6 Steps To Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy




What sets you apart from your perceived competition?

Successful companies like F45, Barrys Bootcamp and Crossfit have one important thing in common: a strong brand.

A strong brand should be a priority for all small business owners and that includes Personal Trainers and Fitness Studio Owners.

And if you need proof of this, you’ll find it by delving into the numbers...

Research undertaken by Lucidpress in 2017 found that the average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%

And if that isn’t enough, successful branding yields benefits such as increased client loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity.

There’s only one sure-fire way to build a strong brand: brand positioning.

"There’s only one sure-fire way to build a strong brand: brand positioning." - Andrew Wallis, CEO & Founder of Fitness Marketing Blueprints

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Before we delve into how to successfully create your brand (even if you are a one-man band), let’s be clear exactly what I mean when I talk about brand positioning.

Brand positioning is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of your clients. More than a tagline or a fancy logo, brand positioning is the strategy used to set your business apart from the rest.

Here’s how to successfully position a brand in your market in 2019 and beyond…

6 Steps to Create Your Own Brand Positioning Strategy

Creating your own brand positioning strategy involves diving deep into the details of your brand and discovering what you do better than anyone else.

These six steps help you create a brand positioning strategy that’s unique to your business.

Step 1: Determine your current brand positioning

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Determine your current brand positioning

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Determine your current brand positioning

Are you currently marketing your training services just like any other trainers or studios in your area, or have you found a niche which enables you to highlight your uniqueness allowing you to market yourself and your services as something distinctive?

You’ll need to understand your current brand positioning to further analyse and compare yourself to your competition.

Start by considering your target client and defining who they are. You do this by building a Client Avatar (also known as a Buyer Persona).

Next, identify your mission, values, and what makes you different from all other fitness service providers in your area — gyms, yoga, pilates and Barrecore studios, other PT Studios, etc.

Finally, take stock of your value proposition and your current brand persona and brand voice.

Don’t fall into the trap of creating some fancy tagline or complex lingo that no one will be able to understand. We all like connecting with brands that sound and feel authentic to us so make sure you use natural language people will understand and resonate with.

Start with researching who your (ideal and existing) audience is, and use their language.

Step 2: Determine your competition

After analysing yourself, it’s important to analyse your competition by performing a competitor analysis on your main competition.


You’ll need to see who you’re up against to conduct competitor research. That research will help you decide what you can do better in your strategy to gain an edge.

There are different methods for determining your competition, including:

  • Conducting market research: Ask prospects who else they considered before coming to see you to see which of your competition is mentioned during your sales consultations, or do a quick Google search using keywords such as “personal trainer [insert your town or area here]” and see which of your competitors are listed.
  • Use client feedback: Ask your customers which businesses or products they were considering before choosing yours.
  • Use social media: Quora offers a platform where consumers can ask questions about products and services. Search these forums to discover competitors in your niche.

Step 3: Conduct competitor research

6 steps to building a fitness brand

  Developing Your Fitness Marketing StrategyConduct competitor research 

Once you’ve determined who your competitors are, it’s time to conduct in-depth competitor research.

You’ll need to analyse how your competition is positioning their brand in order to compete. At its simplest, your research should include:

WHO they are:

  1. Is the business locally owned?
  2. How long have they been in business?
  3. Is it an absentee owner or owner operator?
  4. Does the owner train or coach in the business?
  5. Is the owner well known or the business more corporate?

WHERE they are:

  1. What is their website address?
  2. Do they have an opt-in on their website?
  3. Where is their physical location and how far is it from your location?
  4. What is their Google ranking for terms such as “weight loss, training, personal trainer” in your area? E.g. Search for “Personal Trainer Greenwich” or “Personal Trainer near me”
  5. How many Facebook ‘Likes’ do they have?
  6. How many Facebook and Google reviews do they have? Are they positive?
  7. What other social media platforms are they on?
  8. Drive past their premises to check out their location — what did you notice?

WHAT they offer:

  1. What is their business model? (Examples might be Private 1–2–1 Training, Semi-Private Training, Group Training, Hybrid Training or Online Coaching)
  2. What type(s) of training do they offer?
  3. What is their training schedule for times/availability?

HOW they position themselves:

  1. Become a secret shopper or have a friend check them out. What did your secret shopping experience uncover?
  2. Do they offer a ‘free trial’ or consultation?
  3. What is their packaging and pricing? Check their website for these details or call and ask.
  4. What type of advertising do they do (Google Ads, Facebook ads, print, etc…)?

What messaging they use in their marketing:

  1. What are they known for in the market? (Ask other people, outside of your business such as people at your network groups, friends, family, etc.)

What their STRENGTHS are:

1. What is the SINGLE biggest strength that this company has in their favour when your target market client is deciding between them and you?

