In a recent “Tricks of the Trade” column, IDEA Fitness Journal asked readers their thoughts on this question. Here, they share a few ideas.
Social media is all about making connections with people in my community. I find that because I do not have a “brick-and-mortar” location to call my own, I use social media to make stronger connections with like-minded business owners and people of influence within my town. My primary goal is to make my name “top of mind” with the influencers in the community.
I have a profile on all the major social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. By far, Twitter is the most powerful network for connecting with influencers—our town’s mayor is on Twitter, local media is on Twitter and other business owners are on Twitter. I have set up private lists with these local influencers so that I can be sure to interact and engage with them and, ultimately, form a real relationship with them. I also make sure to use #Redmond in some of my tweets, so that they can find me!
Facebook groups are another way that I have found helpful in making connections within my community. I don’t use these groups directly for promotion/marketing purposes. Instead, I am part of local buy-sell groups, local mom/parenting groups and local female entrepreneur groups. In these groups, I contribute to the conversation, ask for advice, offer advice, and participate in the fun or silly questions—all with the purpose of getting my name out there. It’s far more likely that I will be hired by a prospective client if he or she sees the “real me” in these groups than it is for that person to randomly stumble upon my Facebook business page.
I love social media because it’s social.
Owner, Fit with Flair
I like to use a multifaceted approach to marketing my personal training business through Facebook, combining both paid and organic posts. I’m a huge advocate of using paid advertising to maximize my Facebook efforts, and I’ve found this has worked amazingly well for both my fitness business and my coaching business.
For organic Facebook posts, always begin by creating a content calendar. This will enable you to maintain a consistent message and will brand your fitness business the right way. Too many fit pros are inconsistent in what they talk about on Facebook, and this leads to a major disconnect with their fans. Make sure you offer a chance to try your services, but send at least 10 content posts for every sales post.
If you’ve never done any paid Facebook marketing or you’re just starting out using paid tactics, here is what I suggest: Don’t go straight after the sale. Instead, start paying to share great content like blog posts. Paying to strategically boost posts that link to your blog helps position you as the expert and establishes trust. Most people won’t buy until they trust you, so start building trust. Ensure that you target people in or near your specific postal code (or suburb if you live outside the U.S. or U.K.). After paying to promote a couple of blog posts, create an ad that offers services, such as a 30-day exercise program.
Owner, Revera Health
Social Media Consultant for Fit Pros
Gold Coast, Australia
To read more about what fitness professionals have to say on the topic of social media, please see “How do you utilize social media to market/network your personal training business?” in the online IDEA Library or in the September 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.