At the beginning of every new year, the resolutions crowd makes a beeline for every elliptical machine in every city across the nation. Weight-loss support groups and members-only gyms flood local advertising with New Year’s specials, but personal trainers could get lost in the mad dash for January fitness. Set yourself apart from the fit-craze carpetbaggers with a different kind of promotion, and you just might find yourself getting some print media coverage that will help build your client-base and your reputation.

Focus on the Family Niche
How many trainers work specifically with families and their young children? Listen to your clients, and you’ll find that it isn’t really time that people are lacking when it comes to getting fit. They don’t want to spend extra time away from their families. The trainer who promotes himself as child-friendly is one who is helping parents get fit, teach fitness to their children and spend time with their family doing a family activity.

Challenge the Resolute Not to Falter
Issue a public challenge within your New Year’s sales pitch, and send a release to your local paper. Reports show that half of all New Year’s Resolutions are forgotten in the first week, and 80 percent fail within six weeks. Launch your promotion with an event at which all new clients sign a contract that includes an interesting challenge that will help them stick with their resolutions. Host a big wrap-up event with door prizes and a high-value drawing, and load up a trough with animal fat that represents the collective weight your clients have lost. Then make sure you place the group near it for a quick workout or other action shot for the photographers.

However you choose to promote your services, think of it as a strategic business move that will help you reach more potential clients (like the difference between a diet and a lifestyle change). And, when you do get that front-page newspaper article covering your event or unique business plan, preserve the article with a custom wall plaque designed just for you. It just might inspire more strategy to use on the swimsuit crowd in the spring.

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