In the personal training industry, people are often just not ready to buy. For this reason, you need a marketing strategy to stay in touch with prospects. We have already touched on eNewsletters. They are really the ultimate follow-up strategy, particularly when you have a large list of subscribers. There are other follow up strategies you should consider particularly when you are starting out with very few contacts and can afford to invest more time into attracting new clients.
Often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. A simple postcard or hand-written note can be a powerful marketing tool to communicate a personalised, caring attitude. These are great attributes many people look for in personal trainers. Not only will it keep you fresh in the mind of your target market, it will help you to start building a relationship with them. As mentioned previously, your goal should be for your prospects to know, like and trust you.
Many marketers believe you need to contact your prospects seven times before a prospect will buy from a service provider such as a personal trainer. This makes it critical to create a systematic follow-up strategy for your prospective clients. You may be able to automate some of your strategy and some may need to be managed manually, the main thing is it gets done. Don’t bite off more than you can chew and create a system that will consume too much of your time.
Here are the steps to help you customise your own follow-up system:
Consider the way your prospects and clients like to receive information. Do they prefer printed or digital media? Do they use social media or prefer email? This will all depend on who your target market is.
Setting up a follow-up system that uses communication tools your target market use on a day-to-day basis will cause them to be much more responsive. It can be a balancing act of cost and return on investment particularly if you are going to use printed material. It’s a matter of testing, measuring and tweaking your follow up strategy and then replicating it once it is working.
Along with considering the costs and your budget, the other cost factor is your time. Creating a system that you can scale up or down in frequency depending on how busy you are is important for personal trainers. Once you are fully booked it is pointless to continue marketing your business heavily. However, you will need the ability to pick it up again if things get quiet.
Being clear with your budget and the amount of time you can commit to your follow-up system is vital in making things happen. Once you have made that commitment, start implementing your strategy. Create a schedule to ensure it happens regularly.
What frequency of sending your follow-up materials is achievable and likely to produce the best results for your business? Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly? Trial and test it with higher and a lower frequencies. You can repeat this process until you are confident you have the best schedule established for your business.
Once you have a plan in place and you have established what you want to do you are ready to flesh out your follow-up material. Use a variety of different media to connect with your prospects. One month they might receive a postcard, the next month an email and the next month a letter. Create a theme that reinforces your brand values and each marketing piece builds on the previous month. Make sure it makes you stand out, and positions you as being unique. Your prospects are likely to be bombarded with many marketing messages on a daily basis so you must stand out from the crowd.
Tips to create follow up material that positions you as a brand:
- Follow-up material should highlight your personality as a business and convey professionalism and credibility.
- Follow-up material should have content that is informative, useful and valuable for your target audience. Maintain high quality in your content always so your prospects will be happy to receive your material and read it, instead of immediately throwing it in the bin. It doesn’t need to be long; it just needs to be engaging.
- Follow-up material should contain information that is personalised where possible. Simply personalising your material can form strong connections. (ie. Hi Greg)
- Follow-up material should be sent at regular intervals. This shows your professionalism and organisational skills. Your prospects want to know you are reliable as a personal trainer.
- Follow-up material should have a call to action that will prompt your target market to respond immediately. This could be in the form of special offers, discounts, free trials or seminars. Getting the balance of interesting information and a sales message is important. Don’t be too heavy handed with your sales messages. Mix it up a little, and see what works best for you.
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