In the months before the summer period and after the hype of New Year's resolutions, demand for qualified, skilled and successful personal trainers soars beyond belief. There is no doubt that in anticipation for the hot summer months and the prospect of a promise, personal trainers have no trouble keeping their business booming.
However, it is the mark of a smart and responsible personal trainer to look beyond these periods of the year and sets plans for the colder months – exactly what we are facing in Australia at present. When the sun begins to set early and the mornings are cold, how can you ensure your personal training business continues to tick over?
Of course, personal trainers who motivate and engage with clients are likely to have loyal customers over the winter period. This said, there is no excuse not to try to expand your operations during the wet and cold months. Here are three ways to lift personal training business performance.
1) Get engaged with social media
One of the reasons why people begin to look at personal trainers and gyms to get fit before summer is that they see friends and family on social media looking to improve their health. Whether this is in the form of a picture of themselves at the gym or purchasing new active wear clothes, social media has the power to influence. As such, this is where personal trainers can benefit during the colder months, or any month really through effective use of social media.
According to The Australian Fitness Industry Report 2012, social media is just one of the technologies that personal trainers must adopt and use to address changing consumer preferences. Certainly, a good social media presence should factor into your plan.
Using success stories from over the summer to showcase other clients achievements, providing general tips and advice on how to get and remain fit and healthy through winter and creating/promoting special deals that the audience can share. By continuing to be in the thought process of consumers over winter, personal trainers have a greater chance to see high demand.
2) Get creative with session planning
For many Australians, the opportunity to get out of the house and train in parks, beaches and other locations is enough to keep them engaged over the summer. However, when it becomes harder to leave bed or becomes less enticing to go to the park after sunset, personal trainers might see a drop-off in attendance and business.
As such, personal trainers who run their business in the great outdoors must take this into account over winter and schedule sessions that are creative and keep customers interested in fitness. In fact, just because a session is forced inside doesn't mean it has to be boring.
Based on a 2014 Livestrong article written by Lisa Mercer, allowing customers to use equipment and tools that they haven't encountered before is a great way to improve interest. This could include free weights, resistance bands, kettlebells.
Alternative forms of fitness using Pilates, yoga and medicine ball experiences may also provide that point of difference to both retain and attract customers.
3) Offer positive incentives
Over the winter period, there can definitely be a drop in Australians that are actively seeking a personal trainer. As such, it is your job to reach potential customers and give them a reason to work with you now. If success stories and testimonials don't work, perhaps a financial offer may sway their opinion. This is where positive incentives such as coupon marketing can benefit your cause.
It doesn't have to be a major discount, but enough to get potential customers talking about your brand and what you can offer.
However, be careful not to fall into the trap of heavily discounting your services all the time. You service must remain of value. Having said this, a good understanding of the 'sweet spot' for rates is good for a personal trainer to know. You can work this out by finding out what other PTs in your area are charging for their services and what people are willing to pay.
Over the winter period, there can definitely be a drop in Australians that are actively seeking a personal trainer.
It's also always worth offering some sort of referral scheme to your current happy clients! Encourage them to refer a friend and every friend referred who starts training with you means your client gets a discounted session! If you are a good personal trainer, who communicates well with your clients and makes them feel good, you will find in time word of mouth is your most valuable form of marketing!
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