Whether you’re new to the personal training arena or an established trainer, you still need to market your services to the public…that is if you want a steady stream of clients. In spite of our economy, you CAN find clients who have enough disposable income to pay you for training sessions. Knowing how to be a creative marketer involves finding out where those prospective clients are and how to convert them to paying clients. Here are 5 simple, cost-effective ways to lift your personal training biz to the next level.
- Generate publicity with a press release. Are you opening a new training studio in town? Are you a brand new personal trainer, fresh from the certification trenches? Do you have a new program to introduce like virtual training? It doesn’t matter how small the news is, it’s your duty to announce it to the world. There are plenty of resources online to learn how to write an effective press release and how to send it out. You might consider hiring a copywriter to write one for you if writing isn’t your strong suit.
- Offer yourself as an expert. Write a simple letter, offering your services as an expert in health and fitness, to local news media. You should also include a brochure and/or business card and any articles you’ve previously written. Newspapers, local cable shows and regional magazines are regularly looking for topics in the health and fitness arena. Join online forums and answer questions. Use social media to connect with your target market which could be exclusively men, women, athletes or local sports teams.
- Do some legwork with flyers. With all the design software these days and even using MS Publisher, you can easily design and print your own flyers. You should include an eye-catching, attention-getting picture, and then list your services below. Remember that the purpose of the flyer is to generate leads, not to convince clients to hire you. The flyer should also include your tagline and any credentials you have. Make sure you include a free offer of some kind on the flyer; a free consultation or a free training session. Go to all your local gyms and health clubs and place them on cars. Also, hair salons are a fabulous place to place a small stack of flyers. If you have willing family members, you might want to consider a group canvassing effort to wealthy, un-gated communities near your area. With the owner’s permission, you can also put flyers in video stores, cleaners, health food stores, nail salons and diet centers.
- Make direct mail work for you. I love direct mail and it is still a highly productive way to spread the word about your services. It does cost a bit more but this method, even with a 1% response rate, can produce three to four prospective clients. Write a simple one-page letter with a catchy headline. Summarize an emotional problem or physical ailments someone might have as a result of being overweight and how you can solve those problems. Highlight the benefits of training with you. Again, a copywriter might be able to help you write powerful copy to boost your response rate. The best way to obtain a list is to purchase one from a list broker. Figure on $60-$70 for 1,000 names. Target wealthy parts of town. The best time to do this targeted mailing is just before the end of the year when people are making New Year’s resolutions about their fitness goals.
- If you give, they will come. Gift certificates and Discount Coupons peak people’s interest in a big way. Using MS Publisher or any design program, you can create simple, inexpensive gift certificates and discount coupons to give away wherever you happen to be, as well as placing them in strategic stores in your area. Sports supplement stores are always at the top of my list. Your coupons need to include the obvious like your company name, phone number, email address and website, and of course your offer. Perhaps a free consultation or one complimentary session. The coupon should include the value of what you’re giving away, for example, “Valued at $100.” Give your gift certificates and coupons to existing clients as rewards or to give away as gifts.