Using the Laddering Method to attract fitness clients

July 16, 2022

There’s a big mistake a lot of Fitness Professionals are making when trying to attract new clients to their business.

And it’s easy to fix.

The problem is, they’re standing on the wrong rung of the ‘ladder’.

‘Laddering’ is a marketing concept that enables you to create a marketing strategy to help potential clients fall in love with your business.

There are four rungs of the ladder, and the higher you climb, the more successful your marketing will be.

The first rung of the ladder is ‘product feature’. Fitness professionals who are standing on this rung market the features of what they offer. For example, a boutique gym might advertise the amount of fancy equipment they have, and a Personal Trainer might promote their qualifications.

Advertising features is the least effective strategy.

The second rung of the ladder is ‘product benefit’, which explores how the ‘product feature’ from rung one can be beneficial. Continuing our examples, lots of fancy equipment means you don’t have to wait long to use it, and lots of qualifications means the Personal Trainer can use a range of techniques to help their client.

Let’s step up onto the third rung, ‘personal benefit’. Here, we ask why the ‘product benefit’ from rung two matters. Less wait time for equipment means your clients can get in and out quicker, and spend more time with their family. A range of different training techniques makes people feel excited about exercise.

Finally, the fourth rung is ‘personal value’. What is it about the ‘product feature’, ‘product benefit’ and ‘personal benefit’ that connects to how the client sees themselves? Wrapping up our two examples, loads of fancy equipment in the boutique gym means a dad can spend more time with his young family, and lots of qualifications can fulfil the need for variety and excitement in life.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to climb this ladder, link the different rungs in your marketing message. For example:

“We’ve got all the equipment you need (product feature) to ensure you’re never waiting (product benefit) and can get in, do the work (personal benefit) and have more time to spend with your family (personal value.”

“My vast experience (product feature) means we’ll be using a huge range of training styles (product benefit) to ensure your training is varied (personal benefit) and that each session is exciting and keeps you guessing (personal value).”

Where are you on the marketing ladder? Can you move up a rung?

Dan Williams

Dan Williams


Dan Williams is the Director of Range of Motion and leads a team of Exercise Physiologists, Sports Scientists, Physiotherapists and Coaches. He has a Bachelor of Science (Exercise and Health Science) and a Postgraduate Bachelor of Exercise Rehabilitation Science from The University of Western Australia, with minors in Biomechanics and Sport Psychology.

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