For small business professionals, placing advertisements in newspapers and magazines requires a lot of forethought and planning. There are many parts to placing an effective ad, least of which is designing ad itself. Consideration must be made to how and where advertisement is going to run, as well as length and amount of exposure advertisement will receive. The following is a basic guide to help you develop most effective fitness and personal training advertisement.
Developing an effective advertisement begins not by sitting down to write copy, but instead begins with research. Find out what periodicals are available to advertise in, and what periodicals your clients read. Make a list of local magazines, newsletters, and newspapers that you would be interested in. Contact advertising departments of these periodicals and ask to speak to your area accounts representative. Many magazines and papers have reps covering specific areas of your county, city, or state. When speaking to person, explain to them who you are and what you wish to
accomplish. Most representatives are very helpful in making suggestions regarding proper placement of ads, and may be able to offer suggestions that you had not yet considered.
When speaking to your local rep, you should make sure to obtain following information:
1. Rate Card: Have rep fax or mail you a current rate sheet so that you know exactly how much your advertisement will cost.
2. Current Demographics: Each newspaper and magazine tracks number and type of people that read their publications. Many publications also track spending habits and reading habits of their demographic. Make sure to obtain a list of periodicalís demographics, this is most valuable piece of information that a fitness trainer can obtain from an ad rep.
3. Submission Requirements and definition of "Photo Ready:" Make sure to find out what is required to submit an article. Find out what form ad must be in, and when submission deadlines are scheduled. Also, find out what periodicalís definition of photo-ready is. This definition varies from paper to paper, and may vary from a concept sketch to pre-printed three color film. Make sure that representative explains how ad must be submitted.
4. Special Promotions: Many times, magazines and newspapers implement their own promotion programs or events. As a trainer, these promotions may provide you with added exposure that you need. Be sure to ask if there are any upcoming events or additional publications that might address your needs.
5. Creative Design: The final thing that you should ask representative is whether they offer creative design assistance, and if there is a cost for such assistance. Most newspapers offer graphic design services to advertisers who are placing ads in their papers. Better still, many of these services are included in price of advertising. Ask if periodical can help you with graphics on your ad and if you will be charged for this service. Personal trainers live on a budget, and this is a great way to save what would otherwise be spent on graphic artists.
Now that you have information about your advertising options, it is time to decide exactly what and how you are going to advertise. Sit down and write out EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE SELLING TO. Which fitness clients are you trying to attract? Define age, sex, and specific demographic that you are trying to attract and train. Be specific, people who want to train to lose weight are in a completely different demographic than those who want to train to gain lean muscle mass.
After you have written down your specific training demographic, write down why people in this group would want your services. Write down what you believe they want, and what value they will receive by choosing you as their personal trainer. Once again, be specific, this will be foundation of your advertisement. Keep in mind that most people will not pick up phone for an advertisement that says "get fit." However, millions of
people every day invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to "lose weight." Make sure that you know real reason why a client would
chose you as their trainer.
Now that you have chosen who you are marketing to, and what you are offering, it is a simple matter of choosing which magazine or newspaper to advertise in. Match demographics of magazines with demographic of fitness clients that you are trying to reach.
You have chosen where you are going to advertise, and what you are selling, so now it is time to determine what ad is going to say and how it is going to be laid out. This is where assistance of magazine creative designers is invaluable. However, onus in still upon you to