The short answer is yes. Everybody should have a website to promote their services. As a Web Designer, you may peg me as biased. But before you go assuming I’m going to say “you need a website and you need to hire me to make it for you! Gaaarrrr!” (that’s what I sound like) understand that’s not my intention here. Let’s look at the benefits for you.
Anyone growing up in today’s world doesn’t know a world without internet. We don’t go anywhere without our phones in our pockets, which are our portals to the world. Literally any information we need is in our pocket.
People are spoiled now. If we can’t receive instant gratification, we move on. I’m certainly a culprit of this. If I’m looking for a new place to eat and I can’t find information about the restaurant online, I am 100% not going there. The same goes for any product or service, as well. Whether it’s a landscaper, mechanic, whatever, I hop online and learn about them before I even think about hiring them.
What makes you think personal trainers are an exception?
I truly believe that anybody offering a service should have a website. It doesn’t need to be complex or extravagant, but in today’s world, a web presence is absolutely critical. And if you’re thinking that your Facebook page will suffice, you are mistaken.
Some benefits to having your own website…
- Increased inquiries, instantly. Let’s be honest, we’re trending towards as little human interaction as possible in the world. It sounds like a joke, but think about it. Uber allows you to call a ride without talking to someone, Amazon allows you to make purchases without any human interaction, you can book Hotels online without talking to someone, etc, I think you get the point. If you put up some flyers, or hand out some business cards, you’re expecting someone to pick up the phone to learn about what you can do for them. While there are some brave souls out there that will be willing to do that, most will not. A website allows you to put all of the necessary information about your personal training out there so people don’t need to reach out to you for it. By providing this information, you are assuring yourself that more people will reach out to you about working with you because there is less work that they need to do.
- 24/7 sales & marketing. A website is like a salesperson that knows everything about your business and is working for you 24/7. Networking and referrals are great for growing your business, but those things only work as hard as you do. By correctly setting up your own website, you’re building a very powerful machine to do that work for you while you rest. Somebody can organically find your website and decide they want to hire you without you having to lift a finger!
- Increased credibility. You’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t have a website. Like I mentioned, this generation only knows the internet, so not having a web presence can really hurt your credibility. When researching personal trainers, do you think someone will go with the person who has no information available about themselves (you), or the trainer with a dedicated domain name and well-made website showcasing their services (your competition)? Having a website immediately increases your credibility and allows yourself to be taken seriously by potential clients.
- Expanded reach. Without a website, you audience is only as large as your immediate network. Sure, you can be 3 levels deep in referrals, but you have to rely on each person’s network to reach new clients. With a website, you are setting yourself up to reach absolutely anybody (essentially). Of course, narrowing down your reach to a specific niche is always a good idea. Aside from anyone being able to find your site through organic searches, you can run online ads that allow you to choose demographics. So if you want to sell yourself to 25-30 year old females in Georgia, you can do that! Try doing that without a website.
- Lead retention. One of the amazing things about a website that is set up properly is its ability to collect email addresses. However you choose to go about collecting emails, it is an absolutely fantastic way to collect leads. Say, for example, that somebody enters their email to receive more information about a promotion you’re running. The promo comes and goes, but they do not sign up. After a couple months, you dig into your email list and pull all of the names & emails of people who were interested but didn’t sign up. Now, you can email each of those people and find out exactly what went wrong and attempt to transform them into a client. I cannot stress enough the importance of fostering these relationships online. But, without a website, you automatically miss these opportunities.
I hope this helps open your eyes to exactly why you should have a website. If you wanted to work with me to help set up your new website, then great!
However, I know a lot of personal trainers out there simply don’t have the budget to hire a professional at this time, which I totally understand. There are plenty of DIY website builders out there to get you started. While I don’t recommend those solutions long-term, I always tell people that having something is better than having nothing. It doesn’t need to be so black & white, and your options aren’t limited to hiring a professional or not having a website at all. Simply having something online will allow you to start gaining the rewards, so it’s worth exploring if you’re willing to put in the work.