If you’ve ever wondered whether personal trainer email marketing delivers result, then this blog post is written just for you.
Buying personal training is not an impulse decision. Most people need time to be sold on the benefits of working with a fitness trainer and that’s where the right personal trainer online marketing strategy can help you build your business quickly.
The idea is simple and proven. Personal trainer online marketing works because it’s the fastest, easiest, and most economical way to build a list of loyal prospects and to get them to know, like and trust you.
And when people know, like, and trust you… and consider you an authority on the subject then they’re more likely to buy from you.
So here’s how to plan your personal trainer online marketing campaign. It should consist of a few points. The first point of contact in this strategy is your personal trainer email marketing system. E-mail marketing is a key component to converting potential personal training clients into paying personal training clients. The next point of contact through this system is your fitness blog or newsletter. Typically these two features can have the same information but they are delivered two separate ways. Finally you have Facebook. Facebook is one of the larger elements in an online personal training marketing strategy. It has a lot of potential which we will talk about later.
First things first, let’s talk about why you should do any online marketing.
Why Fitness Email Marketing Works
Think of it this way… you want to weed the prospects in your community from the suspects and add them to your online marketing list so you can begin the relationship building process. This is because investing in a personal trainer is not like buying a new pair of pants… it takes time to build trust. People need to know that they are not signing a contract with someone who won’t be dedicated to them. They want to know before they even think about talking to you, that they can trust you and that you will help them achieve their goals.
Since selling personal training services is a long sell you need repetitive contact with your potential clients. You will essentially need to give them something for nothing. This is where your online marketing strategy helps. You will become a helpful presence in their everyday lives by offering advice and showing them how you have helped other people. This is where you start to build the rapport required to make the long sell of personal training. They need to like you before they even talk to you. You need to be the authority they think of when they think of advice for fitness.
But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. First you need people to market to.
You need to generate leads. This is the most IMPORTANT part of your personal trainer email marketing tactic because if you don’t generate leads, you won’t generate clients. The best lead generation system is to make irresistible offers to people in your community.
For example you may offer a free report, video, or ebook via postcards to their homes, or in the newspaper, or even online via Facebook or search engine optimization. But the only way they can get the free ebook, report, or video is if they go to a specific site that you set up and give you’re their name and email address in exchange for the information. And by doing this you’re going to start building your personal trainer email marketing list.
There an old saying in marketing… “the list is king”. And that’s true to some extent, but only if your list is QUALIFIED and feels that you are credible.
So the idea is not to build a personal trainer email marketing list that has everyone and anyone on it. You want a list of people who are looking for fitness and fat loss solutions and this is why you’re going to offer the free reports, ebooks, and videos that have to do with fitness and fat loss. This instantly qualifies prospects from suspects.
But like I said, building a list is not enough. You’ve gotta build credibility and trust with your list. And that’s where most people go wrong in their personal trainer email marketing strategies because they fail to build a relationship with their list.
They fail to deliver VALUE to their list.
They fail to consistently market to their list.
And the only time they contact their list is to pitch an offer and that is the worst thing you can do because it burns your list out and makes them unresponsive. Sure you can make offers… that’s the whole idea BUT you’ve gotta deliver value first and then through multiple contact emails/facebook/blog you can then make an offer.
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How do you add value?
So you gave away a free ebook about high intensity interval training and generated a pretty good lead list. What do you do with it? You already know that people are going to block contacts from you if all they receive from you is marketing telling them that they should sign up for training.
Same piece of material
One of the great things about the internet is that you can use a single piece of content and deliver it any number of ways. For example if you have a great article that you have written about the importance of sleep when training you can post that article in a multitude of places. The article can go through your e-mail list, those who have signed up for your newsletter and those who have signed up for your blog, you can Facebook it and Tweet about it. One piece of information can reach those who have requested additional contact any number of ways.
Now this topic seems to generate a lot of discussion among the personal trainers that I talk to. They always ask me if they really have to blog. Yes you should really create a blog if you want to focus on fitness email marketing – that is IF you want to build a list and positioning yourself as the local fitness expert. Blogs are very popular sources of information and are often the source where people get the information they need when searching items through search engines like Google and Bing.
