Sports Instructors - How To Get The Branding Right

Sports Instructors: How To Get Your Branding Right

It is true that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. In this article we’ll therefore look at why branding matters and how everything that you do as the person behind an independent sports business, makes up and adds to your brand.

What is branding?

As an independent sports instructor, even if it’s just you, you must think about “you as a brand”. Getting your branding right allows your message to come across consistently, no matter where clients find you. We like to say that

Your brand is made up of the promises you make to your customers. It is an expression of the way that you are different to your competitors. And your brand is derived from who you are, what you want to be and how clients and prospects view you.

To get a handle on your brand, you should ask yourself a few questions. For example:

  • What is the purpose of your sports business? Are you trying to change the world? And if so, how and why? Why did you get into it?
  • Are you a trail blazer in your industry, always trying different things?
  • Are you a safe pair of hands, using tried and tested methods?
  • Are you a high quality, luxury space? Or a low cost, back-to-basics option?
  • Who do you want to work with? Are your current clients representative of your dream clients? If not, how different are they?
  • Do people come to you for a gentle introduction to your sport? Or are you the right choice for someone looking to be pushed to the limit?
  • What emotions do you want people to feel when they think about your business? How will you generate those emotions? For example, you may want your Personal Training brand to feel Energetic and Pumped-up. Or your Yoga Studio brand to feel Calm and Serene. Expressing this will require a completely different look and feel for your communications.
  • Who are your main competitors? How are you different from them? What make you stand out? (think methods, style, personality, training and certifications, level, pricing, location…)

Once you have started to work out what your brand stands for, start to think about how to convey your business. This can be simply through a tagline and a brand name, or through a logo and all the other assets you might create. Don’t overthink it!

How To Get The Branding Rights - Sports Instructors

Brand guidelines?

Large companies usually create long documents called ‘Tone of Voice Guidelines’ or ‘Brand Guidelines’. This is because their message has to be consistent via hundreds of employees, channels, adverts. Small businesses can keep things much simpler and less formatted – thankfully.

Take a few minutes to think about how you’d like your brand to come across and write this down. Here are a few ideas:

  • Think about the business’ tone of voice. Is it chatty, friendly, super professional? Helpful? Inspiring? Think about everything you write, from your emails to your website, social media or flyers.
  • Have you got a logo? Is it in line with your brand? If not, think about a simple symbol, or typography, which you like. It might be worth investing in a logo – one that really represents what you want your business to be known for.
  • Have you got a set of images that you can use? If not, can you hire or partner with a local photographer to get the imagery that represents your brand?
  • Think about all the places you can use your brand – on your website, business cards, training kit, trucker caps, water bottles. If you have a physical location, can you include the logo? Think window frosting, painting it on the outside of the building, on the doors, etched into the floor.
  • Think about how your brand fits into everything you do – how you answer the phone, what your staff wear, how you sign-off your emails. Everything.
  • Be consistent. Once you have decided what the brand for your coaching business or studio is, try sticking to it. If you consistently deliver what your brand promises, clients will recommend your business.

Creating a brand strategy

This step is relatively simple in comparison to working out what your brand should be. But it is no less important. Your brand strategy is

a plan for how, what, where, when and to whom you will communicate and deliver on your brand promises.

There are many aspects to a brand strategy including:

  • Where are your target clients likely to see your brand offline? Where can you leave flyers advertising your services? Are there any business you can collaborate with? Is it worth paying for advertising in local newspapers or magazines?
  • Where are your target clients likely to see your brand online? Are there online forums for your neighbourhood? Do you appear in Google map / search results? Do you have a social media presence? Are you listed on sports instructors sites, such as Offpeaks?
  • Is your business focused on a specific location? If yes, how can you weave your brand into the community? For example, can you sponsor a local facility or an event with a similar brand ethos?
  • How can you raise awareness of your business through PR? Are there opportunities to talk to the press about what you do, so that you get exposure?
  • Is anyone linked to your business who you can include in the way you develop the brand? This could cover people who work for you (whether employees or sub-contractors). Would they buy into what you have developed? Would they contribute by making sure everything they do is in line with the brand?


It is important you take the time to work out what the branding for your independent sports business should be. This is true whether you are an independent personal trainer, a mountain guide, a yoga studio manager or a cross-fit box. It might feel like a challenging task, but take the time to work out now what your business stands for, and how you want people to think about it. If you do, you will be in a good place to ensure that you consistently attract the clients you really want.

Watch Our Branding Webinar

Our webinar about branding will help you to define and refine your brand.

In our 15-minute video, you will learn:

  • Why branding is key for sports instructors
  • One exercise to define your brand
  • One quick tip to implement your brand on social media channels

Video Webinar free Branding for Sports Instructors OffPeaks


About the Author Julie Freeman

Marketing @ OffPeaks. A Swiss expat to London, passionate about the mountains - hiking them, running them or biking on them. Also passionate about helping sports instructors grow their business.

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