What makes a best friend? Someone reliable. A person who supports your goals and makes you feel good about yourself. Someone who makes you laugh! Well, the same criteria applies to client testimonials.
Ask any fitness business owner, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn’t believe that client testimonials are beneficial. We all understand the importance of having social proof; rather than just telling potential clients how we can help them, testimonials show them what’s possible. Seeing real feedback from people who have worked with you provides curious shoppers with some insight about what it’s like to work with you. And don’t forget about the power of client referrals.
But just how powerful are testimonials? And how do you go about gathering them?
The Benefits of Client Testimonials
Assuming your clients have received the results they wanted, they will usually be your biggest fans. Their feedback about how you changed their lives and what the process was like for them will help you stand out in an incredibly noisy market.
Describe You and Your Approach
Is there something different about your approach? Do your clients love how you push them without being pushy? Do you have a proprietary training method that provides amazing results? Have killer playlists—like that old-school hip-hop mix you play during training sessions? These are the ways you stand out as a trainer, and by encouraging clients to share the things that make you and your approach unique, they’ll also help you stand out from the dozens, if not hundreds, of other trainers in your area offering similar things.
Testimonials also offer an added layer of legitimacy. These days, anybody can start a fitness Instagram account. All you have to do is post photos of your amazing body, write about the great results you’ve gotten your clients, and BOOM—you’re a fitness “expert”.
Because of this, buyers are wary. They’re looking for proof that you can actually deliver the transformations you’re promising. Written testimonials are made more powerful when they accompany a photo of the client who provided them. Want to take the authenticity a step further? Ask your client to shoot a short 15-second video about their experience training with you.
Show Positive Results
Testimonials from your clients also show those who are thinking about investing in a personal trainer and what’s possible for them. Many who are just beginning their fitness journeys are doubting their ability to be successful. They may think they’ve got too much going on or that their lives are not cut out for making fitness a regular part of their day.
Imagine how empowering it would feel for the person who believes they’re too busy to reach their fitness goals to read about a shift-working single mom who managed to transform her health in just a few short but effective workouts each week and an easy-to-follow meal plan? Your current clients’ results will help potential clients begin to believe in themselves.
Boost Your Google Ranking
And finally, reviews and testimonials that are left on Google are an easy way to boost your ranking. Businesses with lots of positive ratings that are registered with Google My Business will be shown more prominently when people are searching for trainers in your city.
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How Do You Gather Client Testimonials?
It’s simple: you ask! As a small business owner, it may feel natural to you to leave positive reviews for the businesses you regularly frequent. But the average individual doesn’t understand how integral testimonials are to the growth and expansion of a small business. Writing a review for you is likely not the first thing they think about when they wake up, which is why you need to ask—and ask regularly.
The easiest way to go about this is to create a system for how you gather testimonials. If you know that three months of consistent training will deliver results for clients, set a reminder in your calendar to have the testimonial conversation at the three-month mark.
It can also be helpful to provide some guidance on what to include in the testimonial. This will be helpful for clients who aren’t sure what to write about and will reduce the chance of getting a kind but underwhelming review that says, “My trainer is great!”
Some Questions You May Want to Ask:
- What was your fitness level before we started training together, and what is your fitness level now?
- How did training with me facilitate that shift?
- Did you have any hesitations about hiring a trainer before working with me? What helped you overcome those?
- What would you suggest to somebody who is considering hiring me as their trainer?
But what if you’re just starting your fitness business and you haven’t had any clients? Consider offering some pro bono coaching in exchange for honest feedback. Put a call out to friends, family members, and acquaintances who you think would benefit from what you have to offer. Not only will you build your library of testimonials, but you will also begin to gain some valuable coaching experience.
If reading this has made you realize you’re sitting on an untapped gold mine of testimonials and reviews, get out there and ask your current clients for their feedback! If they love you, which they probably do if they’re still working with you, they’ll be more than happy to help you out. What are friends for?