The best way to attract your next customers and keep the ones you already have is to give, give, give. When you create and share valuable content, you’re positioning yourself as a trustworthy expert and you’re building your brand naturally. This lets you showcase your talents at a very low cost while you explore your options, and an approach that works for you and your customers can then take you from free to fee. Choose one or two tactics from this diverse list, and then focus your efforts on the best mix for you and your clientele.
1. Get friendly on Facebook. Using Facebook as “your page,” get in the habit of “liking” three to five other pages that complement your business. Find businesses whose customers share your interests and support the causes or charities that you believe in. Those are great prospects.
Regularly “like,” comment about and share on-page posts. While you hope for reciprocity, you may not get it. But you still increase your visibility.
2. Produce marketing videos for YouTube. Dream up brief how-to videos with titles that make a promise—and content that delivers. This will introduce you to prospective customers and drive traffic to your website.
Key elements include a carefully written title, clickable annotation and a call to action. Make it short and sweet: You have 30 seconds to engage your customers and 2–3 minutes to deliver your message. Once people have arrived at your website or landing page, offer them a gift that’s too good to resist, and they’ll be more likely to provide their email address.
3. Offer a teleclass. Target your customers with an informative, problem-solving presentation. When customers register, they provide their names and email addresses so they can have your information delivered to their inboxes. Many providers of free teleclasses allow you and your participants to call in to their productions, and also let you record and control the environment. I like Start Meeting for this. If you’re using teleclasses as a marketing option, you can make an appropriate offer on the teleclass itself and in follow-up emails.
Create a series for a revenue stream. The class could be a first step for those who feel intimidated about coming into your facility.
4. Build an online course. Use a service like www.udemy.com, or set up a playlist on YouTube. You have a number of options for hosting. Whether you charge a fee or just collect email addresses for marketing, make sure you keep the videos private—and available only to those who pay. Do not make your video choices publicly accessible.
5. Create a branded video. Produce a commercial-quality video. If you can control your environment, use a microphone and edit with free tools on your computer. Just be sure you’re solving a problem or providing a service. Give valuable content, and do it without making an offer. Keep your logo, URL and profile headshot visible throughout.
This is great for targeting a corporate account. For instance, make a simple stretching series for desk jockeys. Send it to the human resources director or your company contact. Keep the video 2–4 minutes long, so it is not intrusive but does the job. Create it as if you’ve been paid for it.
6. Include sharing instructions. If you include your social media buttons on your website and in every marketing piece you create, you’ll have taken a critical step. If you also include the words “Share” or “Go ahead and share,” you’ll increase the chance that somebody will do as you’ve asked.
Don’t forget to include an invitation to “Join our list.” If people aren’t on the list, you want to make it easy for them to sign up. We’ve become lazy; we expect to get a response at the click of a button.
No matter how amazing your content is, quality alone may not be enough to get people to pass it along to their friends and colleagues or to ask about getting on your list. Make it a habit to provide “Share this” links on everything you send out.
7. Offer coupons. Get Facebook fans engaged, and encourage them to share your information with like-minded friends. When people come in the door with your coupon, always capture their contact information.
A giveaway gets more people into your facility than a discount offer does. Be ready. Let’s say you offer 100 water bottles for the first 100 people who come in the door with the coupon. They may be your Facebook fans, but they’re not yet your customers. Require them to fill out something when they come in, so you can market to them.
Warm them up to the idea by suggesting that they are also eligible for a drawing or that they also get a free 3-day pass in return for coming in. Take them to the next step: Confirm that their email address is correct (and that you can read it) by asking if that’s the best way to contact them if they win.
8. Create a set of members-only videos. Whether you run your business solely online or you deliver in-home or club services (or you do it all), keep your members engaged with videos for their eyes only. If you are a solo trainer, it could open an entire revenue stream. Rather than only buying packages or sessions, someone might join your membership site.
While your marketing videos attract traffic, content videos are longer and full of value. Content videos provide the what, the why and the how that a marketing video might skip. As a pro, you’ve probably experienced this type of content. Joining IDEA, for example, gives you access to behind-the-scenes information.
Continue to add content and categories for various customer interests. Include nutrition lessons or cooking demonstrations or a meditation series—something that complements your regular services and expands your value. Partner with someone in an area outside your expertise, or offer a guest spot.
9. Try Google Adwords. If your service or product is very specific or if your customers are searching for you by name, you probably do not need Adwords (unless you have a very common name). Scenarios where Adwords is most helpful include the following:
- Customers are searching for your specific type of service or benefit in a unique niche.
- You have a unique qualification or certification that a customer might search for.
- You offer in-home exercise programs for older adults.
Your business name should not be your key words. With Adwords, you need to be patient and have a budget you’re prepared to use. Monitor your ads regularly, and continue to generate traffic in other ways. If you enter your key words in a search and find your business coming up in both paid searches and organic ones, it’s time to pull the plug and save your money.
10. Upsell everything. For every product or service you offer, create a 15%–20% “chocolate cake” upsell. I found out about this tactic last year while I was attending a conference at a lovely hotel in Chicago.
I was ordering room service nearly every night, and after the third night of being asked “Would you like the Lava Cake for dessert?” I couldn’t stand it. I called room service back and asked what percentage of customers answered yes to that question. It was 80%! Now, chocolate cake was incongruent with my order, really. But the entire staff was trained to ask anyway. And because they asked, 80% of guests said yes.
Determine your “extra.” Maybe it’s towel service, a water bottle, a T-shirt, a punch card for five guests or locker service. Train every employee to ask every time at the point of sale. You’ll be amazed at the results.
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