I don’t use this tactic. I prefer to have my clients focus more on all the other positive effects that fitness and exercise can provide than just how they look in a photo. I know many clients start to work out so they can look good, but if they don’t achieve the image they had in their mind they get frustrated and discouraged. I’m not saying it’s a gimmick, just not my way of promoting my business and philosophy.
I’ll give you two sides to this one! I believe they can be a wonderful tool for both the client and the trainer, as long as the client wants to take that approach to track progress. Pictures can be a powerful motivator and one measure of the client’s success. In general, images are a powerful marketing tool that capture attention. Doesn’t a picture capture your attention more quickly than just words on a page? In addition, some potential clients may associate a trainer’s success with those before and after images.
However, I feel that those types of pictures are only one small piece of success for both the client and the trainer. There is so much more that goes into personal training, and some success cannot be documented with pictures. More energy, increased stamina, less pain, less stress, increased range of motion and activities of daily living–all are successful outcomes that may not necessarily have a before and after picture. The long-lasting benefits of health and fitness are more important.
Hope this helps!
I do not use them for marketing, nor do I think of them as a gimmick.
If I use ‘before’ and ‘after’, it is to illustrate something to my clients. I use them most often to show postural improvements, particularly since I take pictures as part of my initial assessment. My clients are very motivated by seeing how, for example, their forward rounded shoulders and incorrect head position is moving towards better alignment. Those pictures stay between the client and myself.
Of course I, realize that you are thinking of those famous weight loss successes, and I am happy for any trainer who has such a client. But even there, the credit for the success goes to the client, not the trainer. There are some clients who are in the right frame of mind to attack those extra pounds and who happen to latch onto just the right trainer for them. And that combination can bring the most rewarding result. But it is the synergy that produced it, not the trainer. For that reason, I would not use such pictures as marketing material even if my client gave me permission.
I use them as success stories whenever I can!
When a client comes to me and wants to show me what he or she looked like before we met and proudly shows me how far they’ve come, I will, with their permission use the pics.
I consider it a gimmick when it’s an infomercial and they are trying to sell a program