Social media is becoming increasingly important for personal trainers. Many are using it to gain thousands of clients, vastly outstripping what would be possible at a local gym.
And perhaps the most powerful platform of all is TikTok. The Chinese-born app provides everything the typical fitness instructor's audience wants, from bitesize content to fast engagement.
Currently, the hashtag "#personaltrainer" has over 700 million views on TikTok, meaning there is a massive potential market to tap into.
This article will show you how to build your TikTok presence and grow your audience. We explore strategies, such as creating helpful content and leveraging the platform's unique algorithm. We then discuss navigating various challenges you might face, including copyright issues. Here's everything you need to know.
Step 1. Building Your TikTok PresenceBuilding a strong TikTok presence is essential for personal trainers and fitness instructors wanting to attract new clients. Over 75% of TikTok users were aged between 18 and 44 in 2021, so if you work with clients from that age group, consider building a solid presence for your fitness business on TikTok.
But what should you be doing, exactly, for TikTok marketing for personal trainers?
Create A Professional Profile
The first step to getting started on TikTok is to build a professional profile. First, choose a username and branded visuals that reflect your personal training brand. Next, double-check your picture and bio to showcase your expertise in the industry.
Post High-Quality Content
Next, make sure you post high-quality content. Give users what they want. According to statistics, fitness is the
4th most popular content type on TikTok, but entertainment leads the way. This means users are looking for light-hearted posts they find fun, so keep that in mind when working on your content strategy.
Also, ensure good production values. Film in a well-lit studio, use high-quality audio, and add captions, animations, and visual effects to make your clips stand out.
Show Your Audience What You Know
Another way to build your TikTok presence is to show your audience what you know. Ensure they understand why they should come to you and not someone else. Offer insightful tips and advice tailored to the audience you want to attract. Cover topics in detail, particularly nutrition and other factors outside the gym.
Keep It Short
You can also build your TikTok presence by keeping your videos short and sweet.
Even though TikTok is introducing an upgrade so users can upload a video of up to 10 minutes long, statistics, for now, show that the optimal recommended video length for TikTok content is between 21 to 34 seconds.
Resist the temptation to produce long-form videos or learn how to create longer videos that keep your viewers engaged. The danger of longer videos is that your followers lose interest and abandon your videos and, potentially, your channel.
Lastly, churn out content consistently. Make sure you post something regularly. TikTok uses analytics to decide which channels to promote and prioritizes those offering fresh content. How much is too much may depend on your target audience, but aiming to post once daily on average is a good starting point. You can then gauge how your followers engage with your content and change your schedule if needed.
When to publish your TikTok content is also an exciting question. According to marketers who responded to a HubSpot survey, the best time to post on TikTok is between 6-9 pm.
Step 2. Growing Your AudienceOnce you build a TikTok presence, growing your audience is next. The bigger, the better. Some of the best fitness influencers on TikTok have audiences of more than a million people. You can always check out the type of content they post to get inspired.
So, how do you get to this level? Here's what you need to do:
Collaborate With Other Fitness Professionals
Start by building relationships with other fitness and health professionals in your niche. For example, create joint videos with them or appear as a guest on their channel.
Where possible, offer them some value. For instance, you could share your unique approach to health and fitness with their audience, create short, bite-sized video tutorials or even post knowledge bombs relevant to their journey.
You can collaborate with other TikTok creators in many ways, including guest appearances, running a LIVE session, or creating a series of content together. If you are successful, your audience will snowball. Audiences from other channels become your leads.
Engage With Your Followers
The next step is to engage with your followers. Respond to comments and messages from your viewers – it's essential for building a following on TikTok.
Be personable and agreeable. Offer helpful advice and always use engagement as an opportunity to showcase your classes, training sessions, ebooks, and subscriptions. The key here is to keep it relevant and only offer the solution that your follower will need.
