5 Tips for Marketing Your Fitness Business
1. Use Facebook…properly.
All of your Facebook friends should know what you do. Facebook marketing is about making everybody know you are an expert, nothing more.
Whether you post an article, a client’s achievement, a daily tip, a recipe or a video, be consistent (post at least once per day), keep it short (3-4 sentences max) and make sure to always include an immediate call to action. A simple “message me if you want more info” usually suffices.
Facebook is a place where users go to hang out with friends and build relationships. They don’t go there to be sold, so push marketing doesn’t work. Take your time and offer value. With every post offer a soft call to action where people can “ask you a question”.
Slowly you will become the fitness expert in your network and, when people need a trainer, they will call you. If somebody is sitting at their dinner table and a guest complains of back pain, they will recall a post you had and refer your services. It’s that easy but trying to hard sell on Facebook or even off free assessments is a great way to get labeled as a spammer. I wrote a whole book on Facebook marketing for fitness pros called the Race to the Top: How to Take Over the Social Media Feed, you can grab it on Amazon or Kindle for more info.
2. Build a network.
Work on developing a network of personal trainers, nutritionists, physical therapists, doctors and other professionals.
When you have a strong relationship with the people in your network, you will be referred clients, you will have access to advice and information from experts in different fields and you’re current clients will love you even more for providing them with answers and access to everything they need.
Make sure not to limit yourself to health professionals.
For example, if you develop a relationship with a local realtor, anytime one of their client’s talks about joining a gym or looking for a trainer, you’re going to be the first person they mention. If ever one of your clients is searching for a trustworthy realtor to work with, you’ll be able to help them out.
One of my favorite neighborhood mavens to develop a relationship with is the local coffee shop barista. They know everybody and always need something to talk about. Make good with them and offer them a commission for sending you clients.
3. Focus on a niche.
What appeals to older women with arthritic knees won’t appeal to young male athletes looking to put on 20 pounds of muscle.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train different populations, it means that when you advertise your services (on social media, on your website, etc), you need to target a specific group of people.
You’re never going to be known as the fat loss, muscle building, athletic development and corrective exercise expert. Choose one and make sure everyone knows that’s what you’re great at. Not only is it the best way to get clients, but it’s also the best way to become known as an expert.
Clients like to feel as if they are choosing a trainer perfectly suited for them. So narrow your niche and have laser-type focus on it.
4. Understand your niche.
“The goal is understanding. To persuade someone, to motivate someone, to sell someone, you really need to understand that person.” – Dan Kennedy.
Now that you’ve chosen you’re niche, you need to learn everything you can about it.
I would learn as much as you can on your own and then find someone in your niche to speak with. Here are some of the questions you need to ask:
How old are they? What are their hobbies? What frustrates them? What have they tried in in the past? Why did it fail? What makes them happy? What are they afraid? What do they want more than anything?
People don’t want to lose weight to lose weight. They want to so they can find a job, re-kindle their love life and run around with their kids.
The same thing goes for those with chronic back pain. They don’t want to get rid of it just to get rid of it. They want to be able to sleep at night, go back to work and play golf with their friend.
Once you figure out what your target audience wants and why they want it, emphasize those points every time you exercise. A weight loss goal doesn’t matter if there isn’t an emotional reason for having that weight loss goal associated with it.
5. You’re a walking billboard.
The best way to build credibility with your current and prospective clients is to practice what your preach and have something to show for it.
If you wouldn’t hire a broke accountant, why would someone hire a trainer who’s out of shape?
If you look great, more people will ask you questions, more people will want to do what you’re doing and more people will inquire about your personal training services.
Investing in tight fitting t-shirt wouldn’t hurt either.
Jonathan Goodman was a personal trainer in Toronto. Currently he owns and operates Fitness Ebook Review and the Personal Trainer Development Center and is writing his third book in Hawaii. He’s on Twitter and Facebook, just saying.