For small business professionals, placing
advertisements in newspapers and magazines requires a lot of forethought
planning. There are many parts to placing an effective ad, the least of
which is designing the ad itself. Consideration must be made to how and
where the advertisement is going to run, as well as the length and
exposure the advertisement will receive. The following is a basic guide
help you develop the most effective fitness and personal training
Developing an effective advertisement begins not by sitting down to
copy, but instead begins with research. Find out what periodicals are
available to advertise in, and what periodicals your clients read. Make
list of local magazines, newsletters, and newspapers that you would be
interested in. Contact the advertising departments of these periodicals
ask to speak to your area accounts representative. Many magazines and
have reps covering specific areas of your county, city, or state. When
speaking to the person, explain to them who you are and what you wish to
accomplish. Most representatives are very helpful in making suggestions
regarding proper placement of ads, and may be able to offer suggestions
you had not yet considered.
When speaking to your local rep, you should make sure to obtain the
1. Rate Card: Have the rep fax or mail you a current rate sheet so that
know exactly how much your advertisement will cost.
2. Current Demographics: Each newspaper and magazine tracks the number
type of people that read their publications. Many publications also
the spending habits and reading habits of their demographic. Make sure
obtain a list of the periodicalís demographics, this is the most
piece of information that a fitness trainer can obtain from an ad rep.
3. Submission Requirements and definition of "Photo Ready:"
Make sure to find out what is required to submit an article. Find out
form the ad must be in, and when submission deadlines are scheduled.
find out what the periodicalís definition of photo-ready is. This
definition varies from paper to paper, and may vary from a concept
pre-printed three color film. Make sure that the representative explains
the ad must be submitted.
4. Special Promotions: Many times, magazines and newspapers implement
own promotion programs or events. As a trainer, these promotions may
you with the added exposure that you need. Be sure to ask if there are
upcoming events or additional publications that might address your
5. Creative Design: The final thing that you should ask the
is whether they offer creative design assistance, and if there is a cost
such assistance. Most newspapers offer graphic design services to
advertisers who are placing ads in their papers. Better still, many of
services are included in the price of advertising. Ask if the periodical
help you with the graphics on your ad and if you will be charged for
service. Personal trainers live on a budget, and this is a great way to
what would otherwise be spent on graphic artists.
Now that you have the information about your advertising options, it is
time to decide exactly what and how you are going to advertise. Sit down
write out EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE SELLING TO. Which fitness clients are you
trying to attract? Define the age, sex, and specific demographic that
are trying to attract and train. Be specific, people who want to train
lose weight are in a completely different demographic than those who
train to gain lean muscle mass.
After you have written down your specific training demographic, write
down why people in this group would want your services. Write down what
believe they want, and what value they will receive by choosing you as
personal trainer. Once again, be specific, this will be the foundation
your advertisement. Keep in mind that most people will not pick up the
for an advertisement that says "get fit." However, millions of
people every day invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to "lose
weight." Make sure that you know the real reason why a client would
chose you as their trainer.
Now that you have chosen who you are marketing to, and what you are
offering, it is a simple matter of choosing which magazine or newspaper
advertise in. Match the demographics of the magazines with the
of the fitness clients that you are trying to reach.
You have chosen where you are going to advertise, and what you are
selling, so now it is time to determine what the ad is going to say and
it is going to be laid out. This is where the assistance of magazine
creative designers is invaluable. However, the onus in still upon you to
write the copy. In order to develop effective ad copy, there are a few
facts that you must address to attract fitness clients.
You will usually have less than 0.8 seconds to get a potential clientís
attention. Make sure that the ad uses attention-getting words and
along with proper colors. Use phrases that attract attention such as
Special Offer, Limited Time, Sale, Money, and Sex. There is a large
of research available on words that sell effectively. If you are
placing many advertisements, it may be prudent to research these words
the library or on the net.
In addition to attention-grabbing words, proper use of color is
invaluable to create an effective display ad. Red and Yellow stand out
all other colors, and are usually attract the most attention. If you are
placing color ads, these colors should be considered.
When writing the copy, word it in such a way that it addresses your
training clients specific need. Refer back to your notes on why the
would want to use you as their trainer, and what would they expect out
your services. Donít offer to help people "Get Fit!" when you
can offer to "Lose Ten Pounds Fast!" Most people donít care
about fitness for fitnessí sake. Most just want to look and feel good.
Address the specific needs of your target client, and word it to address
specific wants, worries or concerns.
Word the advertisement in a way that creates emotion. A client will only
act if you can create enough emotion to motivate them. How many of
out there say they want to get fit and lose weight, but have yet to call
you? Unless you create enough emotion to make them act, they will never
respond to your ad. Create negative feelings toward where they are at
now, and positive emotion towards what a change in fitness will be like.
Before and after pictures are especially effective in creating emotional
responses. If you are in doubt, watch late night infomercials, or flip
through Flex or Muscle and Fitness magazine. Each ad creates an
emotional response targeted to a specific fitness demographic.
Now that your ad uses wording to create emotion, it is time to encourage
action. You should now make an offer. EVERY ADVERTISEMENT SHOULD HAVE AN
OFFER. Showing before and after pictures may motivate some people, but
will have a much better response if you ask the customer to contact you.
Putting your contact information is not enough to get most people to
the phone. Make sure the advertisement asks your potential personal
clients to contact you, and does so in such a way that the customer will
motivated to call now as opposed to waiting for three months. Once
EVERY ADVERTISEMENT FOR PERSONAL FITNESS TRAINING SHOULD INCLUDE AN
As a final inclusion to your ad copy, determine how you are going to
track the response that you get from your advertisement. You will be
spending a lot of money on developing and placing the ad, Wouldnít it be
prudent to find out how effective the ad was? The most common way to
the effectiveness of an advertisement is to include a coupon or a
offer. This serves a dual purpose, 1) it serves as an offer to entice
fitness clients to call, 2) it provides a way for you to know how many
people responded to an advertisement.
You now have written your copy, and have either been working with the
periodicalís graphic artist, or have been working with an independent
designer or publishing program. After you have developed the
and had it printed in a photo-ready format, it is time to submit it to
magazines or newspaper. When placing your ad, make sure that you are
the specific times that it will go to press, when it will be circulated.
Also, ask if the periodical can send you a printed proof of the ad
goes to final press; just to make sure that the colors and words line
After printing, make sure that the periodical sends you a copy of the
magazine or newspaper with your ad included.
These are the fundamental steps that personal trainers, fitness clubs,
and small businesses follow when placing advertisements. The process is
complex, but it does take some thought to create an effective
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