As important as it is to consider your niche, and communicate and brand with that specific target audience in mind, you must consider your PT business for what it is:

A business that is online in 2017.

There are a few considerations that should cross your mind when it comes to answering the question ‘do I need a blog’?:

  1. Who is your audience (niche), and where do they hang out?
  2. How do you want them to find you?
  3. What value are you adding for them? How are you serving them?
I'm a Personal Trainer. Do I need a blog?

Trainers building their businesses quickly identify that they cannot be a trainer that ‘does it all’.
It is very, very difficult to be an expert of many subjects – just as it is to be a reputable trainer for many different types of clients.

Jack of all Clients

Clients do not want a Jack of all trades fitness instructor, since they have a very specific, personal fitness goal in mind.
They want a trainer whose expertise is in training for the goal that they desire to achieve.

As an example, fitness training for one person who is a rehabilitation client, and someone else who is an aspiring elite powerlifter. Just as the clients have vastly different goals, the ways in which you would train them would not be one and the same, despite the underlying foundations of exercise instruction.

After the initial spark of the PT business idea, the businesses that succeed have actual conversations with real potential clients to determine if there is a demand for the service that the new business will offer.
Throughout the research phase of starting your business, you would’ve discovered a few things about your target audience’s behaviour, requirements, and attitude towards training that you may not have necessarily anticipated.  Equally important during this stage is to also seek out their common interests, as well as the avenues in which you can find and reach out to that audience.

Where is everybody?

You – a trainer who runs bootcamp sessions at lunchtime for office workers and public servants, for example – will have a broad age-range of clients, across all genders and personality types.
You wouldn’t advertise on daytime radio to reach your office workers, even if a few of them may listen to a particular local radio station at lunch.
You might instead consider flyers in office lobbies, lunchrooms, or community noticeboards nearby to business districts as an effective strategy at capturing the attention of your audience. The employment locality is something that the otherwise diverse demographics of clients within this niche all have in common.
This same simple principle should be followed online.

The big blue

Since Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media platform, we could default to say that ‘your audience hangs out online, so that’s where you should hang your (digital) flyers.’
Your audience probably uses Facebook in some capacity, but there is nothing wrong with publishing the content you produce within your own ecosystem (your website), and then sharing the links to those posts on your website via social media.

Your audience might use Facebook, but they may not seek out personal trainers for their intended goals on there at all.

Instead, you could find that they simply turn to Google, and search for terms like “Personal Trainers for Powerlifting in Suburbname.This is where your business blog comes in.

So… do I need a blog?

Here are some bullet points as to why the answer is Yes, you need a blog as a Personal Trainer:

  1. Creating useful, shareable content regularly, will will help search engines consider your site ‘up to date.’
    Simply throwing up a 5 page site, and refreshing it only every 3 years when you want to make it ‘look a bit more modern’ will not serve you.
  2. Creating useful, shareable content will help expose you to a larger potential audience.
    If you write useful things that somebody finds, they are likely to share it with similar others that are likely to also find it useful. If you write an excellent, thoughtful post on strength training for recovery, for example, your rehabilitation clients – potential or future – could share it with friends  who are also in rehabilitation, looking for help, or perhaps looking for a trainer.
  3. Creating useful, shareable content will help establish you as an authority within your niche.
    Staying up to date and on-topic to the interests of your target audience, will over time help cement your expertise within that niche, and will help tie the bonds between ‘Alex Oaks’ and ‘Powerlifting Coach’, both in reputation, and as far as Search Engine Optimisation is concerned.
  4. Google isn’t great at indexing and ranking posts you make on social media.
    But it’s pretty great at ranking PT’s who update their site and develop content regularly, for keywords associated with their market segment.
  5. Researching content for your blog topics will keep you current, and will assist with your professional development within your niche.
  6. And finally – the big one: How often have you quickly jumped on Facebook to find the details of a business or an event you are attending, only to come out of a trance five minutes later, where you’ve been flipping through your news feed?
    You do not want your clients to pulled away this easily once they’re engaging with your content.

Coming to a blog near you (this one) – is a more in-depth look into the procedure for building a blog for Personal Trainers. If you can’t wait, and would like one that is a bit more generic, I can recommend ‘How to Start a Successful Blog Today’ by The Minimalists.

 

When is a blog not necessary for PT’s?

There are some circumstances where you may not need a blog at all – more will surface after you have open conversations with members of your target audience, and ask what they currently consume and what they would find valuable – but here are a few that I could identify immediately:

  1. You work for a larger brand or gym who provide you with your new clients. However – Building the brand that is your name within your gym is not only often allowed, but encouraged by your gym. Just as a self-employed PT would want people talking about the name of their business, your gym will love for you to be building the reputation of “Alex Oaks from BigRigs Gym”.
    They want people talking about their gym, and the asset or product of their gym: you as their trainer.
  2. Your audience doesn’t seek fitness advice online.
  3. Your audience members are elite athletes, and you are employed or contracted by their club or training facility.

All 3 points above don’t argue for you to not start publishing content online, but show where they might not be useful in drawing an audience that will lead to more clients.

 

“Hindsight is 20/20”

If you plan to be in the job you are in forever, then it might be safe to take the route of putting your head down and doing your job, letting your bosses worry about your client-base.

Let’s say, after developing your reputation as a highly credible powerlifting coach for BigRigs Gym for 5 years, you decide to go out and work for yourself.

You might find yourself starting from a clean slate while trying to build an audience. Imagine having 5 years of experience documented, along with lessons learned and useful information for your niche – to leave BigRigs with an online following, and as an established authority, both within your niche and as far as Google page rankings are concerned.

 

Happy Training.

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