If you’re anything like me, you know the struggles of being an introverted personal trainer working in a gym. The last thing you want is to be the center of attention. Some gyms go as far as placing new trainers in a different colored uniform shirt so members can identify the helpers on the gym floor. Unfortunately, to introverts, that shirt feels more like a scarlet letter.
As a new trainer, I struggled trying to face my fear of approaching members to strum up new clients. And it didn’t get any easier when I became an independent trainer. You no longer have a gym to market your services in, and have to come up with ways to go in public or broadcast your message on social media. I’ve talked to so many trainers that struggle to put out any content at all because they’re self-conscious and afraid to be judged. They miss out on the attention that extroverts get to help build a sustainable business.
I feel for you.
But don’t give up just yet. Luckily there’s plenty of things introverts do extremely well. If we focus on what we’re principally great at and apply it towards fitness business marketing, we have a superpower that our boisterous, extroverted counterparts can’t contend with.
Blogging and Podcasting
These are my two favorite methods of producing content. I hate video and get anxious at networking events, so writing and recording audio are two great ways you can build a body of work and get your message out to potential clients.
Blogging has been around forever so it’s self-explanatory more or less. You write articles, publish them to your website, and drive traffic to your website. This can all be done behind the scenes and is a great way for introverts to get their message and branding out into the world for potential clients to view them as a trusted expert.
Podcasting is really hitting its stride now in the wave of voice controlled devices hitting the market. If you don’t have a podcast you should. If you aren’t the type that wants to go and do public speaking or similar methods to build your authority, a podcast may be just the place to start. You can download Anchor and do it for free. Spotify just recently acquired Anchor so your podcast will be featured there as well as the Apple Podcast app and anywhere else podcasts are streamed. I first got comfortable recording my voice with voice memos on my iPhone. It gave me practice with topics I was interested in and eventually I got better at succinctly delivering my point. I eventually warmed up enough to venture into co-hosting a weekly podcast and recently started my second podcast.
Direct Messaging on Social Media Platforms
Posting on Instagram or Facebook isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it’s sort of a necessary evil. Social media is not disappearing anytime soon. You really need to embrace it. Even you, my shy friend. A great feature that seems like it was made for us is the DM. Depending on which platform your target clients are located (for me it’s 40-60 year old men, so I use LinkedIn a lot) all the major ones have a DM feature where you can directly reach out to anyone who has an account. I’ve had a lot of success engaging my target demographic on LinkedIn, but if you train young millennials then you should be DM’ing on Instagram, whereas if you’re targeting middle-aged women, then Facebook should be your go-to.
One suggestion: pay attention to who’s liking your posts and once you see someone who’s consistently into your stuff, reach out and ask them what kind of content they’re most interested in. You’ll not only start a dialogue that can land you a new client, but also get insight about what topics are best for future content.
OK, now I’m literally giving you my secret sauce to building a business without spending a dime on marketing and advertising. Any chance I get I try and set up a coffee or lunch meeting with a potential client, former client, or someone that can connect or refer me a client. As an introvert, we have a unique skill where we thrive in the one on one environment. That’s why so many great private trainers are introverts and not group fitness instructors.
Knowing this about yourself, you need to get face to face with a potential client so you can work your magic. I use this strategy in conjunction with DM’ing. I use the DM to set up an in-person meeting and land a new client from there. What I’ve found is the people who are serious about getting in shape and value personal training as a means to do it are more than willing to spend time face to face. This is usually because those people are older, more mature, and not really into texting back and forth for you to deliver your sales pitch. Get in front of them (especially people you already have a relationship with) and show them how working with you is everything they need to get in the best shape of their lives.
These three methods of marketing for introverts are tried and true. I’ve used each of them and still do to this day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think about these strategies and how they’ve worked for you. Shoot me a DM on any of the major platforms at @coachmikeurso or email me at Mike@CoachMikeUrso.Com with your questions.
And share this out to your introverted fitness professional friend!