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How to Pump Up Your Personal Training Business in the New Year

January 11, 2016

It never fails, among the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year are to lose weight and getting more healthy. It’s no surprise, with all the merriment between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, most people feel the need to whip themselves back into shape. Personal trainers are uniquely situated to take advantage of the post-holiday season by promoting their business to attract new customers. Here are some top tips to help you do that.

Keep it personal

Keep the ‘personal’ in ‘personal training’ by using your best marketing resource: your existing customers. If your customers are having success, capitalize on that by giving them a reason to tell their friends about you. Word-of-mouth is the single most effective kind of advertising there is.

Encourage your customers to refer their friends to you by offering them an incentive. Consider these ideas:

• Offer a free session for any client who refers a friend who purchases a package of six sessions.
• Offer 50% off the client’s next package when their friend purchases a package.
• Let existing clients bring a friend to their next session for free.
• Once a client refers three friends, they get a free package of three sessions.

You can adjust these suggestions to fit your own pricing model. You want to offer enough of an incentive to make it compelling, but not so much that you’re giving away your valuable services. Once a customer commits to working with you by purchasing a package of sessions, let them know that they can earn free sessions when their friends commit.

Special promotions for new clients

Offer a free mini-session for new clients. Spend half the time you normally would but show them what a session would be like. If they sign up that day, offer six sessions for the price of five or a similar offer.

Offer a two-for-one promotion. If you can train two clients together, offer the same price for both, or 50% off for the second client. You may want to make this a limited time offer. For example, the second client pays half price for the first three months. At that point, both clients pay full price and you can continue to train them together or separately.

Get out of the gym

You need to meet your potential clients where they are, so take your marketing outside of the gym or studio. Look for events in your town that you can participate in. Is there a juice bar or natural food store in your area? Ask them if you can come in and hold a trial session so their clients can see what you do. Doctors and chiropractors may be interested in hosting a session or letting you leave business cards in their waiting rooms.

Hold an event at which you can demonstrate what a training session might look like. If you have a long-time client who’s had particular success, see if they would be willing to host a gathering of their friends to introduce you and the services you offer.

Use social media

Using social media strategies for small business is a great way to engage existing clients and spread the word to new ones. To get your current clients to interact with you, post a survey or quiz about new year’s resolutions. Post a contest offering a free session or package to one client or prospect who shares your post or retweets you.

You can also use social media to motivate your clients. Share stories (with the client’s permission, of course) of clients who have successfully lost weight or gotten in shape. Videos can be particularly impactful for this, so ask your clients if they’d be willing to talk on camera, even if only briefly.

If your budget allows, paid ads on social media may be a good way to spread the word about your business. The good news is that advertising on social media can be very carefully controlled so you don’t exceed your budget. Make sure you set a firm limit on how much you will spend, and track your results carefully so you know which ads are working and which are not.

Be prepared

Before you begin to try these ideas for expanding your client base, make sure you’re ready for new clients. Specifically, be sure that your liability insurance his adequate. With more clients, your risk of a claim or lawsuit increases, whether it’s the result of an accident or negligence. Liability insurance can protect the business you’ve worked so hard to establish and grow.

Capitalize on those new year’s resolutions to build your personal training business, and keep it going all year long!

We want your feedback!

We want to hear what strategies you are using to attract new customers during the holiday season. Share them with us in the comments!