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19 Killer Fitness Business Marketing Tactics (and 3 that suck)

I’ve made some really stupid marketing mistakes when I started out as a personal trainer.

The three that comes to mind was the time I spent six days straight making my business cards… lol. Just thinking about that story makes me cringe.

** SIDE NOTE ** A little rant... before I tell you the three stupid fitness marketing mistakes I made and the 19 killer gems that’ll get you tons of clients, I want to just put something out there.

Lately we’ve been getting a BUNCH of emails and calls from people who want to pitch me new business ideas or just want me to promote, endorse, or get in business with them.

It’s actually getting a bit crazy these days… just the other day someone sent my wife an email pushing her to get me to look at something and other times people just show up to places I’m going to be and pitch me. And then there are the non stop calls and emails to Marilyn and Allison at the office.

I know this does not apply to 99% of the trainers reading this… but for the 1% that it does apply to please read this.

Okay, where was I…

aceI don’t know if ACE does this anymore or not. But back in the day when you got ACE certified they’d send you this sheet of ACE logos (all different sizes) for you to use on your business cards, letters heads, and other useless stuff.

I remember the day I got my ACE personal trainer certificate in the mail I grabbed those ACE logos and high tailed it to the local Kinkos to make my business cards.

Six days later… and three boxes of businesses cards later I had my personal training business cards.

I wish I had saved one of my cards to show you… but they’re sitting in a landfill somewhere now.

Here’s what my business cards looked like: The ACE logo took up 70% of the front of the card. The other 30% was my name, phone number, and the words “certified personal trainer” (incase they missed the GIANT ACE logo on the card).

And the back of the card was out right blank!

Unfortunately that was not my only stupid fitness business marketing idea. One time I spent almost five hours in a Kinkos again – this time I was trying to make my own logo on their rent a computers.

After five hours I had crafted a logo of this fit woman flying out of the flames… kinda like the phoenix bird. (Just writing about this is embarrassing enough)

Anyhow, as though a stupid amateur made logo wasn’t bad enough I then proceeded to put that logo on a sheet of paper that said “personal training” across the top… ” “ACE certified” next to my business name, and then an offer for one free personal training session along with my phone number.

Now here’s the best part…

bullitenboardadI then printed out a bunch of these signs flyers and pined them on trees and bulletin boards across two local junior collages.

RESULTS… zero.

So those are the few “fitness business marketing” tactics that sucked.

It wasn’t till three years later that I stumbled upon a marketing book by Jay Abraham that opened my eyes to a whole new kind of marketing…

…the kind of marketing that got me clients virtually on demand and within a couple years I was making a strong six figure income running multiple fitness facilities.

Here are 19 fitness business marketing gems that are critical IF you want to take your personal training or boot camp business to multiple six figures.

1. Specialize. Serve a niche market. Don’t be everything to everyone.

2. Guarantee results. You do believe in your services, right?

3. Demonstrate value and show the benefits of your service (NOT the features).

4. Forget about branding and logos… branding is a by-product of good marketing.

5. Always… ALWAYS make an offer. Ask for the sale and you’ll get it.

6. Talk to at least ten people a day about what you do.

7. Find the connectors (the people in your community who know a lot of other people) and add value to their lives.

8. Get your website to attract, compel and convert (if you have a crappy website and want a better one check out www.FitnessWebsiteFormula.com)

9. Use tons of testimonials and social proof on your site, in your marketing, and in person.

10. Be a giver… a value adder. Give without expectation.

11. Get in front of groups and speak. It’s the fastest way to establish authority.

12. Selling big multi-thousands dollar programs is just as easy as selling ten sessions.

13. Make your current clients into your army of referral generating soldiers.

14. Email marketing is cheaper… plus your clients are just one click away from your site.  (FitPro Newsletter **HINT*)

15. Name your programs. No one wants the “ten session package” they all want the “rapid fat loss program”.

16. Sell people what they WANT and not what they NEED.

17. Sell to your existing clients OFTEN.

18. Direct response marketing trumps “traditional” advertising any day.

19. Increase your client getting knowledge… Attend live events, seminars, workshops and get coaching.

What do ya think? Leave a comment below…

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COMMENTS

  • http://www.gofitbody.com Michael Duivis

    I’ve been there….pinning my business card to the board at Quizno’s……

    Or even worse, attending all the events of the chamber of commerce, wondering why I kept on seeing the same faces….

