, what this means is, that by using trending, searchable terms (now easier with hashtags) such as #nationalicecreamday, or #heatwave, more people are likely to see your marketing and take notice of your business.

ice cream

Example of Newsjacking and how it can give more attention to your marketing efforts: Instagram search for #nationalicecreamday

Another benefit of utilizing newsjacking techniques is that it can be a timely way of creating a little fun with your marketing.

Note: I would recommend staying away from polarizing topics such as politics and religion.

For a little more on newsjacking, check out The Art of Newsjacking (And Its SEO Benefits) by Ramona Sukhraj

Make Your Marketing Reflect Your Target Market

If you have a specific niche market (and you should), your marketing should reflect that market. There are two types of pictures that I see used in personal training, health club, and fitness studio marketing pieces that got me started on this topic.

Gym equipment

  1. Pictures of empty equipment. A picture of just equipment may show what you have for features, but doesn’t show who you serve. (How will people looking for a place to exercise determine that “people like me work out here”?) In fact, a photo of equipment only can be confusing and intimidating to those not familiar with the pieces.
  2. Inappropriate stock photos There’s a great deal of stock photos that, while they may be attractive photos with attractive models, do not reflect your target market.  Always ask yourself, “Are these people someone my target market will relate to?” young women lifting weights in class

boomer

Use your own staff and clients if you can, because, (of course) that would be the most representative. However, if that isn’t possible, be very selective when choosing a stock photo. Make sure it will allow your target market to make a connection with the people in the picture. (Note: all photos are stock from Canva.com)

 

 

How to Start Your 2019 Marketing Calendar

2019 is right around the corner and while you may be focused on closing 2018, don’t wait to start planning your marketing for next year. Here are a few ways to get a start on it.

Marketing calen

  1. Holiday Marketing: There are more holidays than the average personal realizes and every holiday offers an opportunity to market a little differently. A national calendar of holidays can not only show you the major holidays, it can also some of the lesser holidays. (Did you know that Friday, Mar 1st is Read Across America Day, or that Monday, Aug 26 is Women’s Equality Day.) Choose holidays that are particularly meaningful to your target market and create marketing around those days.
  2. National Health Observances: National health observances are a great way to help you create events and Healthfinder.gov even has marketing ideas and materials to go along with these dates (although they haven’t yet put up the 2019 calendar).
  3. Annual Local Events: If your city or town has annual events like festivals, fairs, or benefits, think about how you might tie in to those to attract your target market.
  4. The Seasons: The change of seasons is another natural time to change your marketing.
  5. Your Own Events: Maybe you do something special on your business’ anniversary or create an event of your own (maybe a charity benefit). Write these down in the calendar at periods that fit with your other marketing efforts.

Potential clients/customers become blind to the same marketing and it’s important to change it up frequently enough so that doesn’t occur.

Once your calendar is populated with the events that will engage your target market, you then need to create a timeline for each marketing event. (i.e. how far out do you need to start getting the word out about it? What arrangements need to be made? What materials need to be created? Who has what responsibilities? etc.)

Creating a marketing calendar for the year keeps you on top of your marketing and allows smooth transitions from one campaign to the next. Take some time and map out your 2019 plan.

If you would like an excel template for 2019, just shoot an email to mark @ jivafitness.com and I’ll get it right out to you.

How Plateaus Happen in Business

We often talk about training plateaus, but plateaus can also happen in your business. Imagine your business growing steadily and then, all of a sudden, your growth stops. The number of clients or members that you have levels off and you’re left wondering, “What just happened.”

Sometimes these plateaus happen because you got comfortable with the amount of clients or members that you have and stopped actively seeking more. Maybe you decided to spend less money on marketing, or you went to fewer networking opportunities, or stopped asking for referrals. Those things that you did so diligently when you were trying to build your business have fallen by the wayside and… so has the growth of your business.

plateauOther times, you have continued marketing as you have always done and that’s the reason that business has slowed. If the public sees the same ad, picture, sign, or campaign, they can become blind to your marketing efforts. You can think of it as becoming desensitized to what your marketing is saying because they’ve seen it so many times before.

One more reason that you may have hit a plateau, is that something has changed in the market that you may not have noticed. This could be an economic downturn, seasonal change (this often catches new businesses by surprise), or maybe a new competitor opened in town.

These can all be avoided with some due diligence.

Never stop marketing. Even if you are currently comfortable, things change and it’s better to have too many people wanting your service and have a waiting list, than to have too few and leave yourself open to plateaus or downturns.

Always change up your marketing. Think of how often you change your clients’ programs (generally every 4-6 weeks). You can use that same kind of thinking when it comes to your marketing. You can literally periodize it. Plan out your macro, meso, and micro cycles for marketing.

Finally, pay attention to what’s going on in your community. What’s happening in the economy, what events are taking place, who’s new in town. Knowing what’s going on can not only prevent a loss in business, but can show you new opportunities for growth (what might you do if your realized a competitor was actually closing?).

