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Your #1 Marketing tool

by Mike McQuillan

Your #1 Marketing tool

By Mike McQuillan

fit-presenter.com


The floor trainer walks the strength section for the familiar 6:00 am rounds, greeting people as he just happens to be putting away a few dumbbells (wink, wink). It’s the same gym members doing the same “bis and tris” to failure before checking text messages for the seventh time. What is it going to take before these people let me help them?, he asks himself. He approaches the cross cable to hang a rope attachment on the pulley in the hopes of striking up a conversation with his next client. Ah, someone is taking the bait! First the eye contact, then the pitch. “Hey, nice to see ya.” And then it’s all over. What happened? Why didn’t she sign up for a thousand-dollar package of training sessions?

Do the hustle!

The hustle for clients on the gym floor can take the soul out of a fitness trainer. It’s all an acting competition to see who can pretend they’re not trying to haul in new business. In commercial gyms, the best trainers often take a backseat to the charmers, spokesmodels, and false prophets who happen to have a better elevator pitch.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a more honest way to build up a client base? What if people chose trainers on their own merit instead of by good marketing? What if clients made informed decisions? What if the best trainers carried the best message? Is there a way to turn the best trainers into the best self-promoters?


Enter the FIT Presenter

If you have a hard time finding clients, then stop looking. The best clients come looking for you. They have questions that they don’t know how to ask. They have misconceptions that they don’t realize. They enter the gym under ball caps, sunglasses, and headphones, hiding a mixture of social anxiety and quiet desperation. Those are the first people to jump at the chance to meet you in a public forum. They want a trainer to address their insecurities about fitness, not their exercise selection. They can find tips on lifting technique and programming on the latest app. They want you to speak to their uncertainty. 

Invite gym members and prospective clients for an information session and you can showcase your talent and win their trust before asking for their business. Social media has the broadest reach for a small business, but the connection is very superficial. You can pique the interest of a total stranger with a quick post, but eventually you have to deliver in person. Public speaking is the number one marketing tool that your competition is not using.


Take a look at any gym’s website and look for an events calendar. Most websites have a calendar with nothing on it. You have to wonder why they have a calendar at all. Gym owners know that their space is a ready-made speaking venue. They also have an eager audience.


Most businesses, including fitness facilities, have four audiences:
  • Potential clients
  • Existing clients
  • Professional colleagues
  • Employees

Drive your business with 4 R's 

In this article we’ll look at the second category, your existing clientele. Your gym members. You have the opportunity through public speaking events to drive the four R’s.

All gym owners face the challenge of client Retention. A new client is many times harder to sign up than an existing one. Most traditional gyms will lose half of their membership each year due to loss of interest or lack of results. Just one event to give that disillusioned gym member new hope can save about half of that half. What would that mean to your gym? And to your pool of prospective training clients?


The second R, the one that most people overlook, is Reinvention. Gyms lose a small fortune by repairing cardio equipment that gets little to no results anyway. How much money would it save the gym if you can get people away from the $5000 high-maintenance treadmill and onto the floor with a few sets of dumbbells? Wouldn’t the members get amazing results just by applying what you teach? Once they see potential for growth, the next step is … personal training!

Now that we have tap danced with the first two incentives for speaking in your gym, let’s be honest. We’re doing this for money, also known as the 3rd R – Revenue. We bring an audience into the gym so we can upsell them. It would be an insult to your audience to subject them to a hard sell, but it’s also an insult not to offer them anything. If they invest their time to learn more, they will also invest their money. To learn more about SWAP (Sell Without Annoying People), take a look at the FIT Presenter Master Course. Even if you don’t want to commit $297 to a course that will equip you with the skills and materials to nail that presentation, you probably know someone who will.

Speaking of people you know, in the business world we call them the 4th R – Referrals. Everybody that you train knows somebody who wants to train with you. Your clients are your best marketing device. They want to help. A special event will get that fence sitter into the gym and into your database for future business.


Prepare your talk

Are you motivated yet? Are you ready to set up your next talk? If you haven’t gotten your free kit, fill out the contact form on the right side of this page. That will get you started putting your material together.

If you are running PowerPoint bullets through your mind, you are hereby ordered to go back to the beginning and read everything on this website. We don’t do that on FIT Presenter. You have a choice of going broad or deep. You go broad with safety regulations or whenever you cannot miss a detail. You go deep when you want to make a personal connection. If you’re thinking of 30 bullet points to showcase your vast fitness knowledge, then divide those points by 10. Step in front of your audience with fewer main points, and then bring those points alive with stories and audience interaction. For every point you make, give them something to do. Let them create the experience. As the speaker, you don't seek validation, you give it.


Gain an unfair advantage

The fitness industry is a funny place. In some ways, the entry barrier is as low as it is for any profession (please don’t let your state legislator read this). At the same time, with all of the advances in functional training, specializations, and now virtual fitness classes, the industry is also a tough nut to crack. The one segment that is wide open is classroom instruction. Public speaking chases your competition away and leave room for only you. The concept of speaking in your gym is such a novelty that an extensive online search for images for this article came up with nothing. Look at the main pic. She's in an office! There are no pics of people speaking in a gym setting. People are not doing it!

Trainers are scaling their businesses by working online at a time when people crave direct contact more than ever. Inviting people for an in-person interactive event will give you an advantage so unfair it should be against the law. You have the venue, you have the message, and you have the audience! All you need now is the bravery to face your audience. Are you ready? 


Mike McQuillan

About the author

Mike McQuillan, aka the Fit Presenter, coaches fitness industry professionals to give top-quality presentations, seminars, and courses. His day job is an English teacher in Lima, Peru.

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