FACT: The internet is a beautiful thing and a crazy tool that can do amazing things for your business while you sleep, play golf, train clients, go surfing or just hang out on Facebook if that is your “thing.”
We all know that we need on online presence to capture the massive segment of potential clients who hang out on Google and social media sites – that now goes without saying. So it is really important that you place a tick in the online box when it comes to creating business from the net. Like all good things in life, making your personal training business website sing like bird is not something that is genetically ingrained. You either learn how to do from the people who know or you get someone else to do it for you.Having a crack yourself is commendable, but if the local basket-weaving website is getting more action than your PT site then it may be time to re-assess your online presence.
In my experience of putting sites together there are 5 crucial steps that must all be followed in order to make your website sing and turn your prospects into long-term clients.
Step 1: Make A Good First Impression
I don’t know about you, but when I go to a new site I have made a decision about that site within the first 5-10 seconds of visiting. Professional, boring, interesting, sleazy, amateurish, unique – whatever the first impression is, it definitely counts s0 think about what message you are putting out when you site first opens.
As part of this, you may also want to sit with a few different people as they open your page and ask them where there attention is drawn on your page. If this is not in the places that you want it (eg: header, headline or opt-in) then you may want to adjust your fonts sizes and/or colors.
Check out the very cool FitPro WordPress website templates which can get you set up with a professional custom site for under $300 (yes, that is not a typo – check it out). These guys take all the hassle out giving you a professional looking site without the hefty price tag.
Step 2: HAVE A HEADLINE THAT CAPTURES ATTENTION
Alright, design is one thing but having a sick design does not mean you are going to press the pain buttons of your potential clients. That comes down to the copy. Having a great headline ensures that the visitor knows they are in the right place and that there is value in reading more. Lots of people freak out when it comes to writing copy for their website and I understand that it can be a daunting task so let me make it easy for you.
- Identify your target market and create a profile (or avatar) for that specific person.
- Using the pains outlined by that person (eg: I cant lose the last 5 kg)
- Write a headline that talks directly to that person, using their pain and offering a solution.
It is important to focus your headline on one person and write specifically for them . When potential clients come to your page, you want them to feel like your page has been written specifically for them and the headline is the start of that.
Step 3: Lay Down Some Copy That Speaks Their Language
Good copy on a website is not about guilt or shame to create a response; it is more about letting your potential client clearly know that you understand that they are going through and that you can help them get where they want to go. So in your copy you should include these things as your bare-arsed minimum:
- outline their pains (be specific and speak in there language not yours)
- outline your solution (how your service is going to resolve of there specific pains).
- paint the happy picture (let them know how they will feel after they have achieved there goals)
- make an offer (massive value that they cant refuse)
- call to action (include there pains or benefits into the call to actions).
This is a basic formula that has many additions (testimonials, before and after shots etc) but as a minimum your copy should have those five points. Now, to really super-charge your conversion put together your copy and then present it on video so your prospects can get a look at you.
People relate alot better to a real person, especially on the net so if you can make it look reasonably tight, video is an awesome option.
Step 4: Have A Bait Piece That Is High On Value
Building a list is crucial in the online world as it is important for your buyers to like, know and trust you. In one visit to your site, you may be able to establish likability and be known but the trust thing may take a little longer. This is where an interactive list becomes an amazing business asset. Having valuable interaction with your list (whatever form that may take) is crucial as this allows you to:
- show up regularly with valuable content.
- have a direct line of communication to your target market.
- build trust and authority.
- promote to people who already know, like and trust you (much higher chance of buying)
But if you don’t get your initial website visitors to opt-in, you have no list. No list = no love. So when it comes down to putting together your opt-in and bait piece (the thing you offer when they opt-in) you need to come back to your target market profile.
What do they want more than anything?
Work out what it is and give it to them. It needs to be something that has enough value that is:
- going to make them give you their details.
- allow you to contact them in the future (because everyone who leaves there deet’s knows what they are getting into).
So hold nothing back and give your best stuff over as your bait piece. Remember that this may be the only time that they come to your site, so let’s make sure that they never forget you.
Step 5: Get Bucket-Loads of Traffic
Ahhh, the Holy Grail of having a successful website – traffic. It is all well and good to get your website looking the part, reading like you are inside the head of your target market and having the most amazing bait piece and opt-in form.
All this hard work means absolutely nothing is no-one ever walks into your online store….. Search engine optimization (SEO) for marketing for gyms, pay-per-click advertising, Google maps, online directories, blogging, forums, link building, article writing, You Tube, Facebook ads, Twitter, Facebook pages, email marketing – the list of possible sources is as long as your arm leg.
I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the big ticket holders (Google and social media) as that is where a lot of people are hanging out these days. Then after that, work towards your strengths. Me… I like to write and I am warming up to being on camera so blogging is a good choice for me while creating You Tube video’s is also starting to help.
You will need to maintain a consistent and diverse approach to your traffic generation until you get to a point where it works for you automatically. I used to look after all this stuff myself but to be honest, I don’t really understand it that well so I now spend $40 a month and get a SEO company to do it all for me. My traffic has never been better and I have washed my hands of the whole thing (if you want there details, let me know).
So as you can see with those 5 steps, the main thing when designing and providing content for your website is to look through the eyes of your prospect. It doesn’t really matter if you like it or not, if it doesn’t make you target market get fired up and want to start training with you (or at least grab your bait piece) then it may as well be about basket-weaving.
For the good of your business, be critical of your website and always think that you can do better. If it is not bringing in a bunch of leads every month, it is not doing it’s job and something has to change.