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Tips for Marketing Personal Training

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Do you market personal training options just to your club members, or also out in the wild?

Unless you are a bargain club that is low on amenities, and price point is your main advantage, then you should absolutely be marketing your points of separation. This includes personal training, of course.

Let’s talk about fitness marketing generally, first. Before we even think about hitting send on our marketing efforts, we have to make sure to have identified our Unique Value Proposition (UVP).

A little while ago, one of our clubs did a “Get your 6-pack at the Average Joe’s Gym” campaign. We spent a large amount of budget on postcards, postage, sponsored social media, t-shirts, etc. — and it flopped. It didn’t work because the call to action wasn’t specific to our club. Now the message certainly drove people to consider fitness as an option. But it did so in a very general “raising awareness” kind of way.

So, Jane Doe see our messaging in the mail and thinks, “Hey, I want a 6-pack!” and then goes on Google and searches for fitness offerings in the local area — because she can get a 6-pack at any club. (If only it were so easy right?) All we really accomplished was to raise awareness of fitness in our area generally. All of the local clubs in our area should have sent us a thank you card for driving traffic through their doors on our dollar.  

Here’s an example of a better marketing message. Recently, we have partnered with the winningest basketball coach in our area to deliver private lessons, clinics, etc. So now, when we send out that UVP marketing message, parents will easily see the tremendous value this offering has over other basketball camps in our area.

Fun fact: When two offerings are perceived as the same or of similar value, the cheapest option will always win out. So, if you are going to advertise a program, session or offering that is also available by competitors in your area, it’s important to highlight the points of separation between yours and theirs. Don’t just say, “We have personal training at competitive rates.” Again, you are simply driving traffic to everyone who offers personal training.

An even better example of an effective marketing message: Highlight a solution that ONLY your club delivers. As an example, we have a personal trainer on staff that is certified in Muscle Activation Technique. No one else around us has this, so when someone sees these materials and is interested, they have to come to us for that solution.

So, do you do monthly “pushes” highlighting just small group Pilates sessions, for example?  

You should be doing that and more. Often I will hear something like, “What promo (singular) are we doing this month?” Then all of the eggs go in that singular basket for the next 30 days.

I believe the best way to grow your personal training business is to diversify your offerings and optimize your marketing strategy both in quality and quantity.

So, what does the last 30 days of personal training look like at our club? Here are examples of programs/offerings we are highlighting. Most of this is new content we churn out to keep generating excitement.  

  1. Two personal training clients blog weekly about their experience.
  2. Trainer vs. Trainer 3.0: This is small group training with a competitive twist.
  3. Prescription to a Healthy Lifestyle: Personal training for our Silver Sneakers Members.
  4. Fitness Foundations: For those members that are fairly new and interested in small group training.
  5. Jump Start Your Weight Loss program.

In addition, we have a bunch of other successful programs that are already established, like Next Steps, Signature Sessions, small group training, Trainer Spotlights, etc., that we also promote.

Let me leave you with this. Value is context driven. Most of your members will not realize the real value of personal training if they are not already invested.

It then becomes incumbent on us to create solutions that will connect to their specific and unique goals to be more successful. So, when Johnny’s dad sees one of our trainers is an expert at throwing mechanics and performance, he signs Johnny up for private sessions with that trainer.

Jason R. Stowell is the division director of fitness and wellness for JCC of Greater Pittsburgh. He is an award-winning fitness leader with over 20 years of successful experience providing strategic planning, talent management, and expert-level sales training in the health and fitness industry. Connect with him on LinkedIn here

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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Rachel Zabonick

Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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