While every personal trainer and his dog are trying to market their online training business to the entire world, the number of local leads left untouched is on the rise.
People still generally look for a service provider located within our geographic location, as the chances of quicker service and faster check-outs are higher.
This is especially true in the fitness industry and why brands need to focus on local marketing.
Here are 5 strategies that’ll help you get your fitness facility and personal training website on the locals’ map with ease.
1. Start an Online Community Just for the Locals
The easiest way to get your new personal training business noticed by your neighbors is to create an online fitness community specifically targeting locals. Feel free to invite your friends, family and acquaintances that live nearby to join.
You can also consider conducting a community fitness event. For example, a boot camp at the local park or a Sunday Sun Salutation session will not only give you a chance to showcase your skills but also will spark the interest of people from the neighborhood who are already out to get to know you and your business.
Newsletters and emails are excellent tools for sending across community invites and e-vites for these events. You can also use Facebook's Events feature, invite your friends and encourage them to share it with people that may be interested.
Testimonials and reviews on your Facebook and Google My Business pages can help you build trust for those that don't know you yet and motivate them to try out your session.
2. SEO Your Way into the Locality
One of the first rules about local marketing is to put yourself and your fitness business out there for people in your area who are already looking for your services so they can find you.
This is when Search Engine Optimiation comes into play. A solid SEO strategy will help your website rank higher on Google and make it easier to generate new leads.
One way to do that is to choose a domain name for your fitness website that includes the name of your local area. One of our My PT Website clients, Kevin Mulcahy used this easy tip when deciding on his domain name and together with all the blog content he has put out in the past months, he has achieved great results for "strength and conditioning in [AREA]" keywords.
Your location can also be added as keyword in your blog post headlines, meta data and CTA where it's relevant and helps the reader to understand who you are and what you do.
Additionally, always remember to mention the area you serve at least once on each page. This way, even if visitors search using different keywords, the locations in your page will be indexed by Google.
3. Use Targeted Paid and Search Ads
Advertising is extremely expensive. Research by Blue Corona shows video ads run between $.10 and $.30 per view. So, you’d pay approximately $1000 for 10,000 people seeing it. If even 3000 of these 10,000 people belong to another state, this advertisement becomes useless. This is why targeting is essential when it comes to local marketing.
As a rule of thumb, pay for ads which are highly local optimized. Try selecting 2-3 areas that you wish to serve and create specific ads made for each of those locations. Remember to ‘talk the lingo’ of the prospects in each place, as this creates a more personalized feel.
You can also use local news, events and favorite local pastimes to advertise your fitness services. For example you can write a news or trend jacking blog post and promote that via paid advertisement.
David Knowles used his Superdad Fitness Project blog to spark interest for his bootcamp services by writing an article about how to get through a local obstacle race event.
This means many readers who were researching the topic at the time in Ireland would have come across his website at some point to find great advice. They may have not joined his facility there and then, but sure Superdad Fitness Projec was the first on their mind when considering to take on new fitness classes.
4. Incorporate Geofencing and Geotagging
In geo-tagging, you enable location-specific push notifications on social media and mobile devices. When a website reader has that feature enabled on their device, they can receive promotions from your fitness business when they are in the local area.
Geo-fencing is a process where you enable sending push notifications for any user who comes within a geographical range/fence of your business. Geo-fencing sends notifications to all users who are specifically within a 5-10 mile radius of the location of your personal training business. This is the most localized you can get.
These days, social media platforms offer business owners the option of setting a location radius to send out geo-targeted messages to prospective customers.
5. Network and Partner with Local Brands and Businesses
If you are just starting your personal training business or have just moved into a new area where you hardly know anybody, seeking relationships with other local businesses can help you spread he word quicker.
A great way to forge partnerships is to network with brands during meet-and-greet events, local trade shows and community fitness events. You could even promote the blog posts, social media posts and newsletters of a complimentary brand on your website or social media feed so long they provide value to your ideal clients.
When you share valuable and actionable content, you experience a whole host of benefits:
Another good way of networking is to use popular local sporting events to reach a wider audience and get yourself seen. You can do this by approaching the media team of the event and offering your services, providing warm-up coaching for a run race for example or simply mentioning them in your local marketing materials (see #3 about newsjacking).
Brand recall increases with networking and partnerships and chances are your friendly sporting store next door may recommend your personal training services to a prospective customer f they know who you are and trust you are the best choice in the area.
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