Connecting with influential bloggers is an incredibly effective way to increase awareness of your studio to a targeted audience in your community. According to recent surveys, 81 percent of the online population trusts information and advice they get from bloggers. While leveraging this influence can help your studio attract a slew of new clients, it can also backfire.
5 Tips for Effective Blogger Outreach
Thirty-eight percent of bloggers write about brands they love or hate. To do all you can to ensure bloggers fall in love with your studio, try these five tips for getting the right kind of write ups with blogger outreach.
1. Chose bloggers wisely.
Use search engines and social media platforms to identify blogs likely read by your studio’s target audience. For example, inviting a Dallas-based yoga blogger to try your boot camp in Baltimore probably won’t get much of a response. First, try connecting with bloggers in your local community. Most metro areas have blogger groups. Introduce yourself to the group organizer and get more information about the fitness and lifestyle bloggers in your area. Another effective strategy for finding local bloggers is to search Twitter using #yourcity, #fitness and #blogger.
You’ll also want to evaluate the bloggers’ reach by looking at a combination of the following criteria:
- Search engine page ranking
- Unique visitors to the site
- Blog comments – number and quality
- Social media stats
- Content tone and relevance
- Posting frequency
- Guest posts on other blogs and sites
- Length of time the blogger has been
2. Read the blogs!
Before you contact a blogger, read past posts. Search the blog by keywords, such as fitness, barre, strength training, etc., to get an understanding of their opinion of what you do before you invite them down to your studio. If while reading through a particular blog, you find a post titled “10 Things I Hate About Hot Yoga,” it’s probably best not to invite that blogger to cover your next hot yogathon event.
3. Focus your outreach.
Determine what you would like the blogger to write about. Give them ideas, without telling them exactly what to write. For example, you can talk about a specific class and it’s unique benefits or pitch the blogger on an event. Consider hosting an exclusive blogger-only event with giveaways and refreshments to maximize your promotion potential.
4. Make your outreach personal.
Sending mass emails with the bloggers’ addresses in BCC is the modern equivalent to sending a letter addressed, “To Whom it May Concern.” It’s a big don’t.
When you email a blogger, use his or her name and make sure you get the name correct. Tell the blogger why you like the site. Mentioning specific posts that resonated with you is an effective way to make a connection with the blogger.
Clearly explain why you want the blogger to come to your studio. Offer a free class and let the blogger know you are available before and after to answer any questions he or she might have.
Include your social media handles and hashtags to make it easier for the blogger to research your studio. Offer to supply images as well.
5. Anticipate how the blogger will evaluate your studio.
- In general, bloggers will judge his or her experience at your studio based on the following questions:
- Is the instructor personal? Did the instructor introduce herself? If the blogger returns for another class, does the instructor remember the blogger’s name?
- Does the instructor ask if anyone is injured?
- Does the instructor ask if anyone is new to the class? If there is someone new to the class, does the instructor give a quick intro to the class format?
- Does the instructor correct clients’ form? If they do correct form, do they tell clients to let her know if they prefer not to be touched when correcting form?
- Does the studio have lockers? Does the studio let new clients know if they need to bring a lock before arriving for class?
- Is the studio clean?
- How is the studio layout comfortable?
- Does the studio have showers? If they do, are they clean and do they have supplies and/or towels?
- Is there a close community within the studio? Do they make newcomers who aren’t part of the community feel welcome?
Before asking a blogger to write about your studio, make sure his or her answers to these questions will be affirmative.
6. Follow up.
After a blogger attends a class or event at your studio, send them a thank you email and ask for a link to the write up about your business. Offer to promote the blog across your social media channels and with your clients. Invite the blogger back for another class. Check the blogger’s social media channels for posts about your studio. If he or she does make a post, like, favorite, share or retweet it.
How to Respond to a Not-So-Glowing Review
Not every blogger will love his or her experience at your studio and there are many reasons why. You can try to head off a bad review before it gets written. If a blogger did not seem to enjoy a class at your studio, invite them back for another class.
If the blogger is new to the type of workouts you offer at your studio, the blogger may need to get used to the workout or may need more education on the benefits of it before they can appreciate it. Or, tell the blogger you understand that the workout isn’t for them; but explain what the workout can be good for. For example, runners may not immediately like barre because it is not fast-paced cardio. Explain that barre can help strengthen and stretch muscles, which can help reduce common running injuries.
Some workouts take time before a blogger can realize the benefits. Offer a month or class pack in exchange for them blogging about their experiences in learning about the studio and the best classes for them.
If a blogger does publish a less than flattering write up, try to learn something from the review and invite the blogger back after you’ve made improvements.
- If you invite a blogger to take a class, tell him or her you’d be happy to take pictures of them in the activity or in the studio after class. They may wish to incorporate images into their write up, but you want to avoid disrupting your other clients during class.
- Whether you invite them or not, chances are that, eventually, a blogger will come in for a class unannounced. Treat every client who walks in the door like they have the power of a blog behind them.