If you’re a newbie personal trainer looking for the best, most practical advice on how to grow a successful business in the fitness industry, you are in the right place.
There’s more to this business than just putting a line of overweight individuals through rigorous exercise routines, and this post is going to show you just that.
One of the secrets to a successful business as a personal trainer is to get certified and back it up with relevant, current, applicable knowledge. If clients have to choose between you and a certified personal trainer, guess who they’d prefer to put their confidence in – definitely not you.
Even after you have obtained the necessary initial certifications, invest in education too; if not for any other reason than to build your confidence. You’ll need to be consistently reading and studying to stay up-to-date on fitness trends. Go to conventions and conferences, attend classes and study current literature. All the effort you put in will eventually lead to measurable results in your business growth.
As a personal trainer, you should already be physically flexible. When it comes to your business, flexibility in how you operate and manage your clients is also essential. Working as a personal trainer lets you deal with people individually, therefore you cannot afford to have hard and fast rules especially at the beginning.
Things happen, clients’ schedules change and you must maintain a professional flexibility in how you handle it all. It’s also necessary to ensure that your clients know when you are bending a policy for them, so that they can consider that next time and try to work with you on your terms.
In this business, success follows those who network. Personal training is all about who you know. Since you are just starting out, grab every opportunity you get to shake a hand, share a smile and drop your card. Meeting new people and engaging in your community are necessary components of growing your business.
If you are looking for a platform for new people to meet you, some great places to start include local clinics, wellness fairs, workshops, business events, fitness expos and so on. Remember to take your business cards and fliers along with you when you attend such events. Don’t hesitate to remind people
If you can get your name synonymous with your niche, it becomes easier to market yourself and gain new clientele. Start by outlining your strengths as a trainer – are you more comfortable working with teenagers, men or women? Do you do better in small group sessions or prefer a one-on-one environment for your work?
You can gain and retain more clients when you work with your strengths instead of following current physical training fads. No matter your fitness training experience, bodybuilding, Pilates, strength and conditioning or yoga, as long as it is an area of expertise for you, you can set yourself apart from the competition. Aim to be the go-to expert in your field by finding the areas you are most passionate about and getting as much education in them as possible.
Build Reputation and Relationships
A business with a poor reputation is as good as dead. In your day-to-day dealings with your clients, strive to be a friend, a supporter, and a motivator. A little extra effort on your part to be understanding and kind will also make you a better trainer. Be reliable and your customers will be loyal to you and your brand.
Obviously, you want to be as professional as possible, but do more than just loading plates and counting reps. Talking to your clients builds trust, which leads to long-term loyalty, referrals and more business opportunities. Show a real interest in your clients’ lives by asking them about their lives, families and interests.
Advertise Your Business
You’ll need to also pay attention to the business side of things by putting in place a well-structured administrative system and advertising yourself as a personal trainer. This method provides you with an inexpensive way to advertise your business. One of the great things about building a business as a personal trainer is that you can turn yourself into a walking billboard. Whenever you are in public, wear clothing showcasing your company name, logo or any other indication of what you do. Look for online fitness communities to showcase your skills.
Maintain a Client Base
Successful personal trainer businesses are able to establish and maintain a steady client base. Don’t expect your business to be profitable if you are constantly recording high client turnover and low client retention.
However, trying to draw out the length of time clients have to spend before seeing results just to make them stick around will only anger them and make them leave to find faster results elsewhere. To maintain your client base, help your clients to develop a sense of commitment by ensuring they attend sessions as regularly as possible, and help them develop realistic goals they can achieve within a set time frame.
Don’t Stop Evolving
Change is constant and if you want your business to grow, you have to evolve and adapt as necessary. In your spare time, when you are not working with clients, working out or attending networking events, study and carry out research that will help you design highly effective programs and training procedures for your clients.
You can also attend training workshops, fitness conventions and sign up for personal training webinars. As long as you keep your finger on the pulse of the fitness world, your clients will have more to learn from you and in turn will value your services more. Therefore, focus on building yourself, your product and your business to be the best it can possibly be.
Above all, always remember to take some time for yourself so that you’ll avoid Personal Trainer Burnout Syndrome, have time for your own workouts and be able to rejuvenate your mind and body. When you can, get away from the environment where you work to relax and when you return, you can continue your business development efforts. Good luck!