Do Fitness Professionals Need a Digital Marketing Specialist?

Digital marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and organic SEO – these are all well-known terms in today’s world of business. While many of the more progressive industries have been quick to adopt effective online strategies, others have lagged seriously behind. Having a digital marketing specialist on staff is the best way to stay ahead of the curve.

It seems the health and fitness industry has finally got the memo: Create a substantial, well-researched online presence OR DIE.

This is especially true now, during the time of COVID-19 when it is more important than ever for fitness experts and personal trainers to have alternative ways to connect with their clients.

To many, this is all new as, for decades, personal trainers, dietitians, and other health and fitness professionals have survived almost exclusively via word-of-mouth advertising.

So, for example, if a friend someone tells you their secret to being in good shape is the fact that they work with a certain personal trainer and then, as a result, you start working with the same personal trainer – THAT is word of mouth.

Word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising is one of the most effective ways for entrepreneurs in any industry to attract new clients.

So WOM is great, but it is NOT a cure-all… And this is where digital marketing comes in.


What Does a Digital Marketing Specialist Do?

Again, word-of-mouth only takes you so far in the digital world.

Sure, happy clients can spread the good word on social media and sing your praises as a trainer or nutritionist, but that’s only part of the equation.

A great digital marketing specialist will accomplish a few key goals:

  • Develop a brand identity and emphasize your unique abilities as a professional
  • Identify and target audiences based on key indicators like age, income, and geography
  • Craft unique and compelling messaging that appeals to the ideal demographics
  • Automate troublesome marketing tasks like mass emails and social media campaigns
  • Build and organize a client list that remains loyal and incentivizes future business
  • Orchestrates a range of new media campaigns that capture attention and drive traffic

In short, a digital marketing specialist will work to put your brand in the best possible light, then execute custom strategies that increase awareness, attract new clients, and ultimately help business thrive!

That means everything from Search Engine Optimization and targeted ad campaigns to content development and customer retention analysis.

The best specialists in the game do NOT apply a one-size-fits-all method, but instead, take the time to evaluate your brand’s particular pain points, then craft a remedy that is specific to your success.


What Is the Salary for a Digital Marketing Specialist?

The bottom line is always a priority in the first stages of any business, and the fitness industry is no exception. Dollars need to be spent wisely and time is of the essence.

Getting up to speed means making tough financial choices that could make or break the business.

You need to pick a marketing guru who brings expertise to the table at a price that fits.

Based on factors like location, experience, and skillset, digital marketers’ salaries can vary.

According to PayScale, the average annual compensation for these professionals is just over $50k, but in the new gig economy, marketers are operating more often as independent contractors who can do one-off campaigns and other specific actions for your business.

For instance, today’s marketers may charge by the hour, or only when they complete a certain objective.

Fitness entrepreneurs may not be in a position to have someone on the full-time payroll just yet, so this piece-by-piece contractor set up is often the smartest approach.

In the digital world, professionals are thinking beyond the traditional annual salary structure and only paying for the services they need most.

With this more agile mindset, health and fitness pros will have a critical edge over their established competitors, who could be bogged down by unnecessary spending.


What Does Digital Marketing Have to Do With Fitness?

It’s no secret that the fitness industry has become hugely profitable in the 21st century, accelerated by an abundance of information and the incredible reach of modern technology.

According to a 2020 market research report from Wellness Creative Co, the United States health and wellness market is growing at a rapid annual growth rate of 4.5%

The market at large is worth an estimated $32 billion, and that number continues to ascend.

With those stats in mind, it would be brand suicide to ignore digital marketing in the fitness industry!

More competition means tougher odds, but also provides an opportunity to stand out and make a powerful impression that gets clicks and sales.

Think about your brand like a high-performance athlete training for a championship game, competition, or fight. Nutrition, training, and proper recovery are all essential to victory.

In the marketing game, the same principles apply.

Rather than eating a clean diet, you need to absorb the right information and stay educated on the latest marketing trends.

Instead of training in the gym, you need to pump out compelling content and keep your audience engaged every day with promotions and communication.

