Attract Online Training Clients via Workshops and Seminars

Aug 11, 2019

By Tim Saye

This article is the third in the series of how to use offline marketing strategies to generate leads for your online personal training services.

Holding workshops and seminars are very effective ways to attract a great audience of potential clients towards you.

In principle, the organisation steps of pulling together a workshop or a seminar are very similar to that of holding a charity event. However, you will need to focus on certain details more when preparing for your workshop.

Step 1. Survey Your Audience

Clients, blog and social media followers, members in your forums or Facebook groups can all give you great insight into what challenges they can’t solve themselves, and if you ask them, they will help you identify popular questions you can answer with your workshop. Whether they struggle with being consistent with their nutrition habits or training, find it challenging to sleep enough or find that their performance in the gym fluctuates, you may hear ideas you didn’t even think may be of relevance.

Step 2. Pick Your Topic and Delivery Method

Evaluate your survey results and present the first three most popular issues to the same audience and see which they would want to learn about the most. You want to feel confident that you can hold a workshop on all three topics you present to them, so whichever gets the most votes in the second round will become your workshop title.

There are many ways to educate your audience and depending on the topic you may choose to hold a practical workshop where the attendees will take part to an extent and acquire the knowledge by applying it in practice. Lifting workshops, meal prep workshops with cooking involved, or even a task management workshops with spreadsheets and organisers can come under this category.

If the topic material is less practical and more theoretical, you can choose to deliver it via a slideshow while your audience is sat and takes notes, a bit more interactively where they have to complete certain tasks in a workbook, and the list can go on.

Step 3. Pick Your Date and Location

Once you have the topic and how you intend to deliver the workshop, you can pick a date and choose a location.

The date and time are important to match with your audience’s schedule. Avoid holidays, celebrations, bank holiday weekends, or other significant events scheduled on the same day. If your target audience includes parents, consider how they will find a solution for childcare.

Regarding location, the type of workshop or seminar will limit your options. If you need your attendees to exercise, you will need a gym floor or a studio with the right equipment. If you're planning to cook, you'll need a kitchen and also make sure you have the relevant licences. If you're holding a seated seminar, you need a big enough room with a projector or a flipchart.

Step 4. Do Your Research

Once you completed the previous steps, it’s time to put your head down and do your research on your chosen topic. Brainstorm ideas, choose subtopics to include and develop your material to a framework level so you will understand how many hours of work in total, including the workshop you need to put into the project.

Step 5. Set the Price

Once you understand how much effort you need to put in to deliver a killer workshop, plus adding to any other expenses, like location rent, equipment or material you need to buy, you can calculate a reasonable price.

If you decide to launch a free event, remember that some people who look for freebies may not be the ideal clients for your services, however, free events generally get a much higher attendance than paid events. Keeping the entry fee low can also be a great strategy, but only if the attendees understand the value they receive.

Step 6. Choose Your Marketing Strategy

Holding a workshop is a great idea, but only if you can attract numbers and get access to the contact details of the people who want to attend. You will need to spread the word far and wide to generate interest in your event.

You can give out flyers in the local area, use your small business networks, like coffee shops, hairdressers, wellness and beauty salons, estate agents and anybody who values your skills to store marketing materials in their shop.

You can post Facebook and Google Ads and get it shared among your circles on all social media platforms. You can also contact the management of the location you'll be using to spread the word among their followers. If it’s a gym floor, get it into the gym newsletter if you can.

Set up a registration process where people who intend to attend will need to provide their email address, phone number and tick a box that they agree to be sent emails in the future. If someone doesn’t want to receive them, respect their decision. You will have plenty of time on your workshop to build rapport.

Step 7. Deliver Your Workshop

Just like with the charity events, a seminar or a workshop is a great opportunity for any personal trainer to build trust and relationships, but you need to make sure that your delivery provides an experience to your audience that will leave them wanting to hear more from you.

Whether you go down a practical path or hold a theoretical seminar, ensure that you engage with the attendees, make them part of the show, don’t be afraid to make them laugh, but also make sure that the knowledge you're passing on is bulletproof, backed by science and adds value to people’s lives. Even better if they can take something home, whether that’s a cookie they made, an information package you printed out, or a guide with actionable steps.

Also, have business cards ready to give out for those interested and don’t be afraid to let everyone know about your other services and how they can sign up to work with you more long term.