So you have the technical skills to design effective individualized training programs for remote clients of all fitness levels, with diverse goals, needs and training histories.
The problem is these hypothetical people don’t even know you exist…
Though Instagram might make it seem like every fitness coach out there has it all figured out, the reality is most qualified coaches are better at coaching than building their online platform.
The point: You’re not alone.
Here comes that dreaded word: Marketing.
Without a presence, you’re going to have trouble capturing the right people to bring under your fold, and this largely comes down to marketing.
7 Marketing Tips from Top OPEX Individual Design Coaches
1. Know who you are speaking to
You must have a strong understanding of who your target market really is, explained long-time OPEX coach Carl Hardwick.
“Know who you are speaking to,” he said.
Though it can be tempting to post pictures of people who look fit and marketable, if your target market is men and women in their 40s and 50s looking to regain their youthful fitness, then it makes no sense to spatter your social feeds with your 20-year-old female client with the perfect-looking bum. Nor does it make sense to post videos of yourself cleaning 250 pounds.
OPEX CCP Coach Brianna Lamb added: “Get extremely clear on the avatar of the ideal client you want to have and change your language to speak to the needs of that type of client.”
Bottom line: Sometimes going the less flashy route will get you more of what you’re looking for. Find your niche, and speak to those people authentically.
Pro tip: It helps if you understand common pain points your target group experiences. For example, many people in their 50s and 60s, whose health has slipped away from them, have a renewed passion to live longer so they’re around to watch their grandchildren grow up. If this is you, consider writing and telling stories in a way that addresses these types of specific pain points, and then “share how you will solve that avatar’s needs,” Lamb said.
OPEX CCP and BigDawgs coach Henry Torano added that sometimes it helps to tell real world stories. These can include client testimonials.
“Tell a story: Talk to the world about the problem your client was having, what you did to address it, and then showcase the improvement,” Torano explained.
2. Be first, Build later
Many coaches become consumed with building their perfect brand. But as Hardwick explained, “a good brand is earned in this industry.”
“It is earned through great relationships, consistency and results. Do those things prior to worrying about building your brand,” Hardwick said.
OPEX Coach Robin Stevyers added: “Focus on improving your service and systems instead of getting a lot of clients fast.”
Bottom line: Focus on the current clients you do have, be as great for them as you can, before you worry about creating the perfect brand.
3. Consistency is key
Just like fitness, consistency is key. Sporadic monthly blog posts likely won’t help you at all, but consistently posting a new blog every Monday morning might.
Beyond frequency, Hardwick said it’s important to ensure what you’re saying is consistent, “and your look and feel are consistent.”
Tip: Pay attention to the small details. From picture quality to font selection, don’t be afraid to be a little bit OCD.
4. Get personal
Though marketing isn’t about you and your life, sometimes it helps people relate to you if you sprinkle in some of your own life and personality, not in a chauvinistic way, but in a vulnerable way. As scary as it is, sharing your struggles might get you further than sharing your deadlift PR.
“Be a real person,” Torano said. “Don’t get so self-absorbed in being so professional that you don’t show your human side.”
He added: “Vary content by including, not only coaching, but your own training and a little of your personal life.”
5. Walk the walk
Both Torano and Lamb said walking the walk is a huge one in marketing.
“Let the world know that you apply the principles that you teach. This includes training, lifestyle and nutrition,” Torano said.
Lamb added: “Be capable of and experiment doing the things you ask your clients to do, specifically on the lifestyle and nutrition side of things.”
Steyvers said his best marketing is always referrals. Often, however, coaches forget to ask, which means leaving a lot of potential clients on the table.
“It mostly comes down to straight up asking your clients when they had a good month of training a big PR, if they know some people who would be interested,” Steyvers said. “When asking at the right time people usually make the extra effort to go out and ask others if they need coaching.”
Tip: Walk the client through the process. “Tell them how they should tell the leads to contact you to make it easy,” Steyvers said.
7. Get out in the physical world
Another technique that works for Steyvers is being visible, not just online, but in person.
“I train in multiple gyms around my city and talk with a lot of people I meet there… Make yourself seen in as many places as possible and actually take time to talk to people,” he said.
Steyvers added: “Help as many people as possible without trying to immediately sell your stuff. The right people will ask for help and eventually want to pay for what you have to offer.”