So you’ve just finished your course and are now fully qualified. It’s time to start your new career as a personal trainer, but you’re wondering how you can grow your business, gain new clients and increase your earning potential in the fitness industry. It can be quite a daunting task but there are a few very simple things you can do which will help you greatly improve your income as a personal trainer & fitness professional.
- Talk to people
- Consider group training
- Keep learning new skills
- Be flexible with your pricing and packages
- Get reviews and referrals
It does not matter if you are self employed, employed full time and earn a
personal trainer salary, or still deciding on which revenue model you wish to
adopt, these five simple things are easy to implement and offer a great return
on your investment with huge benefits to your personal trainer income.
Imrpove your Personal Trainer Income by Talking to People
Can it be that simple? YES. Being a successful personal trainer and fitness professional requires you to build relationships. Fitness is personal and requires a personal touch. By just talking to people, they see how friendly and approachable you are as well as knowledgeable. Think of it this way, assume most people in the gym want a personal trainer but don’t know where to start and/or may be too nervous to approach you. You can break through that barrier by just saying “hello”. Keep in mind, if you feel nervous about speaking to a stranger, imagine how they feel. The gym is your domain, you work there and you are the professional. Therefore clients see you as the expert and may be intimidated by you. Striking up a conversation opens the door to an on-going relationship.
In this great article on Indeed, there are 20 great ways of striking up a conversation with a stranger. In summary:
- Gather information – as you and your potential client are in the gym, fitness is going to be a common topic. Simply observe what training they are doing, and you can start a conversation about that.
- Compliment the stranger – an easy one is to state any improvements you have seen as a result of their training.
- Bring up a shared topic – again, fitness is perfect.
- Introduce yourself – letting them know your name and state your a trainer in the club.
- Ask open-ended question – you want the potential client to talk about themself, rather than just listen to you talk about yourself. So ask questions about them, their training and their goals.
- Stay up to date on current events – keeping up to date on the latest fitness trends also gives you things you can talk to potential clients about. Also, see point 3 in this article below.
- Offer to help – as you walk the gym floor, offering spotting assistance or some great tips on form and technique are a great way to strike up conversation and break the ice. It also shows you are knowledgeable and have a desire to see them improve.
- Share an interesting fact – if you can make the fact specific about the type of training they are doing, it will again demonstrate you have an interest in helping them.
- Ask for their opinion – here, keep the focus on their training. Ask them how they feel they are progressing, this can lead into a conversation on their goals and how you can help them achieve them with PT sessions.
- Ask for lunch (food) advice – as fitness professionals, we know nutrition has a big impact on the results we achieve. Therefore talking about nutrition is another great ice-breaker.
- Comment on a viral video – especially if it’s fitness related, or relates directly to the training they are doing or an exercise they have done.
- Be straight forward – think before you speak and be confident. Being straight forward shows you are confident and know what you want to say. It will add to your image as a professional.
- Ask for help – if you notice they are doing something really well, you can always ask them how they learnt that skill.
- Discuss common interests – like point 3 above, keep it fitness related. As you are both in a gym, then it’s safe to say this is a common interest.
- Make an insightful comment – adding to point 2 above, you can not only compliment them, but you can state why the compliment is true. For example, you could say their squatting technique is amazing, they have a good range while maintaining the perfect spinal alignment. This shows you are observant and you know what you are talking about.
- Mention a shared trait – keep in mind, like attracts like. Drawing similarities between your training and theirs gives you more commonality to build a relationship on.
- Ask a question about their background – talking about their training history will once again show you are interested in them, but also allow you to gather more information about their goals and what they are trying to achieve. This then enables you to give them targeted advice.
- Ask for advice – If you know a little more about the potential client, for example in what profession they work, then you can always ask advice from them in their area of expertise.
- Comment on a shared activity – fitness being the easiest subject matter.
- Tell a joke – but keep it clean.
Remember to always be positive and avoid criticism at all costs. People are attracted to those who admire them and would rather avoid those who put them down.
Relationships are built over time. Don’t expect to get a new client the first time you speak to them. Investing in a lot of smaller conversations over time will build the relationship gradually and when the client is ready for a personal trainer, they will think of you.
Consider Group Training for Increased Revenue
Walking up to someone in the gym and starting a conversation is one way to talk to potential new clients. So is teaching a group exercise session. This may include circuit training, boot camps, group indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates and more. During the class, participants get to see your personality and teaching style. They will get to see how knowledgeable you are and hopefully, how much fun it will be to train with you.
More importantly, it’s before and after the class where the real opportunities lie. As everyone is waiting around for the class to start, you have the perfect opportunity to start building relationships. Here you can talk to participants one-on-one, discuss their goals and any concerns they have about the class. This is all information you can return to at the end of class or when they participate in your class again. Remembering the information they provide you with and bringing it up at a later date further shows your interest in the individual.
