5 Ways to Market Yourself as a Personal Fitness Trainer
Post by guest blogger Daniela Baker, social media advocate from New York
Creating a business as a personal trainer can be a fulfilling way to build your own career by helping individuals reach their fitness and health goals. While you've got to have the fitness knowledge and personal drive to become a trainer, you also need to know how to build your business through good marketing techniques. Here are just five of the best techniques you can use to market yourself as a personal trainer:
1. Take on some clients for free
Word of mouth referrals are one of the most valuable marketing tools for personal trainers. If your clients love you, they'll be sure to let others know about you, gaining you more clients and better business. If you're just starting out or need to fill some gaps in your schedule, take on some pro bono clients in your niche area, and watch the referrals pour in.
2. Create a value-added blog
Blogging is all the rage for small, one-man business operations these days, and they're no less important for those who are in personal training. The key for a personal trainer is that your blog not just be a bunch of advertising, but that you give value to clients and potential clients. Giving your blog readers something valuable will keep them coming back to read more, making them more likely to call you for personal training in the future. Here are a few ideas you can use to add value to your personal training blog:
- Give a few fitness or weight loss tips for readers. You don't want to give away all your secrets, but giving some tips lets people know you really do want to help and you know what you're talking about.
- Talk about the latest studies and scientific breakthroughs. As a personal trainer, you most likely read some top-notch magazines and journals, which can publish really interesting health-related information. Talk about what's new out there that people ought to know.
- Give reviews of various products and services. You could talk about a nutritionist you highly recommend to your clients, or give reviews of some good at-home or on-the-go workout programs.
- Tell stories about your successes. Get permission from current or former clients to tell their success stories, which can be motivating to your readers, and which also show that you're great at what you do!
- Run a giveaway for a week or month of free personal training session. Enter readers in a drawing if they comment on your blog post.
The keys to making a marketing blog successful are to post frequently, to converse with readers in the comments section, and to give readers something valuable that keeps them coming back again and again.
3. Leverage your social networks
Social networking is a very valuable tool for the personal trainer. Now, though, you'll use not only your actual physical social network and word of mouth to get clients, but you'll also use online social networks like Facebook and Twitter. At the very least, you should be Facebooking and Tweeting your blog posts, but you should really learn to use these tools to connect with potential clients in other ways, too.
Not sure how to use Facebook or Twitter to create a social networking marketing campaign? Daniela Baker from CreditDonkey says, it's worth hiring someone to help you create a campaign plan. If you don't currently have the cash flow to hire someone, good credit card deals or a small business loan can help you supplement your business income to hire a consultant for a few weeks. Just look for an option that suits your business well, and make sure you're able to make the minimum payments – at least – on whatever you charge to the card.
4. Pitch to a narrow target audience
One of the keys to good marketing in any industry, but especially when it comes to marketing yourself as a personal trainer, is to find a narrow audience to target with your marketing. If you just target "people who want to get in shape," your marketing efforts will be too broad. You'll spread your resources too thin and won't see excellent results from your personal training marketing campaign.
On the other hand, if you choose a narrow target audience, a very targeted marketing campaign can drive great results. To choose your niche, think about your own passions and strengths, as well as any specific experience or certifications you may have. For instance, you might specialize in efficient workouts for busy business people, safe workouts for pregnant women, or weight loss for teens. You can specialize in one or two related areas, but once you've decided to specialize, focus on creating a great marketing campaign just for that audience.
5. Show your credentials
One of the best ways to draw new clients to your business is to clearly let potential clients know what your credentials are. Too many gyms hire inexperienced personal trainers who are simply good at working out on their own, and too many people have been burned by this arrangement. If you really want to make it as a personal trainer, get credentialed and make sure you show off your credentials in any marketing you do.
Not sure where to start with your credentials? Talk to other personal trainers, or check out the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer Certification course. It's a good course designed to help you understand personal training, training safety, and more. Whether you use this option for certification or not, make sure that you are certified as a personal trainer and let your clients know it!
These five tips can give you a great start on your personal training business journey. Personal training can be a great business, but you've got to make sure you're marketing yourself effectively so that you gain more clients and build your business to meet your own personal goals.