As a personal trainer, you’ve already embraced the first milestone of becoming a self-employed entrepreneur. Whether you work independently or for a local fitness facility, you probably have a fire in your belly that drove you to take the plunge in the first place, so naturally, you may be wondering how to take your business to the next level.
There are plenty of opportunities out there for you to maximise your profits by strengthening your online presence; providing you have the passion and determination to do so. In this article we’re going to show you how you can elevate your personal training business through the power of ecommerce.
HEALTH AND FITNESS IS A BOOMING INDUSTRY
The UK health and fitness industry is thriving. We’re seeing new gyms and training facilities popping up everywhere, and the 2018 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report has revealed that 1 in every 7 people in the UK currently have a gym membership.
Fitness isn’t just about staying active and making sure you exercise, it’s now all about a complete change in lifestyle. People are educating themselves on diet and nutrition, and are incorporating healthy meals into their everyday routine. Fitbits and smartphone apps allow us to stay healthy while on the go, and the rise in athleisure makes the transition from work to the gym seamless.
This vastly growing market opens the doors to aspiring personal trainers, however it also means that competition will be fiercer than ever. Therefore if you want to grow your business in a thriving marketplace, you need to stand out online and build your own personal brand.
CREATE A WEBSITE
If you don’t have a professional website to promote your services, then setting one up should be the next logical step to grow your business. Your website acts as a centralised location where people can find you and make enquiries, and it provides countless other benefits to your personal training business:
- Get discovered on Google: Having a good website means you can be found on Google more easily. Search engines are the first place many people look to find personal training services, so you don’t want to miss out on potential leads.
- Boost your marketing efforts: You can build your own email list of potential clients that you can market to in the future, updating them on new products and services.
- Raise your credibility: You can create a fitness blog and fill it with useful content to position yourself as a knowledgeable expert. Experts generate more leads, sell more sessions, and become renowned in their field because people trust their recommendations. Blogs are also great for boosting SEO results.
Your website should represent you and your personal brand, giving the best first impression possible to your potential clients. It should be easy to navigate and must clearly communicate what it is that you do and how you can help your customers through appealing design and strong copy.
GET THE BRANDING RIGHT
If you don’t already have a logo, then this is the perfect place to start. Your logo and branding will be used across all of your channels, including social media, email, print etc, and it’s the first thing that your customers will notice. You therefore want to make sure that it’s high-quality and effectively portrays your personal brand.[quote]
Due to the current nature of web design, it’s recommended to have a logo that sits horizontally and not vertically, so that it fits neatly into the web header. If it’s too tall, it will look messy and sizing will be an issue.[/quote]
INVEST IN PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
High-quality professional photos to fill your website are a must-have. While it’s possible to get your friend to take a photo of you on a smartphone, we recommend hiring a professional photographer in this instance in order to boost your credibility.
Have photos of yourself taken in a studio, take action shots of you working out in the gym and helping your clients to reach their goals.
Whatever you do, avoid stock photography at all costs. With personal training, the appeal is in the name; it’s ‘personal’. Your clients are buying into you. They’re choosing your services because they like you as a person and believe you’re best suited to help them achieve their goals. There are so many personal trainers out there, and the way you differentiate yourself is by building your own brand, which means using your own photos.
FILL IN YOUR ABOUT PAGE
Use your ‘About’ page to tell your story and explain your passion for what you do. Here, your potential clients want to know why you’re best suited to help them and why they should choose you over someone else. To really win them over, consider including a video of yourself to show your personality and give your clients a feel for you. Video content is more engaging, and allows your personality to shine through.
Detail your qualifications to act as an additional trust signal. This further reinforces your credibility and ensures you’re a legitimate personal trainer.
DETAIL YOUR SERVICES
You need a page that details the different personal training services and programs that you offer. If you offer different levels of service then make it clear exactly what your clients get in each service, how much it costs, and how the different services can benefit them so that they can make an informed decision. The fewer questions your clients need to ask at this stage, the better, so give them access to as much information as possible.
