It's really common for marketing gurus to talk about building connections with an audience through various social media platforms, a perfect website, sales funnel, or an email list. And, although these are great tools to get your audience’s attention, they don’t necessarily guarantee that your audience will connect with your offering.
You need to learn how to create a genuine connection with your audience first, as this will increase the chances your audience will love your product and invest their time and money. If you don't take the time to build this connection, your marketing efforts could potentially fall flat because your audience may see you as “the sleazy salesperson” trying to force a product on them, rather than your product being the perfect solution to a specific problem that they have!
In this post, I'm going to give you the 5 Most Effective Tips for Building Genuine Connection with your Audience as a Fitness Professional.
These tips will teach you how to:
Let’s face it: at the end of the day, if your audience doesn’t know, like, and trust you and believe your service solves their problems they won’t buy!
So, if you’re ready let’s dive into the 5 tips that will set you apart from other fitness professionals by showing your audience that you truly care and have their best interests at heart.
Whether you are connecting with your audience in person or online it is key to create an environment where they feel appreciated, respected, and heard.
A great way to get some ideas about how to create this type of environment is to think about what the experience is like for you when you interact with your favorite business. What is the client experience like? What sets this business apart from others that are offering the same service?
Visualize going through each step of your interaction with your favorite business: What is happening? How do you feel? As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor focused on building connections with individuals, here are 3 things I do in my business to create an environment that shows my audience just how important they are:
Client Appreciation Events 2x/year
Quarterly Coffee Check-in’s
Provide Access to My Expertise Online
Now, that you have a few ideas to use as inspiration, think about what you can do in your own business to make your audience feel more appreciated, respected and heard. What sorts of unique offerings can you give them that will set you apart from other fitness professionals?
It’s all about creating an environment that your audience will want to come back to again and again.
As I mentioned above, your audience will never invest in your offer if it doesn’t solve a specific problem that they have. So, it’s extremely important to start to understand their struggles so you can create offerings that provide solutions. Here are 2 extremely effective ways of finding out what struggles your audience is having:
DM Your Audience on Instagram or Facebook
Use Answerthepublic.com to Find the Most Popular Topics in your Niche
By the time you get to this tip, it’s very likely that your audience is starting to open up to you about their personal health and wellness struggles.
Now, it is incredibly important to actively listen to what they are saying and not to jump in to answer their problems too quickly. As a fitness professional, it's really common to spring forth with a solution because we want to show them how knowledgeable we are.
But remember, this process isn’t about you showing off your certifications or how much you know, so much as it is about allowing your audience to share their story and feel heard and respected. By just allowing them to fully expand on their struggles, you will not only gain more information about them, but you will demonstrate to them you truly care about them as individuals.
This once again helps to create deeper connection with potential clients and allows you to gain specific information that you can then use to create customized content geared toward their specific struggles. (Creating customized content again. Are you sensing a theme? )
For fitness professionals this can be incredibly challenging because if you teach multiple one-on-one clients, different fitness classes with different people attending each week, or are talking to multiple people online, the number of names to remember can start to become overwhelming.
However, all of the work you've been doing up until this point in Tips 1-3, will be far less impactful if you don’t address each member of your audience by their name. Think about all of the businesses your audience interacts with during a day, and how many actually go the extra mile to learn their names and use them on a regular basis. There probably aren’t many.
You doing this signals to your audience that they are important enough for you to remember details about them. This is a simple tip, but one that will set you apart from other fitness professionals who may say “Hi,” but never go that extra mile and address that individual by their name.
A great resource to help you remember people's names is this YouTube video by Jim Kwik: Remember Everyone’s Names. He is a memory expert, and his method for remembering names has helped me on countless occasions to remember the names of people that I had only met once or twice in passing. Give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how many names you will actually remember!
Now that you’ve put all that time and effort into treating each member of your audience as an individual, learning about their pain points and struggles, and creating rapport, it’s time to position yourself as the perfect solution to their problems. This is where you take everything that you’ve learned about your audience and create content that speaks specifically to them.
After following tips 1-4, not only will you have ideas for content because you’ve asked questions of your audience, but you have lots of people to market to who will listen because you took the time to connect and get to know them on a deeper level.
It is only now that you have taken the time to build a genuine connection with your audience that you start to start to focus more on building your website, social media platform, SEO, and sales funnels. All the work you’ve put in in tips 1-5, will make these tools work so much harder for you!
You can see that using the strategies these five steps, can take a lot of time, energy, and commitment. But the results will be well worth your efforts. You will actually save yourself time, money, and effort in the long run because you won’t be spending 100’s or 1,000’s of dollars on marketing campaigns that fall on deaf ears.
You will be the fitness professional who succeeds in this saturated health and wellness space because you genuinely connect with your audience, and treat them as individuals with appreciation and respect. I don’t know about you, but that’s definitely the type of health and wellness business I want to build and grow!
About the Author:
Marliese McGee is the founder of Holistic Happy Personal Training and Lifestyle Coaching. She creates welcoming fitness communities that bring mindfulness to movement, and teach you how to maximize your results and minimize your risk of injury/burnout.
Linkedin: Marliese McGee