Everybody keeps telling you the first one is the hardest and once you've cracked it, clients will flow in like an endless river of opportunity. But trying to find your first online personal training client can be soul destroying and put a huge damper on your motivation and confidence as a personal trainer and business person.
Of course, My Personal Trainer Website is here to save the days with our top 5 tips for getting your first online training client. If you follow the steps below, repeatedly and consistently, you will get your first online training client. "Consistently" is italics there to emphasise the importance of never giving up! Let's get in to it!
1. Make Yourself Visible
People are subjected to so many ads that they ignore them, but they do respond well to valuable content.
Think about it, what do YOU do when the ads come on during a TV show, you make a cup of tea or check your phone right. And pay zero attention to the ads.
We’re all so numb to ads and the common marketing tactics of 2006 that advertisers are having to spend more and more to get the attention of potential clients.
But not everyone is struggling. Smart personal trainers are using inbound marketing methods to attract new leads, sort them by how ready to buy those leads are and meet potential clients where they are in their buyer journey.
We do this by writing great content (like this blog post) and using Facebook retargeting pixels to see who visits certain pages of our website.
For example, if you were to navigate from here to our Pricing page to find out more about our Managed Website service, you might see an ad on your Facebook news feed about it later.
And the best bit, we won’t spend half as much on ads because we’re only advertising to people who show interest.
All that from one blog post. Think about what you could do with 50 blog posts!
2. Use Your Personal Network
Friends and friends of friends are often looking to take the next step with a personal trainer but just haven't gotten round to it or have used one of many, many, many excuses not to. Asking friends to refer your online training services to their friends might be the tipping point for them.
This is especially effective because clients would rather use a recommendation than search for their own personal trainer.
Take some time to find out what friends and family members struggle with when it comes to their health and workouts. Then send them free workouts and ask them to spread the word for you. They’ll be so chuffed you thought of them and took the time to help, they’ll be more than happy to give you a shout out.
Be sure to mention that you’re trying to increase your company’s brand awareness to everyone you help. That’s a cue for them to take action and help you out.
“Hey [NAME]. I heard you’re struggling with your marathon training right now so I put together a little programme for you using the latest scientific techniques to improve marathon times.
The best thing about this type of marketing is that even if you get ZERO response from anyone you connect with, you’ve now got loads of content for your blog page.
3. Collaborate with Competitors
Competitors are not the enemy and shouldn’t be viewed that way. The fitness industry is about helping people and when personal trainers come together with that goal in mind, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with!
Consider holding events, seminars, webinars and events with competitors. Because you’ll be relying mostly on them to bring the audience, it’s your job to bring the value. Propose that you have a great way to help your competitor educate your clients about a specific topic.
It will help their clients, it will help the PT to provide more value and bring you more exposure. This type of symbiotic marketing only works if you and your competitors serve different demographics.
Another great way to work with your competitors is to write about or interview the most influential competitors. Find influential personal trainers in your niche and either quote them in a blog or interview them for a blog. Then share your content on social media and tag them in it.
Disclaimer: If your site looks like crap and not professional, influencers won’t be interested in shouting about how you mentioned them. People of influence like to associate themselves with professionals and a DIY website screams “I’m making it up as I go along”.
4. Connect with Existing/Past Clients
This one is a no brainer. Ask your existing clients who only train with you once or twice per week to let you program their other workouts for them as part of an online training service.
Get in touch with past client using a simple 9 word email template to restart a conversation and perhaps offer your online training services to those who show interest.
Remember, don’t just hit people with an offer. How would you feel if a company hadn’t spoken to you in six months and then popped up in your inbox with an offer.
Start a conversation and see if you can actually help them. Often, you might even find that they don’t need you, they need something or someone else. If that’s the case, tell them. Or better yet, connect them with someone you think is better suited for the job.
5. Social Media
Last but not least, and something you’ve probably already tried, social media marketing. While there are some tips to get more clients from social media in the previous 4 steps, we’re going to learn some more social media specific tricks to find people who are already looking for you.
Groups are slowly becoming one of the best ways to interact with clients and potential clients. People are comfortable on Facebook. They know the rules, they feel safe and they’re happy to engage.
If you don’t already have your own Facebook Group, start one. Then message 50 people whom you think might be interested in receiving tips from you asking them if they’d like to join. Don’t Just add people. That’s annoying and not the best way to start a relationship.
If you have an email list, send an email blast with an invite for them too. People respond to Facebook way more than their emails nowadays, especially if they smell anything promotional.
Next, join as many local or niche specific groups as possible. Don’t spam them with links, just spend a few days getting a feel for it, reading the rules of the group and seeing how people talk.
Then, if it feels right, offer solutions to any questions that refer to your area of expertise.
For example, if you’re in the Brides niche and someone asks a question about toning their arms for their wedding day in the group, you might say.
Hey [NAME], I’ve helped dozens of brides get ready for their wedding and here are the top 3 things that seem to work for my clients:
That’s it. No offer to PM, no link to the site. You’re just the super helpful friendly neighbourhood PT.
With great power comes great responsibility (<-- if you know what I'm referencing here, we should be best friends!).
This tip is super cool.
Head to Twitter, search “need personal trainer” in the search bar up top and join as many conversations as possible. I just did it now for this post and here's what popped up!
If you have a specific niche, try including those words. Like "marathon", "brides" or "powerlifting" too.
If you’ve been a marketing ninja up until now and you have loads of niche specific followers, you can also refine the search to only show your followers.
Remember, provide as much value where possible and people will come.
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