If you own a health or fitness business, you likely love what you do and practice what you preach. You are an expert in the field.
Your expertise, when shared with the right people, at the right time, on the right platform, can position you as a chosen resource.
But, as a small business owner, you’re also managing the daily demands of your business and current clients. It can be difficult to schedule in business development practices that strengthen your relationship with current customers and develop new relationships.
Customer connections, updating social media, sending an email newsletter or live streaming an event are crucial activities, but often do not fit into your daily reality.
The following health and fitness PR ideas are intended to help you promote your business. Think of this as your bare-minimum checklist.
Fine-Tune Your Website
According to a study conducted by Google, 75% of people who find helpful local information in search results are more likely to visit stores.
Updating and maintaining your website is no minor feat. But, it is absolutely essential if you want to be viewed as an appealing business.
Some places to start:
- Write an “About Us” page that addresses your values and what difference you hope to make. Include pictures and bios of you and your team. This page communicates your humanity and makes you more appealing to potential customers.
- Integrate client testimonials throughout your website. Here’s a great guide to get you started.
- Ensure your site is mobile friendly. With the majority of consumers browsing sites from smart phones or tablets, you’re missing an opportunity with a clunky website.
- Review your service and product pages. Would an outsider know what you’re talking about, or are your descriptions laden with jargon? Could the pages benefit from pictures and graphics?
- Integrate a simple “Contact Us” form. And once a visitor has filled it out, they should receive a friendly thank you and invitation to view a specific page or blog post on your site.
- Conduct regular updates to give people a reason to come back to your site. This, in turn, will help motivate them to visit your physical store or fitness studio. Some ideas include a weekly training tip, advice, or motivation. Now, you have owned content to promote on social media that will drive visitors back to your website.
I recommend this with a caveat. If you choose to distribute an email newsletter, it must be delivered consistently and not carry a heavily promotional tone.
Non-promotional content could include a roundup of articles to read, a schedule of suggested workouts and tips, and upcoming events related to your business.
If you work ahead, you can include excerpts from other bloggers (with their permission of course). This collaboration shows you’re plugged into the field, helps increase your connection’s visibility, and they’ll likely return the favor.
Crafting content to align with upcoming holidays is another way to fill out your email.
For production and distribution, MailChimp is a user-friendly email automation service to consider. It offers plug-and-play templates and its starting price is free.
To avoid being a pesky addition to your subscriber’s inbox, keep your newsletter to a page if you intend to distribute regularly. If you are opting for a long-form approach, distributing quarterly is a good option.
Blog Posts or Podcasts
Not sure what will go in that newsletter? If you are regularly writing blog posts or producing podcasts, your email can invite subscribers to consume your latest content.
Your blog and/or podcast does not need to be fancy. It is a platform for sharing your expertise and passion for your health and fitness business. You already have all the content in your head. Now, you just need to write it down or talk it out.
During slower days, I suggest building a bank of content you can pull from when you’re too busy to produce something new.
Posting daily, or even weekly is not necessary. Your subscribers will be thankful for consistent, helpful information when it comes.
Social Media Presence
Attending a new fitness class or walking into a specialty small business can be intimidating. People often believe they have to already possess the right skills or knowledge before walking in your door.
Being able to scroll through social media posts that provide a sneak-peek of what happens behind your doors can help mitigate their hesitancy.
You do not need to be on every single social media channel. That would be a time suck and ineffective.
You do need to be on the channels used by your target customer. Pick two to three channels and develop a captivating presence by posting regularly and engaging with comments.
I repeat. Engage with the comments. Not responding to comments is the virtual equivalent of turning around and walking away when someone starts talking to you. You’re communicating you don’t care about the person or their value as a customer.
Social media posts can be simple to drive direct sales. The Bicycle Barn in Walla Walla, Washington, posted the following to Instagram. The next day, a lady came into the store to replace her old cleats. By showing how bicycle cleats can take a beating, the store shared its expertise and prompted action.
Experiment With Video
Another way to provide a behind-the-scenes perspective is through video. One way to do this is through social media stories. Stories give you the opportunity to quickly (and freely) share short videos with your target customer.
When recording your videos, be cognizant of audio quality. Check for background noises, like loud fans or construction, and speak clearly. Nothing kills a good video quicker than terrible audio.
Instagram Stories can further communicate your humanity and help build a personal relationship with your customers.
Online Review Sites
Online reviews are somewhat out of your control. What is in your control is how you choose to address positive and negative reviews.
This can be intimidating but is a necessary part of managing your business’s reputation.
By regularly monitoring reviews on Yelp, Google and Facebook, you’ll be prepared to respond when someone leaves a negative review.
Just taking 15 minutes at the end of each day will give you time to find any negative comments and respond appropriately. You might want to set up a policy on how to address negative comments. For instance, The University of Southern Mississippi created a helpful decision tree to help guide an appropriate response.
My recommendation is to create your own decision tree and respond as if you were talking to the person in real life. Politely acknowledge their review and work to find a solution.
Here is a great example of how Barre3 Corvallis took a polite, personal approach when responding to a one-star rating on Facebook:
Your Approach Matters
All these ideas could fall flat if you’re distributing low-quality content. It is much better to share fewer, high-quality pieces than frequent garbage.
These high-quality pieces of content need to focus on your customer. Your current and potential customers are looking for helpful advice and encouragement, and you are more than equipped to be their preferred resource.
Build Relationships with Health and Fitness PR
Potential customers will check out your online presence and evaluate if you’re worth the risk. By implementing this checklist, you can mitigate uncertainty and build long-lasting relationships.
If you’d like to discuss these ideas more, let me know! Or, if you’ve found a different idea to be effective, I’m curious to learn about your experience.