What their WEAKNESSES are:

What is the SINGLE biggest weakness that this company has that provides you an opportunity when your target market client is deciding between them and you?

Step 4: Identify what makes your brand unique:

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Identify what makes your brand unique:

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Identify what makes your brand unique:

Building a unique brand is all about identifying what makes you different and what works best for your business.

Start by defining what ‘effective’ really means for your brand — and then build its image based on that. Chances are after you conduct competitor research, you’ll begin to see patterns. You’ll start to see some businesses that have the same strengths and weaknesses.

As you compare your product or service to theirs, you might find one of their weaknesses is your strength.

This is what makes your brand unique, and it’s the perfect starting point for positioning your brand in the market.

Take note of your unique offerings as you compare, and dive deep to identify what you do better than anyone else.

Step 5: Create your positioning statement:

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Step 5 of building your fitness brand

Developing Your Fitness Marketing Strategy: Step 5 of building your fitness brand

It’s time to take what you’ve learned and start to create a brand positioning statement.

A positioning statement is a one- or two-sentence declaration that communicates your brand’s unique value to your clients in relation to your main competitors.

There are four questions to answer before creating your positioning statement:

  • Who is your target client?
  • What’s your service category?
  • What’s the greatest benefit of the services you offer?
  • What’s the proof of that benefit?

From there, you can craft a simple but compelling positioning statement.

For example, Gymbox is positioning itself as the antidote to ‘boring’ gyms, by demonstrating that working can be as much fun as going out.

Their goal is to create a cut-through marketing campaign that challenges the boring gym norms and showcases the key USPs Gymbox offers.

Positioning statements should include:

1. Your business name

2. Credibility boosters — What are any awards or recognition that you’ve gathered as a business? How many years have you been in business? How many clients have you served? Have you been recognised in any media appearances or different media publications, such as TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, etc.?

3. Service description — How do you describe the services you provide? What type of services do you provide? How do you and your clients describe them?

4. Unique program benefits — What unique benefits do you offer? What are some of the special benefits of working with you? For example, do you have proven programs, an expert coaching staff, expertly crafted training programs or personalized nutrition coaching?

5. Competitor category — What is your competitor category? What is the niche you want to carve out and make yours? Are you going against gyms? Are you competing with CrossFit gyms? There are lots of different categories even within fitness that you’re going to look to own or compete with.

6. Negative emotions around competitors — What did people who left your competitors say they hated about them? What were their frustrations about working with that competitor? You want to know that. For example, people who left traditional gyms might say, “They just saw me as a number. No-one ever spoke to me.”

7. Positive emotions around your business — What do your best clients say they love most about working with you? Perhaps they say things like, “You focus on me as an individual.” Or maybe, “You provide the tools, support, and accountability I need to achieve sustainable results.”

Once you go step by step through listing out each of the parts and pieces that go into creating your positioning statement, then you’ve got the raw materials to start putting the positioning statement together.

Here is a template positioning statement for you:

“[Your Business Name] has been recognised by or featured in [add your credibility booster here] for providing [add your service description here] through [your unique program benefits].

Unlike [add your competitor category here] that leave you feeling [add your primary negative emotion around competitors here], [your business name] gives you [primary positive emotion around your company goes here]."

Here is an example of a simple but compelling positioning statement…

“CrossFit London has been recognised by its members for providing a safe, effective, high-intensity training experience and a supportive community environment through our proven programs and expert coaching staff.

Unlike traditional gyms that do not provide any structure, direction, or support, we focus on our members as individuals and provide the specific tools, support, and accountability they need to achieve sustainable results.”


Step 6: Does your positioning statement work?

Taking the time to position your brand to appeal to a certain client is just the beginning.

Once your positioning statement is created, it’s time to test, experiment, and gather feedback from your clients on whether or not your positioning achieves its goal.

Investing the time and effort into positioning your brand to appeal toward a specific vertical, type of consumer, or demographic is only a small part of the battle.

It’s crucial to test, experiment, and actively gather (real) feedback from your target clients on whether or not your positioning is actually having its desired effect.

As I hope you can see, a strong brand makes all the difference in the busy fitness space these days.

A unique brand positioning strategy is critical to making a statement, getting (and keeping) your target audience’s attention, and successfully growing your brand.

Get strategic by blocking time to create your brand positioning statement, and your business will reap the benefits in the weeks, months and years to come.

About the author, Andrew Wallis

From two decades in the corporate world to finding my freedom in fitness, I'm known as Braveheart—a Personal Trainer turned marketing maestro for Fitness Professionals. I'm all about unlocking potential and empowering Fit Pros to grow their businesses. 'Finding Your Freedom' isn't just a mantra; it's a collective journey I embark upon with my clients.

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