As I was planning out a bi-weekly collection of emails and social media posts that personal trainers like you can send out to your subscribers and followers (that are guaranteed to get people in front of you for consultations and taster sessions) I noticed something...
All of these different strategies are based around something called ‘conversation marketing’.
Conversation marketing, when done right, can literally be the difference between a successful fitness marketing strategy and one that isn't.
Here's how to do it in 5 steps!
1. Understand Conversational Marketing
A lot of personal trainers don't know much about fitness marketing. And why would you. You're a PT. Most of the marketing I see PT's do is the equivalent of someone coming up to you in the street screaming “buy my stuff! I’m the best! Buy! Buy! Buy!”. How often would YOU buy from this strategy?
In a marketplace flooded with options and never ending exposure to marketing messages everywhere we go, we become very adept at simply shutting this kind of messaging out altogether. We breeze straight past it as though it were invisible, just like the poor kid trying to hand out flyers in the town centre.
So what does work?
In an ever more disconnected world, the most powerful form of influence is through connection. How do you, as a business, connect with potential clients?
…Through conversation of course. And the easiest way to start a conversation with your client is ask them what they want.
You might be interested in an article I wrote about the counter-intuitive way of creating kick ass sales and marketing copy before
This works because it starts a conversation. It is no longer a monologue of you screaming “buy my shit!”. Now we have dialogue. We have connection.
The potential client is getting to know you, can see that you care about and genuinely want to help them. They feel good because their opinion is valued and you actually listen. Listening is a skill in short supply and it really does go a long way with people.
By entering in a conversation, they are investing time, energy and emotions in to you. You are now closer to this persons ‘inner circle’ than any of the billboards and tv ads will ever be. Simply because the relationship is going both ways.
2. Start Talking
You can send an email to your entire list or make a post to hundreds of friends on Facebook, sparking conversation. Some will reply, most won’t, but you’ve only spent time writing one post to figure out who is ready for that conversation. Imagine if you had to message every single person individually…
The people who reply are very hot leads. They are voluntarily submitting their problems to you in hope that you can offer them a solution. In other words, they want to buy your product or service, just so long as you can communicate to them that it solves the very problem they will tell you about.
No need to guess, or to assume you know what people want to buy. They will be more than happy to tell you exactly what their biggest problems are, what sort of help they need and if you’re smart, exactly how to sell them it.
3. Listen and Learn
If you’re on our email list, you will notice that a lot of what we send out to you is conversational; both in tone and in form.
(If you’re not on our email list, why on earth not? Sign up here)
We are constantly asking questions, surveying and opening conversations with you guys. While we like to think we are smarty pants know it alls, it often surprises us what people most need our help with.
Providing you that help is a pleasure and the ultimate ethical business strategy in a field (fitness marketing) which is known for some pretty shady characters. You can run your own marketing exactly the same way.
No need to run potential clients through complicated funnels trying to manipulate them in to buying your stuff. Simply open a line to start a conversation and for the people who take it, assuming you can offer a solution to their problem, invite them to the next stage. Have a consultation (really just a deeper and more personal conversation) and make them an offer to help them if you think that you are a good fit for each other.
If you don’t think that you are right for each other, you have still helped that person gain clarity on what they want and what they need to do to accomplish that. Even in ‘rejection’ you have served that person and improved their prospects. This attitude of service and abundance mentality will attract more and more leads towards you and you will start to regularly find the people that are your perfect client, who desperately want your help.
4. Tweak and Grow
Every Conversation is a Lesson
Every time you have a conversation with a client or potential client it is a learning experience. You are coming to understand their problems, their barriers and how to best help them. On top of this, you will get a feel for the language that they use and the emotions that underlie their goals.
All of this allows you to create products that fix your clients biggest problems. To communicate through your marketing messages in their own language, speaking to their deepest fears, desires and emotions that will invoke action and transformation in their life. You are creating a superior user experience.
The PT who just offers 60-minute training sessions simply cannot compete with a PT who offers guaranteed Fat Loss for Women package. You’re playing a whole different ball game when you really understand your market, what they want and how to communicate to them. This allows you to charge more for your services, to attract more leads and convert more of those leads to clients and to help those clients more effectively achieve their goals.
5. Make More Money
Ever wonder how you build a business that is financially rewarding, spiritually and emotionally rewarding and attracts your dream clients?
This is how. You have conversations with your target market and build your business to satisfy their needs and desires.
One of the best books I have read this year is ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’ by MJ DeMarco. In it he states that the most important factor in a business is asking; does it offer a solution to a problem that people want to pay for? Is there a need for your business in the market?
There are thousands of Personal Trainers out there. That market is saturated and you will simply be in a race to the bottom, competing on price. You need to stand out from the crowd by communicating to your audience in the way that they want to be communicated to.
This will make you unique in their eyes, they will be happy to do business with you because they know that you genuinely care and have the answer to their problem. You’re not just trying to shove them in to your cookie-cutter business to add a few hundred pound to the bottom line.
Join our conversation by joining the Fitness Marketing Lab.