VIDEO + LESSON NOTES: building your brand
A business without branding, is like a person without a personality. They can probably get the job done, but they are boring as heck and you definitely won’t remember them. Don’t let you or your business be that person.
The brand for your business will include the unique style and design choices you use to represent the purpose and philosophy of your fitness practice. It is time to wear your creative director during this exercise, so if this was one of the challenging areas for your skill set, do not hesitate to call in an expert for assistance or a second opinion.
FINDING YOUR VOICE
Consider your personality as a coach, as well as the personality of your typical client, when determining the style of voice you will use in your text content. Keep in mind that you are using text in everything from your intake forms and emails, to your website, newsletters and social media posts. So your voice should be consistent and recognizable across all of these platforms. Some advice when deciding on voice:
CONNECT WITH HEART AND BRAIN
You want to make an immediate connection to your clients on both an emotional and intellectual level. Choose a voice that is both relatable and intelligent at the same time.
Try to paint a picture to your customer by using vivid, sexy descriptions that evoke emotion and association.
Even the most casual voice should come off as polished and professional by using proper grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Use an editor for assistance with this if needed.
Below are a few examples of voice for you to study and consider:
The DIAKADI Mission Statement
DIAKADI’s ideal voice originates from the heartfelt sentiment of a supportive coach (i.e. ‘own the life you want’), adding in casual, everyday terms (i.e. ‘skinny jeans’) in order to help the client truly visualize their place in our community.
Mark Fisher Fitness About Page
MFF is truly one of the most creative and successful fitness brands in NYC. They specifically use outlandish statements (i.e. ‘We actually give a shit.’) for their original style (i.e. ‘We won’t make you drink unicorn blood.’) in order to set the stage immediately that they are no ordinary fitness business.
Use three words or phrases to describe the ideal VOICE for your business.
Review your current Mission Statement and using the VOICE characteristics described above, adjust the original statement in order to better match the creative personality of your brand and voice.
VIDEO + LESSON NOTES: your sense of style
There are three main areas I want you to consider when defining the style and look of your brand:
You will want to find two to three colors that compliment one another that you will use consistently across all of your platforms. Choose colors that are attractive to you and even more importantly sexy to your niche client. These colors should become an easy way for clients to recognize you and your brand.
For inspiration of color pairings, I recommend checking out the Design Seeds website. All colors listed on the Design Seeds website will have a unique Archroma code (i.e. Archroma 651 350) associated with the color. You can then use this code on the Archroma Atlas site to locate the Hex or Pantone code for a color (i.e. #82A08D) so that you have the ability to customize the fonts and background colors for your documents (i.e. Google Docs) and website.
I recommend selecting one or two fonts for use across all platforms (i.e. logo, email, website, newsletter, etc).
The website Typewolf is an excellent source of inspiration for gathering font and font pairing ideas. Keep in mind that by choosing a font that is available in your website hosting platform as well as your email/newsletter platform, you can avoid the additional fee of purchasing a font for use. If the ideal font you decide on in Typewolf is not available for free, then I recommend trying to select a similar free font if possible.
Be very careful not to drown your customer in massive bodies of text in your website, social media, emails or newsletters. Anytime you are presenting large paragraphs of information, I recommend using one of the following methods to spread out the text and make it more scannable and digestible for your readers:
Shapes + Graphics
Keep in mind that your goal is to concisely present the information to your customers in a clean and organized method.
Select two to three COLORS that work well together that you will use consistently across all of your platforms. Then locate the associated Hex or Pantone codes for each color.
Select one to two FONTS that work well together that you will use consistently across all of your platforms. Take note as to whether or not these fonts are available in all other marketing and design software you plan on using (i.e. Squarespace, Google Docs, etc).
For any content that you currently have available for your clients (i.e. Intake forms, Confirmation emails, Website, etc), are there any opportunities for adjusting the LAYOUT(S) to better convey your message in a scannable format?
VIDEO + LESSON NOTES: Names + Taglines
I will lay it on you straight for this one, selecting a name is TOUGH, yet, incredibly important! Your company name will be the way that customers refer to you and your business verbally, as well as on every platform and website around the world. Take a breath. You got this.
