Bill Colbert by Bill Colbert

Getting more clients for your fitness business doesn’t have to be super complicated. In fact, it can be as easy as knowing what your client wants. Think about when you go shopping. Whether you’re looking for clothes or groceries, each store incentivizes you to make a purchase by putting some items on sale. It’s harder to run a sale for your fitness services, but you can run promotions.

Promotions are short-term sales that encourage new clients to try out your services. When a promotion is mixed with a strong customer value proposition, you can convert these new clients into long-term clients who have a consistent purchasing pattern. Here are some tips for running a successful promotion for your fitness business.

1. Don’t discount. For most consumers, simply saying “50% off the cost of a training session” doesn’t make for an exciting promotion. It’s just another sale. Yes, this can catch people’s attention, but they won’t be motivated to try your services for any other reason than the discounted price.

A better approach to garner interest in your business is to include a free session with the purchase of five training sessions. Include an offer for a free gift or an additional session at a lower cost, such as a nutrition consultation for free. This form of unique promotion will entice people because they will perceive more value in a package of products. And, importantly, they won’t see a discounted, devalued individual service.

2. Run your promotions for a short, set amount of time. Your clients should know that these promotions are only for a limited time. This set time period will help create a sense of urgency, which will motivate them to take action (purchase your services!) more quickly.

3. Start out with smaller promotions to gauge reactions from your clients and use them as learning experiences. Don’t immediately jump into large-scale promotions that are not manageable or could cause considerable financial loss. If you’re running your own fitness business, odds are you have plenty to do already. You don’t need a promotion taking over your life. Instead, start by gathering an idea of what your clientele wants and the kinds of promotions they will respond to. This can be done in casual conversation before or after a training session. Move on to bigger promotions once you have executed a promotion on a manageable scale.

4. Market your promotion via social media. Unless you spread the word about your promotion, no one will hear about it. There are various outlets you can use to spread the word. Post on your Facebook page, use Twitter or even Google+. (Did you know you can promote your services and classes from your amSTATZ account?) Send an email to your existing clients (you can do this from within your amSTATZ account, too) to share the promotion with their friends. Paid advertising on Facebook targeting fitness enthusiasts within your zip code and the zip codes around you is another effective way to drive awareness. If you’re using software for personal trainers, such as amSTATZ, you can even drive traffic to your public profile, where people can find you, decide they like you and book the promoted class or service.

While it’s important to get the message out, make sure you aren’t overdoing the marketing. If your messaging becomes too constant, it becomes white noise and people will tune out. In the example of paid promotion, allocate your media budget into several short bursts, with time off in between each burst.

5. Schedule your marketing promotions at opportune times. Remember, awareness has to come before purchase. Promoting a boot camp for the day before labor day weekend might not be best, because people may be getting ready to travel or host guests for the weekend. For example, if your promotion is running from September 15-30, start marketing at least two weeks in advance, and ramp up the advertising a couple days before your start date.

6. The most important part of running a successful promotion is evaluating yourself at the end of the promotion. Discuss what worked well, what needs improvement and which promotions you should probably get rid of. Talk to your clients and see what they liked, and give them more of it.

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