Many personal trainers and fitness professionals are well-educated, caring, and darn good at helping people get results. However, despite all good intentions, they struggle to fill their programs and schedules. Why?
It seems like, deep down, most fitness pros don’t want to be “that guy”; you know, the high-pressure, in-your-face, arrogant salesperson who is only after the big commission check. I don’t blame them. Savvy clients can smell a rotten egg a mile away.
Luckily, you do not have to play the sleazy salesperson role to fill your schedule. On the other hand, you can’t sit back and hope clients stumble on your business. Competition in the fitness world is stiff. In addition to other local trainers and facilities, there are social media “fitness celebrities,” streaming online workouts and various fitness solutions that weren’t even imaginable 10 years ago.
Sadly, this means that no longer do the best-qualified fitness professionals automatically get the most clients. You must actively promote and share what you do with the world (i.e., market yourself) or risk being one of hundreds of fitness options a potential client casts to the side.
Good news: You don’t need to be an extroverted sales pro to attract new clients. Learn about a marketing campaign you can use time and time again. Interactive event marketing will help you stand out among a sea of competition.
What Is Interactive Event Marketing?
Interactive event marketing allows you to parlay your expertise and passion into a special exercise event that you host; for example, “Vinyasa and Vino” happy-hour yoga, a “Foam Rolling for Runners” workshop or a charity Zumbathon® party.
Your exercise event could be a big party with 50 smiling faces, loud music and lots of partner exercises. Or it could be small and cozy—a chance for you to meet a handful of potential personal training clients. Whether large or intimate, your in-person event will give the community a chance to engage with you and experience, firsthand, your authentic personality, training style and skills in an environment you control.
Why Interactive Event Marketing Is Champion
Let’s look at why interactive event marketing works:
- Deadlines drive commitment.
- You highlight your unique program and business features.
- You bring clients into your community.
- You collect warm leads.
- You drive sales, without being salesy.
The Event Marketing Road Map
Use these 8 steps to create an impactful event.
1. Define Your Sales Goal and Target Audience
It’s important to determine the actions you want attendees to take after the event. For example, if your postevent sales goal is to have 10 people sign up for your small-group suspension exercise boot camp, then create an event introducing people to suspension equipment. If your sales goal is to have two people join your facility on a 3-month VIP membership, which includes personal training and massage, then create a higher-end, more luxury-focused event.
To define your sales goal, first answer these questions:
- What is one kind of program or membership you’d like people to purchase after the event?
- How many people would you like to sign up for this program?
- What audience will most likely purchase this program? Define their age, gender and fitness level. This is your target audience.
2. Create an Event Theme and Name
It’s time to connect the dots. You know which program you want your target audience to purchase after the event. Now, you need to choose an event theme and name. Remember, the event should showcase exercises or facility amenities that highlight your unique offerings.
The name of your event will include an attention-getting headline as well as a subheading that describes it more fully. This way, both potential participants and web search engines can understand what, exactly, will be happening at the event.
3. Target Your Chosen Audience
Keeping in mind your ideal participants, answer these questions:
- Which exercises, equipment or facility amenities do you want to highlight during the event?
- Does your event name relate to your sales goal and target audience? If not, how can you adjust it?
- How many attendees will you need at the event to reach your sales goal? What percentage will convert into new clients?
- Will your event be free? Low-cost? Or will it raise money for charity? A free event will attract more participants and reduce the barrier to trying out your programs and services. However, a low-cost or charity event tends to attract more serious clients.
4. Create a Limited-Time Offer
You want people who attend your event to feel special. To make sure they do, provide an incredible workout, but also give a special offer on your paid programs.
You can do this in two ways: Give a discount on a program, or provide a value-added bonus item—like a free month or free gift with purchase.
For more information, please see “Maximize Sales Without the Hard Sell” in the online IDEA Library or in the October 2016 print edition 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.
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