Struggling to get more people to attend your sessions? Whether you’re a PT, organiser of a running group, or a coach for a triathlon squad, we’ve put together five key marketing strategies you should implement to increase your client base.
When you write, you become an expert, people go out of their way to train with you and talk about you. A good place to start is with blogging. It may seem daunting to start, but just get out a notepad or bring up a word document on your computer, and try to write something that will be of value to your clients. Pick areas that you are proficient in and know that a lot of people are struggling with or need help with.
Remember the goal is to provide material that the clients will want to show off. Everybody wants to pass on word that they know an expert. For some reason, the act of writing makes it look like you know it better than the next trainer.
2. Identify Mavens
In every neighbourhood, there are mavens and they are the key to becoming the go-to trainer or training group in that neighbourhood. In Malcom Gladuell’s “Tipping Point”, he describes the maven as an ‘information specialist’ and as ‘people we rely on to connect us with new information’. The maven is a trusted source with a lot of connections.
So who are the mavens? Some good examples are your realestate agents, doctors, and baristas. They are all good referral sources and communicate with many people in a given day. Get to know them and find a way to market through them. E.g. You could give the realestate agent a gift certificate of $100 for training to give to new house buyers, or try to generate referrals from doctors or medical practitioners. As for barristers, once you get to know them, write an article and ask to put it up in the shop or leave some cards at the from counter.
3. Post on an Online Marketplace
The growth of online marketplaces have exploded on just a few years. According to a recent Forrester study commissioned by Mirakl and ChannelAdvisor, large marketplaces like Uber, Airbnb and Etsy are processing more than a billion dollars of transactions. Online marketplaces are the secret ingredient for providers to interact and engage with consumers in a whole new way. Consumers are loving online marketplace due to the fact that they can conveniently explore and compare a wide range of services and also discover new services.
So what are the bets marketplaces to put your sessions on? There are two we would choose from, Mindbody & Activlinx. It might be biased of us to choose Activlinx, but it is great platform specific to finding group training. Its perks: it is all free to use, it is a platform specifically segmented to the fitness industry, and you can communicate amongst users. The downfalls: it currently does not include a payment gateway and the customer management system is very basic, but it’s free so you may as well put your sessions on. Mindbody is the paid platform, starting at $125/month. Its perks: they have a large user base and a great customer management system. The downfalls: it can be costly for small businesses and free group sessions.
Facebook is your list of people who already love and trust you, so take advantage of it! Friends and family may not want to train with you but they serve as a trust agent to spread word about you. Two ways that we recommend using Facebook are:
– Create a simple tip of the day: Every day at any time write down a tip of the day. It can be as simple as “Eat fat to lose fat” or “Cut the Caffeine”. At the end of each post, have a call to action that viewers message you for any health and fitness related questions.
– Celebrate your clients achievements publicly: If they achieve something at your sessions, tag them in a post saying “Matt got a PB for his fitness test today”. It will not only make the client feel good, but all of his friends will see what Matt is achieving with your training.
5. Ask for referrals
Sometimes your clients don’t realise how your business works and if you simply mention that your success is dependent on referrals, they will most likely jump at the opportunity to bring you new clients. A lot of trainers feel awkward asking, so here’s a script from Jonathon Goodmans PTBC education for trainers:
Note: Do this at the end of the session. If you stretch your clients then it’s a perfect time to bring up the topic.
Me: “Thanks again for your great work today! You really smashed those deadlifts. There’s something I’d love to have a quick chat with you about.” (Make the compliment specific)
Client: “Of course.”
Me: “I’ve noticed that I’m going to have some gaps in my schedule coming up due to some personal issues with a couple other clients. I’m asking my clients first if they know anybody who might be interested in training. I want to make sure I keep the spots open to look after my clients friends and family first before marketing to the outside world. Do you know of anybody who might be interested in training?”
Client: “Actually yes. My sister was talking about working out but is afraid because she’s had an old shoulder injury, I think it’s tendinitis.”
Me: “Great! I have a lot of experience working with shoulder injuries and am happy to get in touch with her physio to get all the details. Do you mind asking her permission for me to call her?”
Client: “Not at all. I’ll ask her tonight.”
Me: “Thanks. I appreciate that. Here’s a card for a complimentary meeting and week membership that you can give to her.”
Always have printed material with your phone number and email for a free meeting ready to hand out. On the card, write down an expiry date to give the new client a sense of urgency. Or go one better and have an expiry date for 50% off a session for new clients and any client that has referred you. Your clients will rush to refer a friend if there’s something in it for them.
So, be proactive, schedule in some time for your ‘marketing’ and start generating more leads.