Finding Your Niche: A Discussion with Fitness Native

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As someone who struggles with the idea of being a “niche” firm, I do appreciate the expertise and advantages of working with agencies who have documented experience in an industry. I have always took the stance of a marketing “generalist” in both skill set as well as industry preference.

Why? Because I believe every company needs two things to drive consistent growth – (1) the willingness to let good programs work and keep working, and (2) the risk tolerance to try new things. If your agency has this AND they are specialized in your area, bravo! If not, could it be time to find the right one for you?

In either case, I wanted to interview the founder of a new agency, Fitness Native, focused on only driving growth for gyms. He is Tyler Cerny, a graduate of John Carroll University.

How Your Background Shapes Your Motivations
At a young age I was extremely overweight, until I came across fitness. Fitness changed my life. Hence the term Fitness Native.

My definition of Fitness Native: A person that has his/her life completely changed through the power of fitness and healthy eating. It represents the impact fitness had on me and that’s why I wanted to share with as many people as possible.

Using Purpose to Find Your Niche
The way I came across finding my passion I used this four step chart. Imagine a Venn Diagram with 4 circles.

Industry: an industry that has tremendous upside, extremely profitable: fitness
Picking a profitable industry is extremely important. I view the industry like one huge river. If the industry is profitable and contributes billions of dollars into the economy, then if I show up as a new player in the industry I can take a fraction of a percentage and be well off. However, if you choose an industry that is saturated with competition, you will be left with one dried up river with no money left for taking.

Skills: a skill that I have or can learn
After evaluating my skills, I am really good at talking to people (sales) and online marketing always intrigued me so I set out to be a fitness marketing expert specializing in Facebook Advertising.

Interests: what are things I talk to my friends about on a Saturday night that allows me to talk for hours without thinking. Fitness, learning, success, and life

Experiences: what are experiences (good and bad) that I have experienced that no one else has experienced in their life; I was extremely obese as a child, went to China, 3 sport athlete in high school, collegiate athlete, been lifting weights for over 7 years.

This equaled Fitness Native. A Fitness (interests) Marketing Consultant (skill) helping high end fitness studios (industry) generate more leads, sell more high ticketed packages, and change more lives through the power of fitness (personal experience).

How did you get interested in marketing?
Online marketing is the future. There is nothing more targeted than Facebook Advertising right now for the fitness industry. As a marketer, this fires me up because I know how to get my clients results. Also, with Wifi being readily available almost everywhere in the world; becoming an online marketer while traveling the world is going to become the future. I am moving to Thailand because I want to travel to every country before the age of 25. Online marketing will be able to cover the expenses.

Who are your marketing influencers and why?
I categorize my favorite marketing influencers by their brand that they create for themselves through the internet. My role models and inspirations are Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins. They are highly successful and their online presence is remarkable and inspiring.

What are your favorite marketing/business books?
The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
10x Rule – Grant Cardone
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Carnegie
The One Thing – Gary Keller
Managing Oneself – Peter Drucker
Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

What made you decide to start your company and narrow your scope to helping gyms drive
more leads?
Not only is it profitable but gym owners are go getters and like minded people to myself, which allows me to be around fitness all the time

What do you think is missing in the fitness industry when it comes to marketing/advertising?
Marketing experts. Many gyms owners try to wear multiple hats when it comes to owning an independent gym. What many do not realize is that outsourcing marketing efforts to an expert will get them better results and generate more profit. Most importantly they will have more time to do what they love: satisfy customers and focus their time and energy in creating the best fitness experience for their members. They will have more time to focus on getting the best quality fitness instructors to teach classes and train members. They will also have more disposable time and money to spend on themselves, family, and friends.

What is your elevator pitch?
I help gyms generate more leads, sell more high valued packages, and create a bigger impact through the power of fitness.

What is the most important metric for gym owners to know?
Cost per lead, cost per acquisition of new member, average membership duration

What types of technology should marketers be masters at?
Social media marketing, all fitness professionals should have a Facebook advertising expert on their team

What advice would you give to a marketing student or professional looking to start their own marketing agency?
Fill out the Venn Diagram that I mentioned above including skills, industry, interests, and experiences. The point where all four of those intersections meet is the sweet spot for the individual to find their passion and enjoy what they do every day.

I would love to hear about your niche and what makes it successful, feel free to connect with me at jeff@spinvista.com.

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