Blogs get to the top spots in search results through the use of search engine optimization (SEO). What is SEO? Search engine optimization is the strategic placement of keywords in the title, and throughout the article. This placement of keywords makes the article more attractive to the search engine’s crawler when it indexes sites that are relevant to that search term.
Now I know what you are thinking. That sounds complicated. Let me put it to you this way. Let’s take our example of the high intensity interval training. If you are writing an article about high intensity interval training you are probably going to use the term HIIT and the long term interchangeably throughout the article. All you have to do is use each of the terms 1 time every 200 words (give or take). This is using keyword optimization when writing your article.
Now since you are going to be discussing personal training benefits you may want to think of other keywords that people may search when looking for a personal trainer. Usually they are location specific so remember to include that in your SEO. If you are a trainer in Tampa some of the keywords that may be searched are “personal trainers in Tampa Florida” or “Tampa Personal Trainers”. Really what you should be writing is what people are searching. If the topic is centered on the keyword it is very easy to optimize the article to be search engine friendly.
Personal Trainer Email Marketing Frequency
How often should you send out an e-mail to your list and what type of content should it have?
Well the simple answer is at least 1 time a month and no more than 1 time per week. Anything less and your content will be forgotten before the next e-mail. This means that people are no longer thinking of you when they are thinking of a personal trainer. You need to be the authority of fitness in their life. Being forgotten won’t make you that authority.
Remember that personal training takes a lot of rapport. You want your name to be the only one that pops into their head when they are considering a personal trainer.
Any more than one time per week and you are just plain annoying. No one likes the fly that just won’t go away. You don’t want potential clients to regret giving you their e-mail address. One considerate thing to do is to put in an opt-out option also. If you have a client who reads your blog but decided that they no longer want e-mail copies of that information, they should be able to opt-out. Not respecting their right to no longer receive communication from you is another DON’T of the online marketing plan.
What should you have in your personal training e-mail marketing campaign?
Well a little bit of everything. Success stories are a great selling point and a great way to build that trust. Informative articles as well as promotions should all make it into your e-mails. If you only e-mail promotions you will exhaust your list before you fully penetrate it.
E-mail should be the primary delivery method for your newsletter. This saves money on shipping and is an easy method to send 500 people information. This is another piece of information that can be included into your e-mail list to attract clients.
By now the wheels should be grinding as to how you can successfully contact all of those people that you have on your e-mail list.
Create a list of ideas for content.
Keeping a list of ideas for content will save you from that last minute writer’s block that happens when time got away from you and you realize it has been far too long since you have communicated with your potential clients. Another good tip is to write when inspired and to save it for later. You can always hire a writer who can create content for you if you are not the writing type. Either way make sure you have ample access to material to send out at a moment’s notice.
So I mentioned at the beginning of this article that Facebook is one of the biggest marketing assets available online. Here we are going to explore why Facebook should be a key part of your online marketing strategy to grow your personal training business.
Ask those people who sign up for your free e-book to friend you on Facebook, or make it a requirement. You need those who are interested in training to be on your Facebook fan page.
Let it go Viral
The way that Facebook works means that every communication you send out has the ability to go viral. When something goes viral it spreads from person to person to person and you don’t have to do anything extra.
Let’s say you have run a promotion for free HIIT sessions for a month for the winner and a guest of their choosing. You post this to all the people you have on your Facebook fan page. Let’s for arguments sake say you have 100 people as fans in your local area. Each of those may have anywhere from 1-3 people shared the information. So you now have an additional 100-300 people viewing your promotion.
Let’s go middle road and say it was 200. Each of those 200 people has 1-3 friends who share it again. Middle of the road says 2, so now we have 400 people who have actively participated in sharing your promotion. This does not include the number of people who are “friends” who have seen the promotion you announced because someone else shared it.
The method of promoting your personal training business translates to new contacts. The way it translates to new contacts is that you make it mandatory to enter the contest they need to sign up on your Facebook fan page. Now you have a list of contacts that are verified as interested in personal training.
