You’ve worked hard to build your skills. You’ve implemented some of the most exciting fitness trends into your portfolio. And you’ve become a trusted personal trainer to your clients. But personal training is a business that relies not only on your ability to motivate clients and produce killer results, but also on your ability to promote yourself to keep your business growing.
Promoting yourself doesn’t have to be the overwhelming/scary/unpleasant endeavor you imagine it is. In fact, there are a handful of effective marketing ideas that are easy for any personal trainer to implement, whether you’re fresh out of a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology or exercise science or ready to take your career to the next level.
Stand out from the pack.
There’s a dozen other personal trainers in the immediate area, so how will you ensure you’ll stand out from the rest to attract potential clients? The key is to differentiate yourself from the competition.
You can accomplish this a number of ways, but the easiest way is to target a specific niche market and market services that attract that market. For example, if you want to attract the senior market, consider promoting aqua exercises or a low-impact program designed specifically for seniors.
If you want to attract a young clientele, make it your mission to stay on top of the trends in fitness and market yourself as an expert in everything from the most-cutting edge high-intensity interval training (HII) techniques to the hottest barre and cardio fusion workouts.
Offer free or discounted mini-sessions to entice the curious.
Mini-sessions (consider 20-30 minutes) are a great way to pique the interest of potential clients and determine if it’s a good fit. Plus, because of the shorter session, you can fit several into your day without impeding on your paying clients.
Consider a mini-session a job interview—talk to potential clients about your training philosophy; ask them about their fitness goals; and give them a taste of what a standard training session would look like.
Offer group training lessons to specific target groups.
Sometimes the easiest (and least threatening) way to begin exercising is with friends. Offer special training sessions to specific groups (senior groups, new moms, working professionals, etc.) by contacting churches, senior centers, companies, daycare centers, and retirement communities (just to name a few) and offering group training at attractive prices. This is a great way to meet new people, make new connections, and build your clientele.
Build a YouTube library.
Videos are one of the most effective ways to display your talent to potential clients and get the word out about your business. Make engaging videos of your favorite techniques or drills and upload them to YouTube. Then, post them to Facebook and send them to potential clients.
A library of demo videos can also be a great tool for your current clients. If you want to introduce a new technique or help your client continue their exercises at home, send them your videos to keep them motivated and on target.
Keep up a social media presence.
Consider social media as free advertising. Talk up the newest trends in fitness on Twitter, upload your YouTube videos to Facebook, and post before and after pics of your clients to Instagram. Promote personal training specials and upcoming group classes, give a shout-out to clients who’ve reached their fitness goals, and post inspiring words to motivate your clients and catch the attention of potential clients who are considering starting a fitness regimen. In short, become a regular on social media and the word will spread.
Pound the pavement.
Sometimes the best way to target potential clients is to promote your business at other businesses they’re likely to frequent. If there’s a coffee shop around the corner, ask if you can post a promotional flyer on their bulletin board or leave your business cards on their counter. Ask a nearby tanning salon to post your personal training services on their Facebook in page; in return, post their weekly specials on yours. Introduce yourself to other businesses, build relationships, and always consider the perks of cross-marketing efforts.
Become a friendly face at your place of employment.
Whether you work at a health club, recreation center, or gym, make it your mission to become a friendly face. This means that when you’re not training clients, your walking the facility, saying hello, recognizing new faces, and remembering the regulars. Take the time to stop and ask members or visitors about their fitness goals and to give them a quick lowdown on your services. Keep your business card on hand, and offer those you meet a special discount to give a personal training session a whirl.