Customer testimonials are a highly persuasive marketing technique, as they’re living proof that your services work. Ask your previous or current clients for a quote on how you’ve helped to change their life for the better, and highlight this on your results / testimonials page with a before and after photo which you can also share on your social media channels. If you can get a video in there, then this is highly recommended.
You cannot underestimate the power of case studies and success stories, as they help to build trust and ease any concerns your potential customers might have. Until your potential clients see what they can achieve with your help, they’re making a stab in the dark.If they can see that you’ve helped others to achieve their dream body, then they’ll trust that you can help them too.
MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR CLIENTS TO ENQUIRE
If your potential client likes the look of you and the services that you offer, they might want to make an enquiry. Whether they want to book a consultation or ask any further questions, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to speak to you by including a contact page on your website.
Respond to visitors in real-time by connecting your site with Facebook messenger, a platform that they already know and use. A lot of platforms have this feature built in, and it comes at no extra cost.
Include relevant contact details such as your telephone, email, work address and links to your social media profiles.
Embed a contact form where people can easily submit their contact details and make an enquiry.
INCLUDE AN EMAIL CAPTURE FORM
As discussed earlier, a huge benefit of having your own website is the ability to capture email addresses. Email actually generates the highest ROI of any marketing channel, making it an easy, cost-effective marketing method that will yield the best results.
While this is a long-term strategy if you’re starting from scratch, the sooner you begin collecting email addresses the better. Once you’ve acquired an email list of existing or potential clients, you can then market to these people in the future.
You can send them newsletters, advice, inspirational emails, product launches, and discount codes to increase conversions and keep your customers interested. Of course, just make sure that you follow the GDPR guidelines and only market to customers who have given their permission.
Now we’ve run through the basics of creating your website, we’ll move onto how you can use the power of ecommerce to increase your revenue and grow your business.
USE THE POWER OF ECOMMERCE
Ecommerce enables you to sell goods and services directly over the internet and provides a broad range of opportunities to you as a personal trainer which we’ll now go into.
ALLOW CLIENTS TO PURCHASE SERVICES DIRECTLY FROM YOUR WEBSITE
Earlier, we spoke about making it easy for your potential clients to get in touch with you to make an enquiry or book a consultation. However, if every single client has to get in contact with you before making a purchase, a lot of your time will be taken up replying to emails and making follow-up calls before you’ve even seen a penny.
This is where ecommerce becomes extremely useful when selling your personal training sessions, as customers can purchase a set number of sessions directly from your website.
There’ll always be people who prefer to take the old-fashioned route, making enquiries and booking consultations before they go through with the purchase. However, if you offer an incentive for purchasing in bulk online, you’ll see an increase in conversions and reduced time spent chasing payments.
SELL DIGITAL PROGRAMMES
In an ideal world, we’d all have the one-on-one support of a personal trainer to help us to get fit. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or money for such tailored services, and so you must consider expanding your product offering to cater for these people. If you don’t, you’re missing out on a huge market by limiting your customer base.
Consider creating easy-to-follow fitness programmes that your customers can purchase directly from your website, and follow by themselves. They’re still getting goal-specific plans and access to your training methods, but at a fraction of the price.
You need to think about the way in which you’ll deliver this content, whether that’s through downloadable PDF’s, ebooks, video series, etc. You should also consider offering both gym-based workouts, and home workouts to appeal to a broader audience. Once you’ve designed and executed the content, you can then sell your digital programmes on your ecommerce site to increase sales.
This is where things start to get really exciting. Have you ever dreamed of launching your own line of gym products? Branded merchandise provides valuable cross-sell opportunities and increases your income per customer. It’s also an integral part of brand-building and it’s free advertising for you every time your customers are seen out with your products.
So, here’s how you could start bumping up your sales and earn extra money every month!
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
We’ve already discussed the importance of a strong personal brand when it comes to your fitness business.
Do you have a slogan or motivational quote that you regularly use to drive results? Do you have a strong, appealing logo? Why not put your own designs onto clothing, so that your clients can wear them at the gym and during your personal training sessions?
