Dave McGarry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in exercise science and an MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas. Along with his degrees, McGarry is certified through the NSCA as a certified strength and conditioning specialist and is the current assistant general manager for the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch. His experience consists of more than 12 years as a personal trainer and fitness manager. McGarry also is actively involved with the community as a public speaker and presenter to corporations for health and wellness. His most recent accomplishment is a self-published book for fitness professionals and personal trainers called “Anatomy of Sales.” If you would like to learn more or read his blog, visit www.davemcgarry.com.

As you know, personal training is still one of the fastest-growing parts of the fitness business. If you want it to be a profit center for your club, then consider implementing the following items to promote it:

1. Commitment. A successful personal training department requires commitment from management. Commitment means making personal training the center point of your marketing and advertising campaigns, rather than promoting all the other services you offer.

2. Message. Once you are committed, you need to create a list of all the members and potential members to whom you can promote personal training. Then, segment that list into categories—currently training, interested or not interested at this time. Segmenting the list allows you to create a different call-to-action message for each group.

You need to create a targeted message for each group to pull them in. The headline or subject line, which is probably the most important component in creating great copy, must stand out and create an incentive for members to keep reading.

Including testimonials in your copy is a great way to pull in your target audience. Highlighting people in your club who have had success with personal training is priceless. Testimonials help build the credibility of your training staff, as well as your overall program. The key to testimonials is to display them throughout the club and in literature that you distribute to prospective members.

Club owners often give up too early on marketing or advertising to their member lists. Research shows that people may require eight or nine exposures to a message before acting on it. If club managers try marketing to their lists a few more times, the effort might just pay off.

3. Medium. The final piece to successfully promoting personal training inside the club involves using the right medium or channel to communicate. For instance, you may use traditional advertising, such as direct mail, or e-mail as your primary communication channel. Whatever you use, I would urge you not to rely entirely on any one medium. In my opinion, e-mail is used far too often and direct mail is no longer used enough. Use as many channels and mediums as possible. The goal is to promote your message in as many ways as possible.

Another medium that has exploded recently is the use of social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media has become a big part of developing a community and sharing information for many businesses. It is a great way for clubs to build a community focused on personal training. Have your trainers post articles online, videos and other useful tips to help market themselves and build their credibility. Stay away from using social media to sell products or services, however. Let the people who are part of the group do the selling by raving about the results they receive through training.

Regardless of the medium used, you must track what is working and what is not. Ask those who come in for personal training how they heard about the program. Was it through direct mail, an e-mail, or a friend? If you do not track what is working, you will not be able to determine your return on investment for each medium. Plus, if one specific channel works better than others, you will want to use that channel more often in the future.

Commitment, message and medium are three important components to consider when successfully promoting personal training in your club. Start with those three, and you will begin to see a difference in personal training growth within your club.