Posting Your Body Shots or Workout

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…” Untitled design (41)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.

 

Have You Looked at LinkedIn Lately?

It used to be that LinkedIn was very, dare I say, boring. Great for connecting with businesses of interest, possible employers, or employees. During that time I built a LinkedIn (let’s go with LI) group that was of good use for discussions, but that was about all that I used LI for.

linkedin-1024x248Lately, if you look at it, it looks much more like Facebook without the “here’s what I ate for lunch” posts. According to LI, “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional (here’s where they try to differentiate from social) network with hundreds of millions of members, and growing rapidly. Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” That said, people (well, professionals) are sharing articles, ideas, and content in general that relates to their industry… for the most part.

Recently, I decided to push into LI more and reached out to many in the fitness industry in an effort to have some more varied conversations than what I was finding in various groups I was a member of (even my own) about our industry (I’m connected to a lot of international fitness professionals.). So, far it has been very interesting.

Indeed, what I’ve found is more specific professional content that I can consume and then pass on to others. Sure, there’s still self-important individuals trying to sell you stuff, but I feel that it’s far less than other social media sites.

So, what I’m saying is that, as you choose where you are going to spend your time, you should take another look at LinkedIn and see if there’s something there for you.

 

Becoming “The Resource”

In building our business, one of the best marketing tools is to become “the resource” or the go-to person for information that your target market is looking for. A friend of mine asked the question today about how you become that resource. It’s a good question and one that I thought I could address here. How does one become the resource for their clients?

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First and foremost, know your stuff! It’s tough to be a resource if you don’t. Now, that’s not to say you have to know all of the answers, but you have to start with a good base.

When you don’t have the answers, don’t pretend you do. Let people know you don’t have the answer, but that you will look into it and get back to them. This means, of course, you need to  know where to find those answers. Start gathering your own network of resources (journals, organizations, reputable news sources, knowledgable individuals, etc.) where you can find the information that you need.

Give this information out freely, any way you can. You can start with simply answering questions that come up in face-to-face encounters or in social media. Then, begin to write articles, blog, write white papers, create and host a group on Facebook or LinkedIn for people with similar interests, create informational videos, host talks, or any other venue that your target audience may be open to participating in.

Gradually, as people start to appreciate and trust the information you’re providing, they will also start to appreciate and trust you. As that trust builds, you will have become “the resource”, and, when it comes time for people to choose who they want to do business with, they will choose the individuals that they know, like, and trust.

The Best Marketing Medium is Personal

At a conference last year, I was asked what I thought was the most effective marketing tool. Having presented at other conferences on social media marketing, I was pretty sure they wanted to know what the next hot social media app was and how to use it. My answer was probably a little surprising.

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If you are a business that relies on the local market, i.e. health clubs, personal training and/or group fitness studios, the best marketing is getting out and getting active in your community. Remember that what you are really marketing is you. Yes, this includes your expertise, but also your demeanor, your caring, your sense of humor, etc.

They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That is because the extra layer of sensory engagement that a picture offers tells us a lot more. Video gives us the ability to hear as well as see and creates even more engagement. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that real-time, face to face interactions give others the greatest sense of who you are and what you are about. When you meet someone in person, you note their eye contact (or lack thereof), their smile (or lack thereof), the grip of their handshake, the tone of their voice, all in an instant. Nothing is truer than that. Others will walk away feeling like they have a sense of the kind of person you are.

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Now, taking that meeting and turning it into acquisition of a client or customer requires more. You need to build a relationship first and that takes time. This is where social media apps can be particularly effective. After meeting someone in person (I’ll discuss how to seek out those opportunities in my next post.), immediately send an invitation to them to connect on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. This allows you to follow-up on any conversation that you were having, helps you remember them, and them remember you. With each additional verbal interaction, their initial face to face impression of you will be reinforced.

Of course you can still make initial contact and build a relationship through social media. However, it will rarely be as strong as meeting in person. If you first connected online, find an opportunity to meet in “the real world”. Your relationship will only become stronger because of it.

Ello? Another Social Media Option

I don’t know if you’re aware yet, but there’s a new social media site building interest and getting ready to launch. Ello! It is currently by invitation only and is still in beta version. Do we need another social media site? Who cares about one more site?

Ello

 

It’s ad free, does that make you want to join it? Maybe not, but as Facebook posts more and more ads in your news stream, you may change your mind. Ello likes to think of itself as anti-Facebook in that sense.

The marketing rule of thumb is go to where your market is. They’ve been on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Maybe Ello is the next stop for them. You can’t know yet. None of us can predict it. So, don’t wait. Join it when you can and explore it. Create a presence before your competition does. It may not pan out, but many didn’t think Twitter would either.

When you do join, connect with me at https://ello.co/marknutting Let’s get in there and figure Ello out together.Ello

TOP 10 TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL TRAINERS: #7

#7 Successful Personal Trainers Know How to Market Themselves
According to Wikipedia, marketing “is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and creates value for their customers and for themselves.” My own definition is more like “seeking out, connecting with, sharing who we are and how we can help solve a problem for your target audience.”

First, of course, you must know your target audience. Who is your niche market? Where do they hang out? Are they meeting at conferences, senior groups, clubs, churches, schools, community or other organizations? Or are they connecting with others using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Youtube, etc.?
Note: I’m not going to ignore the use of Direct Mail or more “traditional” marketing techniques. Well, actually, I am going to ignore them in this article (for some, they do still work). But they don’t directly connect you with your audience and successful Personal Trainers know that the best way to build rapport and trust is through interaction.
So now, you’ve done your homework and found your market, what do you do from here? You need to find a way to join in their conversations. Connect with the group leaders and see if you can… join the group, volunteer with the group, or present to the group a topic that would be helpful to them. Like selling, your first priority is to be of service to them. You must create value, trust, confidence in you as a resource before you ask for anything in return.
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Social media works the same way. Find which ones are used by your target audience. Facebook, Twitter,  Google+, Pinterest, blogs, etc. are all means of connecting with others. Create a presence by offering helpful information to your audience. If the content is interesting, they may then share the content you presented with their friends. Their friends share with their friends, etc, and before you know it, you have a large audience of potential clients.
Obviously there are a lot more specifics, but the essence of marketing in this day and age is connection and conversation. Only after building rapport and trust, will an offer for your services be well received. Seth Godin does a great job explaining this in his book, “Permission Marketing

Successful Personal Trainers know how to market themselves by actively getting involved with their target market, whether it’s face to face or using social media.

How are you establishing your presence?

Check out the full series.
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #1
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #2
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #3
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #4
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #5
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #6
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #7
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #8
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #9
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #10

P.S. Also, follow my Business of Personal Training page on Facebook.