  • http://www.justbmethod.com b

    your information is always simple & appreciated!

  • http://www.swatfitness.com Ron Holland

    Great post B. All excellent points.
    Ron

  • http://www.justbmethod.com b

    and I would LOVE to attend your sumitt but I will be in Italy teaching until Nov 2. Keep me posted when you will be in NY,Philly, or NJ

  • http://www.kettlebellbootcamp.com.au TC

    Hey Bedros

    can’t agreed more with the bullentin board. Bloody waste of time if you are not serving a niche market. I’ve tried putting put marketing poster and never got me anybody.

  • http://www.spartantraining.com.au Steve

    Too funny about the chick jumping out of flames… I’m embarrassed for you Bedros! ;)

    great tips though..

  • Coach Greg Romero

    Bedros,

    Thanks for being the leader you’re. They’re not enough of you in this world, thanks for the blogs!

    Very inspiring.

    Coach G

  • http://www.freesupplementebook.com Jason

    this one got me thinking. Selling big multi-thousands dollar programs is just as easy as selling ten sessions.

    I have been thinking of making some big packages and will give this a go now.

    I think this is something that I need to do and can really boost business for me.

    Talk to at least ten people a day about what you do.

  • http://next-step-conditioning-systems.com Izzy

    These posts NEVER get old, and the consideration fee a great idea! Keep’m coming Bedros!

    Izzy

  • http://www.InnerCityBootCamp.com JJ Brawley

    LMAO! I’m ACE Certified as well and YES they do still send you a TON of links to their web site so that you can put THEIR logo all over your card! Plus now they sell you cards and all sorts of stuff on it with their logo! I still have a WHOLE box of the first cards they sent me. See you at the Summit! Maybe I’ll bring you one of my old cards!

  • http://www.succeed.com.au Scott Williams

    Bedros,

    Great words mate.

    I am a fan of all points raised but particularly 2, 5, 6, f#$% they are all great points.

    Can’t wait to meet you at the Fitness Info Summit… coming all the way from Canberra, Australia.

    Scotty

  • http://www.mlathletics.com Mike

    I have done all 3 of those bad marketing tips and yeah they don’t really work. I now network and get infront of leaders in the community and bam things start to happen.

    Great stuff Bedros!

  • http://www.ultimateathleticfitness.com Callie Durbrow

    Bedros thanks again for the inspiring and easy to use information. I think we have ALL been there with the days of pinning business cards to bulletin boards. Do people even look at those things?
    Great stuff!

  • http://www.buffalopersonaltraining.com Brian

    Bedros,

    Thanks for the great info. I like the idea of “naming” the training packages.

    Good Post,
    Brian

  • Tim

    I’ve been trying to come up with better names for my small group training programs (limited to 6 people…due to space).

    What names have worked best for you guys besides rapid fat loss?

    We have 3,4,5 days/week and base them off a 12 month membership (have 3 & 6 month options too).

    Any ideas would be great!

    Thanks!
    Tim

    PS. A great post once again Bedros. See you in Orlando!

  • JJ

    I was so busy with the Bedros Rant I had to come back to read the actual Post! Awesome!!

  • John Thompson

    1, 5, and 10 are HUGE. As are all the rest.

    Thanks B

    - John

  • http://www.trainwithchelsea.com chelsea

    Thanks Bedros!
    Good stuff that we all need to hear! See you at the Info Summit!

  • http://www.redmanfitness.com Marlon John

    Thanks for the ideas.

    I have done the bulletin board thing also, it’s so funny!! See you in Orlando, FL.

  • http://www.trainwithjake.com Jake

    HAHA. I must wholeheartedly concur. I always get advice about “branding” from the old dudes who are still making sub 50,000/year incomes in their mid fifties. It’s a new era, my friends, and there are many new rules by which to abide. The first rule is throw out the old s**t that doesn’t work.

