You can't sell anything if you can't tell anything - Beth Comstock

Most people imaging personal trainers as big, muscular individuals with flared up muscles, popping steroids and gulping down protein shakes. But this is far from reality. You become a personal trainer using a specific set of skills, knowledge, and network that attract students for personal training. Your job as a personal trainer is to support your clients physically and emotionally on their journey to realize their fitness goals.

Marketing strategies as a personal trainer are important to lay out in order to get more clients. After all, without a client base which is a basic requirement to grow your personal training business, everything else becomes futile. This article gives you a step-by-step guide on marketing yourself as a personal trainer. 

Build Your Brand to Attract Students for Personal Training

marketing strategy
It is important to set a goal and follow a path while choosing your marketing strategy | Image source: | Image credit: Gerd Altmann

To grow your personal training business, you need to be aware of personal brand building. Since as a personal trainer, you yourself are the brand, you must learn to promote yourself and find advertising channels that most suit your business needs. Building brand visibility is the underlying essence of marketing and advertisement.

You are the Brand!

Creating the right content and identifying the right marketing channels are two key pillars of brand building. To become a personal trainer doesn't require marketing skills, but to stay in business does. You have to learn something on the lines of business marketing which rests on these three pillars of success:

  1. Know Your Own Brand: Marketing yourself as a personal trainer is actually pretty easy. Unlike any other product about which you have to first learn a great deal, here the product is you. So start with making a list of your strengths and drawbacks, defining your USP, your passions, your specialties as a fitness trainer- in a nutshell put down everything that makes you special. This is an important exercise since it directly impacts the marketing language that will be used in your ads.
  2. Get Known: One of the most important marketing strategies as a personal trainer is your networking skills. Invest enough time and energy in building a strong network and promoting yourself on social media. This way you can create a strong base for your future clientele.
  3. Get Out There: Make sure you are visible. Ensure that people know you and remember you well. Make your promotions so catchy that people recognize you on the road pretty conveniently. Without visibility, all your other efforts would go in vain. This means putting your name out there and using your experiences as a home fitness professional as advertising material.

Needless to say that you must have the right qualifications of a personal trainer before you do any of the above.

Do Your Homework

A basic marketing requirement is to do thorough market research before going out there. Put down a plan and check for the feasibility of your marketing plan. Here are some pointers for you:

  • Be aware of the competition.
  • Check for local fitness instructors in your area.
  • Analyze the demand in your neighborhood.
  • Check for a nearby health club or gym which could be your way of sourcing clients.
  • Put down your thoughts on the kinds of fitness programs you'd like to and can offer.
  • Study the neighborhood for joggers park, running paths, etc.
  • Check for income status of potential clients and decide a range of rates.
  • Create a business plan and account for profit and loss.
  • Hire a business consultant or expert who can help you plan.

Attract Students for Personal Training through Digital Marketing

Leverage the power of social media to increase your outreach | Source: Pixabay

The best way to grow your personal training business is to use the power of digital marketing.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a method by which you can ensure that your website or webpage or digital presence comes up on Google searches and rankings. Use these tips to increase your SEO score:

  • List down possible search keywords before you start writing online content.
  • Include hyperlinks to other relevant pages on your own website or a different website.
  • Ensure that you caption a picture with relevant and SEO-friendly names.
  • Update your website regularly to come up on recent searches.
  • Start a weekly blog to increase your chances of popping up more of the Google feed.

Other Components of Digital Marketing

There are other search engine marketing tools such as Google ads, Google analytics, etc. that help analyze the traffic on your website and you can easily see the trends of where people are most visiting your webpage from. For example, you may find that your Facebook page is giving you the maximum number of visitors to your site.

There is also something called link exchange which basically means that leverage the network of influential people in the sports or fitness industry. There are online portals like Superprof that give you access to a wide audience range.

Use the power of social media to post content that complements your competence. Drive traffic to your website by posting on external blog posts like Pinterest or Twitter. You can even upload daily exercise videos on YouTube and post a URL to your website.

Build Partnerships

Partnerships are key to networking and building your client base | Image source: | Image credit: John Hain

Institutional partnerships like those with big firms and companies can come in handy to grow your personal training business. Many companies look to partner with fitness trainers to provide fitness options at work for their employees. These may include special exercise regimes to correct the postures of employees or tailormade workout routines for assembly line workers who stand all day and make repetitive movements. The objective here is to emphasize the importance of a healthy workforce for a successful company.

And remember not to say no to even a one-day event like a special workout day at work. These are all potential clients waiting to happen and this is a great way to getting recognized. A good word from them can make sure you are being visible to multiple other such potential clients.

Referrals and Rewards

You can incentivize your clients or networks who bring in referrals. Offer them reduced rates or free goodies, like a free yoga mat in lieu of a good recommendation. Word-of-mouth marketing can often turn out to be your biggest revenue generator. So, don't forget to include a referral rewards program in your business and marketing plan.

Become A Personal Trainer to An Exclusive Clientele

You should try and leverage your networks and partnerships in a way that gives you access to an exclusive and consistent client base. That should be like an aspiration when you are scourging marketing strategies as a personal trainer. Follow these steps to firm up your plan:

  • Build your brand as a trademark; print and distribute flyers and business cards everywhere you go because who doesn't need a good personal fitness trainer, right?
  • Invest in building a good website; make the content detailed, but crisp with important information on pricing and email and phone contact details.
  • Advertise and market; highlight your specializations wherever you can.
  • Have a social media agency help you out; if you don't have the time or don't feel confident about SEO, just hire an expert to do it on your behalf.
  • Post a good, professional picture of yourself; all your social media handles and website should be filled with photos of your workout sessions with your clients and your personal exercise regime, as far as possible.

Focus on Client Retention

high five
Your client is your most important partner and you must treat it with utmost care | Image source: | Image credit: Gordon Johnson

Position yourself as a center of influence, one who knows the movers and shakers. People will respond to that, and you will soon become what you project - Bob Burg

One universal adage of marketing is that it costs five times less to keep a client than to acquire a new one. Invest in client relationships, they are your future brand ambassadors.

Tips on Rewarding Clients

One of the greatest marketing strategies as a personal trainer is to be able to reward your clients for sticking with you. Design a rewards program that acknowledges your client's loyalty. This could be in the form of membership discounts or some mementos on New Year or their birthdays. You could also provide incentives like membership up-gradation after a certain time period with you. Or you may offer additional services free of cost, like dietary advice on a monthly basis.

Take Care of Your Clients

Treat your clients as human beings and not merely as a source of revenue generation for your business. And the best way to keep them is by taking care of them. Be sensitive to last-minute rescheduling, for example, which may be owing to an emergency. Don't rush them through the training program and give them time to adapt to the new way of life. Most importantly, set some rules for yourself while training your students or clients:

  • Be attentive to your client's needs.
  • Be empathetic.
  • Listen with an open ear and open mind. 
  • Show sympathy.
  • Motivate your clients. 
  • Implement safe workout routines. 
  • Reduce and not increase the stress level of your client. 
  • Praise your clients from time to time.
  • Acknowledge your clients' efforts and progress. 
  • Create an atmosphere of learning rather than training. 

These are simple, yet effective ways of marketing yourself as a personal trainer who has their clients' best interests in mind.

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