You're ready to be the next big social media influencer in fitness, wellness, or health and nutrition. Or you just want to leverage social media to reach current and potential clients.
Social media marketing is great, but do you know what to do first? And after that? Using social media isn't rocket science, but using it effectively as a marketing tool for your business requires more than simply starting an account and posting a few inspirational pictures.
To reach a wider audience, get more clients, and become a genuine influencer, you need a strategy, a plan, quality and varied content, and so much more. Let us help you figure out what to do next in your plan to start dominating social media.
Sure, you can work as a trainer without having social media accounts, but if you do you are at the mercy of the gym where you work. Your potential client list is limited. Yes, old fashioned word-of-mouth can eventually work to expand your business, but you'll grow faster if you take an active role in your own marketing. Here are some of the reasons it's essential to get into social media for your brand and business:
With social media sites, you'll reach hundreds and thousands more people than you possibly could with traditional marketing and word-of-mouth.
Posts on social media allow you to showcase your expertise and authority.
You can also show off your expert knowledge in a particular niche, like vegan nutrition or youth fitness.
You'll be able to multiply your credibility by connecting online with other experts and influencers.
If you're looking to add online services, like coaching groups, to your business, social media accounts will give you greater reach to find interested clients.
Use social media to stay connected with past and current clients. It's always easier to keep clients than to find new ones, and by engaging with them online you'll ensure they don't forget you.
The most important thing you'll do to start leveraging social media marketing for all of these benefits is create a plan. If you just start creating accounts and posting content without a plan, success will be hit or miss.
Check out some of the personal trainer sites you like the most or that have huge numbers of followers. Track the content posted for a couple of weeks and look for patterns. Successful influencers have accounts that seem natural and spontaneous, but when you dig into it you'll see that they are actually well-planned and not random at all.
Good social media marketing isn't random. You need goals, a mission, and a brand. As you look at those other sites that pull in so many followers, see if you can pick out the following factors:
Niche. There are so many trainers online that if you don't have a niche, a special corner of the market, you will simply blend in. A niche may be nutrition for runners, training for fat loss, or postpartum training, just to mention a few possibilities.
Targeted demographic. Who are you targeting online? It could be seniors, millennials, moms, anyone who wants to lose weight, or amateur athletes.
Brand and message. Your niche and target audience will help shape a brand and message. Think about the kind of trainer you are or want to be: tough-love trainer, organic nutritionist, relatable mom, hip young trainer, or mindfulness trainer.
Consistency. Once you know who you are as a trainer, what your brand is, your area of expertise, and your audience, you need to keep them all in mind as you develop your pages. Good social media marketing is consistent.
For any endeavor to be successful there has to be an ultimate goal, right? You know this from working in fitness, and the same is true for marketing. And, as in training, goals need to be specific, achievable, and measurable. A goal to "get more clients" is no good. It's too broad. Some better examples are:
Add one more full online coaching group by the end of the month.
Get one new individual training client by the end of two months.
Start and fill one group training session at the gym in one month.
Add 500 new followers to each site in six weeks.
Connect and exchange links with five top fitness pages this week.
All of these are reasonable and specific, and you can measure them. You'll know if you're hitting them based on the timelines given. And if you don't, revise the goals and plan a new strategy.
Making a content calendar takes a little time, but in the end it will save you time and ensure that you have a good mix of post types, content, and calls to action. Plan at least one month in advance. Here's an example of what a content calendar for one week might look like for the social media sites of a trainer targeting busy men who want to shape up their dad bods:
Monday - Inspiration. Share client Walter's before and after pictures from our six-week training session.
Tuesday - Technique. Share a video showing good form for pushups and why they're important for pecs and overall upper body development.
Wednesday - Engagement. Ask followers to share their biggest hurdles in getting fitter and meeting their goals.
Thursday - Nutrition. Talk about how I plan meals for the week with tips for avoiding the temptation to eat junk.
Friday - Network. Share a link to a trainer that my followers will like.
Saturday - Promotion. Request followers sign up for my new online accountability group and daily pushup challenge.
