One of the best ways to gain new clients is still to sell them on your facilities and services face-to-face. But it’s getting harder, sees Rick Aarsman from Hidden Profits Marketing, experts on online fitness marketing. “We serve hundreds of professionals in 7 countries. And everywhere we notice that walk-ins have gone down to a minimum, or have disappeared entirely.”
And while walk-ins are going down, member churn is still a big issue. That’s why fitness professionals come to them with the same desire: get me more members, for continued revenue growth.
People used to drive over to a club to see if it was a match for them, but that orientation process has now moved online. And of all the channels you can use, Facebook stands out as the platform that represents huge opportunities in lead generation. I asked two experts to share their top 3 tips to help your Facebook marketing.
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Tips from the Expert: Hidden Profits Marketing
If they’re actively looking for a new gym, people Google their way to their new health club. In Hidden Profits’ near decade-long experience with Google marketing, they have found it still is one of the most effective channels to acquire members who are actively searching for a new gym.
For the people who aren’t actively looking, however, Facebook is the number 1 platform. As Aarsman explains, “the advantage is that you can target very specific audiences, while also having a huge potential reach.”
Hidden Profits is the world’s only Facebook-certified fitness marketing agency. That’s why I asked them for their three top tips:
1. Only the Best is Good Enough
It’s critical to share engaging and relevant content. “Make sure you know what interests your audience, and share this type of content on a regular basis.” A post about your classes, won’t be interesting for a lot of people, but content about reaching goals or other fitness knowledge is. Fair warning, though, this is a long-term strategy. “If you do it right, you’ll reach about 5-15% of your target audience. To get significant short-term results, you’ll need a different approach.
2. Targeted Advertising
We already mentioned Facebook allows you to target specific audiences. Paid advertising combined with relevant content is how you reach large audiences, Aarsman says. “It can be a tricky process, since Facebook is known to reject landing pages or ads.” That’s why he recommends getting some expertise on-board in your business or (you’re welcome, Rick ?) hire a Facebook-certified fitness marketing agency. Tip: they have a free scan service to see how your Facebook marketing efforts stand up against their benchmarks.
3. Constant Visibility
Make sure you’re continuously visible to your target audience, while keeping your costs as low as possible. That means measure, analyse and evaluate all data you can get your hands on. Data insights are how you can make the difference. “The art of Facebook marketing is to keep getting noticed and vary your content.”
Tips from the Expert: LIJFSTIJL Coaches
49% of all Facebook users like a Facebook page to support a brand they like. As Hidden Profits already explains, Facebook is the top platform to reach your audience. Creating an image for your brand is one of the main factor of online business success. Frank Trousselot, network manager at LIJFSTIJL Coaches whole-heartedly agrees: “Do you want to be in the same business in five years? If you do, then you have to build an image”.
A big part of LIJFSTIJL’s online success comes from not focusing on selling. People come to social media to be entertained or inspired. They’ve come to expect free content. “You have to give first,” says Trousselot. “Only then will you see results.”
With a network of over 100 personal trainers across the Netherlands, LIJFSTIJL Coaches knows a thing or two about leveraging social media for business success. Here are their top tips:
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Ask existing clients to invite their friends on your page, with a reward in return. In Trousselot’s experience, it’s a sure-fire way to build an audience quicker, but it also increases client happiness, since your rewarding them for their efforts. A win-win situation.
2. Reach Out to Everyone
Actively build your network. “Ask everybody to be friends with you, from journalists to media owners, sports clubs, and then invite them to like your page,” says Trousselot. “Build a personal connection, before building a business connection. A personal touch helps build a favorable impression.”
3. Give, Give, Give
As Trousselot already mentioned, people enjoy free content. That’s why he advises to focus on sharing good content. For LIJFSTIJL Coaches, Facebook marketing is focused on giving. A good ratio for him is to give 3 times more than you ask. That means, posting 3 blogs for every advertisement. People will start coming back to your page to get information, and you’ll be able to market yourself as the business that can help them reach their goals. “And that’s the image you want to have.”
The road to Facebook success is long, but can be sped up by clever use of paid advertising. Follow the golden rule of sharing great content on a regular basis, measure everything you do, keep optimizing, and you’ll be set to grow your Facebook audience. Just make sure you’re ready to convert them into members!