The online personal training/coaching space has seen exponential growth in the last few years due to the convenience, and sometimes superior service, it offers to the consumer.
But, with more demand comes more competition, and many online coaches feel stuck as to how they can find more online clients. As an online professional, it can be all too easy to believe that you are limited to meeting clients online since that is the medium on which you choose to deliver your services.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can provide you with lots of leads but it is so easy to fall into the trap of hiding behind your computer and thinking that once you have the lead, all you have to do is send a fancy sales page and that is going to convert into a purchase.
Human contact and being “kneecap to kneecap” with someone is still the best way to cultivate “know, like, and trust” and close the sale.
But wait…what? Leave the comfort of my own home to meet prospects for my online business? Is that what you’re telling me?
Get out from behind your desk and connect with real humans in the real world. I know it might sounds crazy, but here are 7 proven in-person ways to meet more prospects and convert them into online clients who will love your services:
1. Teach Group Fitness Classes
You can expose potential clients to your services by offering to teach a group fitness class. This is an incredible way to authentically connect with potentials and develop a natural relationship that can easily progress to individual online training.
It can take a lot of emails, videos, and Facebook posts to gain someone's attention and trust, but that's what you'll gain from the very first class you coach someone through. It's instant rapport.
2. Become a Corporate Presenter
Connect with the benefits manager or a human resources employee at a local business and offer to present at a “Wellness Wednesdays” or “Lunch and Learn” on a topic you are an expert in.
Corporations are always looking for qualified people to present and will jump at the chance to have someone of your caliber speak for free.
When you are introduced as an "expert guest speaker," you will have no trouble building authority with your audience. They will naturally seek your help with any health or fitness issues they're struggling with.
3. Create Referral Relationships
Depending on your niche, you can connect with local businesses that also service your ideal clients. Ask those business to whom they refer their clients who are in need of health/fitness services. Act as if they should already be doing this, and if they aren’t, they will do it now with you.
For instance, I know a trainer who specializes in getting brides in “wedding shape”, so she has set up a referral relationship with several bridal shops in her area and they provide her contact information to brides who want to work with a trainer.
Of course, you can also get new clients through the referrals of your in-person training clients. Here are a few marketing tips including some great referral tactics:
4. Connect with Former Co-workers
If you have left an established career to become an online trainer, schedule a lunch or happy hour with former co-workers to catch up and share what you have going on in your life.
This could be a goldmine because you already understand many of the struggles your former co-workers face. Long hours? Busy seasons? Too much sitting? Unhealthy food at work? You've been there. You get it.
Those people who need your services will be thrilled that you have made yourself available to them. Always remember, your friends might not need your services, but they have friends or family that probably do.
5. Schedule Public Speaking Engagements with Special Interests Groups
Garden clubs, professional associations, parenting groups, and many others look to educate their club members on a variety of topics. Presenting at a special interest group's meetings is a great way to market yourself and your business to potential clients.
Offer lots of quality content and value that's tailored to your audience and you will have people begging to schedule consultation calls with you.
6. Attend More Social Events
After a long day of work, do you really want to go to a birthday party for your friend’s 5-year-old? Maybe...maybe not, but view it as a way to network your services and the party will suddenly be much more appealing.
Obviously you don't want to be that person who's always trying to sell something. Instead, open up conversations. Ask lots of questions. Get to know new people and be genuinely interested in their lives.
If you're more of an introverted type, it might be helpful to set a goal for yourself. "I will start a conversation with 2 new people by asking them ____." Go to the gathering with a plan so that your nerves don't take over.
You never know who you're going to meet at a social gathering, and it may just be your next client!
7. Volunteer to Lead a Warm-up
There is no better place to market your unique skills than in an environment filled with like-minded, health-conscious people. Participants will appreciate your talents and people who resonate with you will want to work with you.
Although you specialize in online personal training/coaching, always remember it is personal interactions and connection that close sales. People still want to have a human experience with someone and want to do business with a person, not a screen.
Get yourself out from behind that computer and start making personal connections. Your ideal clients are out there and are so desperate to work with you...you just have to make yourself available, in-person, so they can discover just how fabulous you and your services really are!