When it comes time to seal the deal, you need to execute the close and make customers feel great about their purchases. Followup service and support have to be flawless.

Messaging needs to be on point, your vision should be clear, and distractions aren’t an option.

So start looking at your brand as a world-class athlete and you’ll be on the right track.


Why Personal Trainers Need to Know about Digital Marketing

There are undeniable similarities between the personal training and digital marketing industries.

For starters, both professions are all about creating a personalized experience.

Just like each fitness client has specific goals based on age, weight, and body composition, every brand has a distinct set of marketing objectives that can only be met with a custom strategy.

The best personal trainers know that every client is unique, and treat their brands with the same level of customized attention and care.

Top digital marketers understand that a business, like a body, should operate like a well-oiled machine.

Too much complacency and cockiness can kill momentum and dry up revenues.

Adapting to the times is also key, whether it’s a new social media platform, content delivery system, or pandemic situation that changes the whole fitness landscape.

Many personal trainers already apply basic marketing principles on a small scale, using referral systems and promotions to build their client base.

Entering the digital arena is like stepping up to the big leagues, and the stakes are much higher.

But the more knowledge and experience you have under your belt, the more likely you will break through plateaus and achieve results you never thought possible.


How a Digital Marketing Specialist Can Help New Fitness Professionals

Given the steep competition and social media saturation, it’s tough to break into the fitness industry as a new professional. Starting from zero can seem like an insurmountable task, and newcomers to take advantage of all their opportunities.

But like they say about beginner gains, there is HUGE potential for growth in those beginning stages if you have the right blueprint.

A great digital marketer does exactly that. They will layout the plan of attack, give you the tools you need to succeed, and accelerate your timeline to get results.

Remember that there are NO magic pills in the fitness game or the marketing space.

You can surround yourself with the right people to stay accountable and make smart choices, but at the end of the day, it is YOU who has to commit to the grind and do the work.

A personal trainer can tell you exactly what to eat and how to work out, but they can’t physically force you to lift the weight or throw away the potato chips!

Digital marketing professionals are the same way and can set you on the path to success if you show up every day and give it 100%.

The best fitness entrepreneurs understand the link between building a great body and growing an epic business. With that unshakeable mindset, you can do the same.


How to Hire a Specialist

Premier digital marketers will know how to get the word out about their services!

But there are a few essential factors that separate the best from the rest of the pack. Keep these things in mind when looking to hire a digital marketer for your brand:

  • Responsive and communicative over email, text, or phone
  • Transparent about their abilities and areas of expertise
  • Plenty of positive references and no stand-out bad reviews
  • Presence on all major platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, etc
  • A clear price structure for services and no shady practices
  • Realistic expectations for performance and return on investment

Essentially, the ideal marketing specialist will be open and honest about what they bring to the table, and will not stretch the truth about their capabilities.

If someone claims they can 10x your client base in a week for $200, that’s like saying you can turn a couch potato into the next Mr. Olympia in the same amount of time! It just isn’t realistic.

Be sure to spend a good amount of time weighing different options and select a marketing professional who has a proven track record of best practices and solid returns.

Browse those freelance boards, shoot emails left and right, and don’t jump to any quick conclusions. It’s worth putting in some extra legwork upfront to make the best pick for your business.

And remember, you can always hire a few different specialists to handle specific marketing goals. In many cases, that is a better approach than selecting a so-called jack of all trades.

Just like training programs and diets, it helps to switch things up, try new tactics, and avoid getting stuck in the same routine. The market adapts to the norm and responds well to disruption, so don’t hesitate to attempt something new and make some major gains!


Business gurus often use a highway analogy to illustrate the process of building a brand.

Like a car merging onto the highway, a young company needs a lot of fuel and focus to get up to speed and catch up to the competition.

But once the business is cruising, it only takes a bit of ongoing effort to maintain that momentum!

So whether you’re trying to go zero to 60 or just need an extra boost to inch ahead of the pack, a great digital marketing specialist will help you keep your foot on the gas.

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