If you own your own business or you are an independent contractor at your local gym or if you work for a big box gym, it is likely you will struggle with client acquisition and brand awareness. There is infinite amount of options for potential clients to choose from in the marketplace and it can be difficult to make noise in an already “noisy room.” I feel there is a way to make a lot of noise without spending much on marketing and advertising plus makes our community better. Become a community ambassador. Meaning you lead the charge for a cause, that you are passionate about, and tie that into your business to generate interest in you and your business. Now, you must be passionate about the cause you will be helping and you must be doing it for all the right reasons, however it can help you in the marketplace.
I feel like we do a terrible job of giving back to our community. We have so much to give the outside community that we often get caught up in what is in front of our face, versus giving back. A few years ago, I was introduced to a local charity that I found very interesting and felt passionate about. This charity is designed to do routine surgeries for the underinsured and uninsured, for free. Everyone’s time is donated, as well as the instruments, surgery center and materials. These surgeons, nurses, doctors and staff of volunteers perform surgeries once a month for 8-12 people who cannot afford them. This was a cause I could really get behind and felt like helping. So one day, I had an idea, an idea to train for 24 straight hours to raise money for this great group. So for six months, we planned the event, did all the TV and radio shows and go the message out there with a goal of $20,000 raised. After the 24 hour period, we raised nearly $22,000! The feeling for me was one of exhaustion and jubilation. This money would help and pay for 71 patients who need surgeries. in a 24 hour period, we altered 71 lives.
The publicity and the “feel good” affect was tremendous. Your community wants and loves to see you doing something to give back to it. So here are some things to focus on to help your community and help get your name out there:
Find a Cause/Charity
I cannot stress this enough, you have to find something your believe in to help. I suggest that you find a local cause because you will be able to work closely with the director to set up what type of event you want. Themed bootcamps, lunch and learns, clothes drives are all potential events you could hold at your gym that are great for your community. Remember, every little bit helps and the more you do the better you will feel and the more people you will meet.
Reach Out to the Local Media
When you plan your charity event, reach out to the local media to go on TV or radio to promote it. Send a press release out to the local newspaper for potential coverage. This is a great way to get on TV to tell everyone your “WHY” and why you are doing this and what you are all about.
Use Your Talents
We are all gifted with the ability to help others, especially with our fitness expertise. If we only do that for money and not for the entire community, we are wasting our talents. Impact others, especially people you may never meet.
During the 24 hours we took many pictures of the participants working out and I took a group photo of every class and posted on social media between sessions. This was a huge hit and people were following us during the whole event. In fact, one woman was in the hospital and messaged me about working with her as soon as she was released. The message was sent and community responded.
I firmly believe we can do more for our communities than we do. Partnering with a group you are passionate about shows you care about people and their needs. You will forever be labeled as a good will ambassador and shown in a crowded marketplace.