In times of crisis, people seek leadership – whether in medicine, government or business. And now more than ever, your gym’s clients and prospects are counting on you to help them stay fit, which includes reminding and updating them about your services and expertise.
We’re not talking about dispensing medical advice or running for office.
We’re talking about marketing in a way that is helpful to your community and smart for your business.
That means adjusting your services and offerings, yes. It also means communicating. It means marketing.
And that’s not only morally OK, it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
First, let’s address a misconception we’re hearing from some fitness professionals. We’ve been asked recently if it’s somehow unethical to promote your business and seek payment during the coronavirus crisis – as if the idea implies taking advantage.
It does not. You must continue marketing, which is a necessary business function – a “must have” rather than a “nice to have.” Don’t retreat into a limiting belief about your value out of a vaguely uncomfortable feeling. There is no ethical conflict in responsibly reminding people you can help them and providing a service in exchange for a reasonable fee.
Let’s clarify what’s OK by sharing an appalling example of what’s not: Price gouging of hand sanitizer or medical equipment during a public-health crisis. Would you even consider hoarding Purell and selling it at astronomically inflated prices to desperate neighbors? Of course not. Now, THAT is unethical.
Contrast that to staying in front of your clients and prospects, providing modified workouts or training online, sharing useful information and positive coaching, and – yes – doing so for money. Remember that your customers are counting on you to help solve a problem, and your employees are counting on you to stay in business.
Here are some actions you can be taking:
- Keep your messages clear and helpful.
- Pro-actively help your people transition with information and attentive customer service.
- Reduce what you’re spending on ads to maintenance level.
- Focus more on content marketing, which is much cheaper. That means posting on Facebook, sending more emails, and updating your website.
- Explore high-demand joint ventures, like meal delivery.
- Review our free, downloadable FAQs for help on pricing, delivering services, marketing and more.
Keep your eye on the future, too. What new opportunities will come out of this? What potential obstacles could you face? Where will your competitors be in a few months? The ones who disappear now will have the hardest time re-emerging.
Change is inevitable. But focus on elements of success that remain solid, like keeping your eyes open; caring for customers and team members, and sharing what you have to offer.
With three decades of professional experience, Jay Croft is a purpose-driven storyteller. He loves planning, producing and sharing content that targeted audiences find useful and engaging. That motivates people to take action. That helps drive business results.
Jay was trained as a journalist and spent 20 years as a reporter and editor at mainstream daily newspapers from Alaska to Florida and, finally, at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2007, he began creating marketing communications for leading corporations and news organizations, from Coca-Cola to CNN, from SunTrust Banks to WebMD.
Jay created Prime Fit Content in 2018 to help fitness professionals reach more people in their marketing. He also is a copywriter for Fitness Revolution and assists other organizations with their communications needs.