Fitness studios need content to distinguish themselves, engage prospects, and retain clients.

You get that.
But you might be confused about exactly what kinds of content you need to stay competitive in today’s competitive marketplace. Podcasts? IGTV? Self-published books? Your own show on Netflix?
Well, now, hold on. You can get as elaborate as you like, of course. But it’s probably best to start out with some basics. Make sure you have all of these covered somewhere on your website, Facebook page, and email newsletters – the triad of must-have channels to distribute your content.
Who You Are and What You Do.
The home page should state clearly the name of your business, where you are, and what you do. Keep this short and simple. Have clear connections to pages showing how to contact you, your location and hours, what your values are (and your value proposition), and a short copy block and photo or video of you.
But really, we can’t stress this enough. No one coming to your website cares about you. They care about what you can do for them, not a lengthy bio about your passions and dedication and certifications.
A Blog, Clearly Defined and Regularly Updated.
Fitness shoppers and SEO engines value a blog. It shows what you care about and how you operate, and it helps prospects get to know, like and trust you. It’s also extremely helpful in getting love from the SEO gods so that your page has better search rankings.
Be careful to avoid a common mistake. Don’t dump every bit of random copy you have onto a blog. That’s not what it’s for. Stay focused on timely material about your staff, clients, business, community, industry or niche. Did a trainer recently return from a conference with great ideas she’ll share next Saturday at noon? Is there a new study showing how your kind of gym is making gains with, say, helping women lose weight after childbirth?
And by all means, update it regularly. Steadily. Consistently. Nothing’s more of a turnoff than clicking on a blog to see a few random posts from last year.
 
Use Client Testimonials.
These can be in text with photos or in video form. But you need at least a handful of real people talking about how working out with you changed them – how you helped them reach their goal.
Create some templates or interview guides so that you get the information that you need. Have the client state what her problem was, why she came to you, how you helped, and how her life is better now.
Be sure you spell everyone’s name correctly. Even if you think someone’s name is John Smith, he might spell it Jon Smithe. Always ask.
Show the Kind of People You Want as Clients.
If you want a gym full of 25-year-old muscle heads, then show pictures of 25-year-old muscle heads in your gym. If you want middle-aged women working out in small groups, show them. If you’re proud of your community’s diversity, then make sure it is represented.
Mix It Up.
Some content should be text. Some should be visual – photos, videos, illustrations or graphics.
Some should be lengthy and “evergreen,” meaning it’s not going to change much over time.
Some should be short and more topical. (Be sure to take it down when it’s no longer relevant.)
Create some content of your own. Share some that comes from clients. And use content from other experts or sources, crediting them. Curated content shows you’re paying attention and you want to share value with prospects and clients, not just toot your own horn.
Finally, remember to include a call to action in all your content pieces: What do you want the reader to do? Click “here” for more information? Give their email address to receive a special offer? RSVP to an event invitation?
If you keep these five points in mind, you’re off to a great content start. Podcasts, IGTV, and books are within your grasp.
We’ll hold off on that Netflix deal, though.

> This was originally written for the Association of Fitness Studios.

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