From this point you can promote your other publications like your blog and email newsletter. Thus further building the rapport you have with those untapped contacts. The potential here is beyond exciting. If your eyes aren’t big with anticipation you haven’t embraced the concept of Facebook yet.
Normally showing off is not a good quality for people to have. No one likes a show off and it isn’t something that we encourage others to do. The nice thing about Facebook is that you can show off without seeming to show off. The full multimedia integration on Facebook lets you to promote your ability to be a killer personal trainer in a media rich environment.
Upload pictures of your current classes; show how hard you make people work. When hiring a personal trainer people want to know that they aren’t going to be wasting their money. They want to trust that you are going to work them like dogs. Working to a point of exhaustion and motivation them in a way that they simply cannot achieve on their own is a key element in personal training. Show them you can deliver this by posting photographs of current clients while they are working out. This is especially useful if you are training programs like boot camps.
Before and after photographs are always killer selling points and you can even put testimonials in your personal trainer email marketing to better position yourself. They tell future clients of the achievements you have seen in past clients. The best way to present this material and not seem like you are selling them is to give a “success shout out”. This is when you post the before and after side by side and you tag every person on your list. The message should be something like “I just wanted to congratulate CLIENT X on their hard work. The proof is in the pictures. Way to go!”
I am not going to lie to you. Videos are not for everyone. Some people just don’t do well when placed in front of a video camera. If done right though, an entire library of short how to’s can be hosted on your Facebook page, or YouTube channel.
Talk about added value.
A future client at home wants to know how to perform a proper round of squat jumps. They know a local trainer who has videos on their Facebook page. You have become the authority on fitness in their life. Next time they consider signing up with a trainer they are going to go to you, since you have already been helping them. Especially when you run your 1 free month, with 6 month commitment promotion.
This is probably one of those things that go without saying, but I will say it anyway. All of your articles for your newsletter, blog and any other promotional material should go through Facebook as well. People share useful information. Last night alone I “shared” 10 articles or photos or other awesomeness that I found on other people’s pages. There are people who never publish an original thought on Facebook. They just share ideas they got from others. Some of those ideas could be yours.
I can’t believe I was going to wrap this article up without mentioning Twitter. Twitter is just as powerful a social networking device as Facebook is. I know that they have different formats. Some people prefer one over the other. This is why you need to be on BOTH.
When marketing your personal training business online you should be using every avenue available. There are programs available today that will publish one thing to all of the social media outlets. These are things that you should look at getting. It is important to hit all of the social mediums so that you do not miss potential clients. While I’m a BIG fan, you can’t just stay focused on personal trainer email marketing tactics.
No matter what it is, it should be strategic
I can’t tell you how many businesses I have seen completely ruin themselves by not managing their social media and online communications correctly. When you are communicating with people online it should be professional communication.
Facebook, twitter, blogging and even an e-mail newsletter all have the ability to feel very informal. As a result a lot of personal training professionals fall into the trap of becoming relaxed. They no longer spell check. They Tweet or share things that have no reason being on their business account. Potential clients do not need to know your personal business, nor do they want to.
What you communicate online should always have a strategic purpose. If you are Tweeting something it should relate to building rapport with current and future personal training clients. If you ask yourself the question “How can this help build my business?” before communicating something online and you have a hard time coming up with an answer, don’t publish it.
People want to know that you are a respectable business person. The easiest way to prove that is to be respectable in your online communication. Always, always, always make sure your communications with your online list have a strategic purpose.
A bundled approach
By now you have enough information to know what you should be doing online. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t. All you need to do is take it one step at a time.
- Generate leads
- Personal trainer email marketing
- Fitness email marketing
- Strategic Communication
Remembering these six simple steps to a bundled approach for online personal trainer marketing will help you to build a solid relationship with future clients. Taking advantage of social networking and constant communication will make the long sell of personal training services much easier. Remember it is always important to sell yourself and every communication should be one that has a plan behind it.
Knowing all of this you can now go out and make yourself known in your community. Before you know it people will be knocking down your door to have you train them! No, go out there, grab you clients, and kill it in the fitness industry!
Also Check Out: Three Things You Should Know About Fitness Email Marketing