This isn’t to say that you can prevent all plateaus, but these are some common reasons that they occur and some solid ways to prevent them.

Having Fun With Your Marketing

Marketing can sometimes be very dry and if your target audience is really looking hard for your service, maybe, just maybe, they will wade through boring copy for it. However, if you can add a little humor into your marketing, your audience will happily read what you have to say. The Instagram Untitled design (2)post shown is a simple, light Halloween post that got some great feedback. Many business folks will say that you need to have a serious “call to action” (and sure, I could have done that here. “Act now and get…”), but remember that just keeping your business in the consumer’s mind is important in and of itself. Plus, if you can throw a smile their way, that will increase their sense of connection with you. This, in conjunction with content that shows your expertise and builds trust (in the forms of blog posts, article links from reputable sources, etc.), will make you their choice when it comes to selecting a professional or business to help them reach their health and fitness goals.

Serious professions are great (and I’m not knocking the serious folks), but if your target market can get the technical skills AND have some fun, you can bet that they will choose the latter. After all, laughter is the best medicine.

What’s Smarketing?

I read the term in an email newsletter today, Smarketing, is a coming together of a business’s sales and marketing teams. According to the article, these two teams are often at odds, blaming each other when sales quotas aren’t achieved. The article then goes on to suggest ways to get the teams to communicate and cooperate. I have to say that I believe there is a bigger disconnect when this situation occurs.

Sales + Marketing =Smarketing, sales and marketing teams (and, in fact, all teams) working successfully together, should be happening from the start. In the mission, the mantra, the “Why” of the company it should be clearly communicated what the company is trying to accomplish and why that is important to the owners, employees, the community, and even the world. All employees should be working toward that bigger picture and not “for the money”. If these often commission-based teams are at odds, it’s because the management or ownership has set it up that way. If the marketing team is penalized when the sales team doesn’t make their quota, of course they might be upset or even resentful.

As I write this, my mind gets pulled toward research on types of rewards that motivate employees (that’s my excuse for the “stream of thought” direction this is taking). For most employees, money is the least motivating tool and, when used as the primary reward, the job becomes about the money and not being part of the company’s mission. On the other hand, if the reward is public appreciation (saying “great job” in front of others) or providing lunch for the team (maybe including the public praise), the response is to work even harder at furthering the mission of the company. Isn’t that what we all really want from our employees?

So….. my point…. the problem of animosity or the “us against them” between teams is an owner/manager issue. You either hired people that are not believers in your mission, you didn’t make your mission clear, or you’ve set up your compensation in a way that can put your teams at odds with one another. This is not about just trying to help them get along. That’s just treating a symptom and not the underlying problem. This requires a fundamental change that may be difficult for all involved, but will ultimately eliminate the problem and unify the company.

 

Know Your ROI

ROI, Return On Investment, is a measure of success. Did what you put into something produce a profit or benefit, and if so, how much? Was it worth it? More often than not, when we are talking about ROI, we’re talking about money and profit. However, it could also mean time and effort put into a project. The point of looking at the ROI is to determine if it makes sense to do it again.

Businessman drawing ROI (return on investment)

As an example, let’s look at running an advertisement in a local magazine. Say the ad cost you $650 and will run for a month. First, how are you going to know if it worked? You should always ask new clients/members how they heard about you. This is your effectiveness tracker. From this ad, you get only one new client. Was it worth it? Before you get all “What? I placed this ad and only got one new client??? That’s not worth it.”, think about what one new client is worth. If a client trains with you once a week (staying somewhat conservative) for a year and you charge $65/session, that means that just for that first year that client is worth (let’s see… $65 x 52 weeks = $3380) $3380. What was the ROI on that ad? One way to figure that out is to subtract the investment (or cost) from the gross income which gives you your net income or profit. Then divide the net income by the cost, in this case $3380 – $650 = $2730 divided by $650 which + 4.2 or 420% ROI. This, at least in my books, is a worthwhile investment.

jack-of-all-tradesThat was a straight financial example. Sometimes your investment is your time in putting together or creating a project or program. Because I’m good at a lot of things (you know, jack of all trades, master of.. well, a couple) this is where I often find myself. I could do it myself, but… is that where my time best spent? To find the ROI on a project or program you need to look at the cost of spending your (or someone else’s) time compared to what kind of return you will get. If a project is going to take you 10 hours and your hourly rate is $65, that’s a $650 investment. Estimate what you believe your return will be and then calculate the ROI for the project. Is it worth you spending your time to do it? Could you get a better ROI by having someone else do the work? This is an important exercise to go through.

Now, of course, not everything has to have a profit to be worth undertaking. Maybe you spend time or money on something where the only return will be the self-satisfaction of having done something good for someone else. This can include hosting or supporting some benefit event. Here, you simply need to ask, “Can I afford to do it?” and “Is it important enough to me, for me to invest in it?”

Understanding the ROI on your investments is crucial to building and maintaining a healthy business. Make sure you track the successes and, yes, failures by looking at the ROI of your efforts.