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Marketing Your Fitness Training at Low/NO Cost
Today I'd like to cover a few of what I like to call advanced fitness marketing tactics. I don't call them advanced because they're especially difficult to do or happen to be expensive - I use the term because they have a track record of excellent results.
Many people in the fitness world are of the opinion that a good marketing tactic should cost money. It's common to think that the more you spend, the better the results will be - and there is a lot of resistance to the idea of using free or nearly free fitness marketing methods. Instead, these people spend a lot (often entirely too much) money on all manner of advertising in the hopes that something will stick.
Of course, print advertising, direct mail, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and so on all have plenty to recommend them and all of these methods can yield a great return on investment when you know what you're doing. However, most fitness professionals aren't also advertising pros and it's not surprising that many of these people flounder in their fitness marketing efforts and end up becoming very frustrated and as often as not, a lot poorer for their trouble.
At the same time, there are some incredibly effective fitness marketing techniques which get results which are as good or better than a well implemented traditional advertising strategy at little to no cost.
For example, take one of the people I mentor; he's the owner of two fitness boot camp businesses in a very competitive market. He has a website for his business, but it ranks near the bottom of the search engine results. He doesn't use direct mail, pay per click ads or much of anything else that a lot of fitness business owners assume is necessary to their success - and despite all this, his boot camps bring in a revenue stream approaching $1 million annually.
What he does use are some advanced boot camp marketing strategies which are obviously performing incredibly well for him. Here are some of the techniques he's using:
1) Grocery store tours
People have been using this method for a while, but what my mentoring client and I came up with was an approach to the grocery store tour which overcomes the traditional problems of getting the store interested in holding the event and helping to publicize it as well as the part that many find especially challenging: getting people to actually turn out for the event.
What we did was to develop an approach which showed everyone involved what was in it for them (a question any effective marketing campaign has to answer). My client told the store that he'd give a $10 gift certificate to the store to each attendee; a win-win situation for the store, which happily agreed to hold the event and help promote it.
To promote the tour, the store agreed to hand out flyers at the checkout; the flyers included a tear off form for people interested in the tour to leave at the store. They filled out their contact information, which my client used to follow up with people and get them committed to a time to show for that week's tour.
Here's where it gets brilliant - each person had to pay $10 to reserve their spot at the event. The $10 would be refunded in the form of a gift certificate to the store, enough of an incentive to get almost everyone to actually turn out on the day of the event.
2) Money back guarantees which go the extra mile
Offering a guarantee is a time honored method of converting a prospective customer into a paying client; with the perceived risk removed, people are far less resistant to the idea of making a purchase.
The strategy my client and I came up with that really got the attention of prospects and ultimately made the sale was this: sign up for the one year boot camp program and we'll provide a 100% money back guarantee if you decide it isn't the program for you anytime in the first 30 days, no questions asked.
Standard guarantee, you say? Not quite. He also included the following in his guarantee: if you complete the one year program and gain back the weight you've lost, we'll provide training for you free of charge until you've returned to the weight you were when you completed the program.
Just in case you were wondering if this guarantee has turned out to lose him money, it hasn't. The increased revenue he sees as a result of this guarantee is much larger than the cost incurred by the (exceedingly rare) request to be trained for free by a former user of the program.
3) Dangling the right incentive in front of the right noses
Everyone has their price; give people the right incentive and they will give your fitness program a try. Just offering a free trial is great, but it's not enough for some consumers. However, when you offer incentives in the form of products and services that your target market actually uses, you'll almost always be able to close the deal.
What my client did here was to work out a deal with other local business owners whose clientele overlapped with his target market. In exchange for free services or products for his clients, he'd refer his customers to their businesses - essentially, it was a cross promotional strategy for all of the businesses involved.
Referrals are of course one of the most powerful fitness marketing tools ever developed. They cost you nothing and a referral from a satisfied client carries far more weight than any amount of paid advertising. Referrals are hands down the easiest sales to make.
The only problem that a lot of personal trainers have with referrals is not knowing how to ask their clients for them. Here's how we simplified the process. We made gift certificates which offered a free week of training for a friend when you sign up.
This works because it gets your clients to bring a prospective customer right to your doorstep exactly when they're feeling the most enthusiastic about your service. It's simple: just give the certificate to clients on their first day and tell them that they can use this certificate in the next two weeks.
The customer then has the certificate in their hands, the message is reinforced verbally and best of all, they feel a sense of urgency because of the limited nature of the offer - it almost always gets them to bring a friend, often on the next day!
Bedros Keuilian is fitness marketing expert and is known as the hidden genius behind many of the most successful personal trainers worldwide. Get his four personal trainer marketing programs for free.
Have a nice day!
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