Over and over I hear consulting clients tell me that they can’t get their personal training business to grow. They are stuck at certain level of success with their bootcamps and they can’t figure out why. Their service is higher quality and they provide more personal attention than bigger box companies. So what are they doing wrong?
The answer is usually small things that make all the difference. For one, they are trying to create a brand out of a commodity. That’s impossible. The public now sees personal trainers, bootcamps and challenges offered around every corner. Every magazine cover and every Facebook timeline is filled with opportunities for free and fee-based access to these services. They are generic.
When that’s true the only thing left for a customer to do is compare based on their needs. If your location is better, your price is right, or you’re physically less intimidating, for instance, you might get a shot. Those are random results. You want predictable.
If someone goes to find you on the internet through their Google search, will they find what they’re looking for in you? Few people go to Google to look for a bootcamp nearby. A frustrated woman doesn’t look for a personal trainer at night on her computer.
People are looking for solutions. They have problems. Those problems somehow become urgent. It may be a wedding, reunion, or summer season that makes them feel urgent suddenly. Use the questions that someone types into Google to help you be the answer they find.
What would you type in if you were a 47-year old woman who wanted weight loss? What would you type in for suggestions on diets that work for fast fat loss? Using those specific words on your website, your business card and in your signature on your email will help someone believe you are their answer.
Instead of listing you alphabet soup, choose the most prestigious certification you have and list it. If they want the full resume they can find it on your website. List the website or the blog URL instead of getting carried away. Make it a live link. Have a way for the customer to find content that adds value when they get there.
Create more than one signature on your emails. For communication with personal trainers who are seeking a marketing coach for instance, I list my personal fitness professional’s blog URL and the web page where someone can learn about coaching. For communication with my after 50 female market, I include my wellness webinar page and the URL for my book targeting that market.
By being able to see that I provide information for people navigating fitness after 50, a prospective customer knows instantly that I have solutions for them. They do not care until later what credentials or experience I have. Until my personal fitness professional clients know I have the answers to their fitness marketing mastery they don’t care what degrees or certifications I have. Most of them have them too! They just don’t have the marketing, branding and business background to get their business revenue where they want it.
Determine who you serve or want to serve. Determine what’s important to them. Then look at your email signature. You will get one shot. By the time they’ve reached out to you by email they are interested. Tell them immediately you are about them and not about your own self-promotion. Your knowledge should show rather than you having to tell them.
Your formula for branding:
1. Your name, and two or three key credentials
2. Your contact information
3. A title that is not a commodity. Personal trainer is taken. What else you got? Are you a change agent? A weight loss coach?
4. Something for the customer. This is a URL where they can get a video, an article, find out more about you at your website, get a quiz or tools to help solve their problem.
5. Make it easy to read. Include less not more. Narrow your focus. Use color or colons or separate lines.
6. Make links live. No one is going to love you enough to copy your URL into their browser and go find out more.
This may seem small. Every little thing does matter. The more educated, articulate and business savvy your target customer the more they can smell lack of confidence that shows in need to list credentials. The less educated your audience the easier and faster they need to be able to get your solutions. The end result in either case is that it has to be about them.
By Debra Atkinson
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