Only too often, we imagine personal trainers as the big, muscle-bound type with inflated muscles, popping steroids and protein pills to butch up…
Reality is another story: a personal trainer is in the wellness business, using his or her specific knowledge and skill sets to motivate their client, support them physically and emotionally and help them achieve their fitness goals.
A personal fitness instructor is there to guide their clients toward self-fulfilment and helps them accomplish what they set out to do.
Come to think of it, you could do with a few clients to guide and help, couldn’t you? Having clients is a basic requirement when starting a personal training business.
Superprof’s mini-guide to establishing yourself as a home fitness trainer is here to help you with the marketing strategies and networking tactics to help you establish a client base get your new business on its feet.
Learning the fitness business doesn’t always equip you to promote yourself and set up advertising strategies. But if you want to grow your business, you will have to learn to:
Personal branding is all about creating and marketing a brand – and that brand is you. To set up your brand consider these three pillars of business marketing:
This means putting your name out there and using your experiences as a home fitness professional as advertising material.
You will need to pring advertising material about your personal training business to attract clients. Photo credit: B Tal on Visual Hunt
Before going off willy-nilly and printing hundreds of flyers and setting up a trainer website, let’s take stock of your project’s feasibility:
There are business plan consultants who can help you assess the viability of your business plan and can help a beginner entrepreneur with the next steps to managing a successful small business, from bookkeeping to taxes to financing to where you need to register and what sort of insurance you should get…
Create a website to promote your personal trainer business. Photo credit: Cards and Doodles on Visual Hunt
Then you should establish a marketing plan:
If you decide to specialise in at-home personal training, you will only need to invest in the fitness equipment necessary for your sports.
But if you also want to offer group fitness lessons, you will have to factor in more money for renting a studio; or you could team up with other fitness instructors and share a space. You can also ask existing studios if you can rent their space – saving on some equipment costs – or if a fitness centre will let you work with private clients on their premises.
There are many ways to make sure your website comes up high in the Google rankings:
You can also try search engine marketing tools such as Google ads. Google analytics will help you analyze the traffic from your website so you can see where people came from – your Facebook page, a Google search, a linking partner…
You might also want to contact large businesses in the athletic or fitness industry to see if they are willing to sponsor you in some way, offer link exchanges etc. Try to get onto online lists of personal trainers near you – or websites such as Superprof targeted at independent coaches and tutors looking for clients.
Use internet marketing on social media – post content that underscores your competence. You can post a nutritional infographic or a workout plan on Pinterest (with the link to your website on it!), offer daily fitness tips on Twitter, tape an exercise sequence forYouTube video marketing or post motivational stories on Facebook – anything that will attract attention to your brand and consolidate your potential client base.
Contact large firms and industries near you and ask if they are interested in providing fitness options to their employees – from special exercises for office employees seated all day in front of the computer to a workout routine tailored to assembly line workers who stand all day and make repetitive movements – emphasize the importance of a healthy workforce for a successful company.
You can consider offering special fitness programs for firms – for example, self-defence. Photo credit: The Adventures of Kristin & Adam on Visual Hunt
Even if it’s just a one-day event as part of their summer cookout, these are potential new clients just waiting to hear of your existence!
Also look for influential partners with a large clientele of their own who would be likely to recommend you to people looking for a personal trainer – doctors, pharmacists, sports shops, real estate agents… Offer them a free session so they can tell their own clients all about you – and who knows, maybe you’ll gain a GP or a pharmacist as a client as well.
Offer reduced rates or other promotional goodies (a free exercise mat, for example) to clients who recommend you to friends or family. A small business owner thrives on word-of-mouth, so make a referral rewards program part of your strategic marketing plan.
Encourage clients to write testimonials for your website or post them on social media. You can sponsor contests through Facebook in which people enter by commenting or sharing your post.
One universal adage of marketing is that it costs five times less to keep a client than to acquire a new one.
So take good care of your loyal clientele!
Think about a rewards program for those who stick with you. A discount on a ten-session stamp card, for example; or you could offer little keychains or, even better, a step counter with your name on it so they think of you wherever they go.
Take an example from this coffee shop – offer rewards to loyal customers of your personal trainer business. Photo credit: duncan on Visual Hunt
Consider an upgrade to “gold client” after three years, with discounts, free access to your exercise videos or a free nutrition consultation.
Have a yearly client party so your clients meet new people and understand that you value their loyalty.
Effective marketing aside, don’t forget that your clients are people and that the best way to keep them is to take care of them.
Try to be flexible with scheduling and understanding of last-minute emergencies. Take the time to get to know them and adapt their personal training to their skills and needs.
During a training session:
These simple strategies will help you grow and keep new clients. Superprof is ready to play its part in getting you known!