If you are looking to scale up your Personal Training business, this article is right down your alley. There’s no doubt that you can only reach so many people while only performing offline promotion or no promotion at all.
In fact, if you do a decent job at online marketing, 80-90% of your clients will come from places such as Google, Facebook or YouTube. That’s a really big chunk of your total business right there.
So it makes perfect sense to focus most of your time and efforts into building your online presence. It is the only way you can break through the average income you’re probably making as a personal trainer.
But how do you do that? Where do you start? How does it all work? Is there still room for yet another fitness brand or another online personal trainer? The online fitness space seems so crowded and oversaturated right now.
Yes, there’s a lot of competitiveness online in pretty much any niche, particularly in fitness nowadays, I will give you that. But does this mean you should not give it a try? Heck, no!
With the right strategy, hard work and a little bit of patience you can still make it work for you.
Search Engine Marketing
Getting listed high in the Google search results will skyrocket your fitness venture.
Out of all the online platforms you have available, this one will take the most resources to conquer though. Search engine optimization is not as easy as it used to be back in 2010. It will take a lot of time and work.
If you are just getting started with it, you will probably start to see some traction after 6 to 12 months of consistent blogging and content promotion. So you really need to put in the work upfront without expecting much in return right away. That’s just how SEO works right now.
It is not rocket science, as some of the ‘experts’ might want you to believe. Creating useful, in-depth, thorough content and marketing that content by reaching out to a ton of people in the industry is all it really takes.
Just focus on creating value, be consistent with it for up to 12 months, and don’t do something stupid as spamming, using “black hat” or shady techniques that will get your website penalized. If you don’t know where to start I highly recommend checking out Brian Dean’s blog.
Their content is targeted mostly at beginners, but getting the basics right will help you rank really well in the vast majority of the cases.
Alternatively, if you can afford it, you can hire an agency to take care of the SEO for you and focus on other aspects of your business. I’d say this is a two-edged sword though because you will not have that much control over what’s happening with your website’s SEO.
So you will need to hire someone that you really trust or keep a really close eye on everything that they are doing for your website.
Unless you are working to build an online personal training business with the intention of obtaining clients across the United States or even the world for that matter, you will want to focus your efforts on local SEO (i.e. targeting search results for people in your general area). So whether you do it yourself of hire someone, make sure you focus your efforts in accordance with your goals.
Another thing that is really, really big right now is video marketing. People watch so much more videos nowadays, mostly because it is more convenient and easy to consume than any other type of content.
The problem with video marketing though, is that video content is quite a bit more difficult and time-consuming to produce than written or audio content. Sure, you can film yourself using your iPhone and then just upload the raw footage to YouTube, but that’s probably not going to look that good and it might actually hurt your brand.
If you want to put out high-quality videos that will make your viewers go “Wow, I want this guy or gal to be my trainer”, there’s an entire process that you need to follow. You really need to put your thoughts on paper and follow at least general script.
If your end goal is to get conversions, your video should be built around these 4 sections: the hook, the intro, the body and the call to action. All sections are important, but the first one – the hook – is by far the most important.
When scrolling through YouTube or Instagram, people have the attention span of a goldfish. You literally have just a few seconds to grab their attention. That’s why you need to make the very first part of the videos super catchy and assure them this is the video they want to watch.
A particularity of the fitness niche is that people want to see the kind of results you can achieve. That’s why the lighting has to be spot on, the angles need to be in check and the overall video production quality needs to be crisp. So yeah, there’s some effort to be put into it.
Now, the good part about video marketing is that you can reach a lot of people really fast. It is way faster than SEO. I mean, look at Peter McKinnon, the guy reached over 2 million subscribers in just over 1 year.
Social Media Marketing
Lastly but not least, you have social media, which kind of overlaps with the things we mentioned above about videos. Yes, YouTube might be considered the 2nd biggest search engine after Google, but it is more of a social media platform if you think about it, right?
Now, the part that’s even better for all the video content creators out there is that every other platform is pushing videos more than ever in order to compete with YouTube. So don’t hesitate to upload on Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn the same videos that you are putting on YouTube.
Be careful though. Don’t just share the link to your YouTube video on Facebook. Facebook doesn’t like that and it will not promote your post. Instead, take the actual video file an upload it to Facebook.
They will heavily promote all self-hosted videos in an attempt to attract more content creators. Do this with all the other platforms that allow it. You will be amazed by the number of views you can get from those too.
What I found to work really well on Instagram, besides the up to 60 seconds videos, is writing really long and thorough posts. Kind of like mini blog posts if you will. It sounded counter-intuitive to me at first, but for some reason, this type of content performs well on IG.
Getting views on social media will require some consistency, so you will have to keep that in mind. YouTube likes to see you upload a video at least once a week, and on Facebook and Instagram, you should probably post something on a daily basis to continue to grow.
Bonus Tip#1: Build a Brand for Online Personal Training
One thing that the online personal training services are known for is the lower price, right? It’s much cheaper to buy an online personal training package than hire a personal trainer that is going to spend 1 hour with you in the gym every day. There’s no doubt about that.
On the other hand, you are able to reach more people online, so that makes up for the lower price. But what if you could take the benefit of reaching more people online while keeping your prices up? I bet that sounds appealing.
This is where branding comes into play. If you manage to position yourself as a celebrity in your niche and build a brand around your name, you will not have to compete on price. Instead, you want to compete on value, service, outcome, and experience.
Bonus Tip#2: Showcase results
The results that you can achieve are the thing that matters the most in fitness.
You have your website and you have the social media platforms to showcase these results. It can be videos of your clients that have got amazing results, or before and after pictures, or testimonials and client case studies.
Remember that results matter more than anything in fitness. People will be looking at your reviews before they ever contact you.
So that would be it in a nutshell. Be consistent with your efforts and be patient. Don’t expect to see a big growth in the first year and if you can, start putting out video content besides just maintaining a website or blog.
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Tyler Read is a NASM certified personal trainer with over 10 years of experience and an M.S. in Kinesiology. In addition to training a wide variety of clients, Tyler is also the founder and senior editor of Personal Training Pioneer; a website designed to help people become industry leading personal trainers.