What’s the biggest problem that fit pros face?
Like a lot of businesses, fit pros often have a hard time standing out.
When you’re “selling fitness” it can be hard to compete with all of the other competition doing what seems like exactly the same thing you are.
If you didn’t already know, around 90% of trainers leave after their first year. You can blame a lot of reasons for the high turnover, but one of the biggest is actually marketing.
Here is Wikipedias definition of Marketing:
Most fit pros will know the importance of marketing but sadly never learn how to do it well or hire someone that knows how to do it well.
This is where they go wrong. This is also a reason why 90% quit after their first year.
I’ve put together an infographic that you can use to improve your fitness marketing.
Whether you’re a:
– Gym Owner
– Crossfit Box Owner
– Personal trainer
– Bootcamp Owner
Below are my thoughts on each point:
(There won’t be any word of mouth advertising here.)
Before we get into any type of marketing, we must start by researching our “perfect client”… this will be your target audience. We have to learn everything we can about them. By learning their deepest desires, we learn the importance of the why question.
What is the why question?
The why question, is the reason why people train with you. It’s often surface-level reasons that are broad, such as “losing weight” but instead, a deeper one like “getting noticed by the opposite sex” is more of a “why” question.
Don’t underestimate the power of sex appeal. It’s an important factor in a lot of cases… and can even be the main factor in some… personal training often being one directly related.
Skyrocket Your Fitness Marketing ReportDownload Here!
Once we have that important “why” question answered, we then have a foundation on which we can build all of our marketing campaigns.
By learning these questions, you become more aware of the problems your clients and prospects.
You learn more about their fears and needs. This means that when one of the “why” reasons come up with a potential client, you will know exactly what to say in order to secure them as a client.
2. Build a Customer Avatar
After learning the “why” question, you can start building a customer avatar.A customer avatar is an “imaginary” profile of the clients that you want to work with the most. A profile includes surface area questions and demographics. Demographics questions include:
– Single or married
– More personal things along these lines
And surface area questions could be one of the following for example:
How much weight do you want to lose?
What foods do you like?
What much muscle do you want to gain?
What types of training have you done before?
What do you enjoy doing as exercise?
Here’s a quick, 2-step exercise that can help you:
Step 1: Pick a name and write things you could know about this “Customer Avatar”.
For example, his name could be Mike and was a former athlete. He now works as a sales manager and is married with two kids. He made a commitment to himself that once he turned 40 he was going to get in the best shape of his life and wants to hire a personal trainer to guide him along the way.
Remember, this person should be your dream client… somebody who you know you work well with, someone who stays a client for a long time and somebody who you think you could enjoy working with.
Step 2: Next, go to Google Images and type of the characteristics that you just described.
Once you’ve found someone that looks like the characteristics you described, print it out and hang it on your wall.
This might seem like a silly exercise, but it’s important to visualize who you’re targeting.
3. Become a specialist
If you train everybody then you train no one.It might like seem a good thing to have a lot of specialties and to not be boxed down, but clients and customers don’t see that way.It’s much powerful if you specialize and niche down.
Personal training suddenly becomes a lot more when you “specialize” in a specific area of it.
Why Should I Specialize?
The more you specialize, the more tuned in and aware you become of your client’s needs. By learning and constantly working with the same type of people you see the same types of problems, needs, and desires.
In no time at all, you will become a “pro” in this specific sector.
It’s also a great way to target the affluent. Dan Kennedy’s in his book No B.S. Guide to Marketing to the Affluent mentions, that the affluent would rather pay top dollar for expertise than waste and shop around.
If you’re finding it hard grasping the idea:
Think about it like this… a handy man is often good at many jobs… wood work, plumbing and carpentry… but a “specialist” in plumbing can get paid 3x as much just because he has chosen that specific area to specialise in and become an expert at… even if the handy man is overall, better skilled in general.
Bedros Keuilian has a good video on this. (Skip to the 15:07 minutes)
4. Build a Referral Marketing System
This is the most common way that fitness pros generate new leads. Like any business, referrals are earned by delivering results while providing a great experience.
Most fit pros don’t have a system in place.
Instead, they rely on “word of mouth” advertising.
Word of mouth advertising is not a system since you can’t track where each lead comes from. It is very hit and miss and with the high competition rates of other personal trainers in the area, word of mouth advertising should never be relied on as a full-time system.
Make it a habit and ask for referrals from all your current clients.
Pat Rigsby wrote a detailed 12-month referral marketing system here
5. Use Surveys
Surveys are another excellent way to research your target market and find out more about your dream client.You can start by sending an email out to your list asking them to fill out an online form.
