Whether you train clients as a contractor at your local gym or run your own personal training business, one of your keys to success – in addition to being an excellent trainer – is successful marketing. If you’re great at what you do but nobody knows it, a profitable career is far from guaranteed.
As a personal trainer, you need to focus on building a solid reputation and a strong portfolio of clients to pave the way for both the short and long term success of your business.
There are plenty of different avenues – both off and online – that can be used to increase awareness of your brand, generate leads, and fill your marketing funnel with prospective clients.
As a PT, you are your business, so start marketing yourself with these five essential tips.
A solid digital presence means potential clients can search for (and find) you. In addition to serving as a platform for building your professional image and engagement, it enables you to sell additional products and take bookings. Consistently posting interesting content on your Facebook business page is a great, and free, way to engage your followers – especially if a percentage of the shareable content you post is your own creation.
Facebook marketing can be targeted at specific age groups, genders, locations and interests, so you can direct your marketing to the exact demographic you want to train – your ideal client. You can choose your level of budgeting as well, so you can spend according to what you can afford.
With people using a variety of social media outlets, you shouldn’t stick to just the one social media platform – but neither should you spread yourself too thin across platforms that aren’t used by the ‘ideal clients’ you are marketing to.
For most personal trainers Facebook and Instagram will be the primary social platforms they find their prospective audiences to be active on. If, however, you were to survey your current client base and discover that, for example, Twitter is where they spend their time, then consider changing your focus. Put your time and efforts into where your market is.
Use different types of updates and media for each social channel. This may seem like a time-consuming task, but it can pay off. Use great imagery and video for your Instagram feed, share content and blog posts on Facebook, and GIF’s, quotes and content links on Twitter. Using the right type of media for the right social media network is essential to getting the most out of your marketing.
Traditional marketing activities, like distributing business cards and flyers to nearby businesses and even homes, is a simple and inexpensive way to reach out to your local community. Although it might seem like an ‘old’ way to market your business, it can put your name and face in front of lots of people who live or work within a couple of kilometres of where you are based. Most people won’t travel much further than this distance from their homes or workplaces for a personal training session.
Cover more bases by also listing your business online with free platforms like Google My Business. These can help you be found quickly and easily by local customers.
Word of mouth referrals are the lifeblood of every personal training career. There is no better marketing than a happy client.
Establish a ‘bring a friend for free’ system for existing clients, and offer a reward, such as a free training session, to those who successfully refer a friend. Everyone likes to feel rewarded for their efforts, so this is the least you can do to thank them for connecting you with prospective new clients.
You can also set up a referral system with local businesses, whereby successful referrals of their customers to your training business earn them perks, such as free personal training sessions or a small group training session for their team – which in itself can also lead to further ongoing paid sessions.
Regularly attending, or even hosting, networking events gives you the chance to collect business cards, as well as prospective clients. Sell people on your passion and dedication and doors will begin to open.
In addition to in-person networking events, use the social networks to do exactly that – network! Joining in relevant conversations on social media is a great way to showcase your expertise and build genuine relationships with current and prospective clients. When you have become a trusted source of credible information, people will be more open to exploring your business, website and any special promotions you present to them.
Once you’ve found some marketing momentum, keep it up! Just try to avoid some of these common missteps.
Avoid this by tracking your leads and gaining a good understanding of where your business is coming from. This way you’ll know exactly what’s working for your business and be able to save yourself from expensive marketing experimentation. You can find this information out by asking new clients where they heard about you. This could be as simple as a question on a signup form. If you use paid advertising on social media, you can also use data insights from the platform to show you what is most effective in terms of lead generation.
Give each of your marketing efforts the chance to succeed. Often people will abandon an activity after a month, but most promotions need a good six-week cycle to start converting potential clients.
Don’t forget to keep up your marketing. If you get hundreds of shares on your Facebook post or a tonne of retweets on Twitter, this doesn’t mean that you’re set to relax. Keep content fresh and active so that you can reach more people on a daily basis.
Resist the urge to promote on the go. A 12-month plan means you can implement strong and organised promotions. By ensuring you have a full calendar year of events and posts planned, you will never be lost when it comes to your marketing plan.
The AIF’s Fitness Business Essentials course is tailored to the fitness and massage industries, with a focus on the latest digital marketing practices and trends.