Most personal trainers are so intently focused on expanding their knowledge about health, fitness and nutrition, that they often neglect to focus upon other areas that would help their personal training business to thrive.
Personal trainers that work to simultaneously create results for both their clients and their business will always outlast and outperform the competition.
That’s why we’ve prepared the following top tips for independent personal trainers to develop and improve their business. These tips can be referred to as a handy guide once you’ve jumped into your career as an independent personal trainer.
How To Gain New Clients
- Tap into your network of friends and family – Your personal network is your best bet at identifying and winning over new clients. Many personal trainers started out by training a friend or family member, primarily to gain much-needed experience. Even if your personal network does not wish to purchase your services, you can still ask them to help spread the word among coworkers, their friends that workout at gyms and other informal gatherings.
- Build an eye-catching and informative website – If your business lacks a digital presence in today’s internet-driven world, you’re at a supreme disadvantage. More than 3 billion people are using the internet these days, which represents a vast amount of potential clients. Having a website available to quickly direct your network to, will allow them to learn more about your personal training business and to decide whether they are interested in training with you. Be sure to check out our guide on how to build and customize your very own personal training website.
- Use flyers or pamphlets as a primary channel of advertising – Flyers and pamphlets are very basic but effective modes of advertising. They are able to describe and market your business in a simple and easy-to-digest format, providing potential clients with detailed information such as the fitness services offered, pricing of each service, contact information and more.
- Always have business cards on hand – You are a walking billboard for your personal training business and it’s ideal to have business cards on hand to pass out to anyone who may be interested. How many times have you met someone new that has asked what you do for a living? That’s the perfect opportunity to network and hand out your card. You can also post your business card on bulletin boards, in doctor’s offices and restaurants, where appropriate. Just be sure to obtain permission from the owner before posting.
- Buy advertising space in newspapers, magazines and circulars – Although on the decline compared to digital media, newspapers and magazines still have the ability to reach a very broad and local audience. Newspapers and circulars can be found in diverse locations such homes, offices, and waiting rooms, which all but guarantees that dozens of potential clients will discover your business. The best part about these types of publications is that they require no batteries, which means your business information will always be accessible.
How To Retain Clients
- Mix and match different exercises – Clients frequently quit their training program because they get bored with the routine and do not enjoy performing the same exercises over and over again. Periodically review and rotate each of your clients’ training programs to ensure a diversity of exercises that will keep them engaged and seeing results.
- Create customized plans – As we all know, no two individuals are exactly alike. This is why it’s important to ensure that every client follows a very specific and customized exercise plan based upon their fitness levels and health goals. While you may use a generic exercise template, it’s still important to tweak and tailor it specifically to your client’s needs.
- Add an element of fun into the routine – Most trainers forget this aspect. Include an obstacle course, dance routine, or some other unique element of fun into the fitness regimen. This increases their commitment and enjoyment, and will also help to ensure clients do not quickly become bored. Clients that have fun training with you are also much more likely to tell their friends and family about their experience with you, possibly leading to new referrals and clients.
- Create an easy-to-follow diet plan – While you may not be a registered dietitian, clients will still appreciate your advice when it comes to eating properly in order to hit their goals. Be sure to avoid over-complicating the diet plan, but help them to make sound food decisions for a balanced diet. Remember that if there are specific nutritional needs due to health issues or ailments, it’s best to refer your clients to a qualified professional.
How To Get More Results For Your Clients
- Create short-term routines – Training routines assigned to your clients should be designed for short periods of time rather than months or even weeks at a time. Alternating the routines will help prevent boredom, and also ensure that the body must continually adapt to the stimulus.
- Keep motivation levels high – Motivation is one aspect which should not be overlooked. Seeing changes in body composition and fitness levels takes a lot of time and dedication. Clients, especially those that are new to fitness, will generally require an extra mental push. Get creative and come up with different strategies to keep them going, whether it be fitness challenges or rewards for certain milestones. Stick with them, talk to them and motivate them to push themselves harder at every step.
- Seek a change of scenery – Fitness should be both fun and functional. While many clients will enjoy the convenience and familiarity of the gym, it’s recommended that you offer to use both the indoors and outdoors to achieve the best results. Outdoor exercises should include more cardio and calisthenics, while the indoor exercises should be more resistance-based exercises. Besides, being outdoors helps to increase vitamin D levels in the human body, which is important for strong bones and a healthy metabolism.
- Identify peaks and plateaus – When the client’s weight or fitness levels hit a plateau, start mixing it up more. When it is at a peak, increase the intensity to capitalize on it and get more out of the body. If your client isn’t seeing the results they’re after, it’s unlikely that they’ll continue to shell out their hard-earned money to keep training with you.
How To Keep Track Of Your Schedule
- Use mobile-based fitness apps – There are a number of industry-specific mobile apps that will allow you to create customized schedules for each client, as well as a host of other options such as programming and website configuration. These apps can also provide reminders for important dates such as weight measurements and general assessments.
- Use the calendar in your smartphone or PC – You can input important dates into your smartphone or PC for easy and convenient tracking. Essentially all smartphones and PCs have a built-in calendar app these days, but there are also specific apps built for fitness professionals as mentioned above.
- Maintain a detailed file for each client – Simply tracking training dates and times is not enough if you don’t know much about the client you’ll be meeting with. That’s why we recommend maintaining a detailed file for each client, which contains information such as their body composition, weight, preferences, health concerns, etc. Be sure to review the file at least once per week and analyze the progress made by each client. Sure, you can rely on your memory, but once you’ve got a full schedule of 50+ clients, it can become a bit overwhelming. The goal here is to make your training life easier, not tougher.
- Use the old methods of paper and pen – While a bit outdated and old school, you can buy a pocket calendar the office supply store and draft up a schedule to maintain for each client. File these pads and note down details on a daily basis, as it will require much organization and paperwork.
Because most personal trainers are so well versed in kinesiology and exercise science, yet fail to understand the business side of things, we’ve found that these are the best tips for personal trainers, especially those who are just starting out. By focusing on developing your business while generating new clients and keeping current clients happy, your business is sure to thrive and beat out the competition.