A guest blog post by Josh Carter – How to Market a Personal Training Business On Facebook
Ladies and gentlemen, Facebook has changed.
And it will continue to change again and again. But the good news is there are FB geeks like me who keep up with the (sometime daily) updates.
For instance did you know that 50% of Facebook fans prefer brand pages to company websites???
And that number is only expected to grow. What does that mean?
It means if Facebook isn’t a good part of your personal trainer marketing funnel and if you are not engaging your potential clients on Facebook you are missing out on a massive segment of the population and a huge profit center.
But the really good news for you as a marketer it is that there is a ton of good news (if you know what you are doing.)
Recently Facebook has come up with some new (and very cool) way of engaging your fans, prospects, leads and clients. This is more than likely precipitated by Facebook’s horrific IPO. In case you missed it their stock is sank like a 500 lb kettlebell. Poor Mark Zuckerberg is only worth 9 gazillion now.
So basically Facebook needs to prove to their stockholders that they can eventually be profitable. Their solution: Offer marketers more creative options to attract and interact with potential customers.
So what I am going to show you in this in-depth article is 5 solid strategies to market your personal training services to a QUALIFIED and TARGETED audience of Facebook users. Some are new, some have been around a while. Some are paid and some are free but they are all PROVEN to get you new prospects, leads and (if done correctly) paying CLIENTS.
Method 1: The Viral Tag
One of the best ways to engage your fans is to post photos to your Timeline. And even better is to post photos of YOUR FANS on your timeline (with their full knowledge and permission of course). But it is not enough to just post the photo. To fully utilize the viral nature of Facebook you can “tag” your fan / client in the photo identifying them in the photo.
Why is this important? Simply put when you tag someone in an image, all of their friends will see it too. To take that a step further if you post a photo of a before and after (social proof) their friends will not hesitate to praise them, and in doing so give you the credit for their transformation and the opportunity to start dialogue with their friend. So when their friends need to get fit who are they going to think of? You, the person who they know (and literally saw) got their friend in great shape. Now imagine this on a larger scale when you post similar inspirational images of your success stories over the course of a week or month. Your brand exposure is compounded exponentially.
All thanks to viral tagging. It’s not hard (and it’s free).
Method 2: The Check In
When someone comes into your personal training facility with their smart phone you can encourage them to check in. In fact this should be standard part of your personal trainer marketing system. Most mobile users will know how to do this already, but just in case they don’t – you need to. Teaching how to do it is beyond the scope of this article, but let’s be sure we are clear on WHY we want our clients to check in. When a user checks in their friends see it in their timeline. That’s viral buddy. And beyond that each check in is literally a show of support for your business. Consider it a mini-testimonial each and every time.
But the truth is users will not reliably check in without some sort of incentive. No problem. Facebook lets you incentivize it. There are built-in Facebook systems that track how often a user checks in. So for instance what I did in my facility was to say every time a user checks in 10 times they get a free t-shirt. You could easily do the same. You could also, issue coupons or discount to friends as well, plus you can set how many check ins are required to redeem the deal.
One last thing is you need to make it known there is a check in deal to be had. The easiest way to do this is to make a simple sign in the gym. Just a 8.5×11 sign at your front desk or on the wall will do the trick nicely. When you get your clients checking in consistently you will not only be creating a viral buzz, but cultivate a community of loyal followers who are proud of their results, and their gym.
Method 3: The Facebook Offer
One of the new kids on the FB marketing block is Facebook Offers. While the other Facebook fitness marketing methods mentioned thus far are more about community building and cultivating your Facebook relationships.
The offer is about one thing – getting a sale. Quite simply offers allow fanpage admins (if you have over 400 fans) to post a deal of your choosing and have it appear in your fan’s (and potentially friends of fans) timelines.
This method of personal trainer marketing does require an investment (the cost is based on fanpage size), but is crazy simple to set up. But overall based on the exposure it’s still pretty cheap.
The key is to make your offer a “no brainer”. Make it look like they are crazy if they pass it up. Do that and you’ll have a great take rate.
Depending on the type of offer your present, users can redeem it online or print out the email they are sent and come in to your facility. Also, as good as it is that you are getting users to accept your offers, it gets better. When a user accepts your offer it posts to their wall – and their friends will see it. Facebook viral nature strikes again.
Method 4: The Facebook Squeeze Page
One of the keys to Facebook marketing is keeping users WITHIN Facebook for as long as possible. Once they leave Facebook a certain measure of trust is lost. So the longer we can keep them within Facebook’s warm embrace the greater the level of trust. Being within Facebook’s site is often considered a “safe zone” so when we can present our content within Facebook we certainly should.
That brings me to the Facebook squeeze page. Basically FB has given us the ability to create a customized tab on our fanpages and within that tab place (almost) whatever we want. So we with the help of FitPro Newsletter we can easily (like cut and paste easy) place a done for you squeeze page that feeds directly into your email list. This takes email marketing for personal trainers to a whole new level. We of course need to funnel people to this awesome looking squeeze page, but I can tell you in the only 14 days I got over 200 targeted email addresses using this system of sponsored stories and…
Method5: The Promoted Post
I’ll be the first to admit it – at first I hate the promoted post. It really pissed me off actually. At first glance it would appear that Facebook wants to get paid to show our posts to our own fans.
These are our own fans! They have already indicated they want to see what we post. Why do I now need to pay to have them see my stuff? (Ok, maybe I have not let it go).
Ok, the reality is a little different. A promoted post – (a post where we pay a fee to have it seen) can virally increase your exposure to not only your fans, but it now allows us to show our post to FRIENDS of fans. And this is not just a little 100 x80 pixel ad off to the side. This can (optimally) be a full sized image or video that shows up in the main newsfeed of the Facebook user.
So check out this image…
For $10, my image was seen by 11,010 targeted users. Not too shabby.
I had a link send them to a squeeze page tab (similar to the one above) and ended up getting a few hundred targeted emails.
So now with the potential for increased exposure and a large, prominently positioned message you just need to use a compelling image (or video) and a direct (and easy) to call to action. Used properly this can be a cost effective way to launch a profitable personal training marketing campaign.
So there you have 5 of the best ways for a personal trainer to market of Facebook for cheap or even free. There are of course a bunch of methods that I did not touch on (like one of my personal favorites – the sponsored story) but the take home here should be that with minimal effort you can create a massive following of raving fans that sing your praises and are your biggest cheerleaders –driving you even more traffic and more fans.
If you haven’t yet – you really must get your slice of the near 1 BILLION user Facebook pie. Your future clients are ON FACEBOOK right now. Your demographic is waiting for you to find them, and truthfully it is not that hard to get at them.
Once you have engaged your following and regularly nurtured your Facebook relationships your fans will come to know, like and trust you. And when they know, like and trust you they will have no problem trusting you with their fitness and health needs and within no time they will be your paying clients.
Josh will be opening up his NEW Facebook marketing program for fitness trainers tomorrow. Keep your eyes open for an email from me with some awesome early bird specials and discounts.
And as always feel free to leave your comments, questions and thoughts down below or simply click “Like”