Top 3 business tips for fitness professionals
This article is made up of contributions from six ELITE fit pros from both the U.S. and Australia. We asked them what their top 3 business tips for fitness professionals would be and here are their answers.
Cody McAuliffe is the Founder of PT/coach forum, a business coach at Chasing Gains Education, lecturer at Sports Nutrition Australia and has many other credits and credentials to his name. His a former regional PT manager and was director at the top performing campus of AIPT. He is dedicated to lifting the standards of the fitness industry by creating elite coaches. Follow him on Facebook.
1) Your greatest investment you can ever make is in yourself
Every time I have made a “scarily” large investment in my business education it has paid off dramatically. When I started I invested in multiple courses to improve my skills as a trainer. It took me much longer than I should to invest in myself in terms of business. Those first years of financial stress as a trainer would have been much shorter. Every time you invest in yourself you get a return, either a business return or a lesson. The more you invest the more you gain or learn.
2) Add value
Every person you come in contact with is a bank account.
Add value to that person and the balance increases.
Over time the balance increases enough so that you can make a withdrawal
(asking for business)
If all you do is ask, without first giving value there is no balance to withdraw from.
Give value first.
Give MORE value than you take in payment.
The more value you give to your clients, the more they will love you and do anything to stay working with you.
Note: I am NOT saying keep your prices low.
You should constantly give more value AND increase your prices accordingly.
Gary Vee puts it best.
Give 51% in every relationship.
3) Get inside your client’s head
You need to understand their language choices, fears, obstacles, and struggles. Once you understand them, you can market to them to help them overcome the limitations they have through the service you offer. I sold PT sessions when I first started. Now I provide solutions to the problems my clients have. This comes in a variety of forms depending on what is best for that person. When I started I ONLY sold PT sessions. Now my offering is based on the best solution for the client, compared to the one service that I offered.
Mike Steiner has been a fitness professional for 7 years. He currently operates out of Anytime Fitness in New York and runs a successful group training class with over 100 members.
1) Get rid of self-doubt
I see this with so many trainers, including myself early on in my career. I doubted myself worth in terms of my services/knowledge and this affected everything in my business. Now reflectively, of course, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge since then but I knew a lot more than most of the club members at the time.
As soon as I realised this, saw myself as a business and compared myself to any other professional service, things changed rapidly. I became confident in my prices, valued my time more and sales became a hell of a lot easier.
2) Never stop learning
Keep on learning always, not just about technique or nutrition but others things that are equally as important i.e. business, social psychology. I personally believe you should be reading or listening to books, podcast, workshops, research papers or reputable blogs at least 4 hours a week. Learn from mentors/coaches also.
Processes save time and make things so much easier, in terms of running a business. Here are a few I have in place:
- Any forms or documentation I require, I email to my clients and get them to fill in before our initial consult.
- I have a minimum of a 24-hour cancellation policy.
- I only have recurring payments plans, I don’t do session packs, allow bank/wire transfer or take cash. This not negotiable with me. It makes things easy, saves time, helps with retention and cuts out the bullsh!t.
- I scheduled social media posts set for least a week in advance, I generally share additional content besides this also.
Mark Ruehle is a self-employed personal trainer of 20 years, and owner of Personal Training Biz. A consulting service where he mentors personal trainers by showing them how to grow their business by attaining long-term clients. Follow him on Instagram
Grab his top-selling eBook Successful Marketing Strategies Used By Six-Figure Earning Personal Trainers by clicking here. Personal Training Biz Consulting
1) Patient Persistence
Simply put, you must make every minute of every day count for YEARS. You must love it enough to be in it for the long haul. Look at any successful personal trainer that you know. How long have they been in business? Quite some time I presume. People hate to hear this, but there’s no such thing as overnight success. Becoming great at anything takes continual WORK and TIME.
2) Market your service to successful driven people
Successful driven people WANT to use and CAN use your personal training service multiple times per week for years and years, because they’re driven of course, but also because they can afford to. This ensures them amazing results and a wonderful relationship with you. They will then become your billboard and market your service for you. They will tell all of their successful driven friends and family members.
Stop WAITING and RELYING on your health club to hand you clients. You are your own entity. You are a business owner. Act like it. You must tell everyone who you are and what you do.
You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I’m not a fan of that saying. I don’t care who you know. I care who knows you. There’s a difference.
