Regardless of size, every business relies on marketing to attract new customers. The secret of successful marketing is finding the right people to talk to, knowing who they are, what they need, what they’re interested in, and where they hang out. At first, finding your target audience for personal trainers can seem challenging, and in this article, we will examine what it means, why it’s important, and how to identify yours.
Why Do I Need a Target Audience for My Personal Trainer Business?A target audience is a group of people a business identifies as most likely to be interested in its products or services.
The target audience may be defined by demographics (e.g., age, profession, marital status), psychographics (e.g., behaviors, values, interests), or, most likely, a mixture of both. Narrowing your focus down, rather than trying to appeal to everyone, helps you to make the best use of your marketing budget.
There are several reasons why it’s important to understand who your target audience is for your fitness business:
· It enables you to tailor your subject matter to their interests and needs
· It helps you find the right tone for communications
· It gives you insight into the kind of offers they might respond to
· It helps you to determine where you are likely to find them
· It informs your keyword research (even more important if you’re spending money on advertising)
But identifying your target audience is also beneficial in helping you refine your services to your clients, ensuring that you provide an excellent, specialized experience that compares favorably with your competitors.
A step-by-step guide to identifying your target audience
1. Pin down exactly what you’re offeringBefore finding your audience, you must be clear about your offering; the more specific your niche, the better. What services do you provide, what needs do they fulfill, and what problem do they solve? How do you differ from your competitors? Assess strengths and weaknesses; identify expansion opportunities.
2. Research competitors and trendsIt’s important to consider the context in which your personal training business operates. Examine your competitors; what services do they offer, and who are they targeting these at? Which platforms do they use, and what content do they post? Try and fill gaps. Carry out market research on trends in fitness training (try tools such as Google Trends Google Trends for this); this will help you understand people’s preferences and behaviors.
3. Analyze all of your dataUtilize your available marketing tools to find out who is finding you online. This means tracking the analytics data from your website and any social media platforms you use. You can break the data down by various metrics, telling you everything about your visitors, including their age, gender, location, interests, etc. Look for some common patterns to start understanding your different audience types.
4. Talk to current, past, and potential clientsAdd more detail to this data by talking to clients (current, past, and potential) and asking them questions that will give you useful insights into their lifestyles, habits, and behaviors, including their preferred social media platforms. You could meet with them in a group or one-to-one, set up an online survey, or start a discussion thread. If you follow any of them on social media, check out their profiles to understand their interests, who else they are following, and what content they engage with.
5. Define your ideal audience and create personasUse all of your research findings to define your target audience, the types of people who are realistically most likely to be interested in your services, as well as those you aspire to attract. It’s a good idea to create a few different ‘personas’ or fictional characters representing various aspects of your target audience.
A persona would include age, gender, profession, location, marital status, interests, goals, etc. Being able to visualize actual people when planning marketing activities can help with focus and targeting.
How to find out if you are targeting the correct audience?Once you’ve identified your target audience and started applying this knowledge to your marketing, it’s important to have checks in place to confirm you’re on the right track.
An obvious way to do this is regularly going through your analytics (as in step 3 above) and examining the metrics. Do they match your expectations? Are you reaching more people now with similar demographics and psychographics? Or are you reaching a slightly different group than those you had planned to target?
Of course, the key measure of success is converting visitors to clients, so be aware of any shifts in the type of people who sign up and refine your marketing accordingly.
This article is intended to be a beginner’s guide rather than an expert manual aimed at busy personal trainers managing all the other aspects of running their business alongside marketing. These exercises will, however, get you started on the right path to understanding your audience better and thus being able to target your marketing more cost-effectively.