Part 3 – My Offline Marketing Ideas
So how can we grow our business in ways that have (almost) nothing to do with social media?
There are many possibilities, actually!
Time to think old-school: remember, that there are tried-and-true ways of doing business that were working for mom and pop stores long before the internet came around.
Here are some of the things I’ve been experimenting with lately to get the word out:
Ask For Referrals
Word of mouth really is the gold standard of marketing.
I send out a weekly email to my fitness class attendants, and while I periodically ask for them to help spread the word in that email, I do not often ask people individually.
Well, last week I had an opening in my personal training schedule. Offhandedly and almost as a joke, I mentioned to one of my favorite clients that if she had any friends, preferably in her neighborhood, who wanted personal training, I had an opening. She immediately said she would post about me to her neighbors on her neighborhood list serve!
It was a good reminder that I can ask more directly for what I want to specific people so that my request doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Build Real Connections With Other People in the Community
Outside of your business, where do you connect with people? How can you be a part of building a better community?
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing:
- A past client is very involved in a charity that supports the fight against multiple sclerosis, and I have been interested in participating in some of their events for a while. I finally did a walk with them a couple of weeks ago, even though I didn’t know anyone in the group except her. She introduced me and my business to so many people, and in one morning, I made connections with about four people who may be interested in partnering with me in multiple ways!
- Since I run virtual classes and in-home training on my own, I do not have opportunities to connect with other fitness professionals unless I create those opportunities for myself. I have begun reaching out to other trainers who do what I do. I’ve also asked more direct questions in a local small business networking group I am a part of on Facebook. One woman from that group is now interested in trying out my virtual classes and possibly partnering together in other ways. Through her, I have been invited to try out a BNI group. I’m not sure if I will actually join, but I will have the opportunity to present who I am and what I do to the group, which may be interesting!
Create Your Own Opportunities
Finally, I’ve become more intentional about creating regular get-togethers and events for my clients.
I would like to offer in-person opportunities like hiking, biking, or kayaking meet-ups and/or get-togethers at a restaurant or local brewery once every month or two.
Sowing The Marketing Seeds
Whew! It’s been a busy but fun season!
Much of the time, endeavors like the ones above feel much like planting small seeds: you hope that with time and care, at least some of them will grow into something beautiful…but it’s hard to know what will happen before those seeds begin to sprout!
Don’t let overwhelm hold you back, just start small. Trust yourself. Come up with a plan for what you feel you can reasonably manage at the moment, and be persistent in your efforts!
Learning how to market your business is just like building any other skill: you have to do it poorly before you can do it well. But in time, you will find the things that work for you, and each effort you make will become more refined.
You’ve got this!
Niki J. Torres is the owner of Folk Fitness where she specializes in helping everyday folks come together to build healthier, stronger lives. A personal trainer for over 9 years and nutrition coach, she believes there is strength in numbers, power in fun, and that the smallest changes make the biggest differences. With a background in theatre and a love for board games and all things silly, Niki loves finding ways to build community and make fitness enjoyable. Folk Fitness currently offers virtual classes, online programs, and in-home personal training in the Raleigh area.