Being a successful personal trainer takes a great deal of self-promotion. If you are an independent trainer, or work for a gym or fitness club that does not promote your services, you need to invest in marketing for yourself. There's certainly traditional advertising options, but social media and the web have made these efforts affordable and accessible, with a strong ROI. A professional website is an asset you can't afford to work without and can be one of the best tools to attract new clients and stay in front of former or existing clients.
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Step 1: Choose a universal domain name
This is the URL or web address for your site. Universal means that the same name is available as a URL and on the social media channels you'll use. It's less confusing for clients when you can brand yourself across all channels with a single name. Look at a site like Domainr for the URL (this is what the pros use) which will show you all of the options and prices available. When you find one that you want, cross-check on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to make sure you can reserve those accounts.
You want a domain name that is relevant to your personal training brand. Consider pairing your own name with industry-relevant keywords like fitness, training, health, exercise or wellness. Also, if you plan to focus on a specific niche like strength training, running or weight loss, these words can be included, too.
Step 2: Register your domain name.
To purchase a domain and the hold the exclusive rights to it, you need to go through a domain name registry. Google's domain service is highly regarded by industry pros. For available names, these companies will allow you to purchase and the name for one, two, or several years. It can be cheaper to pay for multiple years at once. If not, you'll receive an annual notice to renew your payment within a certain time period or risk losing the domain.
Step 3: Purchase web hosting.
This is often available from your domain registry, but is also available through many standalone hosting companies or even through a hosting and template service, like SquareSpace.
Step 4: Write the content.
A popular strategy among industry professionals is to write the content for your site before you ever think about the design or style. Tell your story first, organize your thoughts around the services you want to offer, and then you can apply a design that suits the narrative. You'll find it helps the information come together much easier.
Develop an outline that starts with the site's architecture, or navigation—what are the page titles you need for the site? At a minimum you should have
- Home page
Write the copy for each page. Remember brevity is your friend! Be thorough in your descriptions, but you don't have to write a novel!
Copy points to consider, and that help explain you and your business, include:
- Fitness credentials and certifications
- Service, classes and training programs offered (with descriptions)
- Testimonials from clients
- Best ways to contact, like phone and email, and social media handles
- Fee structure
- Blog or articles with additional insight and guidance from you
Step 5: Design the site.
Whether you're working with a professional designer or utilizing a template, now it's time to make it look good. Consider the aesthetic you want for your site, which should include colors, photography, illustrations and even fonts.
- Do you want a light/clean/airy site?
- Do you want a site that's more visual than text-heavy?
- Will you use original photos or stock photos?
The right designer will capture your vision, and a near infinite number of templates exist that you'll find the one that suits your style.
Step 6: Load the content onto the site.
Any basic website template and CMS (content management system) will allow you to copy and paste your content directly into your site. Uploading photos is as easy as attaching a file to an email. You'll also have preview options so you can see how the content and images will look on the live site.
Step 7: Manage your website.
One of the last things you should do, that too many novices overlook, is installing analytics. This is free, and Google provides the most insightful analytics tool. It's a simple addition to the code and will allow you to track your site visitors - how many people, how long they stay, exact pages they read, how they entered the site, and so much more.
A dormant site is a useless site. Make sure you make frequent updates to the content and photos, as this gives search engines a "someone is home" indication. Maintaining a blog is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. But if it's been even a month since the last time you logged into the site and made some kind of update, then it's been way too long.
Step 8: Promote your website.
This is not an "if you build it they will come" situation. Quite the opposite. There are billions of websites, and they're all vying for someone's attention. Tell people your website exists and give them a reason to visit it with intention. This is where a strong social media campaign will serve you well.