Just like any other business venture, a successful personal training business requires an effective marketing strategy.
Marketing is the process of communicating the value of your product or service to clients, with the intent of selling that product or service.
A well-defined fitness marketing program propels your business by demonstrating to clients that the benefits from training with you far outweigh the cost of your services. In other words, if you want to gain new clients, you should provide prospects with a very clear understanding of exactly what you do and what they can expect to receive in exchange for paying your fees with their hard-earned money.
Potential clients will be convinced to sign up once you demonstrate to them that you offer a very high amount of value for the price.
The first things a client sees, before they even meet you in person, are your business marketing materials including websites, brochures, letters, and business cards. Every promotional item should be clean, well-designed and interesting enough to entice prospective clients to contact you.
- Business cards should be uncluttered and straightforward with sharp clear graphics and designed with your brand’s colors.
- Brochures and flyers should be offer concise and honest information about your background, certifications, and services offered. Refrain from the temptation to cram in too much information. Include a biography, a brief description of services offered, your locations, and contact information.
- Your voicemail message should be professional and you should respond promptly to all queries, usually within 24 hours.
- Avoid showy email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org, try opting for a more appropriate Matt_L_CPT@domain.com instead.
- Your website should be professional looking, clean, uncluttered, and free of spelling or grammatical errors. Also be sure to take full advantage of this medium to post a listing of services offered, client testimonials, your pricing schedule, and other valuable industry information.
In other words, if it’s got your name on it, be sure that you’re proud to claim it’s yours.
Presentation and Professionalism
The initial consultation with a client is your chance to create a positive impression and also helps to determine just how much time, effort and money the client is willing to commit to training with you. Listen to your client to understand what type of service they need so that you can recommend and market a specific program to them.
It is important to be presentable, clean, professionally dressed and odor free. Just because you work at a gym and are able to squeeze a workout in between client sessions, this doesn’t give you permission to train clients while reeking in tattered old gym clothes. Keep your wardrobe simple, athletic gear tends to work best. You should be comfortable enough to workout and demonstrate exercises, while still looking like a fitness professional.
This will establish credibility and authority to any onlookers and prospective clients who will immediately be able to tell the expert apart from the apprentice.
Fitness Marketing Strategies
Here are some ideas for effective personal training marketing that can help you win over new clients and take your business to new heights
- Group classes: Train multiple clients simultaneously to work with economies of scale. 20 clients paying 10 dollars each for a 1-hour class makes it worth your while and is more affordable than 1-on-1 sessions.
- Niche groups: Stand out from the crowd and distinguish yourself. Offer personal training services to specific demographics. For example, athletes, children, seniors, prenatal (expectant) mothers, and, of course, athletes.
- Diversification: Offer a variety of fitness techniques such as boot camps, swimming courses, speed and agility training, triathlon training, yoga, martial arts, rehab/injury recovery, bodybuilding, rowing, cycling, swimming, nutrition, and life coaching to generate additional business.
- Free sessions: Offer free sessions beyond the initial consultation to prospective clients or allow current clients to bring a friend to a workout session for free. A guest pass with a specific expiration date makes a client feel special while also being an effective marketing tool for you.
- Group discounts: Offer special prices to mother-daughter, girlfriend-boyfriend, or husband-wife pairs. Offer healthy living programs at large businesses in your community. A discounted group rate with two people each paying $30 per hour is more money in the bank for you than one person paying $50 per hour. Remember, however, it’s still just as important to maintain focus on each individual client’s needs.
- Group consultations: Besides the gym, you should seek out health clubs, fitness or recreational centers, senior citizen centers, schools, country clubs, hospitals, universities, yoga studios, and holiday resorts where you can reach large groups. Offer to give a presentation on health and fitness with emphasis on the benefits of personal training. Many businesses are realizing that the cost of healthcare is significantly decreased when preventative options are offered to employees.
- Promotional offers and discounts: Just like your favorite retail store, offer discounts such as six sessions for the price of five during a limited-time promotional period. This provides extra value to the client and also has them commit to a larger number of sessions with you. More time spent together allows you to build more rapport and generally better results for the client.
- Engagement and motivation: Your current clients are your biggest advertising channel. Keep them engaged and motivated with competitions and competitions like Biggest Loser Wins, 6-week Transformation Challenge, Mini Olympics, etc., to generate word of mouth publicity, as excited clients are sure to talk about the contest and post about it on social media.
- Industry networking: Chiropractors, family physicians, and other respected health professionals in your community are likely to refer patients who need to lose weight or overcome other fitness challenges. Making a special offer to these well-networked and trusted individuals could more than pay for itself in the long run.
- Unique selling point: Offer something unique such as early morning or late night training sessions, traveling with clients, train at a client’s home. These are all great ways to break into a competitive market by offering services that other trainers are not. Be available to your clients now, and once you have built a strong reputation, clients will work around your schedule.
Social Media Marketing
It’s extremely effective and is completely free. The goal here is to get your business to “go viral”. It’s easy to get clients involved by posting content with striking headlines and engaging content that encourages comments and likes. Tagging clients in posts and getting people to sign up for a contest can give you exposure to friends of friends of friends.
If so desired, advertising on social media is relatively cheap and you can target clients precisely based on location, demographics, interests, pages they like, profession, etc.
Always Sell A Good Product
Personal trainer marketing is not rocket science. Don’t let it intimidate you. Acquiring clients is the heart of your business, so think out of the box and adopt new marketing tactics by finding creative ways to get more clients. To be a successful personal trainer, you’ll need a well-planned approach, so set aside some time to really focus on your marketing. To stand out from the crowd, offer more than just the average training session at a “big-box” gym.
There is no shortcut to success, but a good fitness marketing program is sure to grow your client base and help you meet your business goals. You simply need to sell yourself, as you are the product. Always sell a good product.