Becoming a personal trainer is all about building a trustworthy relationship with your clients to coach them onto their individual fitness journeys. In an era where most gym studios have a handful of personal trainers available to members — for a fee –, it can be tricky to establish yourself in the industry. Ultimately, the fitness market is buzzing with offers and activities. As a result, potential clients are easily distracted. How can you make sure you stand a fighting chance against franchise models and studio-based trainers?
Indeed, existing as an independent professional in a market that makes it easy for clients to engage with franchised trainers and branded staff is a challenge. However, you can focus on improving your relationship with your clients to give yourself a competitive edge. Here are some valuable tips that industry experts share:
#1. Know the latest trends
You need to stay relevant. The fitness industry constantly goes through a variety of trends throughout the years. You can’t afford not to engage with the latest workouts and preferences. CrossFit classes, for instance, are hugely popular because they combine intense workouts, endurance, and social aspect. However, depending on your clients’ fitness levels, not everyone is comfortable training with others. Indeed, someone who is at the beginning of their fitness journey may be tempted by the fitness challenges but put off by the group. Nevertheless, you can devise an individual CrossFit session that ticks all their fitness boxes without social exposure, for instance. Other popular workouts include spinning classes, combat, and Zumba. Offering dedicated programmes that help your clients to exercise like everyone else without the pressure of doing it in a group can be a game-changer!
#2. Be visible
As an independent PT, you need to make sure that people can find you easily. In other words, building a website is not good enough. You have to leverage every potential interaction, such as making your car your primary marketing tool in town. Did you know that you could use personalised number plates to make your vehicle stand out? You could pick a combination of letters and digits that support your fitness claims and your brand. Additionally, you can also wrap your car, which ensures that other drivers and pedestrians can spot your business. Ideally, you can also boost your local presence on Google Maps, if you have a physical address you can use for your business. It’s a fantastic way of standing out in your community.
Other options include offering branded complimentary items such as water bottles with waterproof stickers with your logo or creating a clothing line for your clients to wear out and about for added sales and exposure.
#3. More than an instructor, you’re a therapist
The fitness journey is more than a desire to become stronger or fitter. For an individual, it’s a psychological challenge. Working out is demanding, and for someone who hasn’t kept fit and active, the effort can feel overwhelming. As a personal trainer, you need to acknowledge that your clients are having a hard time fighting old habits. Understand how psychology can play a role in their success can make a great deal of difference. Ultimately, punishments and rewards strategies can be daunting. You can, instead, create a more cooperative approach that motivates your clients without making them feel guilty when they struggle to achieve their goals.
#4. You’re the voice of reason
Clients are likely to want to push themselves to achieve their objectives. While they have scheduled sessions with you, they may also choose to work out on their own in between sessions. Therefore, it can be helpful to give them some clues on how to exercise correctly. As silly as it might sound, too many gym-goers continue to get things wrong. You need to create a checklist of mistakes to avoid when you’re not around. The first and most crucial rule is to include variety. Doing the same thing over and over again is unlikely to produce positive results. Additionally, don’t encourage your clients to push themselves too hard. They put themselves at risk of accidental injuries, which would set them back.
#5. Be the friend who’s excited for them
Last but not least, the fitness journey is an adventure that transforms your clients. They count on you to motivate and guide them through it. And that’s why you are the first witness of their positive results. Your role is not just a mentor, but also a friend who cheer them up and is happy about their performance. Every improvement, every routine is a step closer to their goals, and as such, sharing their excitement makes the journey sweeter and more manageable.
Personal trainers can find it tricky to make a name for themselves. But you can offer your clients something they won’t find at the gym; you can build a trustworthy relationship with them to accompany them to their goals.