Sunday - Funday. Share the meme about sore quads the day after leg day.
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Your content calendar should be a big part of your overall strategy. Content is king, and the quality, variety, and frequency of yours is what will snag new followers and keep them coming back. For a personal trainer, these types of posts are most important:
One of the main reasons people follow trainers and fitness pros online is for fitspiration. They want to be inspired to work harder or to just get started working out. And you want to inspire followers to take the step and start working with you.
There are all kinds of different things you can post for inspiration: share your own journey, including triumphs and failures; share some of your clients' stories, with their permission, of course; post before and after pictures; post healthy food pictures; and share your favorite inspirational quotes.
Another reason people come to social media to follow trainers is to learn something. They want your professional advice and tips. Not only are you helping people learn more about nutrition or exercise with these types of posts you are also establishing credibility.
Demonstrate your authority in fitness or nutrition with videos that showcase a new move or recipe; share tips and tricks; summarize some of the latest fitness research, and share some of your favorite routines and workouts.
Engaging with your followers is so important. You can engage by responding to questions and shares or commenting on your followers' posts and comments, but you can also inspire greater overall interaction with your original posts. Ask questions, start conversations, create polls, or even host live Q and A sessions.
Posts that connect you to other fitness professionals or related business will help you expand your network. Post links to other pages and posts you think your audience will appreciate. Follow other trainers you respect and admire.
Also consider partnering and sharing links with other types of pages and businesses. Connect with nutritionists, chiropractors, massage therapists, gyms, healthy food services, bloggers, and anyone else with followers who would like your page.
While social media is a genuine business tool for personal trainers, it is also entertainment for your followers. In your mix of posts include some that are purely for fun. This is a great way to showcase your personality and sense of humor and to let your followers see that you are human, not a fitness robot. Share funny memes, gifs, and jokes related to fitness and wellness, but avoid anything that might be controversial.
The ultimate goal in all of this is to find potential clients and turn them into actual clients. For approximately every five posts you share, include one promotional post. This can be a call to sign up for your online accountability group, and advertisement for your latest group fitness class, or a request to get more people on your email list.
You're ready to get started, which means creating accounts and putting your marketing plan into action. But there are far too many social media sites for you to hit them all. Don't stretch yourself thin over too many sites, or you will have ten mediocre accounts instead of three excellent ones. To save your time and your sanity, choose a few to focus on. Here are some of the best platforms for personal trainers.
Facebook is the most popular social media site with more than one billion users. It's a no-brainer to start a FB page. It's versatile too, and will allow you to mix up your content with long-form posts, short posts, links, pictures, and videos. Facebook also offers an advertising scheme, which you can use or not.
To connect with the youngest and hippest crowd online, you need an Instagram account. IG is mostly known for photos, which is great for fitness pages. It's also easy on this site to use filters to make pictures look better and more professional. This is a great site for storytelling. Use it to share your personal journey with fans.
A YouTube channel is ideal for educating followers. A lot of people who follow fitness influencers on social media are looking to learn something. YouTube is a great platform for sharing little tidbits of information about targeting glutes, correcting form, and trying a new warm-up routine. These videos engage potential clients but also show what you can do as a trainer.
Tweeting is ideal for quick, short posts and connecting quickly with hundreds or thousands of other people. Twitter is especially useful in making connections with other fitness influencers. You can boost your own standing by following these experts and sharing their tweets with your followers.
Health, fitness, and wellness are the most popular topics on Pinterest. When you share tips, workouts, recipes, and other information on Pinterest, your image will come up in any search on a related topic, not just on your followers sites. This helps you reach more people just by posting useful content that users search for. Pinterest is especially popular with women, so if that's your demographic it's a must.
What you'll get out of social media marketing is equivalent to what you put into it. A few half-hearted posts here and there won't add much to your credibility or client list. But if you take the time to plan, strategize, and post quality content regularly while also promoting your services and engaging followers, social media can be a powerful tool to grow your personal training business.
Looking for a personal training niche? Check out the ISSA's specialization courses to find your new area of expertise.