If you’re a personal trainer looking to expand into online training, or already have an online training business that you’re running, then digital marketing is an essential component of your success.
Many trainers will simply put up a website for their fitness coaching business, and then sit there eagerly waiting for clients to start rolling in.
Unfortunately, these trainers are soon met with inevitable disappointment, once reality starts to set in: no one is visiting their website, which means no new leads, and certainly no new clients!
Even if you’re the best online personal trainer in the world, you’ll never be successful if no one knows who you are.
It’s not enough anymore to just be great at what you do; you have to be great at what you do, and also be great at reaching lots of people to let them know about it.
In 2019, digital marketing is truly the lifeblood of any online business, and it’s no different for personal trainers that work with people online.
Digital marketing, however, can be quite complex, and there are many different ways that you can go about doing things.
There are now numerous forms of digital marketing – including blogging, social media marketing, paid advertising, and email marketing, just to name a few.
You don’t have to be an expert in all of these areas to be successful, but it’s a good idea to have an overall sense of the digital marketing landscape, so that you can determine the best approach for your online personal training business.
One big advantage of blogging is that it doesn’t cost you anything but your time, so it’s a great way to get started with digital marketing.
You can then simply start writing about fitness-related topics that are interesting to you, and begin getting your voice out there.
When potential clients come across your blog posts, they’ll get a sense of your style, your point of view on working out and nutrition – and subsequently feel like they get a better sense of you as a person and as a trainer.
And, if they like what they read, they’ll immediately start to trust you more, and be more inclined to sign up for your training services.
There are lots of social media channels these days, but the best ones for online personal trainers tend to be both Facebook and Instagram.
Indeed, many trainers have been incredibly successful promoting themselves on these channels, skyrocketing the growth of their businesses as a result.
With social media marketing, the key thing to remember is to keep it personal. No one wants to read a robotic post, or one that seems like a marketing pitch in disguise.
Rather, you should post to these channels like you’re talking with your friends – keeping it casual, while sharing your thoughts and opinions on various fitness topics.
Also, remember that fitness is a very visual business – so if you’re in great shape, as you hopefully are as a personal trainer, you should not hesitate to show that off.
People are going to be more inclined to listen to you if they think that you walk the walk, and social media is an excellent place to showcase this, and attract many new potential clients who begin to see you as an inspiration.
Finally, if you’re also blogging regularly, you can post your articles on social media channels, in order to get more exposure. Caliber Fitness does a great job of this – posting their blog articles on Facebook, which leads interested people back to their online personal training website.
As with social media marketing, there are many different advertising channels that you can test out.
The biggest of these would be paid search ads on Google, along with social media ads on both Facebook and Instagram.
All of these can be effective, but they are also quite different. For instance, Google ads are going to be targeting people searching for your specific services, so they’ll be very likely to become clients quickly.
With Facebook or Instagram, the people that see your ads aren’t necessarily looking to work with an online trainer, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective, just different.
A good way to look at this is that people who see your ads on Facebook or Instagram are going to be towards the top of your marketing funnel – so you’ll want to engage them with your brand, and then continue to post to them, until they’re interested enough to sign up.
With Google ads, on the other hand, since these people are already looking to work with an online trainer, you just need to convey to them that you’re the best one to work with.
One of the best aspects of email marketing is that you are building an asset that you truly own.
With both social media marketing and paid advertising, you are always at the mercy of the platform that you’re using – whether it’s Google, Facebook, or Instagram.
This means that they can change the rules on you suddenly, out of nowhere, leaving you scrambling to keep up and adapt.
This isn’t the case when you build an email list. Email is platform agnostic, which means that you aren’t at risk of someone suddenly changing the rules on you.
Once you build up your list, you can continue marketing to these people for years to come – and it won’t cost you a cent each time you send out an email.
So, then the question becomes, how do you build your list?
There are many ways that you can do this, but it is often most effective to build your list through traffic that’s coming through to your blog or website, or through paid advertising on social media where you’ll offer people something of value in exchange for giving you their email.
Once you’ve built up a sizeable list, you should routinely send out emails – both promotional and non-promotional – in order to keep people interested.
Choosing The Best Digital Marketing Approach For Your Business
Now that we’ve been through some of the main digital marketing options available to you, you’re probably wondering which one you should start with.
This is unfortunately a question that doesn’t have a clear cut answer – you’ll simply have to test out several, until you find the one that has the most traction for your business, and then double down on that.
And this is an important thing to remember: it’s better to really focus on just 1-2 digital marketing avenues, and become a master of them, instead of trying to do everything at once superficially.
So, this might mean really focusing on building up an Instagram following, committing to writing an article every day for your blog, or learning the ins and outs of a specific paid advertising channel.
Once you establish yourself in one area, however, you should start expanding into others – since there is a fluidity to digital marketing these days, with various channels complementing each other.
For instance, people might find your blog from a social media post, and then decide to sign up to your email list from that.
Whatever you choose, just remember to focus your energy on one thing at a time. As the saying goes, you don’t want to be a jack of all trades, and a master of none – so commit to mastering one of these digital marketing approaches first, and then move onto the next one.