3) Stop solely relying on social media
Do you know who mostly sees your posts? Other personal trainers and people that can’t afford you, that’s who. Successful winning driven people aren’t on their phone all day scrolling social media. Lazy broke people are. Sorry, but it’s true.
Still, in 2017, the people that you want as clients aren’t wasting time on their phone. They are working on their business, or trying a case in a courtroom, or saving lives in a hospital, or maybe golfing. ; ) You need to reach out to these people directly. Stop HOPING the right people find out about you. Make sure they know about you, and your amazing personal training service.
Beau Williamson runs Bodies By Beau, he’s also a personal training manager of 13 Anytime Fitness clubs in SA, as well as an Anytime Fitness Australia Ambassador. He’s been in the industry since 2009. One of his goals is to help lift the industry standard and provide a safe, fun and effective training environment for everyone his lucky enough to be in front of.
1) Be true to yourself and to your audience
Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not because it will shine through. An audience is drawn by the attraction you can bring to yourself or your product. I’d much rather someone come to train with me because they believe in me and everything I stand for, as opposed to trying to be something I’m not and attracting the wrong clientele.
2) Back yourself because no one else will
Don’t rely on the gym, your manager, your boss, your friends or anyone else for that matter to get you work… Get off your ass and get it. And anything else you receive is a bonus
3) Take risks, don’t second guess yourself
Don’t think “what if” because that’s what will stop you from making that first step. This PT game is a long, ever-changing, competitive and unforgiving game. It’s like survivor and you’ve got to be strong to survive. But don’t expect to have 30 sessions in your first month. Put in the work, the hours, the free advice, the knowledge, be that friendly face and most of all be patient
Ria Mestiza owns Fitsique Wellness & Performance. She is continually learning from the best of the best in the industry. She is an AMT (Kinesiologist), BioSignature Practitioner & Remedial therapist with a holistic approach to optimizing health. She now mentor’s trainers and teaches at workshops in Adelaide to spread her knowledge.
“My journey as a PT hasn’t been smooth sailing the last 7 years, but I wouldn’t want to change that. Growth happens when you mess up. You learn from your mistakes.
Here are 3 things I would tell myself now:
1) Self Development & Education
Focus on continually growing as a person, know who you are, your value, your worth. LEARN. Stay open-minded and educate yourself on everything health and fitness and put it into practice. Your first-hand experiences are a place where you can lead and teach by example. This is where the value you can give others is developed.
2) Find a mentor/s
I have always valued seeking knowledge and advice from successful leaders in everything I am passionate about, because no matter where you are in your career and business, there is always so much more to learn.
3) Learn how to sell
This was my weakness because I didn’t want to be “pushy” or I’d take it personally when they’d say “no”. Learn to listen to people. What do they truly want and how can you really help them? It should come from a place of love. We won’t click with everyone either and that’s ok too. Leave your emotions out of the sales consult. If they sign, cool, if they don’t, that’s cool too. Hopefully, you can say you did your best to coach them, but they made the choice to stay idle and that’s OK. As much as we want to help everyone, they have to want it for themselves more than you want it for them.”
Stephen runs Strength Being and started his fitness journey four years ago. He has learned some of the best ways to approach training, diet, and how the body works. His passion is helping others change their body and mind to help them enjoy their life to their fullest” Follow him on Facebook
1) Plan – Always go into your sessions with a solid plan
When you are organised your client’s notice. Conversely, they also notice when you aren’t… be mindful that they aren’t necessarily going to give you feedback on this either, which means you can’t address their concerns and in turn their level of engagement drops. If you mess up, be prepared to admit it. They are paying good money for a service.
2) Keep your promises
It sounds simple but too often as humans we make promises in a seemingly “off-the-cuff” fashion. Your clients will remember every single one of these promises. Once you have kept those promises then over-deliver on the client’s expectations. Wow, them with your commitment!
3) The client is the centre of the universe
Ensure that most conversation centres around their lives and their experiences. Take their lead. For example, if they don’t talk much, that isn’t an open door for you to ramble on about you, perhaps they are tired, perhaps they are shy, perhaps they just prefer silence. It is ok though to share your news from time-to-time because if you have rapport they will be happy for you. Remember the balance. We’ve all seen the trainers that just rattle stuff off at clients all session and the client’s expression conveys how uncomfortable they are, yet the trainer continues talking. The client-trainer relationship is a special trust and it cannot be taken for granted.