So today’s topic is, do personal trainers need a website? I actually saw come up recently in a Facebook group and I chimed in on this post and so did several other people, so I kind of wanted to dive into this topic. I think it’s actually something that has come up several times in my own audience. Another related question I get is, what would you suggest first – starting with a Facebook page or Facebook group or creating a website? My first thought is, why not do both? It takes all of what, 10 minutes, 20 minutes to create a Facebook page or group? Just click create, then you have to upload a picture, and you’re good to go.

It can take several weeks or maybe months to get your website up depending on the complexity of it, but I believe personal trainers need a website. If you’re doing it, you have to also take in your schedule how tech savvy you are or if you decide to hire someone, you know, can they start right away or do they have a wait list?

In the meantime, just put up a landing page. Squarespace makes it super easy to just put up one simple page, like a landing page where you can list your credentials, a little bit of information and a way to contact you. There were a few people who said, well start with Facebook because that will bring you clients way faster than just having a website sit there, and you know, no one ever gets clients from a website, which is totally false, but that’s part of the problem.

Your website shouldn’t just sit there. You should be sending people to your website from social media. Whether it’s, hey, I have a new blog or video or podcast, or maybe you send them to a landing page that’s on your website to grab your free workout or your free meal plan.

Or maybe it’s in your Instagram posts, “hey, I have four spots open this month for new training clients. Let’s chat.” Your website is not going to work for you if you don’t send people to it – and personal trainers need a website. If you are blogging or doing videos or podcasts, then yes, over time you will build up some SEO and people may find you organically or you may have people who refer friends and family to your website, but at the end of the day you can’t just put a website up and then expect people to magically find it. Like I even have clients who, we launched their website and they’re like, well, when I Google myself, it doesn’t show up. Well that’s not how Google works. It’s not immediate. It takes time for Google to index websites, but also like you just need to start sending people there from your social media posts in.

This doesn’t mean that you have to have every single post on Instagram or Facebook has to be, hey, hire me. I have people visit my website all the time and I think maybe once or twice a month I say that I have spots available or you know, something like that. Most of the time when I’m sending people to my website, it’s to go read or watch my content.

Now the other reason people keep saying their website just sits there is because it doesn’t have a strategy to it, people are just putting up random information haphazardly on their website without taking into account their brand, their messaging, how they want to run their business, who their ideal clients are, what kind of services and products they want to sell.

Did you know that stores like Walmart and Target are super intentional about what products are on the end caps of every aisle? Like it’s not always just a clearance dump. It’s not just, okay, well we don’t have anywhere else to put this. So I guess just put it here. They are strategic about those four foot wide displays. They’re strategic about the things that are in the middle of the aisles and what’s at the register. They don’t just haphazardly put that stuff there.

Now there were some other people chiming in on the Facebook post saying, well just use ClickFunnels or create a super basic website and just put up an email, opt in and then, leave it. That’s it. Well, yes. From one standpoint, that’s a very easy way to get up and running, but if you’re going to do this method, you have to actually first have a good opt-in. Second, you have to have a good email funnel. Third, you have to actually email your list consistently – like, probably weekly, at least twice a month at the very least. No one likes spammy, salesy email after email after email.

Email marketing is just as much of a relationship builder as social media, so absolutely – set up a click funnels page if that’s going to be the fastest route and you have all that stuff. But you better have a funnel written and implemented for those new subscribers. I know you are probably thinking, well yeah, I expected you to say to get personal trainers need a website because you’re a web designer. But I’m not saying social media is bad and you should only focus on your website. I’m not saying email marketing’s bad or anything like that. Not it at all. I’m a huge fan of being active on social media and using it to grow your business. It’s how I get a lot of my clients, but they all fill out my inquiry form on my website.

They’ll come to me through my website. I have people who say, oh yeah, I’ve been following you on Instagram. I follow you on Youtube, and then I decided to hire you. So they came to my website, read about me, saw what I offered, and then inquired. And the thing about engaging in Facebook groups or creating your groups, is that’s good – but you don’t own those followers.

I’m totally a millennial and I love social media and I love doing everything online, but I’m not about to hire a dietician or a personal trainer who doesn’t have a website. And if Facebook shuts down, which I know is highly unlikely, but if Facebook shuts down or something goes haywire with your group, you don’t own those followers. You just lost all those people. I used to have a Facebook group, and I shut it down just this past summer and most, but not all, of those people were on my email list, so I didn’t lose communication with them.

I also want to remind you though, that even though personal trainers need a website, you don’t need a fancy website. You just need something that clearly tells your audience what you do and who you do it for and how can they work with you. It needs to speak their language. It needs to have good organization so it doesn’t confuse people, and needs to have not have 13 different popups and calls to action on one page. It can be a really, really simple four page website with great photos and simple design.

If the strategy is there, and if the information is clear, it can be an effective website. One of the clients I’m working with right now, we’re about to launch her website in just a few weeks. She only has four pages on her website. That’s it. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need a bajillion pages to make your website effective.

And if you want to start with the landing page instead of the four pages, then go with that. That’s totally fine to hold you over, but be really intentional about spending time figuring out all the other pieces of your brand. Who are your ideal clients? What are their main problems, what kinds of solutions are they searching for and how are you going to solve their biggest problems. I’d also suggest talking to some of your existing or past clients or people who could be theoretical potential clients.

So if you don’t have any clients yet and you’ve never worked with anyone, just talk to friends and family, not that you’re trying to sell them and make that clear, but just saying, hey, I really want to work with moms and your mom and I’d love to talk to you about your health, your workout schedule, you know, and just see what kinds of things you would be interested in. There’s literally no pressure to buy. It’s really honestly just me trying to work on my website. That’s all this is. Then once you get your website up or you know it’s about to go up, send them a link and say, can you read this over and tell me if it resonates with you.

At the end of the day, whatever it is – a Facebook page, a group, a landing page, or a full website. You have to be strategic and intentional. You cannot rightfully call something ineffective if you don’t have a strategy behind it first.