Before we dive into the three ways to grow your email list as a personal trainer, let's take a moment to understand WHY personal trainers need an email list.
If you have spent any time in the online space as a business owner, you've probably heard "email list" a time or two.
Having an email list allows you to show up directly in your potential customer's inbox. This is why email has proven to result in more reads and clicks than social media.
An influential marketing blogger, Derek Halpern ran a test where he sent his latest blog post to the same number of people via both email and Twitter. The results: 300 people clicked on the article from Twitter and 4,200 people clicked on it from email. (source)
By sending relevant content to your email list, you are building a relationship and building trust.
Your reader may not be ready to commit to hiring a trainer or signing up for your online program today, tomorrow, or even next month. BUT, when they are ready, you will be the first person they think of.
Also, if you write a blog, an email list is a great way to get people to revisit your site, which builds your credibility and authority as a knowledgeable fitness professional.
Building your Facebook and other social media followings are great, but those platforms continuously change their algorithms and you don't have control over what they do. Right now, posts from Facebook fan pages are not making it into people's news feeds as often as before, and that's a trend that's likely to continue.
On the other hand, collecting email addresses allows you to send information and make pitches to ideal clients on your terms. You have complete control.
Now that we have covered the WHY behind email lists, let's get into HOW you can create and grow your email list.
Step 1: Create and Offer a Freebie
The best way to grow your email list is to create a freebie and start promoting it.
Freebies, like free samples, show new leads what you can do for them!
People's inboxes are overflowing with newsletters and free stuff now-a-days. You have to get creative and provide superior value if you want someone to give you their email address.
For example, see below for one of Yuri Elkaim's freebies. He offers a "Health Score" quiz that anyone can do. However, to get their full results, visitors enter their name and email address. Boom - a new lead for Yuri!
Offering a free downloadable PDF, e-book, free challenge, webinar, or mini video course is a great way to get potential clients to exchange their email address for your awesome freebie.
A PDF or e-book is probably the easiest and quickest way to get started. Type it up, create a cover photo in Canva or PicMonkey for free, save it as a PDF, and BOOM - you're done.
Don't over complicate this, it doesn't have to be super fancy. It should be something you feel you could charge for, but because you're so nice, you'll give it away for free.
Start with something simple, something you know. You can always improve it later.
Ideas for Your First Freebie
Idea #1 - Make a list of 5 things about a topic you wish you knew 2 years ago. Use this list to create a great PDF or e-book for people who are struggling with the same things you were before.
Idea #2 - Make a list of questions you are frequently asked as a trainer and put together a mini video series or e-book answering one or more of the questions.
Idea #3 - Think about one of the biggest problems your clients face, and then solve it in a way that requires as little work from them as possible.
How to Promote Your Freebie
Option #1- Many bloggers write a great post and then offer a free downloadable PDf, as a kind of an “upgrade” option. In order to get the PDF, readers have to give them their email. Amy Porterfield does this with almost every post/podcast and the information she offers is hard to say no to!
Option #2 - Another method is to create an e-book or video series, like I did, and promote it within your posts, blog, and social media.
Step 2: Make It Easy for People to Find Your Freebie on Social Media
Social media headers are prime real estate for selling your services and products.
Your header image is a great way to add a call-to-action and get your followers to download a freebie, read a great blog post, or buy from you.
Here's an example where Dave Smith uses a simple header to direct Facebook visitors to purchase a product. You could do the same, but send them to your freebie opt-in page.
Twitter: You can also update your Twitter cover with some information about your freebie or services/products you offer.
Instagram: Update the link in your Instagram profile to direct people to the sign-up page of your freebie.
In addition to updating your headers on social media, you can sprinkle in call-to-action promotional images/posts. These images should be clear, concise, and compelling. Remember to add an eye-catching call-to-action and an image that supports your message.
Pinterest: Write a blog post that features your products, sales, or offers. Create Pinterest Optimized Images and add them to your post. Give your photos names that include search terms your customers would use. Pin your images to Pinterest in your personal and group boards.
Facebook: Share your posts and images, and in any Facebook groups that allow you to promote your stuff.
Twitter: Share on Twitter and then schedule a few more creative tweets throughout the week.
Be sure to promote your content on any other social media platform you use (Google Plus, Periscope, Youtube, etc.).
Step 3: Create Facebook Ads
Facebook (and social media in general) offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the same platform as the “big guys” to get in front of potential clients.
You don't need thousands of dollars for marketing. Anyone with a Facebook business page can run a Facebook ad, promote their SIGN UP button, or boost a post.
That being said, with the easy (and free) access people have to social media, it can be difficult to compete for attention. You have to be a little clever to really pull this off...
Here's a complete step-by-step guide to making money with the easiest Facebook ads. This does take a little practice, and you will need to invest a bit of money to find a formula that works. But, once you have it laid out, you can fill your email list with quality leads using these tactics.
In the book, REWORK, there is a chapter called “Good enough is fine.”
When good enough gets the job done, go for it. It’s better than wasting resources or, even worse, doing nothing because you can’t afford the complex solution. And remember, you can usually turn good enough into great later.
For my freebie, I made a list of all the cues and tips I have given clients over the years to help them master some of the exercises I constantly see people doing wrong.
I wrote everything down in a Word document and added some pictures. I also made a little infographic on Canva as a special bonus. Saved it all as a PDF and DONE.
Freebies, Facebook ads, and navigating multiple social media channels can feel overwhelming (and it is). Pick one thing to focus on, start at the beginning, and go from there!