There are many so many different marketing techniques these days: business cards, flyers, websites, emails, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin), but still the best networking is simply talking to people and getting recommendations. It’s hard work. First of all, you need to work on a client base — talk to everyone and connect with them and their friends. Then think about offers — free assessments or sessions, for example.
Always use your phone, get people’s numbers and follow up. Advertising locally in magazines can work, but you have to make sure your website is up to date, with all the necessary keywords working so that your site comes up on the first page of Google. Once you have clients, don’t let them go — they are special! They are your bread and butter, and businesses that forget this end up regretting it. Better to have several clients who tick over regularly than one big client who pops in now and again. These regular clients will recommend you, so suggest monthly rolling contracts. They'll see that you’re busy but always have time for them — busy trainers are always noticed by other gym members and, as a result, will be in demand.
If you do lose a client, for whatever reason (there are many reasons, as life situations and changes get in the way), just keep in touch. See if there's anything you can offer them, such as home programmes, additional, regular advice — basically, information that will keep them engaged. If you show that you care and offer them different programmes, they'll return instead of going elsewhere. With this in mind, keep your database up to date with birthdays, special occasions etc., as well as their goals.
Then, of course, there's the ever-expanding importance of Facebook. Add them to your Facebook site and group (with their permission) and get them to contribute with photos and comments. Make it fun, maybe with charity events and the like. You can offer additional advice and training tips on this site, which means people will return and, with the right encouragement and incentives, invite friends. Before long, your client list will grow and grow.
You’re a personal trainer, not a marketing expert, but honestly you can get invaluable tips online and, of course, you can take on professional marketing courses. At the end of the day, though, it's you who matters. You're ultimately selling yourself and, if you're confident in the skills that you offer, people will want to buy into that. So don’t be a shrinking violet. Champion your achievements, believe in yourself and shout, “I’m good and I'll make your life better!”
Check out our article on good quality coaches and how to become a better coach.