The #1 Reason Your Fitness Business Isn’t Growing

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Growing a fitness brand/business can be a daunting endeavor, especially in an age where everyone is vying for everyone else’s attention.

This is never more apparent than online

For whatever reason some professionals are unwilling to lean into the power of social media with regards to growing their business, and I get it…

…it’s nothing but one big eye roll half the time.

In today’s EXCELLENT guest post by regular contributor, Gavin McHale, he showcases a few simple strategies you can use to “earn” the eyes of potential customers.

HINT: It doesn’t entail shirtless pics or more glute exercises…;o)

Copyright: choreograph

It’s the Offer, Stupid

No, I’m not calling you stupid. Original Gangster of Marketing Dan Kennedy is. And that’s way worse, in my opinion.

“If something’s not working in your business; it’s the offer, stupid.”

The one common thread I’ve noticed through my own experience owning a fitness business, and a central factor in why I decided to move from training clients to mentoring coaches, is that a lot of people in our industry have a business that is not working that well for them.

Their business is not giving coaches the return on investment it should be for the massive amount of work they’re doing and skills they have.

This is a big problem; a bleeding-neck problem that I’m on a mission to fix. 

I actually spoke on the topic of how to deliver your services in a way that serves you and your clients better in THIS article several weeks ago, but this article will speak to the work done before a client even knows who you are. 

The point of both remains the same:

If you keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, you will be stuck doing all the work and seeing little to no reward while watching others in your industry sit back and relax while the new clients roll in. 

We both know you’re better than them at what you do (if not at least as good), so why shouldn’t you get a piece of the pie, too?

It’s the offer, stupid. 

Unless you truly dislike social media (and you have every reason to – I’ve seen the Social Dilemma), you need to see it as a tool that can provide your business with near unlimited potential new clients, if used properly.

But just like a hacksaw in the hands of my 3-year old nephew, used poorly it can be a waste of time and downright dangerous.

The epitome of stupid: the recent “crate challenge” craze.

I’ve seen too many coaches actually leave the industry or work themselves into oblivion simply because they refused to get their shit together and figure out social media, writing it off as no good.

But exactly how we fix that problem is where the real gold is buried. Because out of the thousands upon thousands of personal trainer’s instagram pages and websites that I’ve seen over the past two years, all but about twelve of them have completely botched this part. 

I say that to outline the opportunity at hand. If no one is doing this right and people are still somehow getting clients, imagine if you did it right?

When someone taps over to your profile or through to your website after seeing a post they like, it’s the difference between, “Oh shit, that’s me and I want that” and “I’m bored, moving on.”

Which could mean the difference between a new follower or client application in your inbox and another opportunity slipping through the cracks.

  • So, if you’re not making as much money as you should be in your business. 
  • If you’re not getting your message out there with the work you’re putting in.
  • If this whole social media thing is just confusing the hell out of you…

Listen up.

Your offer, that I’ve been harping on about for nearly 500 words now, is essentially a statement that tells your audience or anyone who makes their way into your corner of the internets what the hell you do.

And the majority of trainers and coaches miss the target. In fact, they’re often putting holes in the wall beside the target.

Your offer will show up in one of three places most often.

The First, Is On Your Social Media Bio

If you’re like me and use instagram for your business, this is where it’ll show up. Beside your tiny little picture, under your follower count and wedged within 150 characters. 

It’s the thing that will ideally either keep someone hanging around and maybe even tossing you a follow or turn them off completely. 

The enemy here is indifference.

The Second Place Someone May Find Your Offer Is On Your Website Homepage

We hope it says, “Stick around, grab a beer and hangout awhile” but it more often says, “I have no idea what I’m doing, so you should probably just leave.”

Finally, the third will be the most surprising. Your offer should show up whenever you’re asked what you do for a living.

Y’know, like in real life. Wild, right?

