There is more to personal training than just putting someone through a vigorous workout; its about learning how to become a motivator, mentor, and a friend. Its figuring out what makes people motivated, what propels them to succeed, and most importantly, what limits their capabilities. With that being said, none of these skills mean anything if you don’t have a client base. Building a strong reputation and a positive brand is what’s going to attract you to clients. You can have a lot of certifications behind your name, but without a business plan, you’ll have an extremely difficult time utilizing them.
None of these skills mean anything, however, if you don't have a clientele. Building a solid reputation and a positive brand is what's going to bring you clients. You can have a lot of letters behind your name and a hundred certifications in your pocket, but without a plan for your business, you'll never get to utilize them. Here are five tips to help you become a more successful personal trainer.
Tip 1: Network
Personal training just like many other professions is all about whom you know. When you build a strong network of contacts, success usually follows. Take every opportunity to introduce yourself, shake hands, and speak with people and understand that social life and business go hand in hand for a personal trainer/entrepreneur, so never miss your chance on an opportunity to network. Although it may be difficult to balance your schedule, for a personal trainer your body is your business card, but meeting new people and connecting with your community are vital for building your network.
Tip 2: Manage Client Expectations
A lot of trainers talk themselves up to obtain a client or business relationship, only to come up short once the client is secured. This is more than likely what ruins most personal training careers. Word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing and advertising, so if a client or business partner doesn’t have a good experience with you or your business, you can say goodbye to your good reputation and your chances of obtaining new clients.
Many trainers and entrepreneurs hype themselves up to obtain a client or business relationship, only to fall flat once the client is secured. This is probably what destroys most personal training careers. Word of mouth is the best type of advertising, so if a client or business partner doesn't have a good experience with you or your business, you can kiss your good reputation and your hopes of new clients goodbye. Instead of promising the moon, create goals with your client. More importantly, treat every single client like they are the only clients you have. Going the extra mile for each and every person will result in new business and new opportunities.
Tip 3: Build Relationships
The answer is not just lifting weights and counting repetitions. Building relationships with your clients by getting to really know about them and their lives will build trust. Now you don’t want to mistake that with being professional, but speaking to your clients builds a relationship and relationships lead to trust. Trust in turn leads to loyalty, referrals and new client opportunities.
Tip 4: Separate Yourself
Understand and recognize your strengths and weaknesses as a trainer and use them to your advantage. Are you a trainer who thrives in individual sessions or small group training? Are you more comfortable working with adults or teenagers? Recognizing and working on your strengths, rather than just jumping on any training fad is most popular at a time, will help you increase and retain your clients.
Choose a training area you are comfortable with. It doesn't matter what type of fitness you have experience doing—strength and conditioning, TRX, Pilates, or bodybuilding. Having an area of expertise will separate you from your competitors. Don't try to be a jack-of-all-trades. Find one or two areas you're passionate & motivated about, and then educate yourself as much as possible on those areas. Your goal should be to become an expert on those areas. When your name becomes synonymous with your niche, marketing yourself and attracting new clientele becomes a lot easier.
Tip 5: Never Stop Growing
The world never stops moving. If you want to grow your business, you have to continue to evolve and grow everyday. Attend fitness conferences, expos, workshops, and even sign up for personal training webinars. When you’re not training your clients, working out, or networking, spend some time reading material that will help you become the best possible personal trainer you can become so you can help your clients produce the best results possible. The more you educate yourself, the more highly you'll be valued by your clients. Don't spend time worrying about what others are doing—focus on always producing your best product. As a personal trainer you are your business.