Business development experts have been touting the benefits of content marketing for years. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s pretty much what it sounds like: creating content in order to market your business and establish yourself as an expert!
In today’s social world, it’s incredibly important to be creating and sharing valuable, entertaining, and inspiring content. Think of your website and social media platforms as your online business cards. When potential clients visit, do you want them to see a random compilation of memes created by other people? A blog that hasn’t been updated in two years?
Or do you want them to lose themselves in your engaging, informative blog posts? Tag their friends in the caption of your witty Instagram post, or share one of your recipes onto their Facebook feeds? Subscribe to your newsletter?
I have a hunch the latter sounds more enticing! If the idea of consistently creating content to grow your personal training business feels overwhelming, this post is for you.
Why You Should Add Content Marketing to Your Business
Besides creating a strong online presence, there are three key reasons why you should make content marketing part of your business plan:
1. Establish Your Status as an Expert
The first is that it establishes you as an expert.
The word “expert” may feel scary to some, but as a fitness professional, that’s what you are! You don’t have to know every fact about the entire fitness and wellness spectrum to be an expert. I guarantee there are a few areas in which you’re particularly knowledgeable and passionate about – now it’s time to share what you know.
If your niche is helping endurance athletes with their strength training, you can create a variety of content based on strength training and recovery for these athletes. If you help moms post-pregnancy, you can share a mix of fitness and self-care tips. Remember who you are trying to market your business towards, then create content that speaks to that audience.
2. Build a Following
Next, creating and sharing content also allows you to build a raving fan base by giving them something that keeps them coming back to your online platforms. You’ve probably seen the people on your own social media channels who are constantly sharing others’ work. Wouldn’t it be great to have people sharing your posts and pictures with the same enthusiasm?
As your audience grows, you’ll extend what’s known as your reach and will have more eyes on your business. And, as you continue to provide value, entertainment, and inspiration, you’ll be deepening your audiences’ trust in you! You may even be able to get some of them to subscribe to a mailing list where you deliver your content (plus some clever promotions and marketing campaigns for your services) straight to their inboxes. This is where content marketing can really help land you new clients and grow your business.
3. Access New Opportunities
Finally, sharing your message through a variety of different platforms can land you some really cool opportunities. Someone who stumbles upon your work may approach you for a collaboration, you could land a speaking gig, get picked up by a media outlet for an interview or quote, or you may even secure paid writing opportunities. All of these things can help further grow your audience while infusing some more excitement into your business.
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How To Create Content
The part of content marketing that trips most people up is how to actually create the content. There’s nothing more disheartening than sitting at the computer staring at a blank screen. But one of the easiest ways to get started is to begin thinking about the questions you’re most frequently asked.
What are your clients always asking you about? How about your friends or family members? Do you regularly overhear the same questions at the gym? These are all great starting points because the answers to these questions are exactly what your audience is looking for. Write down all of the questions you can think of to give yourself a starting point.
The next step is to pick your platform. Will you write blog posts? Share photos on your Instagram feed or stories? Write posts on Facebook? Create videos or host live streams? Maybe a combination of the above?
The old advice used to be “pick one platform and do it well”. Unfortunately, the social landscape has shifted over the last few years, and if you want to build a strong online presence, one platform isn’t going to cut it.
The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to create brand new stuff for every one of your channels. You can re-purpose your content. Say you write a blog post: share it on Facebook and Twitter, and create a quote image to post on your Instagram feed. Do a behind-the-scenes on your Instagram stories, telling your audience why you wrote the post and why they’d benefit from reading it. Finally, make a catchy graphic that you can share on Pinterest to drive even more traffic to your blog.
Online content marketing experts will tell you there are specific posting formulas you should be following—seven Twitter posts a day, three blog posts per week, two Instagram posts per day, and so on. When you’re just starting out, forget what the experts say and pick something you can be consistent with. If you know you can publish one quality blog post per week, commit to that one! If you feel comfortable sharing three Instagram posts per week, share three. Consistency is key when it comes to posting frequency.
In order to keep your content marketing plan organized, consider using an editorial calendar. You can simply write out what and when you’ll post on a piece of paper or paper calendar, or you can use a digital one. Some WordPress plugins offer free editorial calendars and there are paid programs you can use to organize, schedule, and publish your content all in one place.
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How To Get Your Content Out Into The World
Writing an epic blog post is one thing—getting people to read it is another! As I mentioned, it’s incredibly important to cross-promote your posts across different platforms. Social media algorithms make it unlikely that every person will see every post you share, so don’t worry about doubling up. Let your Instagram followers know about your new blog post. Create a few different images to accompany your post to share on Facebook.
Newsletters are also a great way to get your content directly into the hands of your already-dedicated followers. Set-up an easy way for interested individuals to subscribe and makes sure to let them know when a new post is up.
If your post is in response to a question you’ve frequently been asked, be sure to send it to the person who asked you the question, even if you already answered it. They’ll appreciate the thoughtful touch, and who knows – maybe they’ll share it with someone else!
Finally, consider publishing original content to your Trainerize.me profile. While you can’t take a blog post from your existing site and copy it onto Trainerize.me, you can create a new piece of content to share. Work this into your editorial calendar as one of your regular posting spots. As your work gets published on Trainerize.me, your profile will be viewed by more people looking for trainers in your area, and you’ll even show up in Google search results.
Now that you know how to create content and get it out there, it’s time to get creating! Create a content bank you can pull from whenever you need inspiration. Come up with at least 20 questions you’re regularly asked or topics you feel comfortable writing about. If it’s a big topic, break it down into small, bite-sized chunks. You’ll have a better chance of maintaining your audiences’ attention, and you’ll have more content to write about.
All that’s left is to create and share!