These days, it seems like everyone is talking about Facebook and Twitter. The problem is that you have Facebook and Twitter accounts and only seem to waste time talking to old high school friends. So are these social media sites useless, or are they really a good way to build your business?
The good news is that Facebook and Twitter are proven ways to build boot camps, market your gym and even sell more fitness e-books and DVDs. My research has shown that Twitter is better for selling e-books, while Facebook is better for getting clients to boot camps, gyms and personal training. So let’s look at Facebook first.
In Your Facebook
The most popular way to use Facebook is to set up a personal profile and become friends with everyone you’ve ever known. But when using Facebook for professional reasons, you need to be picky about who you friend.
Focus on building a network of quality Facebook friends, as this can be even more powerful than building an email list, because with Facebook, you can learn much more demographic information about your friends (birthdays, age, interests, etc.).
The real power of Facebook is found in what is called “the news feed.” Every activity and action you take inside of Facebook is relayed to everyone in your network (i.e. your friends), and this can spread virally.
The best way to use the power of the news feed is to share videos and photos of your boot camps and personal training facility. This will alert all of your Facebook friends, and if one of them watches your video, it will alert all of their friends that they are watching your video. That’s how your video can spread between networks and attract high-quality connections back to you.
You can also get high-quality friends by creating a Facebook group. For example, if you live in Fargo, North Dakota, you might start a “Fargo Fitness” group and invite everyone in Fargo who lists “fitness” as one of their interests to join. This is a great way to build quality friends, and you can then have a conversation about fi tness with those people and eventually turn them to the topic of your training.
Each day, you should add up to 20 new friends, focusing on high-quality friends. You could even outsource the “friending” of people to an assistant. For everyone that signs up for your group, your assistant could go through their friend list and “add/friend” everyone from their list.
However, always focus on building relationships fi rst, and don’t be too heavy-handed with your marketing or always asking people to buy or sign up for training or boot camps. Instead, just be friends and become a trusted expert in the area of fitness to your Facebook network. Once folks trust you, they will be happy and eager to pay for your services.
Finally, you can also use Facebook to start a Fan Page. This might sound silly, but if you run a boot camp in Fargo with 60 members who also use Facebook, then you should start a Fan Page devoted to your boot camp and invite all of your members to join. This way, you can communicate directly to those fans without having to go through email (and therefore, you don’t have to worry about pesky spam filters).
Join our Facebook Fan Page and interact with 1,000+ PFP fans!>>
Plus, building a Fan Page will get indexed by Google, and folks searching for “Fargo Fitness” on Google will have a good chance of coming across your Facebook Fan Page. Just remember to put your keywords in the title of your Fan Page!
Even though that sounds like a lot of work, you only need to spend 10 minutes a day on Facebook. Log in, post a link, update your status, add a video, and tell your friends to check it out. That’s it. But while Facebook is a powerful way to build your offline business, what if you’re like me and only want to sell more e-books and DVDs online? Well, then the social media platform for you is Twitter.
Time to Twitter
Twitter is known as micro-blogging. That means you post tiny little updates (“tweets”) rather than adding one big article on your blog. Twitter is like signing up for an e-newsletter, only the updates are more frequent and much shorter (all updates are limited to 140 characters).
Twitter is not much different than being at a networking event at a seminar or conference, where you start chatting with colleagues and even total strangers who share a common interest. You don’t want to be pushy; instead, be helpful, interesting and positive. The only difference between Twitter and networking events is that you don’t have to wear pants, since you can microblog from the comfort of your own home.
You can grow your list of Twitter followers by telling others about your Twitter account and by providing good content so that other Twitter users refer you to other Twitter users. I recommend telling people about the workout you just finished, the meal you are eating or sending them to one of your YouTube videos, blog posts or articles. I also recommend posting a good motivational quote every morning. Twitter users love quotes and telling their friends about them.
You can also do surveys (ask an open-ended question to get people replying to you). This will give you plenty of content and ideas for future products, videos, articles and blog posts. Whatever you post, just be sure to make it useful and worthwhile.
You just share helpful resources and tips, just like you do on your blog or in your emails, only your messages are much, much shorter. Finally,
I recommend you customize your Twitter page like I have (seewww.turbulencetwitter.com). The most important thing to do is just go on there and start “being you.”
Spend fi ve minutes in the morning and five minutes at mid-day on Twitter using those strategies, and you’ll quickly grow your follower list.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, is a contributor to Men’s Health magazine, the author of the best-selling fat loss e-book, Turbulence Training (www.turbulencetraining.com) and an Internet marketing coach for fitness experts. If you want to learn more about how to sell products on the Internet, visit http://www.onlinesuperprofits.com and get a free report on six ways to build a six-figure website.