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As a certified personal trainer, you have all the tools you need to start and grow a successful fitness business. The question is really just how. Fitness professionals aren't just termed professional because they get paid. They are professionals because they have taken the time to obtain a relevant certification, as well as hands-on experience, so they are educated and aware of the best way to help clients achieve their fitness goals.
The fitness industry is rife with people lacking the education but are training people anyway. This is a recipe for disaster, as issues of safety and liability are extremely important when considering the fitness industry as a whole and how personal trainers communicate this to their clients.
There are so many ways to grow your business and client base, through referrals, social media, effective digital marketing, and a little bit of time. So, let's dive into the ways you can build your business today.
Whether you're on your own trying to find new clients and train the ones you have, or if you're working for a gym, you are your personal brand. Fitness professionals need to have specific goals that are measurable, no differently than the SMART goals that you make for your clients.
The measurement of these goals become the metrics by which you can judge the effectiveness of what you do in terms of business. For instance, how many new clients do you have signing up every month? How many personal training sessions did you get in with them?
Ultimately, a business is an entity that serves customers in exchange for payment. So, for your own business, your clients are your customers. The service you offer is your training knowledge and accountability. It might sound very basic, but there is a lot you can do with those ingredients!
You should know how much money you have coming in and how many clients you currently serve. From this, you can get a ballpark figure for several things. For one, you will know your monthly income, also known as revenue. For another, you will know how many clients you have, which will help you figure out your maximum capacity. Then, by dividing your monthly income by the number of clients you train, you will know the monthly value of each individual prospect moving forward.
Let's say you're bringing in $2,565 per month in personal training sessions alone. Then, let's say you have four clients total—some train twice a week, some train three times a week. You can factor that your average client gives you about $641 per month in revenue. Congratulations, you have now calculated how much value prospective clients have to you!
First, define what success looks like for you. Is this your sole source of income? If so, then you need to bring in enough money to cover your expenses and pay your personal bills. If this is a side gig that you're trying to build into something bigger, then know what sort of revenue goal you need to be your own full-time boss.
Regardless of what your goal is, make sure it's specific. Make sure it's defined. This is the first step in making sure that you can make this lifestyle work out for you.
Business is reliant on growth in order to succeed. This is because there are natural factors which change your revenue all the time. What happens when a client moves? What about when they decide to cancel? What if someone gets sick or injured? These can all lead to losing a client. As such, you need to learn to always be recruiting new clients. Just like you have a program for yours and your clients' fitness goals, you should have a plan for prospecting new clients.
Even if you are full to capacity, it doesn't hurt to have a waiting list for when spots become available. If anything, this helps to communicate that your services are so good that you're booked solid. Also, this is usually an indicator that it's time to raise your prices a little bit.
Remember that figure of $641 that our hypothetical new client was worth per month? Well, that lets you know how important it is to retain your clients as you gain new ones. The only way you're going to get more revenue is to close those meetings and have a funnel in place to find new people who are ready to work hard.
Finding potential new clients, also known as leads, can be a daunting challenge. This is where you need to get creative in what you're putting out to the public. There are so many different possibilities with marketing. Most people getting started have very low budgets they can afford. So, let's start with the cheaper options.
Overall, your goal with fitness marketing is to put your offering in front of people who are willing to pay for your services. To do this effectively, think of an offer. One of the most common offers gyms and trainers give in their marketing strategy is a free session. This works well because you can evaluate the prospect and they get a sense of how you are. But remember—if this is standard throughout, how are you setting yourself apart? How can you give more value without giving away everything you have?
Think about things you could do, like putting together a free program, maybe including an additional free session for a referral, or even offering something like a video newsletter. Look for these small ways to add more perceived value to what you're offering.
When most trainers think about their social media profiles, they tend to think more about their colleagues than they do their target audience.
Your target audience is basically the people you want to hire you. Most of the people you find who want your services aren't personal trainers, or otherwise in the fitness industry. When you start thinking more about them and less about yourself, you can put yourself in their shoes.
Ask yourself, why would this person want to train with me? Do pictures of your toned abs or toned hips make the difference? Some people argue that it does, but the question is do posts with pictures like these get to the heart of what your prospects need?
We're in an era when content is king. The content you produce will say a lot about your brand. When you put together your social media posts, ask yourself, "Will this help someone achieve their goals?" If the answer is no, consider posting something else.
It helps to get organized. There are many services out there that can auto-post content for you that you put together ahead of time. So, for instance, you could spend three hours on a Saturday afternoon putting together your whole month of social posts geared towards helping whoever comes across them. Provide value to your prospects and they will come out of the woodwork.
Finally, it can help to put together a calendar in a spreadsheet to ensure you cover everything before you schedule your posts. You might want to post motivational videos on a Monday, a sample workout on Wednesday, and something fun for Friday. The calendar helps you to focus and get together all of the content you need to succeed.
Right now, it's tough to have credibility without a website. Many trainers make their businesses work fine without it, but a website is a central place where people can find your business, read content, get in touch with you, and judge how much they believe you can help them.
Do a quick Google search for personal trainers in your area. Look at the web presences that are around. How does yours compare? And would your target audience care? Websites are incredibly cheap, and with sources like Squarespace and Wix, they're really easy to build.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, how much is your credibility worth?
Online fitness has been a growing trend for quite some time now, but it still hasn't reached its full potential. One of the nice things about living in the digital era is the ability to sell your services online. Whereas there is trainer software out there that can help, really you could even go for email contact, Skype sessions, and food logs for a basic online product.
When it comes to being an online trainer, or online coaching in general, the key is your responsiveness. You need to make sure you either make this type of training cheaper, or that you include things to add value, such as coaching calls, check-ins via text message, fitness videos, and accountability. Since you can't be there in person, think about everything else you have to offer that might make this an ideal option for your target audience.
Furthermore, group training is an awesome way to simultaneously prospect new business and earn extra revenue. Try hosting a boot camp at a local park. People who enjoy training in groups might find your boot camp as preferable to one-on-one training. Furthermore, for those who attend and want to develop, you can up-sell them on your one-on-one services.
Making your fitness business successful will require you to think outside the box and offer more than the basics you see around you. Your personal brand is hard to pit against large big box gyms and what they have. So, you've got to make up that ground by your quality of service.
Ready to add more to your offerings as a personal trainer? The ISSA Online Coaching Certification is the fastest way to transition a fitness coaching business online.
As a Transformation Specialist you will be armed with the skills and techniques required to truly coach and influence behavioral patterns as they relate to your clients physical, mental and emotional well-being. With this skill, your clients will see better results quicker and have an easier time with the transition to the behaviors and activities you suggest.
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