It doesn't take me long when scrolling down Facebook before I'm fed a sponsored ad by a new fitness marketer. It's pretty normal for me since I click on fitness articles and I'm sure I'm someone Facebook has identified as a prime candidate for this kind of information. But some of the stuff I've seen really troubles me, and I wonder, someone must be buying these products, otherwise, the same ones would not be coming up in my feed.
Many fitness personalities that are running an e-marketing business talk about how they can show you how to make thousands more as a personal trainer using their systems. Click on a link and you're routed to a video and asked to share your email. Then you can sign up for a webinar. Heard this one before? I'll give you two pages that you can add to your website and get high-paying clients emailing you as early as tomorrow... or... make six figures by implementing my 5 steps, and so on and so on. These people don't have a unique product to offer you, rather, they have produced a minimum viable product and wrapped it up in an e-marketing sales funnel for fast cash.
Hey, I'm all about e-marketing, and there are folks out there offering systems that might work for you, but you should know what to look for.
I work with personal trainers and being one myself, my radar is up and I like to keep up with leading edge ideas and systems. But I'm often disappointed. Although I've written this article for personal trainers, you can apply this as any entrepreneur looking to take their business to another level, or simply refine systems.
Recently I saw an ad on Facebook that stood out to me. It went something like this... work with ideal and "wealthy" clients and make six figures and live the life you've always wanted.
This sounds nice, I thought. Let's check this out.
Digging deeper I learned that the seller wants me to focus on high paying clients because then I can take on less clients , work less and have more time for life, and make so much more money. It sounds good. It really does. But, in case no one has told you yet, even those working with high paying clients have to hustle. Now let's assume that you only catered to clients for the sake of argument. These clients may be able to afford to spend $80-$250/hr. For that kind of hourly investment, there will always be an expectation there besides the fact that you have to be a great trainer. By the way, what sort of facilities and amenities are you providing these high-end clients?
Additionally, PT-Marketing consistently falls short in addressing the fact that most personal training happens either in the early morning or late afternoon or evening. Are we to assume that wealthier people all have a flexible schedule?
Another idea proposed by the e-coach establishment is that you can get less than a hand-full of clients that are more than willing to pay high-end prices to work with you, and you are therefore able to work only a few hours a day as a result. Assuming this is easy to do, the ideal schedule would be to have them all come to you back-to-back, and assuming you charge $100/hr, then you have made $400 that day, and you can call it a day. But this is rarely the case, and simply not enough to get you to a six-figure income. Reality: the majority of clients will tell you that they can attend before 8am or after 4pm, and rarely in the middle of the day.
Free afternoons are fun, don't get me wrong. You can run errands, grab a nice lunch with friends, take a nap, program for clients, and so on. But in my interviews with coaches and trainers, the majority prefer to work early and have the rest of the afternoon and evenings off. That is just how everyone is wired. Most of our friends work 9-5 jobs. Unless your partner is your spouse, the afternoons are a short-lived novelty experience.
Be careful not to fall for these short-sighted offers. Be aware of your needs and challenges. We have to use our common sense. Consider the following two conditions before signing up for someone's newsletter or buying their offer:
1. Does the seller live the life of a personal trainer or coach, or are they done with all of that because they have found success in creating a minimum viable product and know how to sell it? I buy my education and products from credible and active resources, not marketers.
2. Does the product or service only fill part of your need? Does it fix only one problem? Does it seem like it's missing parts? Is there another resource that can provide you with a solution to resolve a number of your needs? Often times I've found that an entrepreneur has several weaknesses that they need addressed. Placing a band-aid is short-term thinking. It's wiser to see a specialist.
The reality is personal training is just like everything else - it's about building trust and nurturing good relationships. There is no system out there that can guarantee you will be good at either one. However, there are things that you can do that will increase your likelihood to secure clients more often, and something that many of these purported systems lack, a clear strategy to retain them and increase referrals.
So the question begs, how do you make personal training accessible to everyone without diluting your time-value and increasing your revenues and peace of mind?
I believe in a sustainable systems approach that combines membership based models with a few higher cost a-la-cart options. I also believe in a structured investment plan that fits in to your pricing model and is scalable for any level of personal training professional - this includes coaches working for box owners and/or globo-gym staff.
Have you purchased a facebook sponsored product or service for your fitness business? Has it met your expectations? Let me know in the comments below.
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