The internet’s made it easier than ever for absolutely anyone to sell their own printed merchandise, all thanks to print on demand dropshippers and suppliers. Companies like Inkthreadable allow you to put your own design on an array of products including t-shirts, vests, hoodies, leggings and joggers. Plus they integrate directly with ecommerce platforms such as EKM, so you can easily put your products straight onto your shop.
Inkthreadable handle everything from the printing of your products to shipping, meaning the items are delivered straight to your customers. You don’t have to hold any of the stock yourself, and you only pay as and when you get orders. It’s a low-risk, minimal investment business venture.
Along with clothing, accessories such as water bottles and phone cases suit the fitness industry well too. You can find a selection of accessories on Inkthreadable and Two Fifteen.
You know what’s good for the body and what isn’t, so you’re in a position to advise your clients on the types of supplements that will complement their training journey (providing you’ve done your research and you know what you’re talking about).
Your clients need a helping hand, hence why they pay for your services in the first place, so they’re probably going to need your guidance when it comes to supplements and proteins. You can use this as an opportunity to sell the products yourself on your online shop, as they’ll be more likely to trust your advice than go and research it themselves elsewhere.
EXAMPLES OF FITNESS ECOMMERCE SITES
For a little inspiration, here are some fitness-related ecommerce sites built using EKM.
Razor Storm is a small independent clothing brand that design and print their own fitness products in their own studio.
Nutri Beast are commited to helping you enjoy optimum health through proper nutrition. They believe good health is all about having the energy and stamina to do the things you love, and supplements should be a core part of your health program.
Rich Protein is run by a team of fitness fanatics, and provide the highest quality protein and supplements to support you in reaching your fitness goals. They pride themselves in the fact that they have products to help everybody from new mums to professional athletes.
GET READY TO START SELLING
Once you’ve finished setting up your online shop you’re ready to start marketing your products to get the sales rolling in.
Ensure that you clearly link to (or highlight) your website from all relevant touch points including your social media pages, business cards, flyers, posters etc so that you can drive traffic to it. We’ll now go into other ways ways of marketing your products to drive traffic and increase sales.
CREATE AN EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
This is where your captured email addresses will come in really handy. If you build your shop with EKM, you can take advantage of our email marketing platform to send email campaigns to your customers.
You should use this marketing channel to shout about the new products you’ve launched in an appealing and enticing way. Consider an introductory offer or discount code to draw your customers in and encourage them to act quick.
Create a buzz around the launch of your new product range by sharing them on social media. There are all sorts of ways to go about this, but we’ll run through some of them now.
UGC (User Generated Content) would be ideal for social media. Encourage your clients to take pictures of themselves wearing your products, that you can find and re-share by using a unique hashtag. Create hashtags such as #mdpt, #mathewdobsonpt, #makeithappenwithgabby. This will help to strengthen your community and your customer relationships, as it encourages your clients to get involved.
You could also use the platform as an opportunity to upsell your services. Everyone loves the thought of free stuff. For example, you could create a package with a free t-shirt, water bottle and phone case combined with 6 personal training sessions and slightly increase your pricing to account for it. This incentive entices new customers and might just encourage existing ones to extend their training with you.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR SESSIONS
Why not put your products directly in front of your clients? Bring them to your sessions, model your t-shirts and drink from your water bottles to make your clients aware that you’ve launched a range of products. You don’t need to go into a huge sales spiel, just show your passion and excitement for this new range and they might even make a purchase then and there.
Make appropriate recommendations for proteins and supplements during your sessions, and point your clients in the direction of your website where they can purchase them. If you provide expert knowledge and go into the science behind the supplements, they’ll understand how it’ll help them to achieve their goals. You could also go the extra step and offer an exclusive discount to your personal training clients, for example 10% off for the whole time they train with you.
So there we have it. A fantastic way of increasing sales for your personal trainer business through the power of ecommerce, with minimum investment. You could be earning hundreds of pounds in extra profit a month if you implement these tips. If you’d like any expert advice on setting up your own online shop, then get in touch with us and speak to a member of our team. You can also find more information about EKM and what we can do to help you by taking a look at our website.