Be in the Know
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Earlier this month, The Guardian posted a short guide on how to get started as a personal trainer. The article cited figures from the Leisure Database Company’s ‘State of the UK Fitness Industry Report’, which estimated the total market value of the industry is now over £4 billion. With the nation becoming increasingly health-conscious, and new fitness facilities opening up daily, it’s clear there’s never been a better time to become a personal trainer.
That’s all good and well for newcomers, but what if you’re already qualified? Where does this leave you, and most importantly how can you capitalise on this industry boom? One of the most straightforward ways is to attract new clients. What follows may not seem as direct as other advice out there, but it’s just as, if not more important. Paying someone to stand on the street with a sandwich board may work in the short term with generating an enquiry or two, but this is about investing in your personal brand.
As of early 2015, Facebook had 1.44 billion active users, so saying ‘use social media’ may seem like a no-brainer, but are you making the most of it? There are a wealth of networks out there, with new ones seeming to come and go daily. Trying to sign up to and keep track of every one could see you spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on where potential clients are and match content to those networks.
Facebook – Ideal for engaging in longer discussions, publicly celebrating the successes of existing clients, and sharing interesting news articles or photos.
Twitter – Short and sweet is the key, so use those 140 characters to their full effect. Share a tip of the day, motivational quote, or an inspiring photo. Don’t forget relevant hashtags, but be careful not to go overboard.
YouTube – 1-2 minutes is the ideal length for video content. Providing it’s interesting and authoritative enough however, sometimes a longer video could do really well. Look for ways to carve out a niche; what can you show that no one else is doing?
Other networks to consider: Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn – all have their place, but as above, be sure to play on the strengths of each network rather than trying a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Every like, share and retweet helps raise your profile and the number of potential clients you can reach out to. It also increases chances of people contacting you.
In today’s world, everyone’s trying to get the best value and save money. Wouldn’t it make a powerful statement by being the personal trainer who strives to always go above and beyond. Here’s a good tip: go to your local supermarket and buy a multipack of bottled water. Then, be ready to hand it to your client during and after their workout. Per bottle it’ll probably cost you pence, but as a gesture to show you care, it’s worth its weight in gold. Go even further by bringing a spare gym towel along, better still if it’s branded with your name and logo.
Not only do these little touches enhance your appearance in the gym, but they’ll feed in to one of the greatest sales tools out there – referrals. If your clients are singing your praises on social media, to their friends in the pub, or even other people at the gym, your chances of attracting new business leads increases. So go the extra mile for current clients and watch how much it pays off.
Becoming Level 3 qualified was the all-important first step, but continuing your professional development is just as critical. That means keeping up to date with industry news, emerging trends, and even popular myths you need to dispel. Position yourself as an authority, so next time a potential client has questions, you’re guaranteed to provide the answers.
Another way to stay ahead of the curve is furthering your education. Identify a gap in the market and capitalise on it. Perhaps there are lots of older adults who regularly exercise at your gym. This is an increasingly burgeoning market and having the right knowledge to work with this special population widens the amount of clients you can get. If you have a passion for working with a particular group of people, having an extra qualification will really give you an edge.Back to articles