Working as a fitness professional is a fun and rewarding career, and most of us love what we do. But whether you work in a gym or studio, or you have ventured out on your own, making fitness really pay can be a challenge. Considering the poor health of most Americans, there is a limitless pool of potential clients. But how do you attract them to your doorstep?
Here are 7 strategies to help you build your client base and start making some real money:
- Offer Incentives: Because fitness services are known as “intangibles”— products you cannot see, feel, taste, smell or touch at the point of purchase—potential clients may be skittish about plunking down a chunk of change for your services. Overcome this obstacle by offering incentives. A free T-shirt, a stability ball, resistance tubing…use your imagination! Make sure you offer a quality product that the client perceives as valuable, and absorb the cost in your fees.
- Exploit Social Media: You no doubt already have social media accounts set up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels. Instead of using your accounts to post cute pictures of your cat, use them to build your business. Post fitness tips, short exercise videos, the latest weight loss trends and other relevant material. And always link your posts to your website!
- You Need a Website!: This is an absolute no-brainer. In the 21st Century, not having a legitimate business website marks you as an amateur. Even if you work for someone else, having a website will put you ahead of the game. And with so many sites that enable you to create your own website from pre-designed templates, for very little money, you really have no excuse. List your services, credentials and contact information, and add some testimonials from satisfied clients. Backlink your social media posts to your site, and keep it current. And by all means, provide an incentive (like a free consult) to visitors who leave their email address.
- Build an Email List: All those web visitors are either potential clients, or they know potential clients. Build your list, and send out weekly emails to grow your fan base. Include blog posts, exercise tips and more…the same stuff you share on social media in a different format. Add current and past clients to your list, along with any potential clients you have come in contact with in the past. And of course, link everything to your website.
- Create a Blog: Posting a weekly blog gives your fan base a reason to return to your site, week after week. However, gone are the days of stuffing a cheesy blog with keywords to get high rankings on search engines. Search bots are becoming increasingly intelligent, and they are looking for quality well-written content that is relevant to the site’s visitors. And be sure to post links to your blog on social media!
- Get Attractive Business Cards: Make them classy and not too busy, and leave them everywhere you go. Magnetic cards are especially useful, because people stick them on their refrigerators. They will think of you every time they grab a forbidden snack!
- Walk the Talk: Fitness has always been a referral business, and satisfied customers are your best advertising. Make sure you offer quality services that live up to and exceed your hype. Fit healthy clients are virtual walking billboards for your services. Reward them generously for referrals with free sessions and other perks.
Getting and keeping clients is a challenge faced by every new fitness professional, but having the right tools makes it easier. W.I.T.S. has dozens of continuing education courses geared to helping you succeed in the fitness business. Get a Fitness Management Certification, or explore the many options in our Online Business Management Success Series. Keeping your head in the business game is crucial for success, and W.I.T.S. is here to cheer you on!