Google "personal trainer marketing ideas" and you'll usually find a bunch of crap like "add value to people's lives" and "choose a personal training specialization." While those tips are beneficial, they aren't very creative and are likely nothing you haven't already considered yourself.
The goal of this post is to provide some creative ways for personal trainers to monetize their personal training careers that are outside the box of normal thinking. These tips will be actionable and if followed will help bring in some extra revenue between your one-on-one or group training sessions immediately.
1. Start Amazon Affiliate Marketing Through Your Website
As a personal trainer I'm willing to bet my bottom dollar that you provide a lot of very specific recommendations on fitness and healthcare products. You tell your clients to go out and get a Magic Bullet, the type of protein powder to get, the type of athletic shoes to wear, the type of moisture wicking clothing you like, and the brand of chia seeds that you eat.
Shouldn't you be able to monetize this advice?
Enter Amazon's affiliate program, effectively dubbed "the world's most popular and successful affiliate program."
Here's how it works:
- You mention products on your website
- You link those mentions to Amazon's product pages
- You get paid a percentage when someone buys them (or anything else on the entire site)
Sound good? It should, and you should capitalize on it. Here's the catch - you can't just write up some crappy blog post and expect to make an extra $100 a week off it. You have to put time into writing up really great content and driving traffic to your site.
Granted this is not the quickest way to make a buck, but investing a solid year of writing the best content and getting it out there can provide you with some pretty significant returns.
Editors note: Amazon's program also has a nice perk where everything that people buy counts towards your commissions if they click to the site through your link.
Push Traffic to Make Affiliate Marketing Work
It is not unrealistic for some people to rake in an extra $20,000 or more a year from affiliate marketing. However, you shouldn't expect to make a lot of money off of Amazon right off that bat. This is especially true if you have a newer website or a website that get very little visits.
This means you'll have to put time into doing what is called search engine optimization (SEO) so that Google and other search engines begin to drive visits to your website. According to SEO expert Daniel Lofaso of Digital Elevator, a marketer that works with a lot of health and fitness companies to improve their website visibility, the first steps in driving traffic as part of a greater affiliate campaign are:
- Creating a professional-looking website to build trust (your DIY website ain't going to cut it)
- Creating a blog with the best content on topics you are an authority in (check out Bodybuilding.com for an example of the best types of health and fitness topics)
Take the PTDC.com website for example -- pulling together the articles of 30+ of the world's best trainers and covering topics that center around improving your personal trainer business.
"The PTDC website places content first and backs it with loads of credibility from well-known trainers and bloggers," says Lofaso. "The trainers are also featured on other major publications such as Men's Health and Forbes, only further extending their authority on the topics that they speak of."
Lofaso goes on to say that this type of trustworthiness drives the attention of the search engines, which in turn creates a lot of visits to the site. Those visits are the basis of any good affiliate campaign and are the core of what will drive sales.
In fact, Darren Rowse, a full time blogger, creator of Problogger.net and someone who regularly makes $90,000 a month off affiliate marketing, mentioned traffic as the number one tip for making money with the Amazon affiliate program in his detailed post The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program.
Like Lofaso, he too says that those who are starting out on the path of affiliate marketing need to have their "main focus on creating great content and building traffic to your blog."
There's no two-paragraph secret sauce for how to do great SEO and build traffic to your blog. There are entire companies that are dedicated to this topic so you can imagine that we can't fit all that content in one single blog post. However, here are some great links to articles that can help you learn more about it:
- Beginners Guide to SEO
- How To Write Content For People and Optimize For Google
- YouTube for Personal Trainers
If you're serious about making the investment in affiliate marketing you'll want to learn as much as you can about SEO (or consider hiring an agency). "SEO is hard and is extremely time-consuming," says Lofaso. "The more traffic you drive to your blog the greater chance you have of making money from affiliate marketing. However, there is a reason the average SEO charges $100 an hour; you can do it on your own but to do it right takes a lot of hard work."
Affiliate marketing is definitely one of those longer-term strategies for passive income but one that can help you to make money while you sleep. If you are looking for an overnight success story, this is definitely not for you.
2. Sell Group Fitness Packages to Local Businesses based on Employee Productivity Research
A Forbes article presented the scientific research that healthier employees are more likely to be productive because of such factors as:
- Healthy employees have greater energy levels and higher self-esteem
- Healthy employees take less sick days, have lower absenteeism, and have reduced health care costs
In short, healthy employees don't suck. All of this translates to more corporate productivity, which in turn is translated to more corporate profitability. Can I get an Amen?
