Most Personal Trainers have a positive, high-energy personality and have spent some time and energy on their educational background and certifications. You can be the best, most qualified personal trainer around, but if you do not have a game plan for attracting clients to your business, you may fail miserably. A solid understanding of your business and how you would like to be positioned will help you stand apart from your competitors. A short-term and long-term marketing plan will ensure you maximize exposure for your services and take your revenues to the next level.
Do personal training businesses have the Marketing and Advertising budget of say, Nike? Of course not! So not only do we have to get our message out there to potential customers, but we have to do it in a creative and cost-effective manner. Instead of using expensive advertising mediums (i.e. television) or glossy publications, most personal trainers rely on promotional flyers, brochures and business cards to market themselves, These are “must haves" for all small businesses. But how many of you have taken a marketing and advertising or graphic layout course? Very few… the result is that most personal trainers create materials that don’t provide the professional image that is required to really succeed and survive. So the following are some thoughts to consider as you move forward in a marketing sense.
Develop Eye-Catching Marketing Materials.
Many of us attempt the design and layout of our marketing materials on our own. And guess how many make costly and timely errors?! I strongly encourage you to consult with a Graphics Artist or Marketing Consultant when designing all marketing materials. It will cost you money in the beginning, but in the long-term, not only will it save you money by avoiding unforeseen errors, it will greatly increase your profit potential by ensuring that the right message reaches the right group of potential clients.
A consultant can help you establish the correct image that will represent who you are, your particular clients and your services. They can design a logo that will represent your business and its message. Once you have a logo and image that you are pleased with, you will want to incorporate this into all your materials. By maintaining a consistent design image including colors, logo and headlining text, people will become familiar with who you are and associate you with your advertising and marketing efforts. Because so many personal trainers attempt to tackle the design of their own materials, they wind up dissatisfied with the results and end up reinventing their materials every year. This can become very costly and result in clients having to re-associate you with your advertising and marketing efforts every year. If you remain consistent to your image year after year, people will start to recognize who you are and what you do instantly upon seeing any of your materials. This is why investing the money in a consultant in the beginning can save you money in the end – and it will save you from having to reinvent your materials each year.
First Impressions Count
When designing your materials, remember that first impressions count. People will size up your credibility within a few seconds of viewing your brochures, flyers, letterhead and business cards. So again, don't be shy with investing more money when first developing your materials. Nothing will shoot down your credibility more than low-quality materials. People will associate low-quality materials with a low-quality business and trainer. So invest in high quality paper-stocks, use high-quality photos and get the assistance to ensure there are no glaring spelling or grammatical errors. Again, a consultant will help to ensure the font, colors, text and layout you use look professional, credible and are of the highest quality.
Be sure your message is clear. This includes the simplest details, such as where can people contact you? A sad situation happened to one personal training business. They had developed a beautiful and professional brochure that they mailed out to thousands of homes in their area. I remember looking at the brochure and commenting on its high quality but then when I starting searching for the address and phone number of the business, I was shocked to discover that the business, in their efforts to a high-quality brochure, had neglected to list this pertinent information. Imagine spending all that money when potential clients weren't even given the contact information. So be sure to include very boldly and regularly in many locations on your materials, who you are, where you are and how people can contact you!
Don't "Sell the Braces"
I had braces all through highschool. Imagine going through those awkward years wearing braces when the opinion of your peers was so important to your feelings of self-worth! Well as I neared the end of highschool and was approaching Senior Prom and Graduation, I scheduled an appointment with my orthodontist and asked him to remove my braces. And he said, "No, your teeth are not ready yet!" And I said, "I don't care. I want them off. I've been enduring these braces for years. My teeth are straight enough. I'm not going to my Prom and Graduation with braces." So I forced him to remove the braces prematurely. You see, most people hate wearing their braces. They can't wait till the day they are removed. So why do people wear braces then? Not because they want braces, but because they want straight teeth. So they are willing to go through the pain of wearing braces so they can get the straight teeth. Well, it's the same way with personal trainers. Do you think most people want the personal trainer?? No way. They want results. They want to look and feel good and they recognize that a personal trainer is a way to help them get what they want. So it's critical in our marketing materials that we focus not on us or our business, but rather on the results that a client will achieve once working with us on a regular basis.
People will buy any service or product because they want to change something about their present situation. So, it's critical that you determine what your particular niche market wants to change and then address this in all your marketing materials. Avoid over-talking about yourself and your business and instead, focus on addressing the needs of the type of client you are attempting to attract.
"If they can do it, so can I!"
Since you are all in the fitness industry, you are probably familiar with the Tae Bo craze. And you probably realize that forms of Tae Bo have been around for years. You see, Tae Bo is really just a group fitness class that incorporates kicking and boxing. And fitness gyms around the world have been offering similar types of classes for a very long time. So what's with the latest popularity of Tae Bo? Solid marketing is the answer! If you've ever watched a Tae Bo infomercial you'll quickly notice that a great majority of its content focuses on testimonials - people expressing how Tae Bo has changed their lives. Testimonials use phrases such as, "Since I've started using xyz, I've never felt better in my whole life" or "I've lost so much weight since starting xyz and I love all the attention I'm getting", or "I've tried so many diets and other programs before and nothing's ever worked - xyz was the first program that actually got me the results I wanted - it really works!" The reality is that testimonials work. People like to know that other people like them hav tried the service or product and got results. It makes them feel and think, "Hey, if they can do it, maybe I can too!" So I encourage you to use testimonials and success stories of real-life clients in all your promotional materials. Have clients list the benefits they've achieved, and the positive effects on their lives. And of course, be sure to get their approval before using their quotes.
Get your moneys worth!
Be creative – and save money – by making sure your promotional pieces are designed with more than one use in mind. You do not want to design a new piece for each need. For example, a good letterhead can be used for price sheets, client correspondence, information packages, fliers, promotional offers or presentation packages. A brochure should have the ability to be mass-mailed, posted in clubs, distributed at local businesses or mailed to a list of top prospects.
Develop a brochure that is "classic" in style so you are not forced to re‑create your brochures every year. For example, if you include prices in your brochures, each time you increase your personal training fees, you will be forced to reprint your brochures. Create a brochure that is more “image" based and supplement this brochure with other materials, like price sheets.
For more specific Marketing Tips, purchase Sherri’s latest release The Successful Trainer’s Guide to Marketing – How to get clients and save money (IDEA Publishers) by contacting IDEA at www.ideafit.com or 1-800-999-4332 or visiting Sherri’s website at www.nwpersonaltraining.com