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Guest Post: It’s Time to Understand and Improve Your Print Marketing



The following article is a guest post by Brad Sheppard of Create PT Wealth. It’s an absolute pleasure to make this available to our readers. Whether you’re a Personal Trainer or Club Manager I know you’re going to get something out of this, something that will translate into cold, hard cash. Take it away Brad…

The ONLY way to know if your marketing strategies are successful is to test and measure. 

Once you understand this principle, you will be able to fine tune your process of lead generation and place a more accurate figure on your cost of acquisition (that is, cost to acquire each new client).

Many Personal Trainers we mentor express frustration with conventional forms of advertising. Most have experimented with the various mediums, such as local papers, flyers and brochures, only to feel like their investment was unsuccessful. Worse still, they see it not as an investment, but as an EXPENSE (this requires a change in mindset!), as it did not produce great results for them!

Why then, are so many other businesses and organisations still using these conventional forms of advertising?


The simple fact of the matter is, these businesses have found a way to measure if they are getting results. That’s right, they test and measure the effectiveness of their advertising.

The truth; In many circumstances it’s not the strategy or medium that’s failing to achieve results; it’s the fact that the advertisement itself was not good enough in the first place!

There are a huge number of Personal Trainers that write their own ads. Too often the ad is mostly about features rather than benefits. As a result. the personal trainer will place an ad that is a lot like, well, what every other personal trainer lists themselves as. And it can read a bit like…

This is me, look at me – I am fit, energetic, in-shape and look great in lycra! I have great colours in my logo, shining white teeth and could perform over 100 squat jumps in a minute! I do fat loss, toning, Bodyshaping, rehabilitation, muscle building, pre-and post pregnancy, special populations and if you call up, not only will you get a discount, but you will also get a FREE workout with me!


Just remember, of all your prospects, virtually NONE want a trainer OR a workout with you – that stuff (working out) actually hurts too much! What they’re after are the benefits that you can provide.

But “How to write a great ad” is for another article!

After the Personal Trainer has written their new ad, they generally place it on a flyer or in a newspaper and simply sit back and wait for the calls.

All along, they’re under the impression that the ad will bring in more leads. And why not? Most of their current clients read this publication. However when it fails to improve their number of leads, prospects and conversions, they’ll simply stop running that ad altogether and blame the newspaper for the poor response.

So how do you test and measure if your advertisement or lead generation is actually working?

The most important thing is to start gathering the right information.

Have a template set-up to record ALL new enquiries

You can set this up relatively easily on a spreadsheet. This new template is going to become a very powerful tool for your business and is your own CRM (Customer Relationship Management). There are a range of off the shelf products for this, but getting a feel for what information you need and how you’re going to use it is a great way to make a more informed purchasing decision down the track.

Record where they came from

After introductions, “How did you hear about us” is the very first question you should ask. This information will be added to your New Client Sheet. Here are a few phrases you can use in your script:

“How did you hear about us?”
“How did you find out about us?”
“Who was it that referred you?”
“How did you hear about [your company name]?”

Track any additional information

Record all the details you need for an accurate background on your prospect, e.g. age, suburb, work, occupation… Start to build a profile on each person.

Organise ALL relevant information on your spreadsheet

With effective management of relevant information, you’ll be able to see your whole week’s prospects at a glance.

Provide your database with quality content via a newsletter

Again, this is beyond the scope of this article, however to grow your business you will need to build a great relationship with your database. And the best way to do this is by providing them with quality information that is worth reading. [Mailchimp is a great place to start for this – it’s free for the first 2000 contacts, they have great templates and is designed to mange opt outs/ins etc. – Dennis]

Now that you have the right information, it’s time to…

Apply different advertising strategies to increase conversion rate.

The following strategies will help you drill down to where you’ll find the greatest success.

1) Experiment with flyers

Before you spend several thousand dollars on a billboard (yes I have seen plenty of Personal Trainers use them!), magazine advertisement or any other print media, you can test your ads with flyers as they are low cost and can be produced in smaller runs.

2) Experiment with headlines

Remember that the size of your headline can make an impact. In addition to this, the copy that you use will be of utmost importance. Are you using emotional copywriting that will potentially appeal to your target market? Are you attempting to sell people on features or benefits?

Most people won’t read past the headline, so make sure it jumps out and grabs them. Compare these 2 examples;

“Mick’s Personal Training” vs “Burn Bodyfat Whilst You Sleep”

If your potential clients are after fat loss, which one do you think they will be more attracted to?

3) Experiment with various offers

What is your compelling offer? What are you prepared to give away to your potential new clients in return for getting them to respond to you? You need some call to action to get people to take that first step.

4) Experiment with value adding

If you go through the various components to your business, I am sure that there will be plenty of great things that you can value add to your product or service. These “things” may not seem like they have much value to you, however they have a HUGE potential value to your future clients. Some of these may be:

  • E-books
  • FREE Reports
  • Consultations
  • Group Classes
  • Fitness assessments
  • Non-sweat Coaching
  • Tele-seminar
  • Email consultation
  • Phone consultation

Each and every one of these will have a value attached to it, so make your potential new clients aware of this. You might find that you have packaged up over $1000 worth of value for an insanely discounted price (say $99) or better still as a Value-add when they purchase one of your programs.

5) Experiment with layout

It’s a great idea to experiment with various forms of layout, however just remember that the most effective advertisements are the most simple! That’s right, never attempt to be too cool or too funky. Get your message clear and powerful!

6) Experiment with the size

When printing Flyers and experimenting with various types of advertising, give your best effort towards having a variety of sizes and use this effectively. When you are testing and measuring the response of each advertisement, then you will get a clear idea of your cost.

7) Experiment with the medium

The local paper did not work for you? Don’t stress, maybe you are targeting the wrong message. The clearer that you can get with your USP and your target market, the more understanding you will have on where to actually find them.

8) Experiment with codes

To accurately test and measure the response of any flyers or ad’s that you run, simply place a call to action or a specific offer on the ad that requires people to respond to it, for example:

  • Advertisements with a cut-out will have a specific code at the bottom (eg Apr15)
  • Directed to your website and enter the specific code (eg CPTW)
  • Set-up a separate phone line to measure the response
  • Simply call in and ask for “Jim” may be another method, next month, it might be “Jill”
  • Send them to a unique landing page on your website.

Just remember the following key points:

1. If you are not testing and measuring then you are simply guessing!

2. You need to calculate and re-calculate your figures to get an accurate pictures as to what works and what doesn’t.



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