While corporate-anything may turn away many personal trainers, you have to understand that the aforementioned data on profitability is what you can use to sell your services in a way that may be more easily digestible to your local corporate friends.
Imagine the look on the face of the CEO of MegaCorp when you tell him that "The health risks and failure of employees to participate in fitness and health promotion programs are associated with higher rates of employee absenteeism and thus, decreased company profitability."
Here's how you get in front of these corporate-type cats:
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce (do a Google search for " Chamber of Commerce") and visit the About, Staff or Board of Directors page to find a list of contacts. You'll likely want to get in touch with the Chamber's President or Executive Director. Don't be afraid to call to see whom the appropriate person is to talk to and to share some of that charm of yours.
Ask them if they'd be open to you conducting a workshop on something like "Increasing Corporate Profitability with Health and Fitness Programs." Feel free to use this script:
Hello President Pectorals,
I am new to the Chamber and am looking to get more involved in the community. I was interested in holding on a workshop at the Chamber offices on the subject of "Increasing Corporate Profitability with Health and Fitness Programs." The workshop would show executives how an investment in employee-based health and fitness programs can lead to decreased employee absenteeism and increased profitability and is all based on empirical research.
Please let me know if this is something you think members would be interested in and how we can go about organizing the workshop. I estimate the workshop would only be about an hour.
Personal Trainer Jim
When they give you a "hell yes" answer, make sure you make them aware that this workshop is for CEOs or the other decision-makers in the companies. Using studies A, B, C, and D as reference points, craft a workshop (from a PowerPoint presentation) that does the following:
- Provides scientific research on how fitness makes companies more profitable
- Shows them how much fitness should be instituted to increase productivity
- Shows them how you've already created a program special for them that addresses this productivity gap head on
Once you get approved for the workshop suggest that the Chamber share the workshop details via their email list, on their website and through their social media networks.
Make their job easier by giving them a write-up of whom the workshop is for and what they'll get out of it. Be sure to include your contact information and encourage interested parties to call you for more information. The exposure you get from the email blast, website coverage and social media posts alone may get you a few clients. While you can charge for the workshop most Chamber of Commerce-type trainings are free.
You can expect that the Chamber's employees will be happy to market your workshop for you. Check in with whatever individual at the Chamber is responsible for putting the list of attendees together and provide them with any information they need and try to get a working list of the attendees so you can market to them before and after your workshop.
Also, expect them to say you need to be a member before allowing you to get in front of all these decision-makers. Chamber memberships are usually in the $300 to $600 range, so getting a few clients out of this will quickly pay for itself.
3. Train Personal Trainers
Uh, what? Take Fitness Mentors as an example, a Los Angeles-based company. Eddie Lester, the owner, has made it a point to create the best free and premium NASM CPT, CES, and PES study guides on the internet and sells the premium study materials for a nice profit each month in addition to actually being a personal trainer.
While I wouldn't suggest copying Eddie's exact approach - he has spent years creating the study materials, teaches the course at a local college, updates them every year, and will crush your skull if you bite his idea - you can take away the creative approach Eddie has brought to the table.
Ask yourself, what do personal trainers need to be successful? According to United States Department of Labor Bureau statistics the median wage for a fitness trainer and instructor is $31,720.
Do you think kids in high school who are looking at their career goals are like "I want to be a personal trainer so I can make $30k a year?"
But the fact is there is slated to be around 300,000 personal trainers in the marketplace by 2022. You can teach them how to market their services (like this awesome blog does), sell them continuing education materials, or even white label resources that they can resell to their clients.
The best strategy is to automate the process. So, take the example of selling white-labeled resources for personal trainers that they can resell to their clients.
Let's say you create a nutrition plan that complements a bodybuilding plan. Your nutrition plan could be available online and the automation process would see that the purchasing trainers could upload their logo and contact information to it so it looked like one of their branded pieces of material. You would automate the checkout process as well, making money in your sleep and being an awesome resource for personal trainers everywhere.
This idea, of course, would lend itself to the notion that you intended on driving a more substantial amount of traffic to your website with a large portion of that traffic being from personal trainers. Teaming up with your website developer, you'll need to build out the following components on your site in order to automate the above-mentioned example:
- A landing page telling them what they'll get for their money with detailed information, a sample of the materials, and perhaps some testimonials for social proof.
- Payment gateway that delivered nutrition plan only after payment
- Ability for customers to upload contact information and logo to make guide look custom
- Downloadable nutrition plan (preferably in PDF form)