Word of Mouth Marketing Can Be Your Greatest Asset
As fitness professionals, ample time is spent on managing your business and working with your clients and finding time market yourself or your services can be difficult—even tiresome. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to invest time or money into marketing campaigns, search ads or social media content to reach new people in the community you’re supporting. Your existing clients, family and friends are your biggest champions and, if activated, can be a strong outlet for marketing yourself.
Whether your clients and personal contacts live in a suburb or high rise, there is (almost) always a private dedicated community group for the residents. For building dwellers, there is an online portal for announcements, room and service bookings, notifications, and often a general forum to allow residents to engage with one another to swap goods, rent out unused storage spaces, etc. Likewise, communities often have private groups set up on social platforms, like Facebook, or have a closed group on chat apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
Don’t be hesitant to ask clients to promote you and your services within these closed groups. A simple message asking others if they’re currently looking for a certified Personal Trainer or Fitness Instructor, with your contact information and a personal testimonial doesn’t take much effort—and your advocates will be happy to promote you. Another option is to encourage clients to extend invitation to their neighbours to join them at the next class, promoting inclusivity, belonging and community.
Grabbing attention online is one thing, but what about offline? We know that many fitness professionals have invested in small studios or spaces for training with clients but relying solely on above or on-door signage doesn’t always catch the eye of passersby. Connect with your local Business Improvement Area (BIA) office and become familiar with what you are / aren’t able to do in your area as a business:
- Are you able to use sidewalk signage?
- Can you place signage directly on the sidewalk / pavement areas – such as environmentally friendly chalk, paint or decals?
- Can you alter / change the façade of your business?
One great method to attract the eye is to increase scale. Many businesses have been successful with engaging local artists to paint graffiti or designs representative of their business and/or the community—giving dual purpose to the artwork. Not only does it help a business standout, but in today’s social climate, it presents a photo opportunity which brings foot traffic directly to your door.
“Things To Do” Websites
Another opportunity available to fitness professionals are local community news and event websites. These cater to an audience in search of activities to fulfill their weekends or plans with family and friends. If you are hosting a special fitness challenge, have themed workouts, will be having an Open Door or free consultation opportunity, posting your initiative on these sites are 99.9% of the time FREE! The best part, you’re promoting directly to your community and those looking to explore your part of the city. Eventbrite is a popular site for finding Meetups and other local events, (I’ve even seen Kijiji used for local events), presenting another option for promoting your next class schedule start date or fitness challenge!
If you’re not social media-inclined, find it hard to create content or feel marketing is overwhelming, know that there are options for you! Activating loyal clients and personal networks with WOM engagements and using available community boards and event listings can have big impact in helping to grow your business, while having small impact on time needed to be invested.