How To Get More Online Fitness Clients For New Trainers
Knowing how to get more online clients is key as a virtual trainer. Since your personal training business runs online, the best way to promote it will be through SEO, email marketing, and social media. The way you use these digital marketing strategies is different depending on whether you’re just starting your online personal training business or have been in it for years. We’ll break down the best ways to get more online fitness clients for the new personal trainer here.
But first, make sure you know how to market yourself as an online personal training business owner. Here’s a quick reminder of the key foundations that you’ll need to make your online training business successful.
Marketing Yourself As An Online Fitness Coach
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to fitness coaching or have five-plus years of personal training experience. Marketing is important for your personal brand and helps you target more clients. Here’s a quick rundown of marketing for personal trainers that everyone should do.
- Know your target audience. Marketing is all about knowing your ideal client. When you know exactly what your personal training client needs and wants, you can give the solution. For example, marketing yourself as an expert in fitness competitions when your clientele is mostly middle-aged, overweight women could be a miss. Learn as much as you can about your ideal client and try to think like them. You might have a few client types that come to mind. This is okay, but try to narrow it down to less than three and create detailed persona profiles for them. These should be the types of clients you do great with. They get results and mesh well with your personality.
- Establish your niche. Once you know exactly who your target audience is, define your niche. This is something special about your product and service. If you learn, over time, that you’re great at getting these types of clients to lose 20 pounds, offer a 20-pound weight loss guarantee. That will get prospective clients’ attention and narrow in on your specialty.
- Have differentiation. This is similar to the first two. Differentiation is knowing what your online client wants, how you can target the result, and why your fitness coach offering is different and better than the personal training competition. In our examples, middle-aged and overweight women are your best clients. Getting them to lose their first 20 pounds is your specialty. Your point of differentiation is how you get those results. Do you offer on-demand text services so clients can get your nutrition advice in between training sessions? Or, do you teach a total family lifestyle overhaul to make sticking to their new habits easier? If you don’t have something special to offer yet, find it. Then, market it. Make it something so compelling that your competition doesn’t do the same.
- Develop your positioning. When you nail the first three, this should be easy. Define the problems your client persona faces. Then write out the solution your online personal training business solves. Put them together with a statement like this:
For the <insert persona description> who struggles with <insert problem>, my online fitness coaching offers clients <insert solution>
With these basics down, you’re able to take the next step in getting more online personal training clients.
Getting More Clients As A New Online Personal Trainer
There’s nothing worse than being a new online trainer but not having any clients. Further, most ideas on getting new clients assume you have a fitness professional history. There should be a difference in your client acquisition strategy. Remember, marketing is just getting people to know, like, and trust you. Then, it’s meeting them at the right time with the right opportunity. As a new fitness coach, all your efforts should be around getting the world to know, like, and trust your business. Therefore, you should focus on growing your network, showing value in what you offer, and demonstrating your expertise.
If you were a local business with a gym, you could flyer the neighborhood. Or, if you were working for the gym, they’d have you work the floor. The intention is to meet members, make them feel comfortable around you, and see you as the expert. It isn’t harder in the online personal training business, it’s just different. Social media will be important for this first step.
As an online fitness business owner, use these strategies to get potential clients to know you.
Step 1: Start With Family And Friends
Start by sharing the news about your new business with friends and family. Make sure you set up social media accounts for your new business first. Then, invite family and friends to follow you on FaceBook or Instagram. If you followed our checklist, then you know what you’re great at. Tell your new followers what you specialize in and ask for them to share your new business announcement. This will get others on your platform.
Chances are, people know you have a passion for working out and being healthy. In fact, others probably turn to you for advice, accountability, or just as a workout partner. Capitalize on this pre-existing brand reputation. Make sure the world knows you’re starting a fitness business and looking for clients. Even if you’re still studying to get your personal training certification, you can do this. In fact, one of the best ways to make money faster is by marketing while you’re still working on developing your nutrition coaching and training skills. As you share the exciting news about your new business with friends and family, offer five free training sessions in exchange for them to give you a rating or review.
Step 2: Create A Facebook Group For Your Niche
This social media group should be specific to your client persona and niche. So, don’t invite people that won’t care. Instead, let your network know about the group, explain who it’s for, and what to expect. Especially when you’re first starting out as an online trainer, treat Facebook like it’s your own client. Follow these social media tips:
- Post regularly. Make sure you spend time in this social media group at least five times per week. It’s creating expectations for your followers. Be consistent and stick with it.
- Share motivational quotes. This shouldn’t be for every post, but be motivating. Find ways to help your followers find inspiration each day.
- Think like your followers. If you’re catering to the persona example here, what would they want to read or see? Think of fitness tips or nutrition hacks so people can stick to a healthy lifestyle. It shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about your clients.
- Engage with others. If it’s quiet in there, ask questions! Find out what their favorite training session looks like. Do they love or hate burpees? Get them talking.
Step 3: Create Content That Adds Value
You should have a fitness website for your online personal training business. Add a blog onto it and write helpful fitness and nutrition content. Remember, you’re the fitness expert. So, don’t overthink what you should write about. Keep it simple and helpful. For example, write a step-by-step guide to doing 20 pushups in under one minute. Don’t only think in terms of blogs. Also create videos, eBooks, and infographics. You’re an online coach now, so everything you offer needs to be digital and a potential client needs to see it before committing.
When you start building content that gives website visitors value, you’re improving your SEO (search engine optimization) and building lead magnets. For example, maybe you post a workout of the day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. At the end of one month, you can compile those workouts for a free monthly program. Use this compilation of exercises and programming as a lead capture form on your website. When others download the content, you add them to your CRM. Then, you can build up your email database for future marketing to leads and prospective clients.
Step 4: Participate In Forums
Start searching out similar-minded forums on health, fitness, and nutrition. Then, become an active participant. Don’t just immediately push your business or link to your website. Instead, offer valuable tips and get interaction going. Then, you can start driving them to your services. Giving away more for free at first will help give you credibility and prospective clients will start trusting you.
You’re targeting small businesses because it will be easier to get engagement from them online. You can comment on their social media posts with fitness and nutrition tips. Eventually, you can put a small call to action in the posts. For example, if you’re following a local breakfast cafe, post something like “I tell all my clients to order the egg white veggie wrap and add avocado. Avocado is great to help you feel full throughout the day and keep that brain functioning. Check out my other nutrition tips at….” Other businesses you can follow include local markets, chiropractors, physical therapists, and more. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself locally. By following larger businesses, you can learn from their social media strategies and use those that will resonate with your audience.
Step 5: Run A Fitness Challenge
Start learning how to run an online fitness challenge. Online fitness challenges are a great way to find new clients, engage current clients, and get people excited. You can do this for free or even a small $10 buy-in. Running fitness challenges will showcase your skills as a personal trainer, get a commitment, and engage your leads. And if you use a fitness app, these challenges can be even easier to monitor. Depending on your persona and their fitness goal, there are plenty of ideas for these fitness competitions. Here are some thoughts to get you started:
- Weight loss
- Body fat loss
- Total calories burned
- Running miles
- Nutrition plan compliance
- Total transformation
- Muscle balance restoration
- Trick specific (handstand pushup, unassisted pistol squat, etc.)
Get even more fitness challenge ideas in this article. If you follow each of these steps on a weekly basis, you’ll build a strong foundation to get more online training clients in one month. And, if you want extra personal trainer marketing help, check out our EMAC Online Coach Certification. We give you what you need to get more paying clients for your new business in just one month.