Fitness business professionals are using social media as the top tool to grow their businesses. Personal trainers who have worked throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties understand that one of the biggest challenges we face is having the time and ability to connect with our clients outside of our one-hour sessions. New tools like Facebook, Twitter and mobile marketing are quickly bridging that gap, however.
Social media is not the end-all be-all of marketing for fitness professionals. Personal referrals have always – and will always – be our #1 source of business. Yet, a comprehensive social media strategy can really cement our personal relationships with people and lead to referrals galore. What I love most about social media is that it bridges the distance between us. Some trainers are incorporating virtual training into their routines. They are able to counsel people and motivate them to lose weight from miles away!
I still feel nothing beats “the real deal” and live, interactive training. But I do like to give my people a call when they’re on vacation and make sure they’re keeping up with their routines. In the past, I would need my clients to come into the office to speak with them. Now I can just fire up Skype Video Chat or a Google+ Hangout and speak with people “face-to-face,” whether they are 15 minutes away or half a continent away on vacation.
The most important factor in a successful Facebook or Twitter strategy is to have content – and lots of it! People may not visit your page every day like faithful servants, but if they see a dazzling headline or a video in their friends feed, they just might click and share! This sort of referral and content-sharing is crucial in establishing your credibility, brand presence and fan base online. The Super-Trainer Facebook page has become a repository for all my blog entries. Yet, as a trainer, you can share lists, links, resources, videos, e-books, reports, photos, memes, and countless other tidbits of content.
The rise of social media may require your fitness business to make a few upgrades to remain with the times. For instance, I bought a faster laptop and invested in top-speed internet access. I bought a big-screen TV, microphone and head-set for a better Skype experience. I practiced speaking in front of the camera to produce more compelling YouTube videos for sharing. All of these adjustments will help me compete online.
Keep in mind that social media networking is not all technical. Much of what you do there will involve listening and observing. You want to be caring, kind, intuitive and sensitive to other people’s needs. Social networking involves commenting on other people’s posts and sharing their content too. With social media, you get back what you put in. Essentially, you want to articulate so well that people feel inspired by your typed words, without you ever having to show your face in-person.
That being said, I still engage my local community. I attend Chamber of Commerce social functions, grand openings, 5-K races, fundraisers, workshops, conferences, conventions, seminars, expos. I am always hitting up coffee shops, restaurants, athletic arenas, parties, and other social hubs. I spend a lot of time traveling and meet with my constituents at least once a month at my Las Vegas mansion. All of these feet-on-the-street activities will boost your “real world” presence and your network contacts. Surrounding yourself with people who are smart and honest can have an amazing impact on your business.
A good fitness trainer is punctual and available. Connecting with people via social media or smartphones helps you do both things much better. A good fitness trainer is attentive and communicative. Social media helps you do this better. A good fitness trainer listens and answers questions. What better place to do this than in a social media post? To succeed, a fitness business professional needs to be honest, humble and creative. Social media will help you in all these areas if you take the time to embrace it.
Need help? Contact me. I would love to sit down and strategize with you!