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The Most Powerful Word In Fitness Marketing: FREE

I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times in the past when it comes to href=”” target=”_blank”> fitness marketing: ‘Don’t give away your services. It devalues you as a professional. Doctors don’t give away their time.’

Fitness marketing shouldn’t be about free sessions or free two week trials to your bootcamp or club.

Well, first off that’s a lie.  Free as a marketing tool works just as it works in other professions. Some of the most successful and highest paid plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills give away consultations.  There are thousands of chiropractors that give away a consult as well.  Many professionals from attorneys to accountants give away initial meetings or consultations as well.

Why do these professionals ‘give away’ their time even though they are all in far more established professions that most people have more experience with than personal training?

Because they know that a face-to-face sales opportunity is far more powerful than any direct mail piece, newspaper ad or any other marketing tactic can ever be.

They know that if you want to sell expensive offerings you need to alleviate the risk for the prospect and there is no better way to alleviate the risk than letting them get a taste of what their purchasing.

They also know that when it comes to marketing, we all ‘buy’ our clients.  We either pay with our time or by paying for an ad or a mailer or whatever other fitness marketing method we use to generate the prospect and turn them into a paying client.

So here are a few ways you can make FREE part of your fitness marketing arsenal:

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #1 – Include an offer for 2-3 free sessions or 1-2 weeks free of your bootcamp on the back of your business card. Give them to everyone you meet. This is one of the simplest and most powerful fitness marketing strategies you can use.

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #2 – If you do public speaking, allow attendees to try your services out free.

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #3 – Let your clients refer their friends, family members or co-workers to try your services out free.

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #4 – Empower your network to refer people to try out your services free. Give them  gift cards they can give to interested parties.

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #5 – If you are using Send Out Cards, send free offers to former clients and prospects that didn’t previously purchase.

Free Fitness Marketing Strategy #6 – If you do anything else like direct mail, door hangers, lead boxes or telemarketing – use free offers to get as many warm prospects to ‘raise their hands’ as possible.

And here are a few tips for making the most of your FREE marketing offers:

  • Have a structured personal training sales presentation and script to follow when you get the prospect in front of you.  Marketing only maters if you convert the leads you’re generating.
  • Allow the prospect to exchange the free trial for a discount off one of your bigger programs.
  • Make the prospect aware of the value of the session or trial.  A key to Free marketing is building value in the offer. If you normally charge $300 per month for your bootcamp and are giving them 2 weeks free – make sure they know that the trial has a $150 value.
  • Put a deadline to use the free offer by on any material you distribute – business cards, postcards, ads, etc.  Make people take action instead of allowing them to procrastinate.
  • Remember that if someone shows up to take advantage of your marketing offer they are still giving you their most valuable commodity – time.  Therefore they do perceive a value in what you have to offer and are a great candidate to buy.
  • Recognize that your closing percentage with people that come in for free  isn’t going to be 90% or anything like that.  Many personal trainers are used to these types of closing percentages because the barrier to entry for working with a trainer is perceived to be so high, most prospects are already convinced they will buy unless the trainer talks them out of it. Instead it’s more of a numbers game.  If you usually see 4 potential prospects a month and get 2-3 to be clients, you may need to see 2-3 times as many to convert the same amount.  However, with a Free marketing strategy you might get 15-50 prospects in front of you – which means a heck of a lot more than 2-3 new clients per month.

If you’re fitness business is in need of a surge of new clients, I know of no other fitness marketing strategy to generate as many new prospects as by offering free samples of your services.  If your schedule is already relatively full and you don’t want to offer anything free of charge, no sweat.  But if you want to get a lot of personal training prospects in front of you in a hurry – try free offers and get ready for a flood of traffic.

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