Developing a Personal Training Marketing Plan

I’ve spoken to many personal trainers and many say they jumped into the personal training business for the simple reason that they enjoy fitness.  And, they want to share their passion of helping others live healthier lives.  In fact, many trainers don’t start off thinking of personal training as a long-range business opportunity.

But, then there could come a time when you become tired of working for someone else – when you see the potential in branching out on your own. So,what do you need to do first? Start thinking with a business mind – a marketing mind.

Promoting yourself will be every bit as important as the fitness knowledge you’ve acquired.  In order to gain new clients and reap the financial benefits, you need a rounded, comprehensive and engaging marketing strategy.

A marketing plan will make you more visible to potential clients, enable you to target the clients you actually want to train and help you build your business.

What’s that you say? You didn’t get into personal training because you’re fond of marketing? Marketing never even crossed your mind when you were considering personal training as a career? Don’t worry NFPT wants to help.

Research

The first step is research.  Figure out who you want as clients. What are their needs? What are their habits? What is their budget? By taking the time to learn about your clients, you will be able to formulate an effective plan for marketing to them.  Do your research. It will save you a lot of time and future headaches.

Once you have an understanding of the clients you want, develop a plan for reaching them.  Start off by taking a look at others who have created a successful marketing campaign in your community.

How are local training studios, clubs and private PT’s reaching people?  What are they doing right? What would you do differently?

 

Got a Niche?

Find a niche in your market/community.  If your competition is targeting a certain type of client in your area, find the demographic that hasn’t been fully tapped into. We hear more and more about the large baby boomer demographic, who are eager to invest in their health and spend money on maintaining their fitness level. There’s no doubt that this group should be considered as part of the marketing strategy. But, consider sub-niches too. For example, pregnant women, women post-pregnancy, obese adolescents, or in contrast, young athletes. Fitness consumers turn to regular exercise for a variety of different reasons. These motivating factors should be considered when focusing on marketing campaigns.

 

Be Different. Be You.

Whatever niche you choose, distinguish yourself.  What can you offer that others can’t? Think about adding a personal touch when you are devising your marketing plan.  Put the “person” in personal trainer. Let people know who you are.  People buy from people they know and like.  This will not only make you more appealing, it will help you establish authority and build trust within your community, and ultimately the industry.

 

Be Social.

Now, take your plan and put it to use.  Spread the word on the Internet. Use social networking or author a blog.  Build relationships offline.  Use your current clients to help you get referrals; give a workshop to offer free advice.  Seek out your clients wherever they may be and let them know you are there.  Be friendly. Be open. Be genuine.

Once you’ve thought through your plan – implement it and get back to focusing on why you became a personal trainer – to help people improve their lives through fitness.

What other marketing strategies have you implemented in your area?

About the Author:

Angie Pattengale has been with the National Federation of Professional Trainers, NFPT, since 1994. Currently, she serves in the capacity of Certification Director. Angie received her professional degree from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management in 2002, and now she oversees the coordination of NFPT’s certification related activities. Angie manages efforts to assure legal defensibility of test development and delivery, as well as coordinates and maintains NFPT Certification functions related to industry accreditation and best practice standards. Angie also serves the NFPT organization and its members by maintaining accessible certification processes and recertification requirements while promoting NFPT certified trainers for their skills, hard work and dedication to the fitness profession which betters people's lives, every day.