Scaling Personal Trainer Businesses – How to Do it Right
The personal training industry is big and growing even bigger. You go into training because you love fitness and helping people, but you also want to be successful and earn a good living. To do that you’ll need to scale up, work with more people, and manage a sizable business.
With the growth in the industry, there are plenty of opportunities for all good trainers, but growing bigger isn’t always better. If you don’t plan for growth and scale up in an organized, planned way, your business can turn into a stress-inducing monster.
Follow these tips and ideas to grow the right way: get more clients, keep those you have happy, and do it all in a way that makes sense and keeps you sane as your training business takes off.
Scaling Personal Trainer Businesses with Social Media and Marketing
Before you can even think about how to scale your business in an organized, smart way, you actually need to grow. And that means you need to market your business and get more clients. There are many ways to use marketing, so give everything a try and see what works for you:
- Partner with gyms to provide training sessions or to give an occasional free class.
- Build relationships with other local businesses whose clients might be interested in training sessions, like health food stores and salons.
- Go to health and fitness fairs and conventions, community fitness events, and local run clubs.
- Build a good website and work on SEO to get it ranked on search engines.
- Use social media pages to get likes and followers.
The latter is increasingly important. A good following on social media can really help you get clients, but you need to work on it to be successful. Provide quality, regular content, including videos and inspirational before/after pictures, and always stay engaged with followers.
Check out this short course offered by the ISSA to learn some important marketing and advertising strategies.
Communicate with Current and Potential Clients
Keeping in touch with your current clients and those potential clients you target through marketing is essential to growing in a way that makes sense. If you only ever communicate with clients during a session, you’re doing it wrong.
Clients want to hear from their trainers, to know they care about their goals and results and that their have gotten to know them. Reach out with emails and texts when appropriate. Remind clients of appointments; provide motivational stories and quotes; suggest activities for a fun weekend workout; and just check in, asking how they’re doing.
Make Smart Use of Tech
Technologies, like software and apps, can help you work more efficiently and give your clients a better experience that will keep them coming back and referring you to friends. Here are some tools to try:
- Performance-tracking apps. Keep track of your clients’ goals, assessments, and progress with an app that both of you can use. Fitness trackers are great for organization but also for client engagement.
- Online payments. Let your clients pay online. They’ll prefer it and you will save time by not having the hassle of checks and cash.
- Online booking software. If your clients can book appointments online, you will both save time.
- Automatic reminders. Use software that will send out reminders to clients of appointments to help decrease missed sessions.
Do your homework and look for a personal training software program that will give you all of these tools. Ask around with other trainers to see what they like and look for those programs that will synch up with apps that track performance.
Help More Clients with Online Training
The more clients you can reach and train, the more your business grows, right? But as the number of clients goes up, so does your workload and there are only so many hours in the day. One way to reach more people more efficiently is to offer online training or coaching services.
This is obviously a lot different from in-person training and can have some limitations. But, you may be surprised to find there are plenty of people who want a virtual coach to help them reach goals. It’s worth looking into as a way to scale up with clients and to add a new service to your business.
Scale Your Personal Training Business with Independent Contractors
Another way to be able to scale up and take on more clients is by hiring other trainers. Hiring employees opens up a big can of worms with taxes, workers compensation, and other hassles. Instead of employees, try working with contractors.
An independent contractor is someone who is contracted to provide services but who is not an employee. You won’t have to withhold taxes or apply labor laws to these workers. For small business owners it often makes more sense to use contractors. But if you’re new to this, you may want to contact a lawyer to help you draft a basic contract you’ll use with everyone you hire.
As an example of how you might use a contractor, consider a new client you’ve just taken on. She’s interested in nutritional coaching and starting weight lifting. You know a great trainer who specializes in these areas, and you’re getting pretty busy with your other clients anyway. You contract that other trainer to work with your new client. You both agree to the number of sessions and what you’ll pay him per session. You both sign a contract that seals your agreement.
Scaling your personal training business is a journey, an adventure. If you plan for growth and do it in a way that is smart, progressive, and organized, you can enjoy a successful and thriving business for years to come.
Just thinking about getting into a career in personal training? The ISSA’s Personal Trainer Certification course available online can get you ready for it.