PT with client on cable
PT with client on cable

Defining Your Personal Training Services

How to differentiate your personal training offer so that you stand out from the crowd once you're qualified.

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Have you considered once you’re qualified how you are going to define your personal training services and how you will differentiate your training offer from that of your competitors?

Even if you’re planning on securing a stable job in personal training rather than being self-employed, the principles of what we’ll present in this article still apply if you want to succeed.

We know that now might be a strange time to be asking such a cliché question, but there are two really good reasons why you should give this some serious thought right now and before you enrol on a personal training course.

1. Focusing on your end-game, the clients that you’re passionate about working with and the exciting services that you plan to offer, will help to empower and motivate you to you to work that little harder towards achieving your goals. It will keep your eyes on the prize and will also help you to be able to apply what you are learning theoretically to real-client situations with the clients you’re targeting.

2. Knowing who you plan to tailor your training services for in terms of the particular population group (e.g. pre and postnatal women, older adults, weight management services, athletes etc) will determine which qualifications you actually need to complete. If you decide to add these on to your base personal training qualification, you can overlap your training so you’ll be able to qualify a little earlier. You’ll also likely be able to save yourself a little money for enrolling on multiple courses.

Niche Personal Training Services

Personal Training is a person-focused business in which the name of the game is to work with clients to deliver results according to what their training goals and objectives are. Given that personal training is ultimately about people, there are almost an endless number of ways in which you can tailor your services for specific groups.

For example, perhaps you want to work with athletes and sports participants, helping them to avoid injury, recover faster and improve their athletic performance? In this case, you may want to consider adding a strength and conditioning specialism to your PT armoury.

Alternatively, maybe you want to provide tailored exercise programmes for pregnant women or those who have recently given birth? In which case you’ll need to complete qualifications in pre and postnatal training.

Or perhaps you want to focus on the sports nutrition or the dietary side of the service, supporting clients to make body transformations, better nutrition choices and improve their metabolic health?

The personal training business has changed considerably in recent years and the COVID-19 pandemic simply accelerated what was already underway. Training clients no longer requires PT’s to be on the gym floor and many of the more tech savvy trainers have taken their services online, virtually, or on social media. In today’s PT market, the only limitation to your training service is your imagination.

We would like to underline the fact that there’s still a HUGE demand for gym-based trainers so if that’s where your passion is at, then don’t let the niche thing put you off!

3 -Step Winning Formula for Differentiating Your PT Services

One of the best ways to find a niche market for your PT services is to spend a little time and energy researching who is already doing what you plan to do, how well they’re actually doing, and how can you improve on what they are doing, so that customers favour your training services over the competition.

1. Find something you’re passionate about

They say “if you do something that you love then you’ll never work a day in your life”. If you subscribe to this philosophy, then it’s crucial that you take the time to be honest with yourself about what excites you, who and what are you interested in and how do you want to be defined? Create a mind map of everything that you’re passionate about and use your own words and language to make sense of things. You don’t have to limit your niche to one thing, but try not to be too broad.

2. Do your market research thoroughly

Actively look for trainers offering services similar to what you are passionate about. What do they charge for their services? How could you improve on their offer? Is it a viable proposition? Conduct focus groups with potential clients to gauge their thoughts, although it’s probably best to avoid friends and family, because they’ll more than likely tell you what you want to hear!

If there aren’t other people doing what you’re thinking about, this could be because there’s no demand for it, or because nobody else has thought of it. Be brutally honest with your research so you don’t become a victim of your own biases.

3. Create a strong vision and strategy for how you will succeed

Once you’re confident that there’s real demand for your niche, take the time to plan all the steps carefully. Don’t place too much pressure on yourself to hit lofty goals, especially early on. Instead, be realistic in those early weeks and months when you’re learning the ropes. You might want to start volunteering as a trainer before you get qualified, allowing you to meet with real clients and trainers that are already working in the business.

Make sure you record your plan and define what outcomes (e.g. financial, number of clients, training hours, qualifications) that you want to achieve in the first year or two. If you don’t have a clear plan, you’ll wander aimlessly in no particular direction.

It’s important that we underline the fact that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and come up with some game-changing novel idea that nobody has thought of before. There are plenty of niche opportunities in personal training so if you’re looking for a fast-track way to differentiate yourself, look closely at who is in-demand right now and model yourself on what they are doing.

Whatever you do, do it with passion!

If you want something bad enough, all you need to do is make a plan, break it down into small achievable goals and turn it into a day-by-day process. If you can be half an inch closer tomorrow to where you need to be, whether it’s a physique goal, a business goal or fitness transition, if you just take those slow continuous steps forward and don’t let the enormity of the situation overwhelm you. Small steps are easy to take, giant leaps are less so: do that and you’ll have no problem!Shaun StaffordElite Personal Trainer - Founder of City Athletic

Shaun Stafford is an elite personal trainer and founder of City Athlete
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