Lead generation is certainly one of the most common topics when it comes to consulting calls with my clients and from the questions submitted from fitness professionals like you worldwide.

    This week I wanted to talk about personal trainer marketing mediums, there's a lot of mediums available these days, and all can have their benefits but I find the bulk of my efforts revolve around five particular mediums.

    These mediums are:

    Email marketing
    To me there's nothing more predictable than my email list, but there's a reason for that; my email list isn't just a list of contacts to send offers to. Effective email marketing begins with nurturing your list with valuable content. A mentor once told me "give your best stuff away" and there's a certain amount of truth in that. As you're reading this I hope you begin affirming to yourself that this makes sense, that what I'm writing you will help you grow your business and help more people (that's certainly my intention.)

    Teach people things frequently. Many people worry about emailing their list too often, but if you have something valuable to share then there really isn't "too often." I mean think about that, if every one of my emails that you read helps you with your business don’t you want to try to read or at least save them all?
    So remember that, effective email marketing is largely content and education on a regular basis. It's this act of sincere sharing that activates reciprocity and trust so that if I then ask you to consider buying something from me or someone I refer you to you at least consider it. I'm not going to get into the mechanics of email copy, or message format here as you can quickly search this site and find many other blog posts on how to execute your email marketing; just know it should be near the top of your list.

    Daily Deals
    I get so many mixed opinions about daily deals, but I personally think anyone that doesn't like them just doesn't understand how to use them. First off get over the idea that daily deal shoppers are "cheap" or less qualified prospects, this isn't the case. My wife loves to shop on Groupon, we're neither broke nor cheap. You see daily deal sites like Groupon have brilliantly re-organized the psychology of the consumer. As people we make decisions emotionally, let me explain. We're inundated by product manufacturer's sharing their message about how great their products are; they solve our problems and create feelings of want or desire for their products. We go in search of them; we want to know what others think (which is why social proof is so powerful) and because we have such a strong emotional connection to money (or often our lack or limits there of) we want a great deal. Daily deals activate this psychology of the feeling of getting a great deal and combine it with the emotional fear of scarcity or missing out that leads us to a purchasing decision. The reason so many people have issues getting daily deal shoppers to take the next step is they fail to continue this experience with their next offer.

    First the person just needs to see that your product or service meet or exceeds their expectation, next they're looking for that consistent feeling of their daily deal experience... a follow up offer that’s both exciting and provides the gratification of feeling like they got a better than average deal!

    Facebook is this big crazy animal, I refer to it as the never ending cocktail party. 24-7 there's a stream of people and interaction just waiting to have their attention diverted to that next thing in the news feed. That's what Facebook is entirely, just one big interruption. How can you interrupt people on facebook? Use photos that are congruent with your message but spark an emotion. Example, because we're selling fitness pictures of attractive people almost always work well, and it's not hard to figure out why.

    From the primal need of sex and companionship our bodies are designed to react to attractive people (in the case of men) or the image of how you can change yourself to attract a strong mate (in the case of women.) Attractive images cause people to stop, then you have just a few words to get them to click, these can range from an aggressive daily deal like offer or a compelling question making them thing (if Facebook will approve it.)

    Once they click on your add you need a congruent visual message and now you have just about 10 seconds to capture their attention with a headline, it’s got to stab them in the chest and make them emotional so take your time and think about who’s looking at that page.

    Strategic Partners
    No matter where you are there no two ways about it I guarantee there are businesses and groups in your city that represent very similar characteristics as your preferred customers. You will spend a lot of time money and effort trying to extend your message to everybody in an effort to find those precious few, why wouldn't you simply go where they already are?

    Now if you come to my business and ask me to promote your business to my customers I'm likely to say no, but what if you had a way to help me grow my business? To instantly increase my sales (and yours too!) It's safe to say if it seems compelling and realistic I can't really ignore you.

    This is easier than you think, most of us are willing to give away our services for free, at least for a short period of time. What if you were willing to give everyone of my new customers a free gift on my behalf that had substantial market value? Safe to say this might help me sell more of my products or services. What if you first promoted my products and services to your customers, safe to say I might consider doing you a return favor?
    My point, you can't afford to overlook developing these kinds of relationships in your community. Search elsewhere on this site for my five part series on "strategic partnerships."

    Last but not least you cannot afford to skip your internal audience, and this seems to be a medium that many entrepreneurs don't understand. Usually we're just overthinking it. Here’s my simple acid test for all marketing, look in the mirror and ask yourself, how would I respond as a consumer?

    When it comes to referrals we all want to help the people we trust get the best deal and have the best experience, and we hope they'll do the same for us in return. This is one of the reasons we don't refer often, it's not that we don't want to we just don't think about it, unless we're reminded. By this I mean is it starts with a great experience, but when that’s provided you need to follow it up with an affirmation, "did you find that to be a great boot camp Mrs. Jones?" Sure the feedback is also helpful but what you're really doing is having Mrs. Jones acknowledge that the camp was positive, now we ask her to refer. If Mrs. Jones acknowledges that your service exceeds expectations prior to asking her for a referral her mechanism of wanting to encourage and protect those people that she cares most about will make her twice as likely to send you a referral.

    One of my favorite tools for reminding people and asking them for referrals is the buddy pass (you should be able to find more on it if you search this site as well.) Simple, subtle, and makes it easy for them to bring a friend.

    Food for thought, marketing is an emotional activity, treat others how you wish to be treated, understand the psychology and it's going to work!