Many businesses use a combination of the company name to express the originality of their brand and a tagline to better explain what the company does. For example, the name of our company is DIAKADI, which may mean nothing to someone that has never heard of us. So our tagline, Fitness Performance Life, helps to better define what the heck it is that we do.
My best advice is to consider the following ideas while making your decision:
1. USING YOUR ACTUAL NAME
If you plan on being the main focus of your business for quite some time, using your actual name as part of your company name can have its advantages. It definitely makes it easier for people who know you to find your business. Even if you are going to have other trainers working for you, where these additional trainers will still be using your style of training and branding, I recommend considering the use of your actual name within the company name. For example, when I first started training, the name of my private practice was Billy Polson Fitness. I did not change it to DIAKADI until we opened our facility and began working with a group of trainers. Remember that a brand name that is easy to find and comprehend is sometimes the smartest direction. Even Mark Fisher Fitness, the most creative brand in all of New York City, has an obvious name that is focused around its founder.
2. ORIGINALITY TO A POINT
There is definitely something to be said for selecting a name that stands out amongst your competitors, especially when most personal trainer markets are extremely saturated with countless options for the customer. Definitely review your ‘Business Purpose’ brainstorm list of words and phrases for some initial ideas. Using Thesaurus.com can also be an excellent source of inspiration while exploring options. ALWAYS perform Google searches for your business name ideas to see if other businesses are already using the name. Lastly, remember that you are going to have to say this name over and over for years to come, so clarity, brevity, memorability and ease of pronunciation are important considerations.
3. PLAN FOR GROWTH
Keep a little bit of wiggle room within your name to allow for small tweaks to your business and product offerings. I specifically chose Billy Polson Fitness as my original brand, over Billy Polson Personal Training, in order to encompass my growth into small group training and more specialized fitness coaching.
4. DOMAIN + SOCIAL MEDIA NAMES
While deciding on your options for your business name and tagline, make sure you are searching for the availability of domain and social media names (i.e. Instagram). Domain name registry websites such as GoDaddy, can provide assistance with this search. Keep in mind that there are a large number of extensions now available for your domain name, including .life, .best, and .health, among MANY others.
A logo is an INCREDIBLE way to pull together the brand of a small fitness business, giving it a powerful symbol to stand behind. Trust me, it is a powerful feeling to have a logo that represents you and the ass kicking business you are running. If you do not have a graphic designer to help you with building your logo, websites like 99Designs and Fiverr provide an economical way to gain access to a wide range of logos and graphic artists.
6. REBRAND AS NEEDED
Nothing is forever. You can always rebrand and rename your business as you grow and change your focus. At DIAKADI, our original name was DIAKADI Body with a tagline of Personal Training and Wellness Center. Seven years after opening, based on the dated nature of the term ‘wellness center’ and the incorporation of a wider variety of services within our business (i.e. physical therapy), we decided to update our tagline to ‘Fitness Performance Life’. We also dropped the word ‘Body’, as the majority of our customers now referred to us simply as DIAKADI. The adjustment was fairly simple for us and a much better fit for our current brand.
7. UNIQUE NAMES FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
In keeping with your brand, creating unique names for the products and services offered within your business, can be an innovative way of attracting clients to make purchases and showing them that you go above and beyond the normal offerings for a small fitness business owner. For example, instead of offering one-on-one and duet sessions, how about calling them ‘Hour for You’ and ‘Hour for Two’.
Name that business
List your top three options for your business name and tagline.
List the adjoining domain names (with name extensions) and social media names that you would use with each name option.
Locate three logos that would serve as the inspiration for creating the logo for your business and explain what traits of these logos you like.
List all unique product and services names you would like to use in your business.
Survey your friends, clients and peers for feedback on your main options for name, tagline, logo, and unique product names.
Select a final choice for name, tagline, and unique product name(s). If you plan on creating a logo, partner with a graphic designer, 99Designs or Fiverr to start the design process.