Monday, January 31, 2011

Internet Fitness Marketing: How to Smell the BS - Part 2

Last week I struck a few cords with Part 1 of this topic. If you missed it,  check it out before continuing with this one. 

I received many emails and comments about this particular topic. And I think I know why. The vast majority of consumers are becoming sick and tired of being treated like imbeciles, tools, and down-right airheads. In this age of the Internet, we have information LITERALLY at our fingertips. Those that know how to use it, become the wiser. Those that do not...perish and wallow in their belief that luck is bestowed on them and not necessarily made. In simple terms, today's consumer wants their hard earned dollar respected.

Fitness marketing strikes a cord with people. And I think I know why. The world of fitness training has evolved in the last few years. Collectively, trainers and exercise enthusiasts alike are becoming more knowledgeable and "buying into" the research that exercise and physical activity needs to be challenging, perspiring, and progressive--in order to work. We are beginning to understand that in order to change the body--we really have to apply some radical physical activity to make it change! That means doing things faster and lifting things heavier. Easy exercise is out---challenging exercise is in. That is why there are more and more smaller fitness studios and bootcamps opening up. People want to get right to the point--most don't need flat screen TVs, saunas, jacuzzi, and towel service. Today's exercise enthusiasts want to get in and get out. Many understand that shorter, more challenging workouts are the way to go to burn more fat, get learner and stronger. According to this NY Times article, huge commercial gyms with lots of fluff  and wasteful amenities are beginning to suffer.

So why do fitness Internet marketing guru's still exist? Like the shake weight, people are still buying into crap:

Mastermind groups have become very expensive "pow-wows". Millionaire hopefuls are asked to buy seats at  these events ranging from $800-$1400 (that does not include airfare and lodging). So what goes on at these mastermind summits? Fitness product ideas are tossed around in a brainstorm session. Once a product that is somewhat unique is born, a plan is put together to market it. It begins with testimonials.

You can never under-estimate the power of testimonials. Video and photo testimonials run supreme in fitness marketing--and BEFORE and AFTER photos are the most popular. However, most before and after photos are simply stock photos that have been already used in several other sales pages located all over the Internet. Heck, there are even developers that will produce media testimonials for your business for a fee:

Next, sales copies are generated. These are the product landing pages that make you scroll and scroll to get to the bottom. Often times,  no one ever reads them completely. And that is a good thing for the marketer. They bloat up the sales page with useless info and generic product specifics that the only thing the reader WANTS to do is get to the bottom to see how much the product costs. That's a great tactic.

What about all these popular bootcamps that generate thousands of dollars? Easy...bootcamps and most small personal training studios are run like commercial gyms. They include electronic funds transfer (EFT) so that the instructor or owner receives a monthly fee for services. Just like a gym. So while many bootcamp owners trash talk commercial gyms' handling of members; bootcamps are run by a very similar model. Not that there is anything wrong with running bootcamps like gyms; but its not a SECRET and I don't need to pay you $1000 to figure it out.

Success: Projecting an image of success is crucial to continuing revenue. If you do not believe that you guru is rich; than you will not buy into his fast-break products. So how do you project success? Visiting high end car dealerships, hotels, and restaurants and making sure the is alot of free space in the camera's memory card.

Because this will work:
Before this one does:

Got that? So can you see how much the imagery is deception? And image is influential.  Most of what you see is smoking mirrors. Professional photographers that use Photo shop and other tools to enhance a marketer's image can be very lucrative. 

Mastermind attendees are not learning anything that is not new. They are supplying the fitness marketers with valuable information. They are supplying them with fresh ideas and customer info. In reality,  the attendees are keeping the Internet marketers afloat.

To summarize, here are a few key points to drill into your head regarding fitness Internet marketing

1.) Fitness Internet Marketers need to project an image of success in order to keep your attention.

2.) Fitness Internet Marketers will align themselves with other marketers that would seem like competition...but in essence, are really helping each other out.

3.) Everyone needs to be on the same page. Along with sales pages, scripts are drafted to send out to affiliates with release dates.

4.) Mastermind groups are overly priced meetings that the little man shares his ideas with the gurus. If the idea is good, the guru uses it as the next product launch--where the person behind the idea is either noted or not.

5.) Brag, brag, brag. Exploit your vacations to Bermuda, Las Vegas, and the Cayman Islands. Ever notice successful gurus will post photos of themselves with other successful gurus overlooking a beautiful scenery? Kinda makes you feel left out? That's exactly what they want you to feel. This brings out emotion in imagery. Solidifies the future sale.


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