Personal Fitness Professional - June/July 2009 - (Page 21)

What’s ? [YOUNG AT HEART] BY BRIAN GRASSO Facebook is a social networking site offering an enormous amount of technical features. Originally oriented toward college students, it recently opened its bounds to allow anybody in the world to sign up. THE SECRET EASE OF REFERRAL MARKETING FOR YOUTH FITNESS hile fitness professionals excel at providing top-quality training services to their young clients, the daily tasks associated with running a successful youth fitness business is often the downfall of professionals looking to create a career of profit and longevity. Your best bet is to use the time-tested methods of referral marketing to grow your business exponentially. But in reality, referral marketing is far too often left to chance by those who don’t realize that a system must be created and put in place in order for the referral plan to work. It’s not enough to just over-deliver for your young customers and their parents. You must establish and execute a plan that will convert your customers into literal ‘megaphones’ who will tell absolutely everyone they know about how wonderful you and your training business is. Creating an effective referral networking plan is a rather easy three-step process, but it does require work from you on both setup and execution. 1. Create a list — is step may take the most time, but it is by far the most critical portion of the referral system. All you need to do is make a list of literally everyone you know in your geographic area: clients, family, friends, dentists, doctors, etc. ey don’t have to be close friends or people you see on a regular basis necessarily, just people whom you know. Your list should come to no fewer than 100 names. Take your time, and don’t be afraid if it ends up taking you a couple weeks to complete. Remember, the larger your list, the larger your potential referral network. 2. Segment the list — Once your list is complete, segment the names into two separate categories: current fans and people who know you’re a trainer. is part of the process is very important, so be discerning. Even some of your current clients may not be “fans” per se, so be honest with yourself when categorizing everyone. 3. Create an action plan to connect — Here’s the bread and butter of your referral system. is step is the disconnect that most fitness professionals have. You need to stay in contact with your list and actively seek out referrals. Just because you are great at what you do doesn’t mean your clients or, more importantly, their parents are actively recruiting on your behalf. Your task in this step is quite simple: Establish a time within your daily schedule to reach out and connect with the people on your list. Make phone calls. Send cards. Write short emails. e purpose here is just to stay connected. You don’t want to always be asking your list for referrals, but you do want to stay in contact with them. e more you stay in contact with people, the much easier it is to ask for referrals when you need to! Brian Grasso is founder and CEO of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). Become a certified Youth Fitness Specialist or learn about the specific aspects of training children, youths and teens forPRO.COM JUNE JULY2009 WWW.FIT free at What’s ? Twitter is an online service for people to post supershort microblogs answering one simple question: “What are you doing?” Tip: In order to fit a link in Twitter posts, try using a URL-shrinking program, such as or W Time to Twitter Twitter is known as micro-blogging. at means you post tiny little updates (“tweets”) rather than adding one big article on your blog. Twitter is like signing up for an e-newsletter, only the updates are more frequent and much shorter (all updates are limited to 140 characters). Twitter is not much different than being at a networking event at a seminar or conference, where you start chatting with colleagues and even total strangers who share a common interest. You don’t want to be pushy; instead, be helpful, interesting and positive. e only difference between Twitter and networking events is that you don’t have to wear pants, since you can microblog from the comfort of your own home. You can grow your list of Twitter followers by telling others about your Twitter account and by providing good content so that other Twitter users refer you to other Twitter users. I recommend telling people about the workout you just finished, the meal you are eating or sending them to one of your YouTube videos, blog posts or articles. I also recommend posting a good motivational quote every morning. Twitter users love quotes and telling their friends about them. You can also do surveys (ask an open-ended question to get people replying to you). is will give you plenty of content and ideas for future products, videos, articles and blog posts. Whatever you post, just be sure to make it useful and worthwhile. You just share helpful resources and tips, just like you do on your blog or in your emails, only your messages are much, much shorter. Finally, I recommend you customize your Twitter page like I have (see e most important thing to do is just go on there and start “being you.” Spend five minutes in the morning and five minutes at mid-day on Twitter using those strategies, and you’ll quickly grow your follower list. Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, is a contributor to Men’s Health magazine, the author of the best-selling fat loss e-book, Turbulence Training ( and an Internet marketing coach for fitness experts. If you want to learn more about how to sell products on the Internet, visit and get a free report on six ways to build a six-figure website. G

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Personal Fitness Professional - June/July 2009

Personal Fitness Professional - June/July 2009
Letter From the Editor, Writers
First-Class Management
Product Profile
You Are at Risk
Nutrition Solutions
How to Handle Health Insurance
How Much Should I Charge My Clients
Twitter This, Facebook That
Young at Heart
Be Better
Hungry for a Franchise?
The Balancing Act
Exercise Spotlight
Journey to Success
New on the Market
[Facebook] PFP Fan Page: Sneak Peek
Fitness Marketing Makeover
Effective Sports Camps

Personal Fitness Professional - June/July 2009