Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube made it incredibly easy and, what’s most important, mostly free to place yourself in front of the customers needing fitness related services.
If you’ve jumped early enough or been unique, had a strong personality and tremendous knowledge by now you must have built a large following. Congrats!
However, you have definitely noticed that your posts’ organic reach and engagement decreased (especially on Facebook). It all makes your growth slow down. Which directly translates to the number of clients you acquire and rate in which you do that.
It’s all due to changes in algorithms that happen on those social platforms. To stay relevant, you have to adjust your approach every time owners introduce a new update. But the issue is that very rarely these updates are publicly announced!
Companies that pay influencers like you to advertise their product are very aware of that fact and became very picky about who they choose. Majority of companies that even consider using influencer marketing are most likely to sponsor influencers with 100k+ followers.
As you can see, there are big issues that slow down your fitness career advancement. Of course, if you depend solely on public social platforms!
Thankfully, there are some very simple things that I’m about to share with you on how you can further develop your fitness career. By adding one or more of them to your social media channels you are almost guaranteed to grow your following, increase income and create new business opportunities.
Create your own website with a blog where people follow you on your terms
As a fitness influencer, you have a natural gift to gather people around you. You are already doing that on social media.
The only limiting factor is that you do not fully control what is happening to those people’s profiles. The owners of the platforms have real power.
Who knows, maybe even one day Instagram or Facebook will cease to exist. Or more likely, in a near future, new social platform will become a new hit and most people will go there.
Because of that, you will have to start everything almost from scratch.
That is why it is essential to create your own platform. It doesn’t have to be very complicated.
All you need is a website with blog and newsletter. This allows people to find you by typing in Google various search phrases like ‘how to stay full during cutting’! Of course, you will compete with other websites ranking for the same phrase. However, as an influencer you have an edge over them. But more about that in a second.
This way you can educate and entertain people on your own terms. You are in full control over what information about your audience you gather, whom you decide to show your content and how you want to sell to them.
Furthermore, by building an audience using your own website and e-mail list no one will magically change something that destroys a majority of your hard work. Except if the Internet is removed, but let’s face the truth that is not going to happen.
Some more reasons why you should definitely consider building your own platform:
1) According to this article, there are OVER 5 BILLION DAILY searches on Google!
2) Intent — people on google usually look for information upon which they make their decision. People on Instagram or Facebook look mostly for entertainment and motivation. This difference gives you the opportunity to sell or grow more.
3) Remember when I told you about competing against other website and that you have edge over them? As a fitness celebrity, many people from your social platforms will visit your website. This tells Google that your content is worth to see and will increase your ranking in search engine. It’s why it will be easier for you to rank for competitive keywords.
4) You can include an offer for both customers and companies along with your terms of cooperation without people leaving your platform.
Create a client referral program (word of mouth marketing)
I bet your products or services are great and you have many clients. But do they refer you to their friends or family?
If no or only a little percentage, a client referral program is what you need!
In order to craft an effective one, you need to know x things:
1) It’s not only about a great experience with what you do. You have to create a deep relationship with your customer. Let him know you truly care!
2) The reward is a necessity. Unfortunately, nowadays people hardly ever do something for free. Do not worry though, you don’t have to reduce your prices by 50%. What works better are gifts. Remember though that they need to be what your customers want!
One of our clients, for whom we created a referral program, gave a high-quality shirt (for both workouts and strolls), 5% instant discount on entrance fee to the gym (which everybody gets if they go there for more than 5 months) and one grocery shopping with him for free. Around 70% of his clients referred him.
3) In my experience, the best referral programs we have created for our clients and ourselves are based on being referred DURING your work with the customer. The reason is simple — an initial problem you solve is almost always the most spectacular for them. Especially if they had experience with similar services in the past and were disappointed. For example, if your client wants to lose 20 pounds, ask him for a referral when he loses 10 pounds.
4) You have to ask to get what you want. Even though you have clients coming to you from your social platforms, customers that have been referred are many times easier to satisfy.
Key partnerships with businesses in your space
Partnerships are a great way to grow your fitness business.
They can be another source of clients for you. However, not as lavish as your social media channel.
What is more important, you can use them to make your offer unique. By including their products or services, you will definitely stand out among many other similar offers (which will make it easier for customers to choose you) and you will be able to increase your prices. That way you will have to serve fewer clients to make the same money and you will have more time to develop other areas of your career.
