Thanksgiving is a time for food, family, friends, and expressing gratitude. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday conjure images of shopping stampedes and online bargain frenzies. For personal trainers, these events also present fantastic opportunities to leverage the existing excitement with timely marketing campaigns and irresistible deals!
Consumer behavior and spending change during these holidays, so you need to put your business front and center of people’s minds to attract new clients, strengthen relationships with existing clients, and boost your visibility and income.
There are plenty of ways to do this so let’s get cracking!
EMBRACE YOUR COMMUNITY ON THANKSGIVING DAY
What a wonderful concept – an entire day dedicated to gratitude and thankfulness. With some delicious food and great company thrown in of course. Thanksgiving is important because it is a chunk of time that has already been scheduled and set aside for taking pause, reflecting on the good things in our lives, and celebrating them. What a great time to fit in some self-care as well!
According to Numerator, 97% of Americans surveyed plan to celebrate Thanksgiving in 2023 – that’s higher than any other holiday, including Christmas. In addition, since the COVID-19 pandemic when we were kept from our loved ones for extended periods, people have become more sentimental and nostalgic about holidays like Thanksgiving.
This is the perfect time for you to connect with your clients and strengthen your fitness community by reaching out with meaningful and gratitude-themed marketing campaigns.
IDEAS FOR ACTION:
- Engage potential and existing clients with a Thanksgiving-themed fitness challenge! You could hold a sit-up, push-up, step, or plank challenge, and even get participants to be sponsored by friends and family – and that money could be donated to a local charity. You could give each participant a free branded t-shirt to help get your company name seen.
- Show your gratitude by offering a special reward to any clients who spend part of Thanksgiving (or any time surrounding the day) volunteering in the community at soup kitchens, animal shelters, or other charities and aid organisations. Your reward could be a discount, limited edition merchandise or a free pass to a class or workshop.
- Share these community experiences (with permission) with gratitude posts on social media. This will have a couple of benefits: it will highlight areas of the community in need, it will spread a sense of togetherness, and will give you a reason to be posting regularly and getting your brand out there. Don’t forget to document your own acts of giving back to the community!
- This is a great opportunity to offer online-only video workout packages so that clients can spend more time at home with loved ones while still working out.
- Using email and social media campaigns, stress to clients the importance of enjoying Thanksgiving without guilt. Suggest ways to approach the celebrations in moderation, or even offer extra classes leading up to the day at a special rate. This extra exercise push beforehand could help them to make better choices on the day, or could relieve the guilt of indulging a little knowing they have put in extra workouts.
- Thank your clients. What an ideal time to show just how much you appreciate their continued support. This could be via a letter, social media posts, or even with a token such as merch or a small discount.
BLACK FRIDAY, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, CYBER MONDAY
Just as people start to awaken from their Thanksgiving food comas, this trio of days sweep through like a money-collecting tornado, whipping everyone into bargain-hunting frenzies. So, hold tight to your thinking cap and leap into the whirlwind, because this is a prime opportunity for you to leverage the excitement by tapping into the heightened consumer enthusiasm and hunger for a great deal.
There are psychological reasons behind the strong pull of sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One of these (and it’s one that retailers really take advantage of) is good old FOMO. That fear of missing out when it comes to making purchases is fueled by scarcity (limited supply!) and loss aversion (sale ends today!). Using these clever concepts is how retailers create a sense of urgency in consumers and make them feel like they will experience regret if they miss out.
Another reason is that we all love a deal! Snagging a bargain empowers and motivates us by providing a dose of dopamine. The high is likely to be short-lived with the purchase of an item, whereas what you offer as a certified personal trainer can provide long-term happy feelings.
You can use these appeals in your own marketing campaigns to attract new clients and secure longer commitments from existing clients.
IDEAS FOR ACTION:
- Create a separate campaign or deal for each of the sale days. For example, for Black Friday you could address health concerns leading into winter by promoting long-term memberships, giving clients an irresistible discount if they commit to a six-month or year-long membership. Just be sure to create a sense of urgency: Sign up by midnight on Black Friday – limited spots available!
- Small Business Saturday is an initiative founded by AMEX to support small businesses during the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (when large retailers usually benefit the most). You could use this day to provide more information about your small business and services and offer incentives for new clients, such as free gear upon sign up or a free pass for a friend. Once again be sure to put a time limit on the offer to nurture that FOMO!
- Cyber Monday could be the perfect opportunity to promote your online offerings if you have them (or launch them if you don’t!) Create package deals at discounted rates, or even run ‘Turkey Day Turnaround’ classes to help clients alleviate any holiday indulgence guilt. Promote your Cyber Monday sales continuously throughout the day with a timer running down.
- If clients DO take up any of your deals, you could then have bonus offers ready such as additional services (holiday season readiness consultation call), resources (guide to kickstarting holiday season fitness), or items (bands, merch, supplements). These bonuses should also have a time limit to create the sense of missing out if they don’t snap them up.
For detailed practical tips on how to make the most of Black Friday marketing watch our FREE webinar: How To Prep Your Fitness Business For Black Friday
CONTENT MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
At the risk of stating the obvious, it won’t matter how amazing your deals and promotions are if nobody knows about them! People are going to be hammered with communications from businesses hoping to ignite that FOMO, so you need to ensure that your content is:
1. compelling – keep it fun and engaging
2. frequent and ongoing – plan a delivery schedule and stick to it
3. needle-moving – ensure every post draws clients to you or promotes action in some way
Statistics show that Americans engage with social media for 2hrs 7mins daily on average, and the most engaging, scroll-stopping type of content is short-form videos.
