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Online Reviews and the Benefits for Personal Trainers

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June 8, 2023
tim saye

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Positive reviews are crucial to the reputation of any business, but it can be tricky knowing how to build up a portfolio of reviews, and what you need to to with them once you have them. In this article, we’re going to look at the importance of online reviews, how to get more of them, how to respond to them, where to share them, and what to do if you get a negative review.

Why Online Reviews are Important?

Increasingly, potential clients will check online reviews as part of the process of deciding whether to buy products or services. Good reviews make a favorable impression and help build trust and confidence. Bad reviews can sow seeds of doubt, while a lack of any reviews at all can also be off-putting.

According to Search Engine Journal:

- 49% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations (this increases hugely for millennials)

- 60% of customers feel that the number of reviews a business has is critical

- The lowest rating customers are likely to consider acceptable is 3.3 out of 5

- 84% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising

This last point is interesting and highlights people’s growing preference for ‘authentic’ (often user-generated) content rather than more corporate forms of marketing.

How to get more (and better) reviews?

First of all, establish which review sites to focus on; these are likely to include Google, Yelp, and Facebook, but there may be other (possibly local) sites where potential clients could look for reviews.

On Facebook, setting up the ability to receive reviews is a simple process. Just head on over to the “settings” section and activate this feature to start receiving feedback from your clients. If you have not set up a business account, take a look at our guide to easily set up your personal trainer business on Facebook

Additionally, if you are new to Google Business, we recommend following our guide on how to create a Google business profile.

Always make sure your business information on any review site looks professional. You can do this by checking the guidelines for each site and making sure you understand how they work. Some have useful features, such as the ability to flag your most positive reviews so that they appear at the top of the page.

Make it very obvious and easy for clients to find your review pages by providing links in all of your marketing material (in email signatures, on social media, and on your website). Give them multiple options so they can choose which one they prefer.

Ask your clients to leave reviews directly and in person, if possible. Encourage them to go into detail by asking specific questions, such as “How did you feel before starting our coaching?”, and “What results have you seen since you started on your training journey?”

You could consider offering an incentive for leaving a review. Ask for reviews at optimal times, for example:

· As part of a scheduled feedback session

· If they have recently renewed their subscription

· If they’ve just reached a key milestone or goal

· If they’ve been engaging with you on social media

Of course, you need to be sure you really are doing a great job that merits good reviews! Always be personable, helpful, and encouraging, and go the extra mile wherever possible. Engage with your clients, and build relationships and communities, both online and off.

Responding to Reviews - Positive and Negative

If someone has taken the trouble to write you a review of any kind, it deserves prompt acknowledgment - preferably within a few days - and so it’s important to keep an eye on your review sites.

As well as being timely, responses should be polite and well-written. Thank reviewers for their positive comments, and share some of your own positive reflections on the experience if that’s appropriate.

Negative reviews can feel like a personal attack. Don’t respond immediately; take a few minutes to compose yourself and try to be objective rather than defensive. If they’ve raised a valid issue that should be addressed, then thank them for their helpful feedback, let them know you’ve taken it on board, and post a follow-up response once it’s been resolved.

Not all negative reviews are so easily dealt with, of course, but the main things to remember are:

· Personalize your response – a stock reply is likely to cause more frustration

· Acknowledge their complaint – reassure them that you have listened

· Offer to make amends - if this is relevant/appropriate

· Don’t get into an argument or long-drawn-out discussion online - continue the conversation privately if necessary

Bad reviews dealt with in a professional way can still give potential clients a good impression of your business.

Sharing good reviews

If you get a good review, that’s an excellent (and free!) marketing asset that you can use to promote your business. Share it on your social media channels, in newsletters, and on your website.

Don’t share every single good review, though, as that could get pretty annoying for your followers. Save sharing for the very best ones; the reviews that are well-written and detailed and highlight the things that you are particularly proud of or want to draw attention to.

Are Testimonials and Reviews the Same?

Testimonials are similar to reviews, and the terms are often used interchangeably, but here we’re defining testimonials as a type of review that is both solicited and hosted by you.

Check out our guide on how to get testimonials for your online personal training services for some great advice about how to approach clients, and what questions to ask them. These testimonials can then be shared on your website, via social media, etc.

Tap into the increasing popularity of both video and user-generated content by encouraging clients to make videos endorsing your services. Use testimonials as a starting point for longer case studies, incorporating some of the best quotes (with permission).

A Last Word on Reviews

Having plenty of authentic, positive, up-to-date recommendations can really strengthen your reputation, giving you the edge over your competitors and helping you win over new personal training clients.

Read More