🌟Be aware of those Bright Shiny Objects




Have you heard of the Bright Shiny Objects Syndrome?

It is the tendency for a gym owner or fitness studio owner to chase something new, be it a new business idea, marketing tool, or goal, rather than to stay focused on what they're doing.

It is similar to a child who is attracted to anything that's shiny and new.

Take a second and have a think about the times where you know you need to do something to generate leads for your business.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when you look at your sales tracking sheet and think about what you need to do to fill it? 

You're not alone.

I think it's the curse of gym and studio owners these days.

You look at how many new clients you need to bring in to hit your targets and then you try to think about how you're going to do it.

But it's so difficult to know where to start. 

What will actually work? 

Back in the day when I started my first business which was a mail order company back in the 90’s (yes, I really am that old!!), you pretty much had the choice of...

  • networking
  • direct mail
  • telemarketing
  • advertising

...when it came to marketing.

Each with their own established best practices and rules.

Today we've got some many more advertising channels...

And it all seems to be changing all the time 

I've lost count of the number of “next big thing” emails I've had trying to convince me to buy the latest and greatest method for getting a so-called flood of clients with some newfangled technique.

And that's just Facebook!

Be aware of those Bright Shiny Objects!!

When you're just starting out – or even if you're fairly well established – it can all be so overwhelming. It’s so difficult to know what to do. It was a big issue for me when I started my new venture.

In some ways, because it is all down to me it's worse – because I deliberately keep tabs on all the newest approaches.

Every time I try to think of what I should do I can't get a clear picture in my mind. And that was my introduction to what is known as bright shiny objects!

And all the stories of other people succeeding with this marketing method or that method just confused me further.

So how on earth do I figure out what to do without spending every waking hour networking, phoning, tweeting or blogging?

Well, what follows is an approach I am working on to clear the fog of uncertainty and give me some clarity on what to do.

I can't promise it will work for you – but give it a try – I think it will be helpful to a number of you. And I hope it helps cure you of Bright Shiny Object Syndrome!

Introducing The Prospect Matrix

The key to is to break down your marketing into manageable chunks.

Ones you can think about sensibly.

Too often, when we think about how we're going to get new clients we lump all our potential clients into one big bucket.

And you know what?

You can't market to big bucket of prospects.

So I am finding it helpful to split my prospects into Top Clients and Others.

For me, Top Clients are the top 10 clients I'd really love to win over the next 6 months. Clients who – if I got to do business with just one or two of them – would give us great pleasure (and a challenge) to work with.

Something for me to get my teeth into.

For you it might be a top 5 or a top 20.

But essentially, it's a small number of ideal clients you can think about individually.

You could go more sophisticated and split into A/B/C or suchlike.

But, for now, let's keep things simple.

The “others” are prospects I'm not going identify specifically or do a specific plan for – there are too many of them.

But I do aim to win a number of them via more general marketing.

Then I split my marketing into short term and long term.

Long term marketing is all about building “gravity”. Doing the things that will attract clients to you so you don't have to actively seek them out. Thought leadership, stuff with your website and the like.

But long term marketing takes time before it pays off.

So, you also need some short term activities to try to bring in clients right now. The kind of stuff that pays the bills while you work on the long term side.

Then I draw a little 2 x 2 matrix to represent this. Client types on one axis and time frame on the other.

Here is an outline of the Prospect Matrix that I drew out for my new business...

Avoid Bright Shiny Objects with The Prospect Matrix

Stage 1 of The Prospect Matrix

Then I think through what marketing activities would be the most appropriate in each box for each client type/time frame combination.

Splitting it up like this makes it much easier.

Instead of struggling to see what marketing will magically work for all clients in all circumstances, I can take a “horses for courses” approach.

It's much easier to see what marketing will work in the short term for my top 10 clients, or to nurture relationships with the “other” prospects who enquire about my services.

Usually, I end up thinking about referrals and extending existing client relationships with key clients in the short term.

And I aim to develop unique, personalised nurture plans to build my relationship with top prospects in the long term.

For the broader set of target clients, I may pencil in approaches like webinars or direct mail in the short term – and I'll focus on using email marketing nurture campaigns in the long term.

This second photo is an example of what the matrix might look like for your gym or studio business...

The Prospect Matrix helps fitness business owners avoid Bright Shiny Objects Syndrome

Stage 2 of The Prospect Matrix

Of course, your matrix will look different depending on your analysis of what marketing approaches will work for your specific clients – and what you're good at.

But the key is that by breaking it up into this matrix rather than trying to eat the elephant all in one go, you zap the overwhelm.

As I say, I can't promise it'll work for you but my hope is that you might cure the overwhelm and brain fog that comes from Bright Shiny Objects Syndrome.

Have a great day and let me know how you get on.

About the author, Andrew Wallis

From two decades in the corporate world to finding my freedom in fitness, I'm known as Braveheart—a Personal Trainer turned marketing maestro for Fitness Professionals. I'm all about unlocking potential and empowering Fit Pros to grow their businesses. 'Finding Your Freedom' isn't just a mantra; it's a collective journey I embark upon with my clients.

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