Try enlisting the help of an AI platform like Chat GPT to help you plan a social media campaign (or even to help you craft messages. For tips to try this, check out our blog post ChatGPT: Your New Fitness Business Buddy
IDEAS FOR ACTION:
- Create holiday-themed content such as Thanksgiving gratitude messages, tips for staying on track during the holidays (Hey fitness folks, remember that one day of indulgence won’t undo months of hard work!), or a countdown to the sale days. Repost Thanksgiving content from others in the fitness community or from brands you endorse.
- Include a variety of content types in your posts such as text, images, reels, surveys and testimonials. Regularly ask questions to promote comments and interaction (Do you eat before a morning workout? What’s a great yoga gear brand?) Be sure to like and reply to comments in a timely manner.
- Ensure that your content is a mix of business and general interest. You don’t want every post to be pushing your products and services as people will soon tire of it and scroll past or mute you. For every post that is specifically about business, ensure you have one about the fitness/wellness business in general (such as tips, facts and lifestyle info), one that is fun or funny (reposting memes, behind the scenes footage), and one that engages with others (asking questions, running polls).
- Even the posts that are not directly promoting your business should still promote your business! You can just be less obvious. If you’ve reposted a meme or cartoon, be sure to make your own comment in the caption (You can wear a neon Lycra onesie for all we care at Flourishing Fitness Join us for judgment-free workouts!)
- Use hashtags and keywords in all of your posts to increase your reach and visibility but be careful not to overuse them. Examples include #thanksgiving #fitness #holidayhealth For tips on choosing hashtags in general, read this International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) blog post: Best Personal Trainer Hashtags in 2023 & Which Ones to Avoid
- Reward clients with a small discount or similar small token for any interactions on social media (if they post about your business or check-in via social media platforms). You could also offer something exclusive for any reviews or posts about your business.
- Harness the reach and power of social media to build and strengthen the fitness community around you. Host special holiday-themed events, join groups and conversations where you can provide your expert advice, and interact with the posts of other health and wellness organisations and businesses you trust and follow.
Discover tips for boosting engagement on Instagram with our FREE ebook: Optimizing Instagram for Personal Trainers
OLD RELIABLE: THE EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Though not as glamorous and carefree as its social media cousin, email marketing still plays an important role in any personal training business. You need to share any of your holiday promotions and offers with your email list as well as on socials.
As we explain in our blog post How to Get Noticed in Inboxes During the Holidays (it’s a great read!):
“During one of the busiest advertising times of the year, your email offers will be competing with literally billions of other emails. Whether it’s receipts, promotions, or work emails, everyone’s inbox is stuffed. In 2020 SendGrid recorded 5.8 billion emails sent. That statistic is not for the year, it’s for one single day…Black Friday.”
So how do you get noticed in an overstuffed inbox?
- Start with a killer subject line
Make it exclusive (members only, early access), make it short, make it sound fun or exciting (or both). Add icons or emojis, especially if you have a younger audience. Think about what kinds of subject lines grab your own attention. Scroll through your inbox to find examples and model your own emails on them.
- Personalize it
This can start in the subject line or in the body of the email. Avoid generic greetings (hello client) and be sure to add that familiar touch (Ready for Thanksgiving, Mark?)
- Curate your content
Resist the temptation to provide too much information in the body of the email. NOBODY has the time (or attention span) to read an essay. Quick bite-sized chunks of text, images and GIFs are key. You want to pique their curiosity enough to take the next step to find out more.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA)
Never send out an email without a CTA. Any email you send to clients needs to have a purpose – even if it’s an informational email newsletter, you should provide some reason for them to respond or interact.
For your holiday-themed promotions it could be a link to access an early-bird deal. Or a download of a guide to holiday nutrition and fitness. You could send countdown emails leading up to the Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales with a different deal, promotion or giveaway each day.
CTAs can be simple too:
- Buy now
- Start my fitness journey
- Sign me up!
HOW DID YOU GO? MEASURING SUCCESS AND FUTURE PLANNING
All of your holiday promotions need to be planned early, and planned in detail so that everything runs smoothly.
For marketing planning strategies download our FREE ebook: Marketing Your Personal Training Business in 2023
Plus check out this blog from the Fitness Marketing Blueprint Newsletter for more tips: Get Ahead: Master Your Marketing Calendar for the Remaining Months of 2023
After the planning and execution, you then need to track and measure your success so you know what worked, what didn’t, and how to proceed next time.
IDEAS FOR ACTION:
- Note your current stats on things like web traffic, social media engagement, conversion rates, and client feedback so you have a base to measure against. It’s also a good idea to set goals you would like to reach. Then track how they increased during your holiday marketing campaigns.
- Track key metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, reach, engagement, and return on investment (ROI) using analytics tools, such as Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, or Instagram Insights.
- Identify any strengths and weaknesses in your approach. Low hits on your social media posts? Brainstorm different ideas for posts – perhaps take inspiration from others in the industry, especially if their posts grab your attention. Or maybe you had plenty of interactions but no conversions to new clients or sales. In that case you need to tweak your offers or your CTAs.
- Plan for how to increase your mailing list. If your videos about post-holiday recovery were popular, think about creating a free video series that people need to join your mailing list to receive.
Don’t get left behind in the rush of holiday celebrations and bargain-hunting. Get planning, get your content out there and have an amazing business holiday period. And enjoy!
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Article by TrueCoach
First published: October 15 2023
Last updated: January 11 2024