In addition to that, you can use partnerships to make your content on social media or your website more interesting by collaborating with other people.
You may ask ‘Who do I choose as my business partner?’.
As a personal trainer, you are transforming people’s lives for the better. You make them healthier, feel more confident and appreciative about themselves.
As you know, there are many other professions that do that as well. Just in a different way.
Hairdressers, doctors, fashion stylists, beauticians, chiropractors and so on. The list is huge!
The main thing here is to remember that hiring a trainer is somewhat a more luxurious service. Not everyone can do that.
That is why when choosing your partners, you also need to be selective and pick those on a premium side with a high-quality product or services.
Sign a marketing deal with a local gym and promote them by organizing events and meet-ups
This one is huge! And it involves no spammy posts.
As a fitness influencer, you are a marketing powerhouse! Especially for gyms.
Many local gym owners would love to hire you to promote their business. However, what stops them are the steep costs.
At the same time, you, as an influencer, have to constantly come up with new ways to engage your community. Meet-ups, group training or events with you are a great way to do that. But again, costs can hinder some. If not you, then your audience.
This is the opportunity you can use!
Contact local gyms that you like and think are great. Then propose them marketing deal. Your job will be to attract clients by promoting their gym through group training organized weekly and monthly events (on non-busy days). You also want 3 different discounts for your audience for the following situations:
a) the lowest when they buy a ticket to the gym;
b) medium for group training;
c) highest for events.
Let them work out the prices for you, but typically they should follow along with the lines of this pattern: 20%, 50%, 70%.
Also, let them know how much money you want to charge them for your job and add any conditions you think are needed during the negotiation phase. But be generous! Remember, you are doing it mostly for yourself.
Create your own simple product or info product
As a fitness influencer, you not only know the pinpoints of your industry. Also, people want to buy from you!
Create something simple that will help people achieve their body or strength goals easier.
Remember, you don’t have to manufacture some sort of equipment at the beginning. You can start with an amazingly designed and very informative ebook that is full of recipes and exemplary workouts. But make it specific and on a topic that people want to read! Then price it accordingly.
By doing so, you are creating not only a new source of income. You are also lowering the entrance barrier for people to buy from you.
Let’s face it, this simple product will be in 99% of cases cheaper than your workout or meal plan tailored to individual needs.
Also, it is highly likely that it will be just the first out of many purchases of a single customer. When he experiences something from you, and it helps him, it will be easier for him to buy more expensive services.
Become more active offline
With Facebook’s, Instagram’s and Youtube’s drop in organic reaches it is harder than ever to grow. Yet alone, to acquire new clients at the same rate or faster than before.
This is the perfect time for you to start some work outside the social media.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do much in your situation. I would suggest trying some networking events at a beginning.
During the networking event, a group of more than 30 business owners meets and casually talk. They also present their businesses.
What can you get from those meetings? A number of things:
1) get a client for your personal training services;
2) meet someone who opens up a new business opportunity in front of you;
3) sign a sponsorship;
4) sign a deal with a company to lead group training during long breaks.
However, I have to be honest with you. There are many networking groups that are filled with start-ups or companies at the edge of bankruptcy. Depending on your goals, it may not be what you seek.
But if you find the right group for you, it can be a business changer!
Involve in a charity (skyrockets your following growth)
There are just some things in life that we should do out of our pure heart.
And with your influence, you have the power to change this world!
People love and follow those that help others.
Join a charity organization that you truly believe in. Then just help them.
Do it sincerely. Don’t make marketing buzz around that. Encourage your audience to help others. Show true interest and dedication to the cause.
After a few months, your engagement and growth will skyrocket! As well as your personal growth.
Being dependent solely on actions someone else takes is always a bad business move.
For fitness influencers that’s the case of social platforms. Their golden times are coming to an end as they become even more saturated. New algorithms need to be introduced to handle more content. You have to constantly adjust your approach to stay relevant.
It’s the main reason why you should focus on the things you will always control.
The tips I gave you in this article are just that. You are in full control over the outcome they produce for you. Only you can change them however and whenever you want.
They are also timeless. These tips are based on proven for hundreds of years strategies. Only means (tactics) to implement them will change.