You can make a poll in Facebook ads, you can send out leaflets to specifically selected people and in reward of completion you offer some type of a legal “bribe”.
Some good questions may include (for potential clients):
– What do you look for in a personal trainer?
– Why are you looking for a personal trainer?
– What is your goal when working with a personal trainer?
– Would you prefer a specialist or a more general personal trainer
– What type of approach would you like a trainer to take towards you?
Some good questions may include (for your current list):
– What is/was the reason for you requiring my services?
– What did you like best about the training methods?
– What could be improved?
6. Email Marketing
The most powerful online marketing method, email marketing is perfect for Fit Pros.
It doesn’t cost much to start and is proven to deliver results.
Email Marketing has been the proven way for years upon years that it is the best way to nurture new leads and build trustworthy relationships.
Here are some tips on getting started:
- Use an email service provider like Aweber or Mailchimp to automate and deliver emails.
- Provide valuable content that informs and entertains. Marketers call this “infotainment”.
- Write attention-grabbing headlines that provokes curiosity and makes people open your emails.
- Include Call to Actions at the end of each email when you’re selling
Do you want to learn how to print money?
Because that’s exactly what good copy can do for your business. It’s an automatic cash machine. You can use your copywriting skills to write better:
– Blog posts
– Sales letters
– HeadlinesI took Gary Halbert’s 30-day copywriting challenge to better my skills.You should do something similar to improve your skills.
8. Facebook Ads
The most powerful lead generation platform for Fit Pros is Facebook Advertising. You can use Facebook’s vast information to create laser targeted campaigns that produce tremendous results.
There’s a lot of Fit Pros out there (more than you think) who still don’t use any type of social media since they don’t see the value, but Facebook is more than just a social media channel.
It’s a marketing beast.
And all Fit Pros should be taking advantage of this beast.
You can write a book on learning and using Facebook Ads and I can’t cover everything here, but here are some tips to get you started:
- Don’t use Facebook to sell. Instead, use it to nurture leads.
- Create custom audiences for your website visitors (set-up re-targeting campaigns)
- Create a valuable lead-magnet to generate new leads
- If you’re using Facebook Ads to generate local leads, remember to use Facebook’s targeted demographics to create highly targeted audiences.
- Use Facebook’s retargeting feature in every campaign
9. Google Adwords
Did you know that Google Adwords campaigns generated over $50 billion in revenue in 2013?
Even though Facebook is perfect for Fit Pros, Google’s advertising channel dwarfs Facebook.
One advantage that Google has over Facebook is that google searchers search with buying intent.
You can directly sell off of Google and make a killing.
Facebook is more of a fun party where its hard to sell at but good to make new friends and nurture these friends into sales whereas Google is a audience listening to your speech with money in their pockets.
Below are 3 tips to get you started:
1 – Use your customer avatar as demographics when setting up your Google Adwords campaign.
2 – Create effective sales pages including quality copywriting, testimonials, client transformations and possible discounts on services.
3 – Design these ads differently to the Facebook campaigns. Direct these adverts toward making the client make the initial, impulse buy instead of signing up to an email list.
10. Content Marketing/Blogging
Another fantastic way to market and promote yourself is to write a blog.
By creating a blog, you can build a reputation.
With a reputation, it will be easier to find and gain clients as well as have the opportunity to charge more for your services as you may even end up considered famous in certain circles.
It’s proven that people trust things they read online more than personal brands.
Remember, however, that there are thousands of other fit-pros doing exactly the same thing. You must think outside the box in order to stand out.
If you’re advertising to local clients try this:
Try writing about current, local events or trends going on in your area, you can try using Google’s keyword planner to search for keywords that are being searched for locally and then easily rank for these search phrases and aim to get the #1 spot on Google for these phrases.
11. Attend Conferences
Although this may technically be under the category of a marketing strategy, there’s no better way to better yourself than attending conferences.
By surrounding yourself with successful people in your industry, you get to absorb their lessons and learn.
12. Host Local Seminars
A great way to build authority and expertise in your field is to host local seminars.
By giving away free seminars to corporate companies and to your community you get to interact and build relationships with them.
It’s also a great way to generate local leads. By including a call to action at the end of the talk with your contact information you can see who’s interested in what you what to offer.
How to find the perfect place for a local seminar:
It can be tricky trying to find events to talk about however, make sure that you keep your eyes peeled for local speaking events.
If there is one thing that highly motivated and successful people will tell you, its that if at first you fail, keep trying. You will be rejected from a lot of talks, you won’t get replies to a lot of them however its important to stay focused and keep trying.
You can also even try setting up your own seminar. Hire out a local community hall for an hour or two, offer some incentives to join and host a talk that lots of people can learn from… for example, losing fat could be one of them.
