The Instagram fitness “gurus” get their clout from how hot or tough they look in the billions of body selfies and workout clips that they post. After all, they must know what they’re talking about, look at their bodies. Of course, you can also find this on Facebook and other social media venues. Now, I know that most fitness professionals know that just because someone may have a great body or does a hard workout, doesn’t mean that they know anything about how to train others. Since we understand that, why is it that so many personal trainers fall into the trap of posting body shots and videos their own workouts as a means of marketing? I suspect it all boils down to one thing…. keeping up with the Joneses.
“The Instagram “gurus” have tons of followers and if I want to get more followers, I need to follow their marketing example.” This, of course, is just falling into the same trap as the IG followers. “They must know what they’re doing if…” Here’s a secret about the majority of the IG fitness folks, their bodies and their self-assuredness (perhaps even their self-delusion), it’s is all they have. We can do better. In fact, it’s our duty to do better. We need to break consumers of the illusion that because somebody looks good, they know what they’re doing. Or, perhaps even more important, that just because a personal trainer isn’t ripped and beautiful, doesn’t mean they aren’t a great personal trainer.
I’ll let you in on another secret, showing off your body (in pics or workout vids) can be very intimidating and potentially demotivating to many prospective clients. They may think that the workouts would be too hard, that they don’t want to be that muscular anyway, or that they could never look that good, so why bother.
Let’s look at what they do want. People want to do business with those that they know, like, and trust. What you should be posting are things that lead to creating conversations with them. Let them into your world. Show them who you are and what you believe in. Help them to get to know and like you (and you, them) and share helpful, evidence-based information to build that trust.
If we want to get the consumer to look beyond how a personal trainer or an instructor looks and pay attention to what they know and can teach, we need to stop marketing like its all about being a sex symbol.
I could go on. It’s a big pet peeve of mine, but I think you get my point. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.