As a gym, fitness studio, or martial arts dojo, your business is a small business. Even if you’ve grown and now run multiple facilities, the heart of your company is small. The thing that people love about small businesses is the person or family behind them. That is one of the driving factors behind customers supporting small businesses.
Why should you effectively tell your story or your “why?” Simply put, people want to hear it. Believe it or not, potential customers love to see the face (or faces) behind local businesses. However, it’s not as simple as throwing up a photo of yourself and saying you “have a passion for changing lives.” That story has been told time and time again. Therefore, you must figure out how to effectively tell your story to your members and potential customers.
For small gyms and studios, passion is the primary driver. There is typically an owner whose life was changed by fitness and they want to share that magic with others. That passionate owner (or owners) truly wanting to help people is what sets small gyms apart from the money-hungry globo-gyms. But, if you cannot effectively share your story and explain your passion, no one cares.
Fitness and nutrition can be vulnerable subjects for a lot of people. It makes them examine their weaknesses and their vices. By getting to know the person they will be working with ahead of time, new members can feel more comfortable and connected to you as a trustworthy coach.
Where To Tell Your Story
You may be wondering… “Okay, I need to tell my story. Who do I tell and where do I share it?” Your website is the best place to start. Include an “About Us” page. Here you can share your story and the story of why you opened your facility. Don’t worry about making the page as short as possible. If people are interested in the information, they will take the time to read it. However, this doesn’t mean you should ramble on for 30 paragraphs.
If you want to go more in-depth on parts of your journey, write a blog post (or multiple) to help potential customers get to know you better. Use these blog posts to link back to your About Us page or other posts about your background.
Social media is another great location to tell your story. Write a Facebook post or record some Instagram stories (that you save as a highlight) to help locals get to know you. If you are a new business, get these posts up as soon as possible. Showing your personality and letting people get to know you can help your business seem more inviting.
If you aren’t a great writer, video is another option for telling your story. You can record yourself and post the video on your website or social media pages. This option works well for you hand-talkers and big personalities. Video allows your true colors to shine bright.
What Information To Include
What information you choose to share is up to you. Every person’s story is different and every person has a different comfort level when it comes to sharing personal information. This is a list of some options for topics to include. Use as many or as few as feels right for you.
This topic is pretty all-encompassing, but just let people know the basics about you:
- Where you were born
- Where you grew up
- Previous jobs or careers
- Where you went to school
- Your family and childhood
Include anything that you’d like people to know or interesting facts about you.
Obviously, this depends on your comfort level with how much information you’d like to share about your family. You can go into depth about how you met the love of your life or simply mention that you have a partner and two children. If you have pets, make sure to talk about them and include a photo! People love to see your furry, scaly, or feathered family members.
How Fitness Changed Your Life
If you own a gym or fitness studio, you most likely have a reason why. For many gym owners, that reason is that fitness helped them personally. Whether it was transforming your body and health or overcoming a period of mental struggle, there is a reason you want to share fitness with others. Being sincere and honest with your story can help inspire others to make the change they’ve been thinking of.
Who or What Inspired Your Fitness Journey
Along the same lines as to how fitness changed your life, you can also discuss who or what inspired your fitness journey. Maybe it was a great coach at a CrossFit gym or wanting to get healthy once your child was born. For many people, there is a specific catalyst that jump-started their healthy lifestyle. Some people are still looking for that spark of inspiration and they enjoy hearing what inspired others to start.
Why You Prioritize Health
The big “why.” In the world we live in, it can be harder to be healthy than it is to be unhealthy. We can spend hours sitting and lounging, binging on Netflix while we eat treats to our heart’s desire. It is much harder to have the discipline to include nutritious food in your diet and move your body every day. That discipline stems from your why, whether that is your family or a health condition.
Your Education and Certifications
To teach fitness classes, you are required to have certifications of some kind. Many coaches and trainers hold multiple certifications in different modalities. Share these certifications and any other fitness or health education. People want to know that you are knowledgeable and capable of safely and correctly training them.
How You Help People
Instead of bluntly saying “I coach them or I opened a gym to help people,” get specific. If you are passionate about mobility and injury prevention, talk about that. Explain why it’s important to you and how to pass that on to your members. You can also talk about charities or volunteer positions that are close to your heart. Helping people doesn’t just happen within the walls of the gym.
Life Outside of the Gym
Do you love to go rock climbing? Are you a LARPer? Tell everyone what hobbies and activities you love to do when you’re not working. This helps complete that picture of you as more than just a gym owner or coach. Plus, it can open up discussions about common hobbies and you can extend your gym community outside of class.
Your Definition of Success
While this may not be a conventional “about you” topic, people will enjoy hearing what success means to you. It also gives insight into your goals, especially for the business. As we discussed, fitness is a business of passion, so your success most likely includes changing people’s lives and helping them be as healthy as possible.
Use Your Own Words
If you use a ghostwriter or copywriter for your blog or website, give them a couple of days off. Your story is best told by you. If you aren’t a confident writer, your copywriter can still look over the information and make edits if needed.
Share In Multiple Locations
Many websites hide a short biography about the owner on the “About Us” page. This can be hard to access and doesn’t give off a feeling of pride in your story. Confidently share your story on your website, social media, and anywhere else you feel is right. When it comes to a small gym, the owner is the heart of the gym so people should get to know you.
Complete the picture by letting people see you and what you’re all about. A simple portrait should always be the main photograph, so people can easily recognize you. Feel free to also include photos of your family, friends, pets, hobbies, or anything else you’d like to share. These visuals only enhance your story.
Sometimes the idea of writing about yourself can be terrifying. The benefits of telling your story will be worth it. Your members and potential customers will feel a deeper connection to you and the story behind the gym. Include whatever you want! Some topics to write about include your background, your family, who inspired your fitness journey, your certifications, and your definition of success. Let everyone get to know the heart behind the business.