Marketing to clients can be difficult as a personal trainer, especially one just starting out. Several hurdles have to be jumped, including “Who am I marketing to? Can I be convincing? Will this bring in any clients? Will the payoff be worth the advertising price?” A myriad of initial concerns can throw a beginner trainer off of their game before the first client has even signed up. Throw a pandemic into the mix, and this is even more difficult. Gone are the days where a trainer could simply set up shop inside of a gym, even if the trainer owns the gym themselves. Federal and state regulations currently make in-person training difficult, and While this may have been possible as little as a few months ago, the existence of the pandemic threw everything into disarray. With this guide, an established personal training expert can confidently advertise to, find, reach out to, and connect with their clients.
1. Social Media
The easiest and most obvious choice in any advertiser’s toolbox is to use social media. Social media sites and picture-sharing sites enable almost anyone to reach out to anyone else, either directly or through posts with a lot of traffic. A good way to catch someone’s attention on Facebook or Instagram for online coaching is to make catchy videos or catchy posts. A catchy video can creatively advertise one’s services and potentially launch a career. From there, connections are established, and future clients will get in touch with their respective trainers. Social media has the added bonus of saving money on expensive advertising space in the form of commercials or physical ads.
Another no-brainer as far as advertising one’s services are video streaming. A well-managed channel with intriguing and engaging videos tend to go viral. Videos on athletic development, weight training, and cardiovascular training can easily advertise services when done well. Even if no “official” business exists during a pandemic, trainers can still make ad revenue off of their videos when monetized, depending on how much traffic a video gets. A great way to manage a fitness business is to provide demo videos taking the form of guided exercise tutorials. If the prospective client is interested, they will be directed to reach out to you personally, and pay for a personalized video workout. Options should be given as to services offered, such as nutrition coaching and workout planning, as well as payment rates and methods. With video streaming, any prospective client can work out from the comfort and convenience of their own home, with minimal equipment.
3. Stand-alone Website
When a client inputs “find an expert personal trainer” or “physiotherapy and gym near me” into a search engine, rather than just a series of videos on public streaming websites, a customized website will appear. While websites do cost money to make and maintain, they are well worth the payoff. A well-built website is optimal for customization and directs clients to exactly what they want and need. If the aforementioned costs are too high, one can easily teach themselves enough coding to create a basic website layout. HTML and CSS are usually all that is required to get started, and any customization to the website is learned on a need to know basis. If learning the raw code to create a website is hard or impossible, website templates exist. These provide the foundation of websites without the hassle of learning too much code. However, the drawback is that it is not as ergonomic as a website that one would put together. Along with a custom website and social media advertising, buying cheap ad space on other websites can help spread the word of services offered as well. This has the added benefit of helping both the client and the owner of the website. The client gets to advertise the services they offer, and the proprietor of the website is able to collect ad revenue.
4. In-person training
While not ideal, especially during a pandemic, in-person training might have to take place depending on the needs of both the trainer and the client. In this case, the trainer will have to take the right precautions and provide the right accommodations to ensure that whatever lessons taking place will be safe from any possible infections. For example, equipment must be scrubbed down after use and masks must be worn, or the client should be encouraged to bring their own equipment if possible. This provides the benefit of reassuring the client of the lack of risk of transmitting any pathogens, provided they can only see their trainer in person. A better alternative to training a client in person at a gym is to arrange a video training session in a room at a gym if the client needs access to their gym, especially if they do not own gym equipment themselves. While more and more gyms open as the pandemic waxes and wanes, every precaution conceivable must take priority for both the client and trainer’s sake. When advertising services on websites or training clients at gyms, the trainer must continue to reassure the client that said precautions are being taken and that everything possible is being done to prevent contamination. If not mentioned or downplayed, the trainer will most definitely lose that client along with any potential future clients.
While the pandemic can throw a trainer into panic mode, operating a fitness business is still entirely possible. Services may very well increase, especially if the trainer operates from home and either streams videos or interacts with clients directly over video. While a little unorthodox, exclusive online training has been gathering steam even before the start of the pandemic, so even if in-person training is impossible, there are always other ways to increase revenue and recruit clients. When the pandemic inevitably ends, the clients can be rest assured that regular services, if the trainer used a physical gym, will resume, and the great business relationship between client and trainer will proceed.
Delan Cooper is a writer with years of experience in marketing communication. He enjoys meeting new people and reading more books to get inspired for his own book. Connect with him on Twitter.