Have you ever felt like you have no idea what your clients are thinking when they come to you? Understanding how your clients think before they find your services and during the buying process is one of the least understood principles in fitness marketing.
The personal trainer buyer journey is the journey your clients take from not even realizing they need you to researching for solutions and buying your services.
In this post, we’ll talk about the three stages of the buyer journey, what your clients are thinking about during each stage and how you can adjust your marketing to meet your clients where they are.
Awareness is the first stage of the buyer journey. When your clients become aware that they have a problem they begin to search for solutions. Usually in the form of Internet searches and talking to friends or family.
They’ll visit lots of third party websites that offer different levels of advice, most of which will conflict with one another.
When a potential client is aware that they have a problem and they want to find a solution, they’ll use Google to search for terms like:
To attract the attention of clients who are in the Awareness stage, you need to position yourself where clients are searching for answers, not offer your services. Some of the best ways to achieve this are:
Informative content that offers valuable and impartial advice will win the trust of clients in the Awareness stage and set the tone for future engagements.
To make sure your clients find your content, write articles and guides that match the search terms your potential clients look for on Google.
Your marketing strategy in the Awareness stage should be focused around increase your company brand awareness. This is achieved by researching the most popular search terms your potential clients use and creating content around those search terms.
Search engines will naturally find your content and you can promote it on Facebook for free.
If you have a reasonable marketing budget, spend it on promoting your content to your target audience.
For example, if your clients are marathon runners, you could write a piece on how to strength train for marathon running, how to increase marathon times, how to prevent shin splints or the risks of overtraining.
Advertise these blogs to an audience that fits your niche to build awareness of your company.
Clients in the Consideration stage have usually completed some kind of research on what their problem is and how to fix it.
Their frustration levels rise as they try multiple "out of the box" or quick fix solutions so commit themselves to understanding all of the available options to solve their problem.
At this stage of the buyer journey, your client might be questioning whether they really need your help, whether it’s worth hiring you and if there are cheaper or less time consuming alternatives. Terms your potential client might use at this stage are:
Your job at this stage of the buyer journey is to persuade them that they should consider you as an option. Here's how:
Remember, the client is not ready to be sold to at this point and doing so might jeopardise the client/service provider relationship.
Instead, offer your potential clients information that positions your service as a solution, a way to start for free or for a very low price. Or convince them with Facebook groups and live chat they should consider your services.
Let them know that it’s OK to not choose your particular service until they’re absolutely ready.
Marketing to clients in the Consideration stage consists of retargeting those who have already shown interest in your previous content. To advertise invitations to chat to people who do not know your company yet would be a waste of time and money.
Instead, segment your email list to collect the data of people who subscribed via your content and set up a Facebook retargeting pixel for people who visited the content pages of your website.
At this stage, the client has possibly read some of your blog posts, joined your Facebook group and added themselves to your email list.
Even with all of these channels, clients aren’t completely aware of what it is you do so it’s important to make it clear what your role is and the solutions you provide.
Consider creating a live video of you and a client or a group class or write an expert guide on how to solve their problem using your service.
The final stage in the buyer journey is the Decision stage. At this point, clients have devised some kind of strategy that they are sure will work for them.
They’ve already shortlisted your services due to the added value you’ve provided in the previous two stages but they need more data. They may be comparing your service to a competitor or considering a cheaper alternative solution like an application.
Terms clients will use at this stage include:
With your potential clients on the very cusp of hiring you for your services, the previous two stages have set the foundations to close the deal. Clients might search for or respond to the following content offer:
The client is now ready to buy from you and this is the only stage you should be offering your services as a solution.
Client who have been through the Awareness and Consideration stage are not only primed to buy from you because of the added value you’ve provided but are also ideal clients because they know more about your company and how it works than any other random lead who might walk through the door.
The Decision stage is where personal trainer usually start their advertising and marketing, which can be a costly mistake when you consider that most of the people who see your adverts don't know, like or trust you.
Instead, spend some time building an audience for the Consideration stage and advertise to these people only. Your ad spend will be significantly more targeted, more relevant and less costly as a consequence.
The client is ready to buy from you but need a final push. Let’s imagine they’ve read your blogs, fully understand what you do and are considering your services among others.
Their primary concern at this point is whether or not they will be making the right decision by working with you. Convince them that they are by creating a (tasteful) comparison of your service Vs. your competitors.
Or, a more commonly used approach is to offer a free session whereby you convince the client they should work with you by over delivering.
Now you’re ready to start creating your own buyer journey and create key terms and content ideas that are more specific to your business.
Once you’ve implemented these systems in to the various stages of your marketing funnel you’ll not only increase your ability to sell but also position yourself as the industry expert in doing so.
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