While it may seem impossible to grasp a future where your Personal Trainer business no longer involves face to face instruction, the benefits of moving online provides more growth opportunities and provides more flexibility for you and your clients.
You no longer need to rely on someone else’s location and availability, and it is more cost-effective not having the need for a physical location.
This also opens the field of potential clients to include those who have tight budgets and/or crazy schedules.
Your Marketing Approach Will Change
As a trainer in a physical location you are limited to those that lived near the location. Going online you can now attract people from all over the world. It will take some work, but the pool of people to choose from just grew tremendously.
Create a persona
While you may think you want to send your message to everyone, you will get more traction by focusing on a defined niche in your area of expertise that brings you joy.
Let’s say you are passionate about helping women over 50 stay mobile and safe. You will create a persona of that ideal client using demographics and psychographics such as
“women between the ages of 50 and 65 who live independently and want to continue to do so, love to hike with their grandchildren, and have sustained a minor injury.”
Being this specific makes it easier to attract your ideal client with content on your website and social media. You would also know that this demographic responds to email marketing and social sites like Facebook, which saves you a lot of marketing dollars when you only use those channels.
But instead of an audience of a dozen in your area, you now have an audience of thousands. This also allows you to create programs specific for that group which makes your business more efficient.
In the gym or studio your clients get to meet you in person, but now, online, you need to create an introduction that resonates with them personally.
This is another reason to create the ideal persona. Using the same example, create stories that are meaningful to that person. Show that you care about their situation and make them feel welcome.
This should include video of you speaking to them, not just text on a webpage. Let them know you are the one that can keep them motivated and really want them to succeed.
What makes you special?
You may have used social media before going online but remember that now your audience is much larger, and you can drill in on specific niches.
We mentioned that the persona example most likely would respond to email campaigns and Facebook. Just make sure the images and stories resonate with that audience.
Partnerships allow you to leverage their lists. Are there professionals in your industry you can partner with?
Networking no longer means going to weekly meetings with the same people. Now you build relationships in online social networks. Find related groups on LinkedIn, for example, that focus on women’s health and build relationships by providing great content (not necessarily all your own) and comments.
This is not the time to sell, but to build your audience.
Providing guest blog articles is one great way to build that relationship.
Referrals will always be the best way to grow your business, so don’t be afraid to give away some services to those that are willing to share with their large networks.
Your website is the ultimate place to house all your content. Remember that it is the only thing you actually own (if you have your own domain and hosting).
You will create content, such as helpful articles and videos, and then push them out through social media channels. Always have them end up on your website where they can find out more about your services.
The website is where you can sell. Social media is the place to build trust with limited offers.
It is easy to remember that people don’t go online to get sold to, they go online to find answers.
Once you have built that trust, they will look to you for services.
You are not the only trainer going online. You will need to stand out from the crowd. This means keeping up with current trends and information.
Maybe you create personalized plans, or offer nutritional classes, or something totally new and unusual that still benefits the needs of your chosen persona.
The more personalized the better because people can feel isolated these days.
Learn the Technology
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Many apps are already available to you, but you do need to learn them. Luckily, they all have tech support and available training. It may be a good idea to do a trial run with people you know before opening to the world.
Not everyone is tech savvy so you need to know how to make them comfortable or they will give up before they get started. Providing little cheat sheets for them to use is helpful, even though they could learn it from the app website on their own.
Here are some examples of the types of tools you can use:
Coaching calls – best to use a video conference software program like Zoom or Skype where you can see each other and also share your computer screen if needed.
Fitness Coaching Apps – allows you to send workouts and measure progress from the palm of your hand.
Nutrition Coaching Apps – Clients log in their daily intake and you can see it automatically. No need to send you any extra reports.
Regular Communication – you may only have a live video call per month so in between you can use email and text messaging to answer questions, client check-ins, etc. If you have a group, you can create an email campaign that automatically sends out important information every couple of days to keep them motivated.
Change is not always desired, but the results of moving your trainer business online can be more free time and greater growth for your business.
Those are our tips for how to move your Personal Trainer business online.
If you’re looking for online Personal Trainer courses, view our qualifications and enquire about our flexible payment plans to help get you started.