How to Build Rapport for Fitness Marketing Success


Feb 13, 2020

By Tim Saye

In our last blog we looked at how your coaching skills can boost your marketing and help you attract new clients. Here we look in detail at how you build report that helps you grow your online personal training business.

Personal trainers are not purely in the fitness business. They are in the people business. In any industry that involves interaction with other humans, the first step is having a conversation with the other person. 

Think of your local gym, or favorite hairdressers, do the team recognise you immediately and greet you before you have the chance to close the door behind you? How does that first interaction effect the way you feel?

Now think about the content you consume, whether online or in hard copy. Newspapers, magazines, industry articles, blogs, podcasts, videos or content of any kind. To whom do you listen? I am convinced you mostly look to hear from people you trust and only check out someone new if someone you trust recommended them. Even then, if what they have to say doesn't capture you in the first few seconds, you'll likely move on. Time is precious.

If that's how you stay informed, there's a chance your ideal clients do the same. If we go by that theory, focusing on those first few seconds and the impression you want to make could be the difference that means you capture those potential leads and convert them into committed members of your audience. This way, you get more chance to impress them with more value and eventually turn them into clients when they're ready.

Above I just described, in simple terms, what marketing is about. The bottom line is, you need to ace rapport building to grab the attention of the people you want to attract. Creating an engaging audience starts with you and what you say to them when they first come across your content. It's the same skill you use when you first meet a potential client for a consultation.

Here are 6 tips to ensure you are on the right track when addressing your audience.

Tip #1. Show People You're People

We see many personal trainers who show an intriguing, intelligent and polite character when we speak to them, yet when we read their marketing material, it has no personality whatsoever.

Most times that's because you think your written or recorded content needs to be professional, stick to a particular format as such, and often that means you sound like any other salesman on the Internet. Your marketing doesn't show the unique person you are.

Whenever you write an article, a social media post, record a video or a podcast, focus on one thing. Speak the way you would explain that information to someone in front of you and use the same terms, words and even jokes if you do that. Whatever makes you who you are as a personal trainer, use it in your marketing.

Tip #2. Make Your Readers Feel Welcome

The way you ensure a client to feel welcome and comfortable around you in the gym or wherever you train them, you'd like to achieve similar with your online audience as well.

The way you address their problems, how you dig into their motivation and in what style you present a solution will affect how they feel reading your material. It's the same when you're talking on a podcast or a video.

If you sound patronising even a little, you can be sure to keep most people away from engaging with you. Everybody has their own story, and likely causes them some level of pain whether they admit or not. Approach them with judgment; they won't stick around. Talk to them with compassion and empathy, and they will come back for more.

Tip #3. Make Your Audience Laugh

Laughter is always a great way to break the ice. People who have been struggling with their weight and fitness will respond better to positive feelings than raw facts and advice.

Depending on the type of person you'd like to attract and your personality, you can choose the method used to make your people laugh. Just remember to be respectful.

Tip #4. Treat People with Respect

The more content you publish, the more you are out there, the more likely you'll be faced with opinions and reactions of different views than yours.

How you treat those will make a whole difference in how your other readers view you as a fitness professional. Try not to take someone down just for the sake of proving your opinion is superior. Keep discussions factual and steer away from getting into emotional debates on any topic. Slap your opponents with research and facts if you must or agree to disagree.

Same applies for members of your audience who challenge you because they are misinformed. Remember, they may not know that's the case, so keep it professional. You can try to guide them gently towards material that will help them see clearer if they are open to that.

Tip #5. Ask Questions that Spark a Healthy Debate

There will always be trending topics that will get people's opinions going. Some of these debates can become quite nasty online, so ensure there are clear rules and reminders for people to stay civilised.

Good discussions can exponentially grow your audience. How you respond to particular answers will make or break how people will see you as a professional. So, remember to stay respectful, accommodating and joyful. How you handle comments, how you engage with those that are challenging your views, and how you close a discussion will decide how many people will become committed members of your following.

Tip #6. Ask for and Listen to Feedback

Are you stuck on what direction to take with your articles? Out of ideas for your social media posts? Contemplating on how to manage your audience? Just ask them what they think, good, bad and the ugly.

Be ready to get some constructive criticism, and if you hear the same from multiple directions, don't hesitate to act on it. People like to feel valued. Implementing something that was their idea is a sure way to make your audience feel important.

As your business grows PT Distinction is here to help you take care of your clients in the best possible way.