Here is MotivatePT’s self-promotion guide, to help you to make the most of your knowledge and expertise. You can have the tidiest 8-week training programmes lined up or, you can know the quadriceps femoris inside out. But if you haven’t got enough clients to be imparting your wisdom upon, then you’ve got yourself a problem!
Networking is not necessarily something that comes naturally but for trainers, it’s central to proceedings. By exploring opportunities within your immediate network of friends or colleagues, opening yourself up to opportunities with the wider world and by pursuing your individual passions, my experience tells me you can be well on your way.
It’s a big, bad fitness world out there sometimes. You’re up against trainers with years of experience, experts with lists of qualifications as long as your arm and Instagramers with more followers than sense. In the face of such stellar competition, backing yourself to others can be a daunting prospect. So start small. With your immediate network, for example. You’ve got a valuable personal connection with these people that the experts are unlikely to enjoy. So take advantage! Ask yourself if any of them could do with some training? What about their friends perhaps? You don’t have to be forcing your mates to sign up for 20 sessions but equally, you stand to benefit by letting it be known you’ve got a service worth offering.
Promoting yourself can be a huge challenge. But, by approaching it on a number of different fronts, it needn’t be such a daunting prospect. It can be awkward putting yourself out there at times but it’s crucial to have confidence in yourself so that others can clearly see that yours is a service worthy of their investment.
- Say hello to everyone! – It may be awkward at first, but offering a friendly smile goes a long way. You will find that you’ll become a lot more approachable which will help you to build your reputation as a good trainer. This simple change will also help you to build rapport, this is essential for your clients to feel comfortable around you, and will allow them to open up.
- Offer free/discounted sessions – Showing potential clients, your training style and what you have to offer them can help them to decide if they’re spending their money on a quality service. If you impress potential clients by offering a 20-minute group HIIT workout, you could have new clients signing up straight away.
- Go above and beyond expectations – Offer monthly emails of tips and tricks. This enables you to grow your email list, it also helps you to be in the front of their minds. It is also a great opportunity to promote/ showcase new programmes you may have for sale to a wider audience. Another way you can exceed their expectations is by writing a handwritten note, either for a birthday, special occasion or a well-done note, this makes it extremely personal and shows to your client that you do really care.
- Be Creative & Professional – When designing your business cards, get creative. This not only helps you to stand out, but it will also help people to remember you, if you impress, they will actually keep your card too. Drop off business cards/flyers to local hot spots. Think about where potential clients will see them, for example, local coffee shops, food stores etc. Finally, remember to update your email signature, this will add to your credibility and professionalism; include links to your website, certifications and social media links.
Once you’ve made the most of your immediate network and self-promotion, it’s time to think about the bigger picture. Being on the lookout for opportunities to discuss your abilities can be hard to do. But at the same time, an entrepreneurial streak can be a lucrative quality. I was in the taxi queue at Ikea (other homeware stores are available) last week when I got chatting with a lady in front of me. We worked out that we were heading to a similar postcode so agreed to share a cab home. During our chat en route back, it transpired that she was looking to increase her fitness ahead of a trek to Mount Kilimanjaro. Next thing you know, we’ve booked a consultation and we’re going for coffee to discuss booking some sessions. That took the edge right off 5 unholy hours lost in Ikea! Opportunities are everywhere, it just takes time to spot them.
An organic way of increasing your network is to pursue your passions. Are you engaged in nutrition for example? Or have you got expertise in a particular sport perhaps? Chances are you do and by letting others know about your knowledge and strengths in this area, you’ll immediately begin to build a reputation. And who knows where this might lead? A career in personal training no longer has to mean just training clients for 30 hours a week. By diversifying your portfolio, you’re letting the wider world know that you’re a busy, interesting and passionate individual, which can only be good for you and your business!
In my role as a mobile trainer for Motivate PT, the majority of clients have general fitness goals. Many clients struggle to work out unless they’ve got someone there to guide and encourage them. This is really worth bearing in mind. Presumably, you’re in the fitness industry because you’re alive to the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle. This in itself is something that large swaths of the population totally lack. Make sure you let your enthusiasm for your craft shine through as you interact with both clients and other professionals. It’s an infectious quality that personal trainers have, that won’t go unnoticed and ultimately, will lead to gaining new clients and just as importantly, retaining existing ones.