by Peter Lemon, Founder of Academy of Fitness Professionals
1 – You’re in Business
Whether you’re just starting out or have been Personal Training for a while, the first step is recognising you’re in business. Whether this is in a gym setting, hotel, cruise ship, leisure centre or something else is pretty much irrelevant if you are a Personal Trainer, you’re in business and represent your business.
I’ve been working with different Personal Trainers for almost 20 years now and it never ceases to amaze me how far down the pecking order they consider running their business to be.
My advice? Reverse it and make owning and running your business the number one priority.
Yes, training clients is a huge part of your role, as is programme design and client care and trust me I’m passionate about all of these things…but equally passionate about the business side of things.
Consider this for a moment. We provide business skills workshops for our fitness trainers who successfully complete our personal fitness certification programme. I always ask this question. ‘How many hours a day do you think you need to spend on the non-client side of your Personal Training business?’ The majority view? About an hour.
Like most things in life you’ll get out what you’re prepared to put in and in the early stages when you’re building your business you should be prepared to invest as much time as you possible can.
This leads me nicely onto my 2nd most important ingredient.
2 – Embrace Marketing
In my experience the best form of marketing to get you started and attract those first few clients is word of mouth. It’s free, doesn’t require a fancy website and as you’re the one leading this you’re fully in control of the image you portray.
Offer a discount, free talk or trial session to get things moving and once you have your first few bookings and clients on board ask them if they know anyone who’d be interested keeping your business cards at the ready. Do a fantastic job with their personal training and little by little your client base will grow.
A bit further down the line it’s time to move away from the starting out phase and think about wider marketing. Reinvest some of your earnings if you can as this is the ideal time to think about a website and social media channels to expand your network further.
Start small and remember the mantra ‘from little acorns grow great big oak trees…’
3 – Celebrate Every Success
When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back? Be proud of your successes, don’t ignore them. There will be good days and bad days and it’s vital to indulge in the reward that comes on the back of all your hard work, re-energise and then move forward with your next goal.