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Marketing for $1 or less! Marketing on a Shoestring!


As I talk to new professionals and even some with more experience, I hear the same thing: “I don’t have any money for marketing.” “How am I supposed to get new business and clients if I don’t have the money.” It’s a Catch-22. Without money—they feel they can’t market. Without marketing, they can’t get clients—so no money for marketing. And the cycle continues.

Through my research, experience, and conversations with successful professionals, I’ve learned that some of the best marketing strategies are the most simple, and the least expensive.

1. Build a client loyalty program. It costs a lot less money to keep a customer than to get a new one. So, take care of the clients you have. Reward them for their loyalty to you and their commitment to their own health and fitness. KEEP THEM COMING BACK!

2. Create a referral program! Word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing and advertising strategy. Reward your clients who bring you more clients! LET YOUR CLIENTS BE YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT!

3. Network, network, network! Every person you meet, every clerk in a store, every server who brings you food—EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL CLIENT! Always have your business cards ready—always “look the part” of the competent fitness professional, and always communicate your passion for fitness!

4. Give to your community and get involved! I firmly believe that what we give comes back to us tenfold! Volunteer with a local charity or cause that you feel passionate about. This will increase your visibility, your network, and your list of prospective clients. And you will be doing something GOOD FOR OTHERS!

With all of the emphasis on technology, social media, and the internet I think we’ve forgotten about the basics! These simple approaches are proven to be effective and most are FREE!

So, what are your best ideas for marketing on a shoe string budget? Please share your ideas with us!

I look forward to hearing from you!



Are you going to be at the IDEA World Convention in Los Angeles August 7 – 10? If so, please stop by our booth in the exhibit hall! I’d love to meet you! Plus, we’ll be giving away FREE classes, including our marketing and business classes!

Check out our new Fitness Business Institute! We have a new catalog of sales and marketing classes designed specifically for YOU!

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5 thoughts on “Marketing for $1 or less! Marketing on a Shoestring!

  1. I love the referral program. For every new client who pays for and attends one session you get one complementary session. Also the buy 2 get one Free approach is good.

    1. Great approach, Susan! Referrals are a great way to reward your loyal clients, attract new clients, and utilize your networks to get new business.

  2. Depending on where you work or have your own business you may have the opportunity
    to connect with people in your area through radio and newspaper without spending a dime
    on marketing.
    In the past I have worked with local radio talk show hosts and newspaper columnists and they
    have told the story of their weekly workouts and weight loss in the newspaper and on their
    radio shows. At one time we held a contest between the two forms of media.
    Free advertising for me, free personal training for them – a win win situation!!!

    1. That’s great, Mary. Thanks for sharing. I’ve found that the media love community events and interest stories. Volunteer service will not only get the attention and coverage, but giving back to your community is a “win-win” for everyone!

  3. As I fly back from the WORLD IDEA conference in LA I am impressed and depressed. The professionalism and quality of character of the trainers at this event is off the charts. These fitness professionals want to be the best they can be for their clients. That stated I see the disheartening of inspirational leaders that do not know how to do the business side of the coin. They can lead a client very effectively as a whole but can they get enough clients through proper business channels to make a decent living? The majority of them lack the business knowledge to be efficient, effective and truly successful for themselves and their families. Wow are there some awesome people out there to help us overcome the obesity issues.
    As I co-presented with Amy Hyams on the subject one of the biz topics was social media. We all know that is current and the future to market your skills for a very low output of $$’s When a discussion was occurring on the applications of which ones to use and how often, I tossed out the question. How many people use Hootesuite? Out of 26 personal trainer and or managers in the class not a single one knew what Hootesuite was or did. It comes out in the pudding to WORK SMART & NOT HARD. Keep up your studies on improved successful workouts for your clients but get your business skills down and live the dream in all areas of your passion. Check out the Fitness Business Institute on this site and see all of the social media options. By the way Hootesuite is a calendar software package that is FREE and allows you to manage your social media releases. Take a weekend to set up your blog, tweets, facebook pics etc and then schedule their releases without the burden of doing them all one by one through each day. It works great!!

    Ok now what are the best times for releases for each option? There is lots to learn and the data is there. I hope we can help our professionals and our profession take it to the next level.

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