13. Write a book
The ultimate way to build authority and expertise is to write a book.
For a long time, publishing a book was an arduous process that involved going through publishers and gatekeepers.
Now, with the help of Amazon self-publishing the gates have been opened.
When you’re a published author, even a self-published one, people listen to more of what you’ve got to say.
You can use the book to market your services anywhere you go. James Altucher wrote a great guide on self-publishing here.
Dan Kennedy, one of the world’s most sought after marketing experts, recommends writing a book to make people aware of what you’re offering. You can give free copies of your book in local seminars or when you’re speaking in conferences.
A book provides tones of credibility, professionalism and is a great way to attract leads itself… who wouldn’t want to train with somebody that has published a book?!
14. Use Compelling Lead-magnets
After you’ve identified your ideal client and became aware of the importance of building an email list, what gift can you offer these people to “bribe” them for their email information?
Offer them a lead-magnet.
A leadmagnet is a gift used to “bribe” website visitors of their contact information. It’s one of the best ways to add people to your email list.
Here are a three simple steps to create compelling leadmagnets:
1 – Use customer surveys to identify your ideal clients desires and problems
2 – Once you’ve identified your client’s desires or problems create a leadmagnet that solves a problem. Some examples include: workout video, grocery store shopping list, cookbook recipe, nutrition ebook, workout checklist, etc.
3 – Have a compelling title that makes people click on your offer. Examples include: 5 Secretes Your PT Don’t Want you to Know, 42 Fat Loss Recipes, etc..
15. Include Testimonials on your Website Homepage
One of the quickest ways to get prospects to trust you is to include a testimonial page on your homepage of your site.
This provides a powerful marketing outlet of your services. Also, make sure to include before/after pictures on your testimonial homepage.
In turn, providing a visual argument of your results.
A great example of before/after pictures is from Andy Morgan’s results page:
When you scroll through each before/after picture a pop-up appears showing each person’s story. This makes the before/after much more powerful by providing a background into each person’s problem and how the trainer solved their problem with their guidance.
16. Use the Star, Story, Solution Format for Video Testimonials
The Star, Story, Solution, is a proven format that legendary marketers have been using for a long time.
It provides a persuasive story of your results. By using video, this gives you an even more powerful medium to communicate your results. Here are 3 steps to create a star, story, solution testimonial.
Star – Have one of your clients identify themselves on video. Make sure they give their name, age, and occupation.
Story – Make sure they give a brief story on their background and the fitness problems they had before seeking your guidance. Also, if you can make sure they talk about other trainers they had before you and how they couldn’t solve their problems.
Solution – Now, make sure they talk about how your guidance provided the answers they were looking for.
A great example is from Iron Tribe’s Fitness Testimonial below:
17. Write Ultimate Guides on Blogs
A great long term marketing strategy is to write ultimate guides and publish them on your blog.
Sometimes, you won’t see the results in the short term, however, long-term thinking, this a proven way to build authority and that generates results for your business.
Neil Patel from Quicksprout, publishes massive guides on his blog that have generated millions of dollars. It’s an awesome way to provide value.
Two examples in the fitness industry are Martin Berkhan from leangains.com and Eric Cressey. Martin’s epic post on Fuckarounditis is a powerful example of all the excuses people use to not train well.
Eric Cressey’s guide to strength specialization is another great example of huge guides that deliver massive value.
18. Use Mobile Marketing
Mobile Marketing is the next big wave in lead generation. Americans are spending up to 2 hours and 46 minutes on their phones and/or tablets according to Flurry.
- On your business card: “Text (your name) to 55590 to get a free 30-minute private consultation with me.”
- Youtube videos: “Like this video? Text Series to 55590 to get the other series of videos.”
- At the front of your gym/studio: “Text (your name) to 55590 to get a 15% discount on our services.”
- During your Bootcamp: “First 5 people to text bootcamp gets 10% off our next class.
19. Membership Giveaways
A great way to build your email list and improve your marketing is to give away memberships quarterly.
I recently ran a Facebook campaign for a Beachbody giveway package that resulted in 82 leads in 30 days:
We ran Facebook Ads to this landing page:
20. Create Partnerships with Local Businesses
If you just opened a new gym in your own neighborhood what’s one quick way to generate local leads?
By partnering with local businesses.
For example, if there’s a hair salon next to your gym you can introduce yourself and offer their customers a 10% discount on all memberships.
If they have an email list ask them to email their customers your offer. You’ll find frequently that a lot of local businesses serve the same clients.
This creates a win-win situation for both of you. If your service is great then this won’t be a problem.
21. Use Local Keyword Research on Youtube
Youtube is an awesome medium for Fit Pros to provide value and get recognized.