TikTok is famous for its challenges. If you want to position yourself in front of your ideal clients and shine your personality as a fitness professional, find challenges relevant to your brand image and are liked by your target market, participate or launch your own.
Leverage TikTok's AlgorithmAnother way to grow your audience is to leverage TikTok's algorithm. This tactic is becoming more critical as the platform grows in popularity.
You can do this by:
- Using popular sounds and music
- Posting videos at peak times
- Engaging more with trending topics in your niche
- Creating high-quality content that matters to people
- Talking to your audience more often
- Using TikTok Ads, a paid option that helps you reach more people faster
- Making it funny and sharing amusing content
Share Your TikTok Content Elsewhere
Lastly, you can share your TikTok content on other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. The more you post on other platforms, the more likely you are to reach a wider audience.
Step 3. Converting Following Into ClientsGaining followers is good. However, what you want is paying clients. You must push your audience through a conversion funnel to turn them into paying clients. Fortunately, doing this on TikTok is relatively straightforward. Here's what to do:
Create a Call-To-Action (CTA)
Start by creating CTAs at the end of your videos. These can be:
- Phone numbers people can ring to book appointments
- Buttons they can press to go to your website booking form
- Links to sign up for online classes
- Claim offer options
- Contact details to schedule a consultation
CTAs encourage your audience to take action and not just click on the following video.
Promote Your Services
The next step is to promote your personal training services, explaining what sets you apart from other trainers. Try to develop something unique that your audience has yet to see elsewhere. You need a unique selling point (USP) like any other fitness business.
You can post about limited-time offers, new service launches, or any other options your audience might be interested in.
After that, double-check you are offering customers value. Ask yourself why they would hand over their hard-earned money for you to train them.
Aim for a results-driven approach. For example, show prospects how you've helped existing and former clients achieve their goals. Stress what your potential customers care about in your videos, such as weight loss or improved well-being.
Schedule Free Consultations
TikTok audiences are unlikely to hand over cash immediately. Instead, they want to get to know you better before taking the plunge. So use free consultations as lead magnets. Allow your audience to get to know you better before requesting payment.
Use consultations to:
- Answer any questions prospects might have
- Show them other clients' results
- Build rapport
- Talking to them about your services and why they should use them
Close The Deal
The last step is to close the deal. After the initial consultation, call the potential client and ask them to take the next step. Highlight the benefits of working with you and how it could help them achieve their fitness goals.
Step 4. Navigating ChallengesOf course, while TikTok is an excellent way for personal trainers to grow their businesses, it comes with many challenges. Here are some problems you might encounter while using the platform and how to overcome them.
Negative comments are a significant issue on TikTok that many personal trainers face. As a result, you will face criticism and judgment on the platform.
The trick here is to stay positive and professional when responding. Remind yourself that there will always be negative people out there who will try to bring you down. If comments are inappropriate or abusive, delete them and block the sender.
Another challenge is copyright issues. Many TikTokers find themselves in legal trouble in the crowded legal space.
To avoid this problem, only use royalty-free images and music. Likewise, only use paid options if you can freely use them commercially.
Lack Of Reach
Lack of reach is another issue facing some personal trainers on TikTok. Growing a following in such a crowded space can take a lot of work.
The best way to overcome this problem is to create high-quality, engaging content tailored to your audience. You can also collaborate with others who have a larger audience.
Poor Time Management
While it might look simple, creating TikTok content is a time-consuming process. If you are new to it, you might spend all day making a 20-second snippet for your channel.
Aside from practice and experience, you can address this in the following ways;
Create a content calendar, schedule when you will work on posts
Repurpose old content from other platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, saves time.
Trouble Staying Up-To-Date
Lastly, staying up to date on TikTok is immensely challenging. Trends evolve and change continuously, with new ideas emerging all the time.
Regularly browse your "For You" page to stay on top of this issue. It provides data to inform you about TikTok and the general state of the platform for personal trainers.
You can also follow other top fitness influencers. They are often the first to report new ideas.