Growth

Creating a Gym Persona for Your Marketing Strategy

Lucy Connor
24 February 20
10 min read
gym-persona

Nowadays, personalized marketing is becoming something that most customers expect, especially if you’re marketing to Millenials.

However, the problem is that delivering a message that communicates with your members on a personal level can be tricky. In fact, over 60% of professional marketers say they struggle with it.

But what if there was a method that made delivering your message a whole lot easier while making your customers feel like real people?

Enter the gym persona.

A well-crafted gym persona helps you personalize your marketing efforts by humanizing core target groups within your customer base. 

Personas help your marketing, sales, and support teams internalize your ideal customers and relate to them as human beings.

From crafting the right marketing message to laser targeting social media ads or following up with leads – anything that involves the acquisition or retention of customers can be improved by having a solid gym persona.

So, today we’re going to dive into how you can create accurate gym personas for your gym and how you can use them to inform your marketing strategy. Skip ahead to:

What is a Gym Persona?

A gym persona is a model that describes your typical or ideal customer. A well-crafted persona helps you deliver the most relevant and useful information to your target audience by allowing you to visualize exactly who you’re talking to.

Most gyms will have different groups of customers who sign-up, so it’s usually helpful to create a persona for each target group within your business.

Personas are made up of information such as demographics, goals, behaviors, pain points, hobbies/interests, and communication preferences and come together to form a general image of what your ideal customers look like.

Personas can help you clarify your tone of voice and cater to the needs, wants, and desires of your members. 

Why Create Gym Personas?

In your personal life, you already communicate with different people in various ways. For example, say you get engaged. You’d probably use different words and mediums to let your friends, parents, and co-workers know the great news.

You might call your parents on the phone and opt to share a picture win your friend’s via WhatsApp.

In the same way that you intuitively know the best way to communicate with the people in your personal life, creating a customer persona allows you to understand the best ways to communicate with your members. In fact, 90% of companies using personas have been able to create a clearer understanding of who buyers are.

Personas are also useful when making decisions about your fitness business. Having an accurate persona to reference can help you determine which new offerings (e.g., strength classes, physiotherapy, hiring a new personal trainer) will deliver the most value to your members. So much so that in a recent study, 82% of companies using Personas have managed to improve their value proposition.

In short, gym personas:

  • Improve your marketing and sales efforts
  • Help you create better customer experiences
  • Allow you to enhance your value proposition
  • Help guide business decisions
  • Boost your understanding of your members

And when you add all these benefits together, you get more leads, more sales, more members, more revenue, and more profits. 

3 Ways to Create a Gym Persona

Up to  71% of companies that exceed revenue and lead goals have documented personas, so that means it’s time for you to create your own. 

But where do we get the information we need to put together a persona? Well, there are a few sources you can use to sketch out exactly what your ideal gym member looks like. Here are three great places to look:

Facebook Audience Insights

The Audience Insights tool from Facebook is a great place to start gathering data to form your gym persona. Facebook collects a massive amount of data from its users, and as a page owner, you can tap into this and use it to your advantage.

You can find your audience insights tool in your ads manager. Open it, and you’ll see this screen:

If you’ve already got a decent-sized Facebook following, then go ahead and click ‘People connected to your page.’ Facebook will then show you the demographics and interests of users who’ve liked your gym’s Facebook page.

If you’re just starting out or don’t have a Facebook page for your business, don’t worry, you can still use Facebook insights to help narrow down your ideal customer.

Click ‘Everyone on Facebook’ and then input your location. Then in the interests section, put in interests that are similar to what you offer – so, for example, it could be ‘Yoga’ or ‘Spinning.’

Facebook will then work its magic and produce detailed demographics on people who live in your area who are interested in what you’re offering.

You can even use Facebook insights to see what other topics your audience is passionate about; click over to the ‘Likes’ tab, scroll down to the ‘Affinity’ section.

The value that a tool like Facebook Audience insights provides used to cost thousands of dollars and weeks of professional research. But now with a few simple clicks, you’re able to determine your audience’s:

  • Demographics like their age, sex, income level, and education level
  • Where they like to hang out
  • What brands, products, they like to use
  • Who their key influencers are and much more

When getting started creating your persona, you’d be crazy not to leverage Facebook’s incredibly large collection of user data to your advantage.

