Update 8/29/20. Business cards are one of the first things many personal trainers have made for them, especially if they are self-employed. Some gyms may even have business cards for their fitness staff as well. But, what do you put on those cards? Can you call yourself anything? Is there anything you shouldn’t put on business cards? That's what I want to address. If I missed anything leave a comment below and I'll answer you personally.
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Business Cards 101
Business cards are used by millions of people every day around the world. In fact, I get business cards handed to me almost every week, during classes I teach so don’t think they are so “20th century.” That speaks volumes that even in the 21st century, these forms of identification are alive and doing well.
If you work at a gym, they may provide business cards for you which likely contain the name of the gym along with the number of the personal training department or something like that. If you are self-employed, getting them made can be as simple as going to your local office supply store, picking out a theme for the card, and having the store do all the work.
You can also print them up at home thanks for ready-made business card paper that office supply stores have. Both ways are very affordable.
These days there are also business card apps too. An advantage of the apps is someone has to give you their cell phone number to receive your electronic business card. In theory, this lets you market to them via their phone. Some have told me this tactic has worked. If you do this, be careful and remember marketing via text message can be seen as spam.
What To Put On Cards
Your business card should obviously contain your full name as well as some sort of contact information. Most people add their cell phone number as well as their primary email address. The email address should be professional and easy to spell such as “Your Name@Gmail.com” or something like that. If your business has a name – and it's easy to spell – you might use that name in your email also. Whichever you decide, the email you pick should be your primary email address. This ensures any emails that go to that address will be seen by you in a timely fashion.
If you have a website, your business card should include this also. Not listing your website would be a mistake because some people will want to check you out online before reaching out to you personally.
Tip. Here is my step-by-step website guide in case you don't have a website. Follow the steps and you'll have your website up in about an hour or so.
Because most cards contain a phone number, make sure the number you include is your primary phone number. I recommend using your cell phone number for clients. I say this because:
1. You always have your cell phone with you
2. If you use a home phone/landline, you may miss last-minute calls and others living with you may answer the phone, which again, may lead to a missed call if they forget to tell you about it.
Sometimes the first interaction a new client will have with you is by hearing your voice on a voice mail greeting so its critical that this be professional we well. If they get the impression you are not professional from your voice mail, you just lost a client.
Tip. When people call you, the voice mail greeting should be short, direct and easy to understand. For example, my voice mail messages says “Hi this is Joe. You missed me but please leave your name, message and the time you called and any other germane information and I'll call you right back.”
What Do You Call Yourself?
When it comes to titles, if you are a certified personal trainer, go ahead and list that on your card.
Some may go the extra step of listing the name of the organization they are certified by. For example, “Tom Jones, ACE Personal Trainer.” Since most of the general public doesn’t know the difference between ACE, ISSA, NASM NSCA, etc. it's debatable if this adds anything or not, although if other fitness people are the primary people who will be seeing your card, then adding this bit of information does make sense.
Another option is to add the letters, “CPT” after your name. CPT stands for Certified Personal Trainer. This is usually the convention used to identify personal trainers on business cards.
Trainers with multiple certifications might also list those on their cards as well (if there is room). For example, someone might list:
- Certified Personal Trainer
- Master Personal Trainer
- Corrective Exercise Specialist
- Certified Massage Therapist
If you have achieved some prestigious award that's related to the field, add that too. For example:
- Winner: 2005 Boston Marathon
- 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer Of The Year
- Lost 100 pounds and kept it off
If the award or achievement is relevant to your business, I say add it to your business card because it will help you stand out.
If you have at least an MS degree in exercise science, you may even want to call yourself “Exercise Physiologist.” If you have less than an MS degree, it's probably best to not use that title. Others may use titles such as:
- Fitness Consultant
- Health and Wellness Educator
- Weight Loss Nutritionist
Sometimes dramatic sounding titles can stand out better in the minds of the general public. Titles like these are not legally /officially defined and they usually carry less “weight” to those in the industry than something more formal. That said, You won't be marketing to other fitness trainers. As long as you can back up what the card says on the card say, I'm fine personally with it.
What Not to Put On Business Cards
Many personal trainers abbreviate who they are with the letters “PT” thining it stands for personal training. It doesn't. The letters PT refer to Physical Therapist. It's not wise to use PT in your business card (unless you really are a PT) especially if you ever hope to do business with physical therapists. Most fitness professionals put “CPT” (certified personal trainer) after their name, and that is fine.
Don’t put anything on the business card that isn't true either.
The Back of the Business Card
The back of the business card is usually overlooked by most people but it should be. Why not use that extra “real estate” to further sell yourself and/or entice potential clients? Some trainers use back of the card to offer something of value to prospective new clients. For example, you might say “This card entitles you to 50% off your first training session.”
Another option might be an offer free fitness evaluation. If you do this, always add the value that people are saving because everybody likes to get a deal. For example, you might say “This card entitles you to a free fitness evaluation, which is valued of $300.”
After you get your cards made, give them out! Post them on bulletin boards at senior centers, condos, coffee shops, supermarkets or anywhere else you think your potential clients might be. You can't be everywhere at once but by using your business cards wisely, it's almost the next best thing.
See my Resources Page for the tools I use.
Your business card says a lot about you and can be used to help you get clients if you use it the right way.
Any Questions or Comments?