Let’s skip the lengthy introduction about the importance of marketing and its effect on sales and business growth. You should already know that leads are the lifeblood of any business and without them, failure is inevitable. This article will explain tactics that have doubled the number of monthly consultations in businesses I’ve worked with over the past year. These tactics are centered around social media and digital marketing but have less to do with the technology and more to do with the psychology and way you approach your marketing material creation.
No different than training clients, you need to be held accountable to make your business produce. Revenue is the ultimate indicator of business performance, but that comes later down the line. A content calendar is something that can hold you accountable every day to put out a certain type of marketing or create a piece of content. Developing consistency in your social media posts and content publishing will help you out with organic reach algorithms, build trust with your audience, and develop an overall professional feel to your brand.
Start small with a Google Calendar, Keepon or simple spreadsheet with the types of posts or content that will most effective for that time and date. Do some research to determine what works best for your industry at any given time. These things change and being on top of things can make a tremendous difference in your lead gen efforts.
Final tip: Once you have your content calendar and posting strategy set in stone, you can schedule out all of your posts in advance so they’ll automatically post at certain times/dates. If you have a larger budget, there are some sites and services that will do this sort of thing for you.
While you shouldn’t repost the same pieces of content week in and week out, you can use pieces that have performed well in the past multiple times. This works particularly well with blog posts or videos that received a lot of traffic in the past. An easy way to save yourself time is to create a spreadsheet with two columns. In column one, you’ll have the copy or what you’d like the post to say. And in column two you’ll have a link to the article, video, or photo (or a link to download the file from Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). This will allow you to easily copy/paste and have multiple posts done in a short period of time. Just be careful to not overuse content.
If you’ve spent time creating content or marketing pieces, you know how time consuming it can be. And if you’re anything like me, filming/editing a video or writing an article may take you hours. So instead of sharing that content a few times and forgetting about it, repurpose it and create 10+ pieces of content from it. This could look like extracting 2-3 quotes or excerpts from an article to share on their own or using snippets from a video as standalone pieces or teasers to the original video. Gary Vaynerchuck is a master of repurposing. A single 10 minute video from Gary may turn into 20 pieces of content all for different platforms.
Continuing on the Gary Vee example, if you see someone having success with certain marketing tactics, don’t be afraid to copy their ideas. I place emphasis on the word copy because I’m not saying plagiarize. There’s a difference between finding inspiration and creating your own content in the same style as someone else and blatantly stealing their content. Don’t be an asshole. Give credit where credit is due. But also, don’t be too prideful to see where others are succeeding.
If your ideal clients are middle-aged women, videos of your deadlift PRs won’t do much in terms of client acquisition. They may be cool and impress your friends, but they won’t get you new clients. On the other hand, if you’re looking to coach aspiring powerlifters or strength athletes, then you better show off some freaky deadlift strength from time to time.
If you take anything away from this point, let it be this. Your marketing content shouldn’t be about you. It should be about what you can do (and have already done) for other people.
Pro tip: Make your clients look like badasses in your photos/videos. Too often I see photos of clients lying on the floor, hunched over, just standing in front of a wall, or worse, at unflattering angles. Which would you be excited to share with all of your social networks, a photo of you standing in front of a wall or one mid-kettlebell swing looking athletic and jacked? Also, which one is going to get a potential client more excited about the potential to work with you?
Piggybacking off keeping your target market in mind, apply this to your content creation and daily interactions with clients as well. Your fitness interests don’t mean much, if anything, to your most of your clients and potential clients. While you may find nutrient partitioning and muscle protein synthesis rates invigorating, Mrs. Jane just wants to lose a little body fat and tone up. Sure, there will the exception who wants to learn every little thing you know, but they’re the minority.
One of the most common mistakes trainers make is to post a great piece of content with no call to action or instruction on what to do next. Your potential clients are being bombarded with marketing and content every day. You should make it as easy as possible for them to do what you want. If you want them on your email list and have a piece of content that’s compelling enough for them to opt in, tell them exactly how to do it. If you want them to send a message to your Facebook page or website requesting a consultation or new client information, tell them exactly how to do it.
Speaking of making it easy, most of your clients love you. They’re totally drinking the kool aid that is your training business. You’ve helped them make changes to improve their quality of life, and they want to return the favor. That said, most of them simply don’t know how or the opportunity to help hasn’t presented itself.
I’m talking about referrals from clients. It’s shocking how many trainers don’t actively pursue referrals from their current clients. In most cases, just asking is enough. If you want to speed things up a little, incentivize their referrals with rewards – think cash, supplements, free months, etc.
Create a template with easy to answer questions and stats they’d like to show off. The more specific your question, the better the answer. The better the answer, the better your marketing material will be.
In addition to keeping your target demographic in mind, it’s important to be mindful of their problems and desired outcomes. Remember Mrs. Jane who wants to lose fat and tone up? Ask yourself what kind of problems does she face on a daily basis? What obstacles stand between her and a toned, less fat body? (Notice how I’m using the word tone which we as trainers hate but Mrs. Jane relates to?)
We can assume that Mrs. Jane is struggling with her nutrition, like everyone else. She’s probably unsure of what approach to go with, struggles with cravings, thinks she’s eating in a caloric deficit already, and eats convenience food too often due to a busy schedule. In addition to her nutrition woes, Jane has very little exercise knowledge aside from a few group classes she’s taken here or there, which she enjoyed. Despite her enjoyment, she found the group setting intimidating and her physical ability not up to par, so she quit going. Now she exercises at home, very sporadically, doing the same exercises she feels comfortable with every workout.
I think we can all agree this is a fairly common scenario with this demographic. Can you think of ways you could solve her problem(s)? How about:
The key takeaway here is that you should remember most of your target market will share the same problems. Keep those problems, and how you can solve them (that’s your value proposition), in mind when you’re creating marketing materials.
People buy from those they trust and building trust takes time. With more competition than ever, the best way to differentiate yourself is to establish a reputation of consistently delivering value to both clients and non clients. Demonstrating that you consistently get results for your clients is a great start, but your potential clients only see the end result. Show them your knowledge, skill, and what goes into your craft by answering as many questions as you can get your hands on, creating content, offering trial training sessions, and giving away as much knowledge as possible for free. At the end of the day, you should know that people don’t need the knowledge or a training/nutrition program, they need the accountability, motivation, and care from a coach. The other stuff is just an olive branch to build trust and an opportunity to show why someone should give you money to solve their problem.
If you’re not 100% confident in your ability to go from lead to client, read my article on personal training sales and pick up a few tactics to add to your toolbox. You can find it here.
Mason Woodruff is a strength and nutrition coach based out of little rock, Arkansas. With roots in the sports performance and powerlifting worlds, he has taken the principles of training for maximum strength and moulded them into a more moderation-based, sustainable way of living. His mission is to simplify the science and research on training, nutrition, and healthy living so everyone can easily optimise their life. Mason is a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS) as well as a precision nutrition level 1 coach, and he also holds a BSC in nutrition.
He runs the website mason fit , his personal website for writing, coaching, and consulting.