  • http://www.proactivfitness.co.uk Rob

    Hey Bedros,

    If there was every one person that done everything perfect first time… I’d like to meet him.

    Shit like that dont exist, we all learn from our mistakes. And its reassuring to know that YOU ARE human.

    Rob Houghton.

  • http://www.montysbootcamp.com Monty

    Bedros-

    Great reminder of some of the foundation/basics that you have been preaching for some time.
    Thanks for leading the way!

    See you in Orlando.

  • Bonnie Hardie

    Great tips Bedros!!! I am printing this out and will read these over and implement them every day!!

  • http://www.fttemecula.com Temecula Personal Trainer

    Bedros, another great list of tips. I’ve found number 16 to be an important selling tip. Thanks.

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  • http://www.fatfreefitness.co.uk Gloucester Personal Training

    Hi Bedros, awesome tips! I’ve just started a weight loss agency, and yours and Big Chris McCombs’ fitness marketing tips are great. I don’t know what it’s like in the States, but in the UK, our PT courses totally brush marketing under the table.

  • http://http//www.fitforlifeptstudio.com Stacey

    Do you have any more information for #17 Sell to your existing clients OFTEN- Im curious to learn more! Thanks for your time

  • http://www.optimalfitnesslifestyle.com Brien Shamp

    Thanks for the post Bedros. Great review.

    Brien Shamp

    http://www.optimalfitnesslifestyle.com

  • http://www.elitefitnessconsultants.co.uk Lewis – Elite

    Killer info Bedros

    Strong nuts & bolts information, I’m using a number of these methods already and they are working big time!!

    Cheers buddy
    Lewis

  • http://www.one2fitnessgurus.com Fidi Firdaus

    Seriously Bedros,You can just ignore this kind of people.I term this people as negative energy who is just trying to “suck” in your positive energy and make you look bad in front of others..I used to have this kind of people around me back then..But now,I’ve erased all of them from my environment!And I am damn happy bout that!I have been following your post for a while now and I am liking it very much.

    Do you have anyone following you from Singapore? If not,I will be the first here! Keep up the good work Bedros!

    Cheers!

  • http://www.james-bond.org.uk James Bond

    Bedros- thats good advice and I’ve just hired your friend Steve Hochman as my coach

  • http://stratahealthclub.com Michael Wohltmann

    To leave a comment about the critizism(spell?).. I have been a trainer for 16 years and have ranked upwards in certifications, businesses and broken 28,000 hours in training. I have an AA and am working on my BS at 3-6 credits a semester(24 left). I also have coached powerlifting and have 16 States and 5 National records under me.. You get the idea. I go to seminars all the time and learn really awesome things but somehow I have to get the message out. I mean if nobody knows what I do then what’s the point? I have used some of Bedro’s things before and some have worked and some haven’t. Some of his referral ideas were golden. However, the newsletter thing was a disaster for me in my health club. You see, 80% of the members do no come regularly. Reminding them that they are still paying is not a good idea… Well, at least at that point. Sometimes the info from Bedros seems overly sensational. I think he also challenges the way I do business and suggests change and sometimes it makes me feel uncomfortable. Ultimately, I need training on marketing because it does not come naturally to me to help me make a living. Like a good book, I do not have to agree with every part for me to reccommend it. The person being negative is just a little bitter and will have other challenges to face…

  • http://www.ccpt.co.uk Chris Chan

    Thanks for the great info! I’ll put this into action.

  • Fiona B O’Donnell

    Some great tips for a beginner – I would love some further info under each point though. Its great to hear about what works for people – thanks for sharing it

  • http://www.personal-training-sacramento.com ken

    I dont see the problem

  • bracha

    Hey bedro thanks for those tips! IVe been there too! Got scrwed up too with My business cares! I dont get some ppl. They tell me They wanna train with me Ask for business card then They dont call . Cause They change there mine! This happenes often! Wat do i do? In that case?

  • Corinna

    I actually snorted with laughter when I read about the fit chick emerging from the flames… too funny. Thanks for sharing, Bedros :)

  • Mike

    Another Big one Bedros…Great post