If you’ve ever been at a party or family event and seen the deadpan confusion wash over someone’s face when you respond that you’re a personal trainer, you know what I mean.

“Oh, that’s nice…”


A better use of that valuable real estate, especially if they’re anywhere near or may know some ideal clients would be something like, “I teach former athletes how to look and feel young again.”

That just hits different, ya know?

Here are the three crucial components to a good offer:

Your Offer Has to Speak to a Specific Persona

And remember, you are not your ideal client. You may have been in the past, but that was before you figured out everything you know now. You are an expert and know way more about your specific expertise than they do. Use words they resonate with, not words you want to see.

And before you go commenting that you know your person is a 30-40 year old married woman with 2 kids, I’m not just talking about demographics. That’s important, but it’s certainly not the end of the story.

And, it doesn’t have to be limited to just that. Using our example above, a former athlete could be 22 and aged out of college or 45 with kids and a mortgage.

But where they’re similar, and where you can go deeper and really understand who they are, is by taking a look at their psychographics. 

  • What is your ideal client’s biggest problem, in their mind?
  • What else have they tried to fix their current problem that hasn’t worked?
  • What frustrates them the most about what they’ve tried?
  • What are they afraid of most?
  • What do they desire more than anything else in the World?

Now we’re getting somewhere…

To That End, Your Offer Needs to Solve a Problem They Want Solved

It needs to be something they actually want to solve, not just what you think is important to them. 

I’ll repeat that… because it’s the number one problem with most attempts at offers.

Your offer needs to be something they actually want to solve, not just what you think is important to them. 

  • You may think they want to heal their injuries, but they really just want to feel young again.
  • You may think they want to lose 10 pounds, but they really want to feel sexy again.
  • You may think they want to get stronger, but they really want the confidence that brings.

Keep asking why it matters to them until you can’t answer it anymore.

Finally, Your Offer Needs to Make a Promise

I know, I know. It depends.

That’s the answer I’ve heard time and time again from other fitness professionals about a myriad of topics, but while that does make sense for a lot of potential solutions, it doesn’t put butts in the seats.

Your offer has to promise them something. You will get nowhere with wishy washy, it depends, maybe, kinda, sorta type promises, especially in 2021 when the waters are full of other people fishing for the same catch.

You have to take a stand. You have to show confidence.

You have ask yourself, what’s the biggest promise I know I can fulfill with my coaching service?

If you head over to my instagram page (or just look below), you’ll see that I don’t promise to turn you into a 7-figure coach (like some people out there). 

That’s because I don’t know that I can do that… yet.

But I do know I can turn you into a real business owner, not just a coach trying to make some money.

The real secret to all this, and the reason I can give it away for free without worry that I’ll be shooting myself in the foot, is that this takes lots of time and effort doing research on your ideal clients and what they actually want. 

And most people simply aren’t willing to do that. 

But here’s the exact formula if you want a solid offer:

  1. Spend about a week asking former clients, current client and yourself the questions outlined above. Really get to know the person you want to help and, in the process, learn what they identify as. HINT: no one identifies as a busy professional in their mind
  2. Figure out the problem they want solved by continuing to ask “why?” until you can’t answer it anymore. Ideally, interview some people about it.
  3. Narrow down your offer into a simple, yet powerful “I help” statement that looks something like this:


Now go slap that all over your social media and website and practice it in the mirror in case your cousin, Tom asks you at Christmas dinner. Remember, his buddy’s wife’s sister may be looking for exactly what you do.

About the Author

As a Kinesiology graduate, Gavin McHale quickly realized that following the traditional business model would lead to trading more time for more money.

Over the course of 8 years, Gavin built a 6-figure hybrid training business before founding the Maverick Coaching Academy in 2019.

Since then, Gavin has left the gym and gone all in helping other strength coaches build their businesses. He has made it his mission to fix the broken fitness industry and connect other amazing humans to the highest version of themselves.

IG – @gavinmchale1

The Coach’s Playground Podcast

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