A lot of personal trainers will offer a free consultation and even a free session as a sales strategy to sell prospective clients on the services they offer. This strategy has been one of the most dominant strategies in the personal training industry. Even when you look at other industries, the “try before you buy” tactic has proven itself as powerful. However, there tends to be little deviation from the norm when it comes to these “try before you buy” sales tactics. In this article we will go over how you can use live fitness classes to collect leads, put them through a sales funnel, and generate new clients.
First, why use live fitness classes in the sales process?
When you look at sales for personal trainers, a lot of trainers have more than likely developed their own way doing things. However, often times in the sales process, a lot of trainers will offer something for free. Maybe a free consultation or a free session.
It’s not super often that you see trainers offer a free live class, however. Offering a free live class can be a great way to showcase your skills and expertise while changing it up a little bit.
Additionally, when it comes to giving something away for free, from a business perspective, you want to limit what you giveaway.
Giving away a free session is an hour of your time that you won’t get back. However, giving away a live class spot is not the same as giving away a session. Especially if you have other participants in the class who have paid to be there.
Because giving a live fitness class spot away is lower overhead then giving away a session, it makes it a little bit of a more dynamic free offer. You’ll see why later on.
Where do free offers happen in the sales process?
Often times, free offers, such as a free live class, session, or consultation, happen after you have already met a prospective client. Typically you know a little bit about them and why they have reached out to you.
The free offer comes in when you believe they are on the fence about purchasing your services. So, you offer a free consultation or session in order to demonstrate your knowledge, expertise, and to lead up to a sales pitch or sell of some sorts.
To sum it up, free offers are typically used in the middle or later on in the sales process to inch a prospective client towards making a purchase.
Using live fitness classes to collect leads and gain exposure.
As we mentioned earlier, live classes are a little bit more dynamic as a free offer due to the lower overhead presented when giving a live class spot. Let’s explore some ways you can give away spots to live classes and achieve business objectives while doing so.
Give away a couple free live fitness class spots on a semi-regular basis.
Setting a schedule where you giveaway a couple live class spots every other couple of weeks/months can be a great way to get more leads. Especially If you do it consistently for awhile. People will learn to keep an eye out for whenever you do offer a couple free spots.
In FitSW, when you list fitness classes publicly, you can list them at a certain price for admission. However, as the class host, you can edit the class listing as you need to.
This opens the door to editing the price. What you can do is, every now and then, post on your social media account(s) and send emails to your email list, announcing that for a certain time period, one of your classes is free to join.
Here’s an example announcement:
“For the next two hours, my online yoga class will be FREE to join. Come claim your spot before they’re all taken!”
And just like that, you get a couple people that join your class. But what else do you get? Leads. FitSW collects class attendee information for you (Name and email address).
Once you have leads, send follow up emails to those who joined and regularly send them updates about your business, other offers you may have going on, and helpful information about health and fitness.
Using live fitness classes in this way can be a great way to build up your email list.
If you send out good content regularly then you’re new email list subscribers from your live classes are more than likely going to visit your site. This means they will learn more about your business, services, and the results you have gotten past clients. Additionally, if you have a marketing funnel set up, then they will get remarketing ads on social media, reminding them about your business.
Use live fitness classes later on in the sales funnel
As we talked about earlier, a lot of personal trainers have some form of a sales process they follow. Many trainers will offer a free session for prospective clients who are on the fence. Instead of doing this, you can offer a free live class spot instead.
If you are worried about it not being as personal as you’d like it to be, don’t. At least with the FitSW live class platform, we have built in features that allow for trainers to monitor live fitness class attendees as much as you’d like.
Besides that, they are still getting to see you in-action. They will see your leadership skills in leading the class, your knowledge, and how your provide instruction/corrections to other class attendees. Besides that, them joining a live class of yours is essentially the personification of social proof.
Social proof is the verification of you, your business, and your services through using the voice of your peers. For personal trainers, the most common form of social proof is client testimony. However, with live fitness classes, you have class attendees. Just by having a class that is at least semi-full is social proof.
Run a challenge where the giveaway is free access to your live classes
This is a great option for many reasons. Live classes aside, running a fitness challenge can be a fantastic method of generating engagement on your social media profiles and on your website.
The fitness challenge itself doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with live classes, it can just be a normal fitness challenge based on social media.
However, at the end, pick the winner and give one month of fitness classes completely for free. This works especially well if the person that won the challenge is not a past client. The reason is because once they win, then you can say:
“okay you have a choice of taking the live fitness classes. Or you train with me and I will subtract the value of the classes that you won from the personal training that you purchase.”
You’re offer was pretty enticing before. But now? It’s much more exciting the think about and you are really forcing them to think about it. Plus, since they went through your challenge, they should be prepped to hit the ground running with you for training if they choose to go that route.
Co-run a fitness class with another trainer
This is another good one to create great engagement on your social media profiles. Not only just yours but also someone you are collaborating with.
Reach out to someone who you want to work with or know and propose co-running a live fitness class with them. Think of ways to promote the class across each others channel such as posting something like:
“I will be picking three people to giveaway three spots to any of my live fitness classes coming up. To enter, like this post and follow *insert class co-runner username*
Each person chosen at random will get three free classes to attend.”
This is why collaboration is so powerful. You post this on your channel and your collaborator posts it on theirs and you both get exposure.
What not to do.
A lot of voices in the personal training industry have spoken out about giving away your services for free. And really, there is merit to their arguments. Giving away free services can do your business injustices if you do it wrong or with the wrong intentions.
Doing it too much devalues your services and can attract the wrong type of clients. Let’s explore this a little more.
Don’t give away live fitness class spots too much
Giving away spots too often can devalue your services. Instead of giving away classes every week or month, do it somewhat sporadically. We touched on this a little bit earlier, but let’s elaborate.
It is not uncommon for businesses to run semi-regular promotions. To give an example, let’s look at Udemy. While they are in an entirely different industry, they still have set a pretty good example on how to run regular promotions while preserving the perceived value of their services.
Udemy, every now and then, will run a special on a lot of their courses that seriously discount their prices. We are talking 90% discounts on hundreds of courses.
They do it on a semi-regular basis because it re-engages customers who might not have been engaged with Udemy for awhile and drives sales beyond just the promotion.
Extending this to your personal training business, running a special every so often will re-engage people and engage new people with your business.
You could be attracting the wrong type of clients through giving away too many classes
The right type of client knows and understands the value that personal training brings. As such, they aren’t going to be looking for the cheapest option out there because they understand value.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach these types of clients through promoting your classes and doing giveaways every now and then. Running some of the promotions we have discussed in this blog really do one thing. Increase your reach within the right audience.
If you are running challenges and collaborations on social media where your content is going to be shared across fitness channels, then you are going to get more attention from people who are actively looking for services like yours. Increasing the chances of them discovering you, reaching out, and becoming a client.
Live fitness classes can be used as a great tool to promote reach and engagement for your business. Giving away a free live class spot gets people excited, it cheaper then giving away free sessions/consultations, and you can use it collect leads.
Just be careful and try not to do it that much. You want to make sure you aren’t devaluing your services.