If you weren’t already online, you probably are now. As a result of the social isolation measures enforced in the fight against Covid-19, PTs of all descriptions have taken their businesses online in an effort to retain existing clients and reach new audiences. If you’re new to the world of online personal training, or with limited experience, this can be a tricky space to navigate, especially with so much competition out there. But don’t fear. Here are some tips to help make the most of this opportunity...
1. Invest in your education
We appreciate that your finances could be tight at the moment, but with the likelihood of having more downtime on your hands, now could be a great time to take some digital courses to enhance your online PT skills and business, setting yourself up for the future.
While there are many free courses online, offering tips, advice and even templates for launching, marketing, or maximising your online PT business through tools such as Facebook Ads (you’re probably already targeted with these on a daily basis!), it may be necessary to invest in specific courses with reputable and well-known training providers, which can offer you the very best training. Try not to be drawn in by false claims, and remember that you often get what you pay for.
It can often be difficult to get the virtual-style of personal training to work unless you spend some money on your education and equipping yourself with the various tools you need, so make sure you do plenty of research before committing to a specific course. At The Training Room, we have a dedicated team to help you with any enquiries and offer a wide range of professional development courses and payment options [LINK].
Having an ‘earn whilst you learn’ mindset is important if you’re to grow your online PT business. Keep in mind that you’re learning these new skills, which, in turn, are helping you to earn money, so the time, effort and money you’re putting into your professional development really will be worth it.
2. The know, like, trust factor
When it comes to building your business’ profile online - in particular, on social media - you need to develop the ‘know, like, trust factor.’ In the offline world, you’d usually do this at the gym, in your personal consultation space, or perhaps somewhere you regularly socialise with others, such as a school playground or at your children’s sports matches. So, how can this be replicated online?
Covid-19 aside, what all the social media mentors will tell you is that you have to give enough free content to draw people in. Depending on which reports you read, it can take anywhere from three to 12 pieces of content - depending on the type of audience and content you’re producing - to convert someone into a customer. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 84% of B2C marketers are using content marketing to create brand awareness, 75% to build customer trust, and 65% to educate the audience.
You should never be afraid of giving away free content, just be careful what it is, remembering not to hand over all your secrets and to keep some of that really juicy content up your sleeve. Once you’ve established the ‘like, know, trust’ factor through your content, it’s time to launch the ‘irresistible offer’ that converts your audience into paid clients.
In the current climate, nobody’s really doing paid offers, but it’s important to consider what this will be ready to hit the ground running once we’ve made it through to the other side.
3. Don’t forget the Call To Action
When producing both free and paid content - which could be a blog, email, or video - it’s vital to include a Call To Action (CTA), otherwise what was the point in putting in all that effort to create it?! Each piece of content should be providing that next step for your audience, allowing them to continue their journey with you.
As things stand, the CTA is about providing that next step for your audience, which most likely will be more free content, such as webinars, Q&A sessions, and virtual group exercise classes, but eventually - when the time’s right - it will be directing them to your paid service.
While offers may be off the cards right now, you can still be using this time to build up your database. By asking people to sign-up to free webinars and virtual training sessions using their email addresses and phone numbers - obviously, complying with GDPR - you will then have an even bigger bank of people to target with those ‘irresistible offers’ once we’re out of lockdown.
4. Practice makes perfect!
An oldie but a goodie... When it comes to mastering anything in life, nothing beats a bit of practice! So, before launching your online PT business to the entire world (remember, online has no limits and you could end up coaching someone as far as Australia!), test out your services with friends, family members or colleagues; anyone who will be able to give you some honest feedback in a safe, friendly environment. This will allow you to iron out any kinks and see what’s working well, allowing you to look much more professional when the time comes to go live with your online business.
Building your online PT business is a marathon, not a sprint. While diving right in is most certainly the best way to learn, it’s important to invest in your longer-term education. With more people than ever before competing for a slice of this increasingly saturated market, this will equip you with the tools and knowledge you need to stand out.
Also, remember that it takes time for people to get to know, like and trust you online, just as it would in real life. Therefore, rushing your customer journey, and being too ‘salesy,’ could have the opposite effect. Be mindful of the fact that it takes multiple pieces of content to convert someone from a prospect into a paying customer, so it’s important to provide your audience with a regular supply of high-quality content. This will encourage them to view you as an expert and to recognise the value you’re adding to their lives - leading them down the road to becoming a paid client. It’s all about the long game!
Finally, the fitness industry as we know it is changing and it’s likely that the popularity of online PT - spring boarded by Covid-19 - will continue beyond this epidemic and may well become a staple part of a person’s health and fitness menu. So, regardless of whether you stick to being an online PT, or simply add this to your toolset, it will be invaluable expertise to have moving forward. Therefore, if you’re an ambitious person looking to enhance your career, try to make the most of the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the world of online PT. It could be a major part of the ‘new normal’ post-Covid-19.
If you’re interested to learn more about The Training Room’s courses which could help to enhance your PT business and career, please do get in touch.
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