Harness The Power of Your Team

Your team is an incredible goldmine of information for your persona.

After all, they’re in daily contact with your customers and prospects. That means you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll have valuable perspectives on your customer’s goals, problems, and behaviors.

Hold a meeting or series of meetings with your staff who regularly handle customers. What generalizations can you draw out from your team to inform your buyer persona? Look for common themes and tie them together to get a clearer picture of what your best customers look like.

Interview Your Members

It’s unlikely that anybody knows your audience better than they know themselves.

Carrying out surveys or interviews of your current members is an extremely valuable way to create killer personas for your gym owner or fitness studio. Use a tool like Survey Monkey to create free questionnaires and send them to your email list. They have a handy guide to take you through the process here.

Check out this blog post for some simple and effective questions you can include in your survey. 

Getting answers to questions like these will help you build a clearer picture of who you should be marketing to. Once you’ve received all your responses, collate the data, and again pick out common themes. It might help to visualize your personas by creating some charts and graphs based on your collected data.

Put Your Data Into a Template

Now that you know the direction you’re headed with your gym persona, it’s time to build out a profile. A useful tool that can help you easily create persona templates for free is Xtensio.

Start by giving your persona a name – it could be ‘Biceps Billy’ or ‘Pilates Patricia’ or something less silly altogether. The point of the name is to make your persona feel like a real person.

Next, identify your person’s job and suggest a few companies where they might work. Then fill in the other demographical information such as their age, income, and gender. Follow that by filling in their identifiers, goals, and challenges.

It’s also helpful to include an image – it doesn’t have to be of a real customer – you can find many royalty-free images on Pexels that approximate your avatar. Lastly, make sure to include some actual quotes from your customers – again for greater humanization. The goal is that at the end you could imagine that your gym persona is a living and breathing person who you know very well.

Using a Gym Persona to Guide Your Marketing Strategy

By now, you’ve hopefully got an accurate picture of what your various personas look like. But what’s the point of putting time and effort into creating gym personas if we don’t put them use in our everyday marketing efforts.

Here’s how you can leverage your persona to improve your marketing strategy:

Figure Out What Problems Your Customers Are Facing

The data gained from your interviews and surveys should help you to define what challenges your customers are facing. Finding ways that your gym can help solve these problems is a sure-fire way to improve your member experience while building trust and loyalty. 

At the same time, clarifying the goals of each of your personas will help you craft better offers, overcome common objections, and address your member’s priorities instead of your own.

Hone Your Communications

Whenever you sit down to write emails, ads, or social media posts, imagine that you’re speaking directly to the persona you’re targeting. Speaking to audience segments in a style that resonates allows you to build greater trust and brand affinity.

Also, consider the format, channel, and timing of your communications. Thinking about how your members and prospects like to communicate means the right message will be delivered at the right time, every time.

Create More Relevant Content

Creating content such as blog posts and newsletters can be difficult when you’re trying to guess at who’s reading it. But when you have personas to guide you, it gets easier to produce and deliver content that adds value at every stage of their fitness journey.

Segment Your Audience Like a Pro

Segmenting your members along persona lines ensures that each member receives the most relevant and personalized communication. For example, ‘Deadlift Danny’ probably doesn’t have much interest in the upcoming prenatal yoga classes, but you can be sure he’d like to hear about the two-day strength clinic next month.

Segmenting your audience by persona also helps your sales teams to identify who they’re talking to. Since different segments will have different motivations and objections for joining, segmenting leads by persona allows sales to tailor their approach and identify the best leads effectively.

Include Your Member Persona in Business Decisions

Think about your personas anytime you decide on your business or marketing strategy. Always ask how your decision will impact your persona – will it enhance or detract from their experience?

Aim to do right by your personas and the real people they represent – you’ll end up with more sales, more profits, and a loyal customer base who are delighted to call themselves members of your gym.

In Summary

So much of marketing is about building relationships. Creating gym personas helps you build more robust and meaningful relationships by adding a personal element to your marketing efforts.

Personas enhance your understanding of the problems your members face and put you in a better position to help solve their challenges. 

Using your personas to deliver empathetic messages and inform business decisions creates a bond between you and your customers.

The result is more engagement, greater customer success, increased sales, and happier members who’ll become life-long advocates for your gym.