In the previous blog, we looked at 10 offline marketing methods you can employ to generate leads for your online or hybrid training services.
Today we explore the first option on that list and brainstorm on how writing articles for your gym's newsletter or to a local paper can help you get new online training clients.
Choose Your Audience Wisely
A targeted audience is the lifeblood of any successful marketing efforts. If you position yourself in front of a vast number of people, there's a chance there will be a few interested in what you have to offer.
However, if you find an audience that is already looking for services you provide, you'll have a better chance of converting more people into clients. Search Engine Optimisation is an online marketing tool based on that principle. When it comes to offline advertising, you need to consider where your ideal clients turn for information.
Is there a local paper with a fitness section that is regarded highly by your niche? Maybe your gym publishes its monthly newsletter for members, and the trainers are invited to contribute regularly. You may even have a friend at a prestigious magazine your clients read.
Find the channels where you can reach more of your ideal clients, use your networking skills or try to make a deal with the publishing team that's beneficial for both of you.
How to Establish Rapport
If you're already a well-known trainer in your area, this step won't be too hard. You probably need to ask a favour from the right person, or often you would get asked to provide your opinion on a question. As long as the topic aligns with your target market's most burning issues, you'll have an excellent opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge.
If you're relatively new in the industry or you re-located recently you may be better starting with some of the other offline marketing methods to put your name out there first. However, if writing is one of your best skills, it may be worth seeking out the editor of your gym's newsletter or that of a smaller paper for exposure.
How to Choose Your Topic
The best way to decide on the topic is to ask your current clients what they want to hear more about, what their day-to-day struggles are with their fitness, and what would be a topic they'd want to read about in a paper to help them get closer to their fitness goals.
If you specialise in fat loss and body composition and are looking to gain clients with similar goals, write about that; Lifestyle habits that can inhibit fat loss, how to work out daily calorie intake, training tips for burning more calories, etc.
If you're a powerlifting coach, pick a topic that appeals to people who are looking for a powerlifting coach; training for PRs for example, preparing for a meet or tips on how to maximise workouts in a standard gym environment when they have no other choice.
Another popular niche lately is a wide range of amateur or semi-professional athletic challenges or running events, starting from obstacle course racing through marathon running to endurance events like cross country cycling, triathlon and Ironman events. Those people will use articles on how to improve their muscular and cardiovascular endurance, how to fuel their body for such races, or even how to prep their race kit to support their performance the best.
As you can see, the list of topics can be endless, and it's down to you to pick an area that you know will attract the type of people you would like to have as clients.
How to Include a Call-to-Action
What your options are in terms of engaging the papers readers will also depend on the editor and how much promotion of your business/services they allow within the article. It will depend on the paper’s marketing strategy. Advertisement is one of the main resources of funds for newspapers, so they may not be keen on advertising you within an article without compensation.
Of course, if it’s your gym’s magazine, it’ll be in their best interest to direct interested members your way, so feel free to invite the readers to chat to you on the gym floor, join your low-barrier entry offer or contact you.
In a local paper, you may only be able to add your name and some reference to what you do, negotiate with the editor so either your email address or your website can be added to the author section. Also, make sure that the article you publish is one to remember, so people will want to look you up.
On a technical note, double check the text and your info for typos, have an extra pair of eyes look through the article to spot anything you may have overlooked. We highly recommend to ensure when someone puts your name, website or email into a Google search, your profiles will come up, and the information on all of them is correct.
How to Promote Your Article Online
They say if you spend an hour writing content, you should be spending another 4 promoting it. If that paper has an online version, ask for the URL of your article and broadcast it across all your platforms, this way offering exposure to the portal. Feel free to tag their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter so their followers will be able to see it too!
If they don’t have an online edition but have social media profiles, then take a screenshot of your piece and promote that across all your platforms and still tag the paper n all of them. You would like to make sure your profiles are tip-top, full of relevant info and call-to-actions so new profile visitors will have a way to connect with you or read more from you.
The limit is your imagination and ability to think outside of the box. When most personal trainers and fitness business are doing the same things for offline or online marketing, potential clients will remember those that were unique in one way or the other. You don’t need to re-invent the cartwheel with your marketing strategy though; instead, look at tools that are proven to work and are within your strengths, then find a way to make them stand out.