Fitness Business: How to Promote Your First Fitness Workshop
Having any kind of success with a fitness workshop requires more than good information, a good presentation, and a good coach, it requires a strategic promotional marketing campaign to tell the world about it. Just like everything else I write about marketing in the fitness industry, I always relate this back to a good workout plan. You need an objective, a timeline, a method, and consistent execution. Here I describe the basics of those components.
This marketing plan assumes that you have already created a solid description of what your fitness workshop is. If you haven’t, you need to read How to Create a Fitness Workshop. If you have, please read on!
There are essentially three “steps” to this process, although the second step is composed of three components that will need to be done simultaneously.
Step 1: Outline Your Fitness Workshop Marketing Campaign
Now that you know what the workshop is, when it’s going to be, and where it’s going to be held, you can start telling people about it. However, just like every other method I promote with both fitness and business, you need to have a solid structure that systematically gets you results. Just like I teach all of the fitness professionals I help out, you can’t tell people too many times about anything.
You’ll never hear anyone say, “Did you hear about that movie release that made $200 million the first night? I didn’t even know it was being made, and then there it was!” No, no, no. No matter how big the actors are, who directed it, or what the story is about, they advertise the s@*t out of it until you’re so sick of hearing about the release date that you can’t wait for it to be over. And this is ESPECIALLY if the movie is going to suck (not that your workshop will suck, but you get my point).
Now, I’m going to give you a very basic summary of a workshop marketing campaign. This is a free marketing campaign that involves guerrilla tactics and free online marketing techniques; if you’re looking for ways to spend thousands of dollars promoting yourself, this isn’t going to help you. If you want a full how-to guide, you’ll need to get my book. If you’d like me to do all the hard work for you, you’ll need to hire me. However, I did include some tips and tricks that will still be extremely useful.
This marketing plan involves my three primary, low-cost marketing techniques in a single campaign. I can’t answers these questions for you because I don’t know who you are, how many people you’re looking to attract, or what your workshop is about, but it will give you an idea of where you should be heading:
Content Marketing Campaign
How many posts are you going to do?
How often will you publish them?
Social Media Campaign
How many direct promotional posts are you going to do?
How many related promotional posts are you going to do?
How often are you going to do both?
Email Marketing Campaign
How many direct promotional email campaigns are you going to do?
How many related promotional email campaigns are you going to do?
How often are you going to do both?
Step 2a: Content Marketing Support
I talk about Content Marketing a lot, and that’s for a good reason; I believe that is the only way to truly connect the services and products you offer with the people that can benefit from them. With Content Marketing, you’re not “selling” them on anything; they are looking for information and you simply provide it. The fact that they want to use your services after that is because they appreciate the information and they now have more trust in what you are offering.
To support your workshop you’ll want to come out with 3-10 content pieces before the event. These pieces should provide some small detail of the information you’re planning on teaching and lead them to the workshop if they’d like more information on the same vein. The pieces could be tips, tricks, exercise demonstrations, sample workouts, techniques, etc. In my book I outline each type of piece and how to create it, and with my service I’d tell you exactly which pieces to produce.
You’ll want to release each piece leading up to the event on a regular schedule (say Mondays and Wednesdays) and be sure to include a link and banner to the event. You’ll also be using each piece to produce your related promotional social media posts and email campaigns.
Step 2b: Social Media Marketing
While you should include some pictures and graphics that simply say, “Come to my workshop,” most of your social media and email marketing should be promoting your Content Marketing pieces, subtly promoting your workshop. The cool thing about having the free content is that it gives you a pass to promote whatever deeper knowledge you have to offer beyond the free information you’re providing.
With social media, you also get to test out which concept you’re presenting has a greater impact and response. While the content (article, video, graphic, etc.) could talk about anything, let’s say, “5 Tips to Improve Your Kettlebell Swing” for example, you can post it on your social media channels with any headline you want. For that piece, you could say something like, “Common mistakes you’re probably making with the kettlebell swing.” Same piece, different approach. Try out different one’s and see where that gets you in terms of traffic and conversions (conversions in this case being tickets sold).
In terms of direct promotional posts versus related promotional posts, I would do 5 related for every 1 direct. You don’t want to burn people out on, “buy my stuff,” and this ratio will help prevent that.
If you’re unfamiliar with social media marketing, let me make it simple: use Facebook. Facebook allows you the most likely audience that will attend your event, and the ability to hit them the most consistently. After that, I would say Instagram, then Twitter, then YouTube/Pinterest/etc.
Step 2c: Email Marketing
You’ll work your email marketing the same way you’ll be working your social media marketing. You’ll need to be using several newsletter campaigns to promote your related content while you sprinkle in your direct promotional emails. For this you’ll want to use at least a 3 related to 1 direct email campaign approach spread over every 2-3 weeks depending on how soon your workshop is going to be held.
Step 3: Following Up with Attendees
The marketing job isn’t over when the event is! Now that you’ve gotten people to your event, you have an excellent opportunity to follow up with them to cultivate a greater following and community. Send an email within 1-2 days of the event thanking your attendees for coming and asking for feedback. If the workshop is part of a series, tell them when the next part will be. If you have a related product, offer them a discount for buying it within 7 days of the workshop. If they’re not already following you on your social media channels, ask them to follow you. There are literally a million different ways to follow up with your customers; the worst thing you could do is not use any of them.
There you have it! Again, this is a very simple approach using primarily free online marketing techniques. You could enhance your results by using pay-per-click campaigns using social media, printing postcards and sending them to local vendors, offering free perks for attendance, etc., but this free methodology has the added benefit of creating a lot of new content for your website, and that is something that you should always be looking to do!
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