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14 Ways to Build Credibility & Stay Relevant in the Fitness Industry

Reading Time: 9 minutes 45 seconds


DATE: 2023-02-16

You’ve decided to start a personal training business. Or maybe you’ve been a fitness professional for a while. Either way, it’s likely that you’re putting a lot of time into your marketing efforts. But you should also consider your level of credibility and staying relevant in the fitness industry.

Why Credibility is Important as a Fitness Professional

Business Management Daily calls credibility a business leader’s “most important asset.” This is because it is tied heavily to trust.

In the fitness industry, trust is critical. A new client won’t want to work with you if they think you don’t know what you’re doing. An existing client won’t stick around if trust starts to decline. They also won’t be making any referrals.

There are also benefits of establishing credibility with other exercise professionals. If you are knowledgeable in a certain area, they may come to you for advice. Become the go-to trainer for professionals and clients will follow. It provides social proof that you are the real deal.

Why It’s Important to Stay Relevant in the Fitness Industry

Relevancy is important to personal trainers because it helps them to stay current in the industry and to be able to provide their clients with the most up-to-date information, techniques, and equipment. Personal training is a rapidly evolving field, with new research and trends emerging all the time. Staying relevant allows personal trainers to provide their clients with the latest and most effective methods for reaching their fitness goals.

Additionally, clients may seek out personal trainers who specialize in certain areas of fitness or use specific training methods. Being relevant in these areas can make a personal trainer more attractive to potential clients who are looking for those specific services. Personal trainers who stay relevant are able to better understand and adapt to the changing needs of their clients. 

Relevancy also allows personal trainers to continue to grow and develop their own skills, which can lead to more job satisfaction and better performance as a trainer. This helps to keep their career interesting and motivating, which can be beneficial to both the trainer and the clients.

14 Ways to Build Credibility and Stay Relevant in the Fitness Industry 

From capitalizing on social media and content to growing a dynamic platform, here are 14 ways for health and fitness professionals to build credibility and stay motivated, excited, and relevant in the fitness industry:

Educate Yourself 

Continually learning new things is one method for seasoned health and fitness professionals to keep themselves inspired, engaged, and relevant in the field. This could entail attending classes or workshops to learn about new methods or technologies, staying current with the most recent findings in the sector, or simply just reading articles or blogs about the industry. 

Fitness professionals can remain interested and motivated in their work by staying current in the industry, which can also increase their value to clients or employers. Keeping abreast of the most recent developments and industry standards will assist fitness professionals in staying in demand.

Rene Delgado, Founder & CEO, Shop Indoor Golf

The fitness industry is constantly changing. New training methods are being created daily. Research studies provide better insight into what works and what doesn’t. Staying on top of what is happening shows that you’re willing to put in the effort to give clients access to the best personal training program possible.

Continuing education courses are one way to stay updated on current fitness trends and research. They’re also a good way to expand your fitness knowledge into other areas. Maybe you already have a good base of knowledge as a strength coach. You could expand upon this by furthering your education in corrective exercise or nutrition.

The benefit of taking this approach to increase your credibility is that it also offers additional business opportunities. You can expand your current service offerings. Plus, when you can help clients achieve success in multiple areas, you provide greater value as a personal trainer. The greater your value, the larger your client base.

Optimize Your Social Media

Creating content to share on social media can be a great way for seasoned health and fitness professionals to stay relevant. Social media provides an outlet to share their knowledge and expertise with a broader audience. 

By regularly posting informative and engaging content like blogs, videos, or podcasts on social media platforms, professionals can showcase their knowledge while building a base of followers. Social media can also be a great tool for connecting with other professionals and building a community of like-minded individuals, which can be a huge source of motivation and excitement.

Brandon Brown, CEO, GRIN

Admittedly, this strategy takes time. Many fitness pros don’t get huge followings and become social media influencers overnight. You have to regularly and consistently post on your platforms. Engaging with your followers is a must. The more you interact with them, the more they’ll want to interact with you—both online and in person.

If you don’t yet have this type of following, reach out to someone who does. Influencer marketing involves working with someone who has this status and asking them to promote your brand. They already have a level of trust with their followers. That trust is passed on to you simply by receiving their endorsement.

Get Invested in Clients’ Gains

I had a friend who hired a personal trainer who only made himself available to her for 60 minutes per week, during the two 30-minute sessions she paid for at the local gym. She didn't make many gains with that trainer and nearly fell off the wagon altogether. She decided to try a more specialized trainer who was far more engaged and much more invested in her achievements. 

She ran a 5K and finished below her goal, so the trainer worked with her to improve her split times. She ran another one six weeks later and beat her desired time by over two minutes. By the time she got to her car and checked her phone, that trainer had sent her a text asking her how she did. She was so grateful to him for that. 

The two of them celebrated her achievement together with a sushi lunch the following day. She is still a client. That's how you stay motivated as a trainer, by keeping your clients engaged and motivated. Invest time and interest in your clients. Both of you will benefit.

Rachel Blank, Founder & CEO, Allara

Engage with Influencers 

Staying motivated, excited, and relevant in the health and fitness industry is more difficult for seasoned professionals than for those just starting out. To stay on track with the latest trends, seasoned professionals can benefit from staying engaged with influencers on various social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, to get inspiration for fresh content to share with their clients.

By subscribing to different channels like this, one will stay current on the industry's developments and be able to present a broad set of solutions when clients offer unique cases. In this way, seasoned experts can be adaptable and be sure that clients receive services that live up to their expectations.

