If you’re in the health and fitness business, you may think you’re selling health and fitness. Well, you are… but in order to sell your product or service, you have to think as though you’re not. You see, you’re really selling attractiveness, sexiness, desirability, and fun. That’s because the health and fitness movement revolves around vanity.
It’s a fact of advertising that it’s harder to sell a negative than a positive. Sure, everyone knows we should be healthy and fit because we’ll live longer and better; we’ll be able to take care of our families better, do our jobs better, be better citizens, and never become a burden to anyone. A poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much, and recreational drugs are all risk factors for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer–not to mention disabling and deadly accidents. Our health problems become society’s problem.
Everybody knows this.
But negative messages are seldom very effective. “Quit smoking or you’ll get lung cancer and leave your spouse bereaved,” “Give up cheeseburgers so you won’t die of a heart attack,” and “Get more exercise so you can work harder and not lose your job” are not popular messages. Nobody really wants to think about how to avoid having bad things happen to them.
That’s why the selling of health and fitness needs to appeal to vanity. “Get our smoking-cessation program and look forward to white teeth and nice smooth skin.” “Follow our eating plan and be thinner and sexier than other people in your demographic.” “Use our exercise equipment so you can be toned and tan and look good in your Spandex running shorts.” All these are excellent motivators for people to buy a health-and-fitness product or service.
Vanity sells. When you’re ready to sell your health and fitness product or service, find a copywriter who’s as passionate about health and fitness as you are, and who understands what really makes people in this market buy.
Lisa J. Lehr is a freelance copywriter specializing in direct response and marketing collateral, with a special interest in the health, pets, specialty foods, and inspirational/motivational/self-help niches. She has a degree in biology, has worked in a variety of fields including pharmaceuticals and teaching, and has volunteered for many causes including special-needs kids and literacy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, art, music, outdoor exercise, and all things Celtic and Renaissance.