Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How to Build Your Own Fitness Boot Camp: Your Name and Your Brand

In the last post, we talked about the legal form to start your fitness business, and why. Today we talk about naming your personal training business.

As soon as you go to register a new company, the first thing you need is a name. I want to warn you not to get hung up so much on this that you don’t get started. I started with ‘(Name of the county) BOOT CAMP’ since my business model revolved around my region and there were plenty of cities there. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage in that you can get awesome search engine rankings and also recognition, but it may limit where you go. I might pick a universal name, but still get the ‘(name of city) Boot Camp’ just as domain names if I wanted to go this route and capitalize somewhat on search engine rankings by having those words on my website in the content, but still have a brand name that can be expanded to other areas.

If you are thinking of using your name as your business name, there are pros and cons. The pros are that it is very individual and it will help you get off the ground since when you start the focus is on you as the fitness expert. It helps you create a celebrity status in your community, and that can be extremely beneficial in the beginning. The positive side of using your name is that it makes it all about you, and some people will love that.

The negative side of using your name is that it makes it all about you. This means that if another trainer is training your clients there is a disconnect. For instance, if your name is Jane and you have 20 great clients who you then have Bob train, how will people perceive ‘Jane’s Fitness Boot Camp’ when they see Bob training the clients? It’s kind of weird if you ask me. In addition to this, if you want to expand and get big, you may have a problem because you can’t leave the business or else you will look like you abandoned it. There are ways around this, obviously, but you have to position yourself as a real fitness celebrity to do this. It is possible but be sure to think carefully about it. If you want true leverage and freedom, having it all about you might make you the bottleneck for your own business.
When you register a name for a business license, it might be something like All Out Fitness, LLC. After that, you will probably want to simultaneously register All Out Fitness as a doing business as name (DBA), which can be done from the same website. This allows you to use the DBA on all your marketing, and also to take forms of payment like checks written out to All Out Fitness without the LLC on the end. This is important when setting up banking relationships too.

To go with your name, you will want a logo. There are really inexpensive resources for this on the Internet. You can outsource this to a low-cost designer and there are many options. For instance, you might try something like Elance, ODesk, Fiverr, or another outsourcing website to find a graphic designer or ask us for our specific recommendations of those we’ve used. Never fork over a ton of money for this. You can always redesign later when you have a lot of money from your profits. Right now you need something professional, but reasonable. Keep it simple, as dropping a ton of money on fancy marketing is not going to build the business for you.

When I say branding, I don’t just mean your name and your logo. I mean getting known and building a network of influence. The only way to do this is to make clients really happy so they become raving fans. You need to make sure they can remember your name and you give them the name all the time repeatedly in different ways and build a relationship so they tell other people. This is true branding. It is being the talk of the town. You will develop this as you utilize more parts of this program. It all starts with having a name you feel good about and that suits who you are.

First, who are you? What is your goal for your clients? What makes you different and sets you apart? Do you offer a special kind of training no one else does (or few people in the area do)? If you are only ever going to be in one city, maybe you do name it ‘(city) Boot Camp’, so that you are THE official one in the area. Maybe you give it something very memorable that is impossible for people to forget, like Raving Lunatic Fitness. I am just kidding about the last one, but maybe not. You decide. Hard to forget, right?

If you are running a diversified training business, you might have a more general fitness name, and then have a program called blah blah Boot Camp, rather than naming your business after the Boot Camp. For me, I wanted to specialize and be all about Boot Camp and ditch the training, so I just called it the Boot Camp. It gave me a specialty over the others since we didn’t try to be great at anything else. We were the BEST at Boot Camps and people knew it. You have to factor these things in when deciding on a name.

In the next post in my series on How To Start Your Own Boot Camp Business, I will cover Targeting Your Market and Finding Your Ideal Customers.

Check out a proven fitness boot camp business model for you to use right here.

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