Have you ever thought about what’s holding you back from taking your business to the next level? Or why you just don’t have enough clients banging down your door, begging for you to train them? Well, for most personal trainers it’s all due to the fact that no one has ever heard of them or their business.
Building a top-notch fitness business has everything to do with the marketing you use. Most trainers-turned-business owners starting out don’t really think that marketing is all that important so they’ll put up a couple of ads here and there and then spend all their time and money on trying to create the perfect facility. Sure, you should aim to have a good looking gym, but it doesn’t have to be “perfect” right off the bat- you can always invest and improve when you have the clients and profits to do so.
So what do you do when you have a limited personal trainer marketing budget and need to get clients into gym quickly? Get creative, that’s what.
Stop Thinking You Need a Giant Budget
What holds a lot of new fitness business owners back is that most of them believe that they need some olympic sized marketing budget in order to effectively market themselves when it’s really not the case. Don’t think that just because you don’t have the budget for it that it shouldn’t be done. There are plenty of low-cost ways to spread the word about your business- we’ll get to these in a minute.
Being a new business owners means that you’ll probably get contacted by a lot of local ad reps and though they may sound like a great option for someone who doesn’t know a whole lot about marketing- they’re really costly. So if you’re planning on hiring an ad agency and go this route, be sure to do your research and find out whether or not they’ve been able to help other clients reach success.
Every business needs a solid marketing plan and fitness businesses are no different. Without a marketing plan in place and goals that you want to accomplish written down, you’ll end up rushing into things that might not deliver the best return on investment.
Know Your Niche
In order to market your business effectively- you’ve got to “know your niche”. What specific group of people will want your type of training the most? Who do you want to appeal to? What’s your training specialty? What’s your ideal client like? What kind of personal training business do you want to run? All these questions will help you to narrow down just who it is you’ll be aiming your marketing message at.
After you’ve figured out who your niche or target market is- learn their language. Like to train athletes? Great! Think about how your fitness training will benefit them and let that be your message. Like to help people lose weight? What it is about your program that would help someone struggling with weight issues finally get the results they’ve always wanted?
Build your business around your niche and you’ll find that a lot of your marketing will fall into place a lot easier than if you were to cater to any and everyone.
With these first two bits of info in mind, let’s take a look at these 7 low-cost personal trainer marketing tactics:
1. Website/Blog – Every business needs a website or some sort of blog. It’s where people go to look you up when they’re not sure if they want to buy what you’re selling and when you have a blog up and running more people will get the chance to know, like, and trust you before they even meet you.
Websites can be expensive to create, but you can get around that by learning a few tricks here and there. Building a website through WordPress or starting up a blog should only take you a couple of days- a week at most- even if you haven’t done it before. Google likes to give preference to local businesses so be sure to sign up your business with Google Places, Yelp, and other online listings so you can start seeing your business and website coming up in the local ranks.
Be sure to post things like case studies or some videos of you training your clients, before and after photos and anything else that will prove that you know your stuff. Include an opt-in with an irresistible offer for a free fat loss report or some type of ebook that you think your niche or target market will like in exchange for their contact info.
2. Build an Email List – Not only do need to have an opt-in on your website or blog to capture email addresses, but you also need to have everyone who comes into your facility fill out a quick questionnaire so you can gather those as well.
Building an email list of all your current and potential clients will help you to stay in constant contact and build relationships by sending useful content along with the occasional promotional offer or two. It’s the most cost-effective way to market yourself as a trainer and the services your business offers.
3. Utilize Major Social Media Sites – Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a big deal. Your business needs one of each as well as a Google+, Pinterest, and a Yelp site. They’re a big deal because that’s where your potential clients are- and it’s exactly where you should be reaching them.
Fitness marketing on a budget means that social media is your best friend. You really don’t need to spend thousands of dollars creating the perfect logo to attract clients because you can do all of that through Facebook.
Use social media to announce what’s going on with you and your business. Post case studies and before and after photos along with videos and inspirational quotes. Tag your clients in photos and be sure to give them “virtual props” when they accomplish a big goal.
4. Network – Get out there and meet your potential clients wherever they hang. Meet other local businesses and start a referral program with each other. Host charity events and invite other local businesses out to participate.
Make yourself known by getting involved with your community any way you know how. Be social with every new person you meet and let them know who you are and what you’re about. The harder you work at promoting yourself and your services, the better the returns will be.
5. Host an Open House – Host some type of Open House at your training center once a month. It’ll give people a chance to check out your gym and to see what you’re all about. Make it a big deal to your current clients and let them know so that they can bring their friends and family.
6. Retention – One really easy way to maximize your personal trainer marketing budget is to focus on keeping the clients you have for the long haul. Treat your clients well and love them up often. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll enjoy your business a lot more when you’re working with clients who love you.
Send them a gift here and there to show that you really do care about them. Remember birthdays and other important events in their lives. Make working out with you the best part of their day.
One final note I’ll leave you with is this: study up on the things that will help you grow your business like marketing, sales, referral generation, business tactics, time management, and any other thing you think will help you to be a better business owner.
Committed to your success,