If there’s one thing I see trainers doing too little of, it’s promoting. If you’re looking to drum up new business, you can’t just come in with the same old lame training deals. It has to be something new, fresh, and unique to gain people’s interest and get them to move on your offer, and refer more business to you.
Getting into this promoter’s mindset is what I had to do when I had locations all over New York. I didn’t miss an opportunity to give people an excuse to take the step, start training with us, and change their life.
A guest article I got recently from Ben London really summed up this feeling. Ben’s an industry vet and the writer of
mybusinessisfitness.com, a blog that’s great to follow for nuts and bolts training info. Here’s Ben’s article:
Become A Personal Training Power Promoter!
Personal training promotions for the most part are boring and predictable. The fitness industry is littered with unimaginative, unoriginal and monotonous seasonal marketing tactics.
A quick Google search showed me that over 50% of the promotions I could find had the words ‘summer’ as their hook.
Don’t get me wrong, the whole ‘get ready for summer’ push is one of the busiest times of the year for personal trainers, which is fantastic because the next 8 weeks are traditionally the slowest.
I’ve had conversations with personal trainers that save all of there promotional budget for the few weeks leading up to the summer period. When I ask them why, they say to stand out from their competitors, to get the most business from the rush.
This is all good and well for the unimaginative, but what if you were already booked out before the summer rush, wouldn’t that be a better scenario?
The key is to take advantage of every opportunity to be original, not just before summer. You see, every month there’s a holiday, either federal (Easter, Christmas) or what’s called a federal observance holiday (Halloween, April Fools) which you can spin into enjoyable and lucrative cash cows.
I’m not suggesting you run promos for every holiday, but pick and choose a few and align your marketing budget accordingly.
The beauty of the holiday promotion is the endless opportunities you can demonstrate to your target market and the variety of tools that are at your disposal. I also noticed that my retention rate was much higher from promotions that didn’t simply target the flighty summer market.
Just recently I saw a mother’s day personal training promotion that was contributing a portion of the money they earned during that promotion to women’s breast cancer research, needless to say that it was a huge success and the media gave them a nice push along.
While I was a contract personal trainer, I would organize an annual Halloween promotion that prompted people to hire me so they could go to their work Halloween parties as super heroes, or Tarzan or sexy maids or whatever.
And your promotions don’t have to revolve around holidays alone. Everyone knows that women get into shape for their weddings and are prepared to pay the earth for that to happen.
Research shows that most weddings are during the spring, so run a promotion in the lead up to that period. I’ve seen some personal training businesses claim to specialize in helping couples get ready for their special day.
I also discovered that school reunions were an incredible motivator for people looking to get into shape and did research through various sites like gradfinder.com, friendsreunited.com or more recently facebook that would conveniently tell me what is being planned.
Become a power promoter; there are plenty of potential clients looking to get into shape the other 9 months of the year, sometimes you just need to point them in the right direction i.e. yours.
Good stuff, as always! I’ll put Ben’s blog on my ‘to read’ list.
Our corporate wellness presentation uses “SUMMER” in all of our material, but in a slightly different way…it’s an acronym…
S = Shut
U = Up
M = More
E = Eat
It’s a pretty simple message that we use to tell them that talk is cheap and the bottom line is that without regular exercise and proper nutrition, the body breaks down into a state of disease.
Good post. Better picture.
Great post Kaiser and Ben! I don’t think I do enough of this.
WOW! Thanks for the opportunity to have an article on your fantastic blog Kaiser, I’m truly honored…and great intro, I’m sure I speak for everyone that I’d like to hear about some of the promotions you ran!
Thanks for the kind words Greg, your summer acronym is awesome! I’m sure there’s times you wish you could actually say that to clients and prospects as well…!
Like Kaiser said, it’s, getting into a mindset and wearing different hats when it’s time to establish your marketing and promotion plan.
I would put on music, stand up, walk around and get into a ‘zone’, brainstorming and try to come up with dozens of innovative ideas, ranging from extravagant to very basic.
Also, come up with your promotional ideas before worrying too much about budget, you don’t want to kill your creative ‘juice’ before you even get started, there’s always opportunities to find inexpensive ways to at least create the impression of a million dollar promotion.
Thanks again Kaiser!
Hey Ben – thanks again for the guest article –
Yes, that would make for a great feature – I’ll brainstorm and put something together – I actually had a lot of promotional materials produced for each of my promotions, and I’m sure they’re lying around somewhere –
Travis, you’re right – now that I look at that picture, I realize that it might have been a bit of a mistake – I just hope this site doesn’t get flagged as porn!
Thank you for the comments Travis and Raquelle!
Definitely, look forward to hearing about some of your promo’s!
Thanks for the good content Ben! Just in time to start promoting my new bootcamp!
Keep up the great content Kaiser
Greg- Love the S U M M E R
These cliches, words and expressions origins and derivations illustrate the ever-changing complexity of language and communications! Not sure I would tell a client to shut-up- lol Shhhusss up may work. Kaiser is correct again July, August, and part of Sept is historically slow times for ‘private studios”, and independent trainers. This is why self promotion is 24/7- Marketing is what I call a ‘roll-over” in the fitness world called “carry-over”. I do want to share the importance of promoting within so your not without! Be a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions – thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. I never promote outside the center in the summer- however if I take care of the “roots” all will begin to flourish and provide! I equate promotion outside the club to going to the casino- You are up than down…and now the chase begins!! Unfortunitly the ending has negative outcomes. Take care of every client every day and not only will they stay- your best clients will promote for you!
Super-Trainer Advisory Board
Great article Ben. Yes, I have to admit I don’t promote enough, even though I do plenty – like you say Kaiser, you can’t do enough.
Promoting is the key to profits. If you aren’t putting offers out there, no one really has a reason to contact you in the first place.
Loved the post Ben – goes to show you always have an excuse to run a promotion.
Loved the ideas here. Finally just opened my first studio (been more than a year in the making – but hard to believe a year ago I was working for Bally’s – thanks Kaiser!) –
I’m going to need a ton more promoting ideas, so please keep the articles like this coming.
Great ideas and post. It is in the organisation and management of the business you mean that is really lacking in most businesses. Plan it properly and market it well and ye shall reap the benefits.
Thanks for allowing the creative juices to flow.
@ Greg: You’re welcome! Once you get in the mindset, I’m sure you can come up with dozens of ideas to push your bootcamp!
@ Jason: What kind of promotions have you been running?
@ Terry: Thanks mate, I always found promoting to be fun and it does not have to be expensive. It’s also a nice way to take a break from the mundane chores of running a small business and to get creative for a change.
@ Danny: Congratulations on opening your first studio! I hope during your 12 months of planning that included a marketing schedule and budget??
@ Bjorn: You’re absolutely right about many personal training businesses lacking in the management side of their business.
Asking around, the main reason many many personal trainers fail in this area is because they are fitness enthusiasts, not business people. Trainers need to stop walking around the mall eating sushi during their downtime and focus on their business planning and structure.
Thank you again everyone for the kind comments!
Love the feedback Ben – looking forward to having you on again.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts….. Sometime We come up with a great idea that will give us success but drop it before it has been properly executed to go on to the next big thing or something that’s more exciting. Promotional product are used to execute the promotional strategy to increase the sale. These products can be in any form like gifts, banner, books, bags or any other accessories because Gifting is used to motivate the employee. if you used your company logo on the gifts. This will be great idea to promote your business and this type of gifts is called promotional gifts.