Jim Campbell, Owner, Camp Media

Stay Connected with Other Experts

One great way for seasoned health and fitness professionals to stay motivated, excited, and relevant in the fitness industry is by staying connected with other experts in the field

Going to conferences or seminars, reading blogs and articles, or taking part in social media groups can help you stay informed about changes in the industry and learn new techniques. Networking with colleagues and exploring new trends in the industry can also help you stay current and engaged with your work. It's important to stay open-minded and willing to learn, as this will keep you sharp and motivated.

Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal

Try Out New Ideas

There are various ways for health and fitness professionals to stay motivated and relevant, and one effective way is to keep things fresh and new. Trying out new techniques and workout routines helps fitness professionals to remain relevant in the industry. 

New ideas in the profession give them an edge and make them stand out in an industry where others refuse to innovate. Using wearable fitness gadgets and offering virtual workouts help the trainers keep up with the trends and remain relevant.

Yongming Song, CEO, Live Poll for Slides

Feed Your Spirit with Reading

As a fitness professional, always swamped with fitness-related chores, such as keeping your clients on track or working out yourself, it is easy to overlook mental exercises to improve yourself. 

Reading is the best exercise for both motivating yourself and stimulating your brain to develop positive thoughts. You can distract your mind from the monotony that will eventually turn any interesting occupation into a boredom-inducing job by choosing motivational good books, a guide to happiness, or just fiction novels. 

Develop a habit of reading at least ten pages daily and take it as seriously as your pre-workout essentials. Books by successful fitness coaches will also advise you to stay relevant in the fitness industry, which is constantly evolving so that you don't have to stress yourself out.

Sean Harris, Managing Editor, FamilyDestinationsGuide

Celebrate Every Success

As a health professional, you may feel that you don't have the achievements or success you expected. You may feel others are more successful than you are or have more clients. If you always look at others' successes, you can't acknowledge your triumphs. It doesn't matter if they are large or small. What matters the most is that you are growing and progressing. 

When you started, you had nothing. But now, you have an established career. Give yourself a pat on the back. You can feel down sometimes. In those times, remember all your successes. Celebrate those successes and treat yourself to the things you like. Go on a trip or to a restaurant and have a delicious lunch or dinner.

Cynthia Hamilton, Marketing Director, OGLF

If you don’t believe in yourself as a fitness professional, it’s going to be hard for others to believe in you either. Sure, everyone has self-doubts now and again. But if you are constantly second-guessing yourself, clients and other professionals will do the same.

Have faith in your personal training abilities. Trust in your education and experience to guide you as you work to help clients reach their goals. You don’t have to know everything about fitness to offer them weight loss or muscle building success. As long as you know the basics and follow good safety guidelines, you can begin to create a growing client base.

Set Trends

Rather than following the latest fitness trends, work to become someone who establishes them. You can use your expertise to develop some of your fitness ideas into shareable information and routines that you can bring to your audience. 

You won't need to have a huge following to do this either. Just provide meaningful content to your audience and you'll be able to retain their engagement and grow your brand naturally. Instead of being the follower, being the leader might be the best way for you to stay motivated in your fitness career.

Neel Shah, Founder, EZ Newswire

Mix Up Your Surroundings

Find a new environment. Sometimes, to stay motivated, you need to change your surroundings. Have you been at your current gym for a while? If so, maybe it's time to find a new company to work for. 

Do you love your gym, but wish you had a more diverse clientele? If so, consider training on the side. You can keep your current setup for your "9 to 5," but switch up your routine during your off hours. To stay excited, you must change things up occasionally to ward off a slump.

Harry DiFrancesco, CEO, Carda Health

Give Yourself Room to Grow 

Continually challenge yourself by trying new things in both your personal life and professional career. This can take many forms, such as signing up for continuing education courses or pursuing certifications in new areas of fitness. 

It can also mean taking on leadership roles and opportunities within your organization or trying out new teaching methods and styles to keep things fresh and exciting. Behind these choices, it's also important to cut yourself some slack and not be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes along the way. Take a break and recharge when needed, and remember to celebrate your successes along the way. 

By staying open to new experiences and challenges, you'll be able to stay motivated, excited, and relevant in the fitness industry for years to come.

Michael Hamlin, Founder, Everflex Fitness

Become More Dynamic with Your Platform

There has been a huge drop-off in the fitness industry because of scandals and lack of original content. Few people are interested in seeing what bodybuilders are eating today. That said, there are some OGs still in the game with audiences that have remained loyal.

A way for these professionals to stay motivated, excited, and relevant in the fitness industry is by turning to user-generated content and sharing their platforms with people they inspired. Giving followers a platform to share their journey and talk about how they overcame their struggles will not only inspire the audience of the fitness professional but possibly the fitness professional themselves.

Nick Varga, Chief Riding Officer, ERide Journal

Offer Proof of Your Ability to Get Results

Another way to boost your credibility is to show proof of what you can do. As a personal trainer, you are only as successful as your clients. The more you are able to help them reach their goals, the more trust you’ll gain as a fitness professional.

One of the best ways to show proof is with before and after photos. This helps potential clients see the transformations you can provide. For clients who are camera shy, ask them to write a testimonial for your website and social media pages. Words can be just as powerful as photos.

Encouraging existing clients to submit an online review is also a good marketing strategy. Brightlocal’s 2020 Consumer Review Survey found that 87% of consumers read reviews before selecting a business. Let your current training clients give prospective clients something positive to read, increasing the likelihood that they will choose you.

Get Certified!

Consumers today are savvy, and they have options. They are unlikely to settle for an uncertified trainer if they can work with someone who has put in the time and training to get certified. Word of mouth and good reviews from clients will help, but for many, a lack of certification may be a deal-breaker. Start out right with a Personal Trainer Certification from ISSA!

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