Running a Successful Personal Training Business Part 2
Welcome to the next instalment of a 3part blog on ‘Running a successful personal training business’ if you have not read the first instalment, I suggest reading that first.
As we discussed in the previous blog, the need for due diligence prior to setting up your personal training business which will assist you in establishing an appropriate starting date required equipment and services you will conduct once operating. We also discussed the options of where you may operate your business, whether it is a large fitness chain, a smaller 24hr gym or independent gym, home gym or park.
In this instalment, I want to cover some key information if you are leaning toward operating out of a large chain gym such as a Goodlife, Fitness First or a smaller 24hr facility like Jetts or Snap fitness. The first point to discuss is these chains have a rental model. Which means you are renting space to operate within the facility, and with this contract have access to their member base, which for most of these gyms are quite large. Another point from my understanding is they will not allow clients into the facility unless they are members. (Please confirm this with each facility)
Like any other business, you are competing with the other trainers in the facility for new clients, so this requires you to be professional in every interaction with all members as this can create a good reputation. A good mindset to possess is to remember every time you speak to a member, workout on your own or interacts with another fitness trainer in the facility you are being watched. This element in itself can lead to acquiring a small percentage of clients, as they will see your professionalism as a sign of good business. Another point to add regarding other Personal Trainers in the facility is that even though they may be competition for you, they also can be a source of support and comradery. Be-friending an established PT can help you grow in knowledge and skills. Ask to exercise together and also be listening to little nuggets of gold they may pass onto you.
Large chains have key stakeholders such as Personal Training managers whose role is to support, train and recruit Personal Trainers to be independent, professional and of course, successful. In your early days of operation, you want to lean hard on these managers and be open to their suggestions and mentoring to help you gain new clients and learn what it takes to implement the strategies the manager offers. These managers will know the nuances of the facility its members and services that work well. They will also be aware of upcoming marketing campaigns and how this can assist you with prospective clients.
How do I market myself in a large chain rental model I hear you ask? Well, let's look at the environment in which you operate, and maybe this will give you ideas, rather than me limiting you by saying this is the only way. New clients will come from the existing members and potential new members of the facility. Remember my point earlier is, it’s a rarity that you will acquire new PT clients external to the facility, so a very high amount of energy is required to target the members of the gym. A simple tip can be accessing the membership database and talking to members who have in the past engaged a fitness professional in the facility but no longer does. I would be discussing points like,
· Why did they stop?
· Would you still be interested in PT small group training if finances are a barrier
· Did you achieve your goals when you engaged the PT
· How did the previous PT support you through your journey?
These questions will assist you in finding barriers to why they ceased with the previous PT and then provide solutions to re-engage the member to use your services.
So let's look at some questions you may need to ask yourself to gain an understanding of how to market yourself and grow your business:
· Do I need a website for my personal trainer business?
· Do I need a social media business page?
· Do I need Youtube videos?
· Do I need flyers for letterbox drops?
· How do I distinguish myself from the other trainers?
· What are services that are not being targeted by other trainers that could provide more clients?
· How many members in the facility?
· How many members are currently using PT’s (this one the PT manager can answer)
· What sales tips do I need to create a high conversation for new clients?
· What are the typical durations of PT sessions and charge out rates?
· Why are members not engaging in PT sessions?
Hopefully, these questions have given you some food for thought and some direction to assist you in gaining new clients.
Whatever your strategy is, make it easy for the potential client to be able to engage your services; if there are too many steps, especially if using social media, it will disengage the new clients.
Let's take a different approach for the next tip on gaining new clients, this can be used for any PT model, boot camps, small group training one on one PT.
When a PT is conducting a pre-exercise screen and fitness appraisal, this can be a vital time to justify the need to use your services. Asking leading questions that will identify barriers to clients reaching their goals. These are opportunities to provide solutions to the client to why they need your services. Secondly using the knowledge you have learnt from your fitness course, explain the results of the test using normative data. If you perform a pushup test, explain the rating against normative data. Don’t just use the number of push up performed as the result. Refer to the link below as an example of my point. It will show normative data that anyone can refer to worldwide.
Why I am elevating this point is for two reasons, one: I deal with a high number of students who do not even know about the normative data tables which indicate the results for anyone worldwide using the test they have chosen. Second is that if the test result is poor and the PT does not use normative data, they are potentially providing a disservice to their client. I have had many clients over the years, were utterly shocked at the result of the fitness test, thinking they were fitter than they were. This is an opportunity to drive home why they need your services and a wake-up call to the status of their overall health.
I hope these tips have shed some light on relevant information you will need to feel more confident entering into a rental model Personal training business in either a small or large chain fitness facility.
In the next instalment, we will discuss the elements specific to a home gym or independent PT, which will be required to generate their client base and some setup costs to consider.
Click HERE to read the final instalment.