Like achieving anything else in life, being a successful Personal Trainer doesn't happen by accident. It can be boiled down to a limited number of actions and behaviors that are responsible for success.
Just like a weight loss client needs to set relevant goals, workout a few times per week and eat right, in order to lose weight. To be a successful Personal Trainer you need to do the following 5 things:
1. A Personal Trainer Business Plan
You're in an extremely fortune position in that Personal Training has an very low barrier to entry. You can start a business with no upfront cost and very little investment. This is great, it means we can begin training people straight away, without dealing with loans, banks, investors and the like.
The downside, however, is that many Personal Trainers do not treat their business like a business. It's very easy to just start 'doing' without actually planning ahead and figuring out what you're supposed to be doing.
If a client comes in to the gym and just starts training, without setting goals, without taking measurements, without knowing the best kind of training, do you think they will achieve the results they desire?
Well, maybe, but it's going to be a huge stroke of luck if they do. They need to know what they're actually aiming for, and then build the appropriate plan to achieve that. Your business is the same, you need to know where it is going first, then you can work out the ins and outs of what you actually do on a daily basis.
Without a plan, you will probably spend most of your time doing things that are not actually taking you forwards. Wasting time and keeping you stuck in a cycle of going nowhere fast.
Successful trainers have a mission. They know what they want to achieve and then spend the time creating a business plan that brings that vision to reality. Without a plan, who knows if you're actually doing the right things or not?
To learn what should go in a Personal Trainer business plan and download a template check out the very first section (and loads of other stuff) of the Fitness Marketing Lab for just £1.
Let's be real. You're a business owner. You own a business. You're the operations manager, the marketer and the "labour" on the ground. This business could literally feed your family or future family for years to come. For the sake of sitting down for a few hours every 3 months and making a few educated guesses (because that's what a business plan is), can you really afford NOT to create one? Don't be lazy. Just get it done. - Dan Salcumbe
2. Personal Trainer Website
(establish trust and raport)And when I say "website" I mean a brochure website. Home, About, Services, Contact and Blog pages. None if this one page sales script garbage that tries to convince people they need to buy your stuff.
The online world is where almost everything happens nowadays and it is where your potential clients are going to be. You need to have a presence there. They need to be able to find you online and find out more about what you do (establish trust and rapport).
Even if you're marketing offline, it is almost certain a potential client is going to go online and check out your website before they commit to buying something. You MUST have a website that displays what you do.
Your website needs to be attractive, well-written, easy to find and mobile friendly. We build websites (find out more here) for Personal Trainers and after 200+ sites, we know what works and what doesn't.
The brochure style site is the most client friendly design, is easy to navigate, has all the information the client needs and is simple and cost-effective to set up. Not to mention the BEST long term digital marketing asset when it comes to search engines optimisation and obtaining targeted leads from the likes of Google!
From your clients perspective, they have more than likely already made their mind up about whether they need a personal trainer. They're now looking for a personal trainer they think they can trust, will get results with and can afford. This is where a brochure site comes in.
3. Consistent Blogging
Following on from above: Did you know the average person is going to have 11+ interactions with your brand before they buy something?
That means they need to see your material on 11 different occasions before they feel like they know, like and trust you enough to buy.
The best way to create all of these interactions is by blogging. Your blog has a number of benefits:
Start writing on your blog at least once a week. If you can't or don't want to write, you can video blog or outsource it to someone who is a professional writer (find out more here).
But I don't know what to write about. I get this all the time and honestly, if you're not inspired by your work enough to be able to come up with one blog post idea, maybe you shouldn't be in this industry?
4. Social Media Strategy
When you're online, what do you spend most of your time doing? Social media right?
Well, so do your clients. Social media is where your audience is spending most of their time and it is where you should go to connect with them. To do this, you're going to need a social media strategy.
A good social strategy is going to choose the networks that work for you. Some people are great on YouTube, where others prefer Instagram. Maybe Facebook is your flavour? Or twitter, Pinterest, etc.
There is no 'right' way to do social media. Different people do better on different networks. It depends partly on where your audience hangs out, and partly on the kind of content you like to create. YouTube videos are very different to the short sound bytes you post on Twitter, for example.
You should have a presence on all of the networks by the way, but focus primarily on the one that works best for you. Don't get caught in a cycle of switching focus between them all and never actually being effective on any of them.
When you have chosen a medium, you want to create a consistent schedule. Whether you are using a post planning app like Buffer, Hootsuite or Edgar, or you're just doing it manually, consistency is key. Frequency will depend on the network in question, but have a plan to follow.
Interaction is the key. A monologue of you ranting about "whatever" isn't going to bring you business. That is, after all, the point. Use the channel that is bringing in leads and sales. To do this, there needs to be a two-way interaction. The reader needs to consume your content and then take an action; whether that is commenting, clicking a link or submitting a form. Remember the goal of social media is always to further your business – not just to pass the time of day.
Social media ties in with blogging and your content strategy. 80% of our posts here at My Personal Trainer Website are content based. How to guides, tips, tricks and advice.
5. Basic Fitness Marketing Skills
Once you're getting leads through from your fitness website, blog and social media, you need to convert those leads in to paying clients!
To do this, you're going to need to know how to sell. We have written extensively about sales on this site and why it is absolutely fundamental to running a successful Personal Training business.
All successful trainers realise that you cannot help anybody achieve their goals until they commit and become a client. To do this, you need to make a sale. It's the best thing possible for you AND for the client.
Read more about sales here.
We talk about sales a lot here at My PT Website and one of the points that comes up time and time again is how awkward selling can be.
There's 5 things that all successful Personal Trainers do. Have you done them? If not, now is the perfect time to start implementing them in to your business. To find more clients, make more money and help more people, you need to treat your business like a serious business.
Knuckle down, set some goals, make a plan and put it to action!