When you run a free trial, a free challenge or you have any form of lead generation that is used to attract potential online personal training clients follow up is hugely important. Most online trainers only try to convert potential clients into paying clients straight off the back of the trial, the challenge or download.
While looking to instantly encourage participation in your paid programs is definitely a good thing to do you should also play the long game and keep in touch with all past and potential clients. Sending them high quality information, sending them results and stories of past clients and keeping them in the loop of all developments and improvements to your service will result in far larger impact and business growth then just the initial contact and attempts to sign people up. Always be helping them and serving them.
With good follow up people sign up who may have been in a trial or a challenge or have got your free e-book months, even years, ago. You build valuable know, like and trust and you build expert status in their mind.
When you run a free trial or challenge you may convert 5-10% of participants in to your paid services straight away (this would actually be a good result BTW). By following up and staying consistent with your follow-up you will probably end up eventually converting 25 to 30% of all challenges and trialists into your paid services at some stage down the line.
Great Follow up Methods
Setting an automated email sequence to welcome new prospective clients and thank them for joining your challenge/ trial or downloading your free gift is an easy start. Some more automated emails to tell past client success stories and share some of your best coaching guides and information. It is well worth including links to sign up to your paid services in some of these emails.
Once these emails are set up and scheduled so you know they will go out to everyone that signs up for your trials, challenges and gifts you can simply add all of these people to your larger email list and send out regular content emails to everyone. This helps you keep in touch and further spread your message, help them all out as much as you can, the vast majority will thank you for it.
Text follow up is amazing, text messages have a near 100% open rate as opposed to 10-25% for emails. This means if you want your message to reach everyone text is without doubt the way to go.
Test messaging is also considered very personal which can be both a great thing and a bad. So be careful with this one. As Spiderman says “with great power comes great responsibility”, if you abuse text message follow up you could really piss people off! That said if you use it well it could be the most incredible way to stand out from everybody else, show you care, really get your message seen, help people hugely, get great success in turning prospective clients in to paying clients, and keep current clients longer while helping them get better results.
I would recommend using text for thank you messages, reminders and encouragement if people are on your trials, challenges and packages and once you have a relationship with people offering a special deal only available by text. This can be incredibly effective but don't over use text as a selling tool. Text should be an encouragement and relationship tool more than one used for marketing.
I would recommend automating a few texts but not too many, one to say thank you for signing up, one to show them where to download your app or find your welcome pack and maybe one towards the end of your free trial or challenge offering your paid packages. You could automate reminders and encouragement but I would be inclined to use app notifications for this and send text when you see a great result that you want to personally congratulate someone on.
This one is only really relevant if your running free trials and challenges as it's only with these that prospective clients will have your app.
Automating app notifications as reminders for planned training sessions, habit tracking and results tracking can be a brilliant way to increase adherence to your online coaching. With increased adherence comes better results which brings about happy clients, a great reputation and more paying members.
Of course, as we have your back on all things online personal training you can set up all of this communication and follow up very easily inside the new PT Distinction messaging centre. You can do it all for individual clients, groups of clients and on any of your automated packages with ease.
Working alongside all of your lead generations it can be a great idea to have a Facebook group that offers additional support. Then encourage all potential clients to join the group. This allows you to create a community atmosphere and a support system that meets people in the place they tend to hang out most online, Facebook!
If you run challenges then you can post client results, screenshots of your app showing their progress, you can answer questions in a place where everyone will see the answers, you can offer additional coaching, guidance and support,. On top of this you can offer teasers of new features to come and you can encourage long term members to support those just starting out.
Don't worry too much about duplicating content, you can put the same piece on your blog, in an email and in your Facebook group with a few tweaks and people will simply be happy you are sharing great content. Yes, a few may see it in all 3 places (and will just read it in one and not worry about the rest) but for most it is just giving them more opportunity to see it once.
You can also put in the occasional link to your paid packages and re runs of your challenges to allow those thinking about signing up the opportunity to do so.
Facebook groups can be great fun to run and as far as building a community and relationships online I don't think anything beats them. They can be an amazing community tool, business building tool and information sharing tool. Check out the PT Distinction Facebook comunity here.
However, they can also be hard work and something you need to be vigilant of constantly. More than anything having a Facebook group is only something to do if you truly love what you do or have a lot of support from admins that do most of the control work (controversial tip; if you want a guide of how much someone that runs a group actually cares check out the number of admins they have, lots of admins = marketing tool, not many admins = they care a lot. Often this also strongly correlates with the quality of information and advice given in that group) . You will have to deal with spammy links and have great answers for those struggling with your services, everything is out in public when you have a Facebook group so be sure you are confident in the service you provide.
Other Social Media
All other social media provides great opportunity to spread your word and keep the relationship going with your potential clients and past clients so once again be consistent. This is probably the first part you could get someone else to do as you build your business, great pictures, entertaining videos, sharing blog content, sharing events and creating social connections can be done in the company voice rather than needing to be your personal voice. There are some great people around like Kelly-Marie West that will manage all of this for you and do an incredible job at a fair price.
You never know why a client didn't sign up to your paid services straight away, as we all know life often gets in the way of things. By keeping in touch and positioning yourself as the person that solves their problems you will be the one they turn to when the time is right.