It’s a lot harder to stand out with a Youtube Fitness Channel today than 5 years ago, but you can still generate local leads by using Keyword Research.
Here are some tips on getting started:
- Make a list of the 20 most common exercises you teach. For example, it can be deadlift, squat, power clean, etc.
- Search for the exercise with your city name using the Google’s Keyword Planner
- Here’s a screenshot of the keywords: squats new york, deadlift new york, and bench press new york. You see each keyword gets various results:
- Make a short video on each exercise showing how to perform each exercise correctly
- Optimize the keywords in your video with the proper title and tags
- Over time, google will find make your videos and people that are searching will find you
22. Mobile Apps
Mobile Applications, although not a direct marketing technique is a great tool to have to show off at conferences or seminars and is a great way to organize and add professionalism to your business.
Here are 3 of the best:
1 – TrainerFu – TrainerFu is a great app that allows personal trainers to manage, motivate and engage clients between sessions and can automate this process, too. With the cross-platform service and a free trial with no credit card required, what have you got to lose?
2 – TrainerIze – TrainerIze is a great app that helps the personal trainer manage clients’ meal plans, training plan and provides great systems to allow both trainer and client to communicate within the app. It also offers workout tracking capabilities. With another no credit card free trial, why not gives this a go?
3 – TruTrainerApp – The TruTrainerApp provides some great work solutions if you are looking to expand to training online and… through your phone! This app allows clients to choose a “real personal trainer” and ask questions, ask for things and you can manage all of your clients via this app.
23. Run Transformation Contests
Everybody loves Transformations.
Transformations help to inspire and motivate people.
By frequently running transformation contests, you’ll start creating a community of raving fans.
Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training is a great example of this. By giving away cash to the winners, he puts his money where is mouth is.
Yes, he loses money on this contests initially but he inspires people to take their fitness and lives to a whole new level.
You don’t need to offer cash prizes in order for this to be successful, either. You can often free training, free programs and things of this nature.
24. Promote your business at The Local Chamber of Commerce
A lot of corporations are recognizing the importance of their employee’s fitness and are now frequently offering gym and fitness packages as part of their compensations.
By attending your Local Chamber of Commerce meetings, you get to introduce yourself to local businesses and offer your help.
The U.S Chamber of Commerce represents more than 3 million businesses across the nation.
25. Write Attention Grabbing Headlines
What’s the most important part of any ad?
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
By immediately grabbing the attention of the reader, you’ll be far ahead of the competition.
Here are 5 steps to better headlines:
- Practice writing each headline 25 times before deciding on the winner
- Use numbers in your headlines. They have the highest click through rates
- Negative language is more effective than positive language
- Use clear and concise language
- Use intrigue to provoke curiosity
26. Add a link of your landing in your Instagram bio
Instagram is the fastest growing social network in the world.
It’s another fantastic way for Fit Pros to build a brand and generate leads.
Instagram doesn’t allow you to link on your posts, but they do allow one link in your bio profile. Use this opportunity to link to your landing page.
Fit Pros have an awesome advantage with Instagram since it’s a visual platform, you can communicate your expertise and add value in short fitness videos and great photos.
27. Create an engaging kick ass “about me” section that drives leads
Your about me/us section of your website is often the most visited page on your site.
Make sure you start out by talking about how best you can serve your clients. Talk about how you helped a client overcome a problem.
Tell stories and show your personality. It’s also a good place to have lead capture and testimonials showing your results.
Neil Patel wrote a great guide here
28. Use Pinterest to build your email list
Before you start using Pinterest as a marketing platform, you should first be aware of who uses Pinterest.
Over 85% of Pinterest users are female. If your ideal client is a female between the ages of 30-45 then you can use Pinterest to build your email list.
Here are a few steps you can start to build your email list on Pinterest:
- Offer a compelling Leadmagnet which can be a discount coupon to your fitness, contest, ebook, etc.
- Once a user lands on your pin make sure they go to a clean Landing Page. I recommend Lead-pages
- Give a deadline for the offer and compel the user to take action
- Pin it and make sure that you upload your own content and have a great caption on each pin.
It’s obvious that you can’t focus all your marketing efforts in every platform.
Unless, of course, you outsource somebody.
However, whatever the marketing channel you choose, it’s best to be consistent and create a system that automates this for you.
There are several softwares that can do this for you. I’ve used Hootsuite before and it works well.
Hootsuite allows you to schedule (and even bulk schedule) updates to post across nearly every social platform imaginable… including just recently, Instagram.
What ways have you used these strategies to to improve your fitnests marketing? I want to hear your thoughts below
Download this infographic.