In a recent survey of nearly 1,500 triathletes, cyclists and runners who said they are "serious about training" and use TrainingPeaks, only 20% said they train with a coach. That means out of 100,000+ athletes actively using TrainingPeaks, 80% are your potential clients!
With the world-wide increase in the number of triathletes, runners and cyclists, it would be tough for anyone to argue that there aren’t enough prospective clients to go around. According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) as reported by USA Triathlon, in the US “approximately 2,295,000 individuals completed at least one triathlon in 2010, up from 1,481,000 unique participants in 2009”. There are even more runners, with a record high of 13,000,000 people who finished a road race in 2010 according to SGMA, as reported by Running USA. The number of competitive cyclists continue to grow as well, with nearly 70,000 licensed USA Cycling members in 2010 and more than 1 million cycling event participants in 2008, according to BikesBelong.
You may have told your kids something similar this past Easter weekend when you sent them off to hunt Easter eggs: "There's plenty of eggs for each of you to find - they're out there, you just have to look." But rather than waste your time turning over every rock and searching every bush to find new clients, here are three tips to help new clients find you.
That’s right - new clients will find YOU! Here’s how:
1) Manage a website and make sure it clearly states your philosophy, expertise and goals.
You most likely already have a website, but try visiting it "for the first time" through the eyes of your ideal potential client. You'll quickly realize that you have a minute or less to "introduce" yourself. For example, the average time spent on the TrainingPeaks.com homepage is 55 seconds. What is the message you get across with your website in that one minute? Does it paint an honest and compelling picture of who you are, why you do what you do, and how training with you will achieve results?
2) Write and be generous with advice, and get published.
Tips on training, how to choose a coach, drills and sample workouts...all great content. Don’t be afraid to give away a little of your expertise. Athletes need a taste of your style, your experience and your knowledge if they’re going to trust you with their training. Of course writing for your own site or blog is good, but the highest value you’ll get spending your time writing comes in getting published elsewhere. Even if you weren’t a journalism major in college, publications from blogs to websites and even magazines are looking for great content. You can be sure we're always looking for articles to post on the TrainingPeaks blog.
3) Build a network and provide easy ways to refer your business.
Nearly 70% of the athletes who responded to our recent survey said they were first introduced to TrainingPeaks through the referral of a coach, friend or a company somehow associated with us. Obviously, the relationships you build are key and it goes without saying that you should "burn no bridges". But perhaps even more important than just networking is making it easy for others to refer you. Make sure your writing, Tweets, Facebook posts and website are easy to share, and contain content that others will want to share. Free tools such as ShareThis adds a button to your pages for readers to quickly pass along your site or post to their friends.
Although adding new clients may not at first seem as easy as finding brightly colored eggs around the yard in an Easter egg hunt, if you follow the three tips above you just may find it’s actually even easier - because the clients will come to you!