The importance of what others think?
Imagine you’re taking part in an experiment on how accurately you can guess the length of a line on a piece of card.
You’re sat in a room with 7 other people and given the following diagram:
You have to say which of the lines on the right is the same length as the one on the left?
The researcher asks everyone else first before coming to you. Here’s the odd bit – everyone else states that line A is the same length as the one on the left.
What do you say?
This is a simple but well-known psychology experiment first done in the 1950s. Of course it’s not really about guessing line lengths. The other 7 people in the room are in fact stooges, deliberately choosing the incorrect option to see what you will do.
Very often the last person chooses line A too. The results of these types of experiment show that people are inclined go along with what others think even if they don’t agree with it, because they want to fit in; they want to conform to the majority.
We’re often told we shouldn’t be bothered by what other people think but this is actually a trait that helps us to make decisions in a busy world. We look to other people’s views to help us save time and effort when shaping our own. It’s impossible to be 100% objective about everything – that’s what makes us human and not robots!
So how does this relate to you as a personal trainer? Obviously we’re not saying you should dupe your potential clients in any way – the point is that people very often look to what other people around them are doing as a guide to what they should do themselves. When it comes to marketing and running your business therefore, you can see why it’s extremely powerful to let people know what your existing clients are doing and foster the idea that regular exercise, healthy eating and other positive lifestyle changes are the ‘norm’.
Build a bank of testimonials, publish regular feedback from clients on your website and social media channels, and run group training sessions so everyone can see and experience what everyone else is doing. The same principle explains why, as your social media following grows, this creates a ‘self-fuelling’ environment whereby people see that lots of others are following you and therefore you must be worth listening to, so they follow too!
The Career Accelerator Package included with our diplomas includes a social media guide to help you do this.
So it’s all about building a community with common goals, so that each individual is motivated towards those goals by the belief they are doing the right thing, because everyone else is doing it!