After class, you can offer compliments on performance and make your participants feel good about themselves. Relating it back to any information you gathered before the class further demonstrates you care about your clients.
Group training is very social. If you are nervous about talking to strangers, teaching group classes is a great way to have strangers come to you. They are there for your class so it’s expected you speak to them before and after. Hopefully this will ease your nerves and give you the perfect opportunity to showcase your skills as a trainer. After a few of your amazing classes, you’ll find you will have more participants wanting to train with you one-on-one.
Keep Learning New Skills To Increase Your Client Base
There are now so many different ways people can train. It’s not just lifting weights or doing aerobics. While it would be impossible for any one trainer to be able to deliver every different type of training, having a few different training methodologies in your library will mean you can train more people in different ways.
There are an endless number of courses and qualifications you can achieve and it’s always good to be studying something new. Choose carefully though. Think about the demographic of client you currently work with and where the potential in your local area lies. If you’re attracting more mothers, then maybe Pre & Post Natal is a subject area you should study. If you’re teaching a lot of group indoor cycling classes, then maybe look at a course which covers endurance training. It’s all about tailoring your learning to the clients you attract.
It’s also a good idea to focus on areas of your own interest. You can then put what you learn into practice with your own training, which will demonstrate to potential clients you believe in your subject matter.
Just as you would if you were employing the services of a trainer, your clients will want their trainer to know what they are talking about and have the qualifications to back it up.
Be Flexible with your Pricing and Packages
Like most industries, personal training can by a buyers market. This means that clients will want to train when, where and how they want. Therefore you need to be flexible in order to meet their demands.
For example, if you are strict on offering hour sessions only, then you’ll miss those clients who want a shorter session at lunch time. If you’re hung up on delivering only one-to-one, you’ll miss out on the couples that want to train together. Therefore, we are seeing more and more trainers offering bespoke packages where they don’t have a “price list” as such. They develop a package based on the clients goals. Before you put the package together, make sure you have answers to the following questions:
- What is it they want to achieve from training with you? Define your clients goals and outcomes first.
- How many sessions do they need? How long do the sessions need to be? How often do they need to train? Work out exactly what is needed in order for them to achieve their goal.
- What does the client think they need in order to achieve their goals? Clients may have pre-conceptions about the type of training they need. Finding out what their preconceptions are before putting a package together will avoid possible challenges later.
- What is your “value added” proposition? This includes how you can help them achieve their goals better than anyone else. It may be your rate, your qualifications or other services that you include, like a phone call to your clients on rest days.
- How does your client want to train with you? It’s important to know what their budget is and how often they want to train with you. It’s no good putting a package together where they train with your three times a week, when they can only spare one day.
Once you have all this information, you can put together a fixed price package that’s tailored to their wants and needs.
Other examples of packages you can put together include:
- The Get Ready for your Wedding Package – a set price and scheduled package before the big day
- The Results Package – this could be a weight loss package, a muscle builder package or a marathon package. Here the package is tailored to the goal the client wants to achieve and has the added benefit of tapping into your clients emotions.
- The Budget Package – this could be a set block of half hour sessions for those clients who want a personal trainer, but can’t afford regular full hour sessions
There is no right or wrong way to put your package and pricing together. Just listen to your clients and work out what’s going to be best for them.
Get reviews & referrals
There is hardly a person on the planet that does not have a social profile, if not their own website. In this day and age, advertising a business requires you to have an online presence, and businesses with an online presence can easily get reviews. These will give you and your business a reputation that will draw new clients to you. Think like Amazon, customers leave reviews and those reviews will shape another customer’s buying practices. If you have a page of 5 star reviews and a couple of positive testimonials you are more likely to win business than if you don’t. Remember you are not the only PT looking to attract new business. Stand out from the crowd with some lovely feedback from your existing clients.
Once you have the reviews rolling in, make sure you respond. Andrew Martins from Business News Daily states that responding to reviews can help solidify your reputation and increase your enquiries.
As the positive reviews roll in, it’s then time to get referrals. Ask any experienced personal trainer and they will tell you their greatest source of new clients comes from word-of-mouth. Asking your clients for referrals sounds like an easy thing to do. To ensure you do get those valuable referrals though, here are some ideas on how to really ensure you incentivise your existing clients to refer their family and friends. These include:
- Asking for referrals at the right time. This may be once you have helped a client achieve their goals or they have successfully completed one of your packages. Ask for a referral when they feel positive about the services you offer.
- Offering the right incentives. It’s not always essential to offer your existing clients an incentive for referring clients but it certainly won’t hurt. Offering free sessions or a discount on their next package is one of the easiest incentives a personal trainer can offer
- Making the referral process simple. Having clients give their friends and family your business card is simple, as taking a name an number of your client. Remember, it’s up to you to sell your services to your referral, not your clients. All you need is the contact details and the clients referral is done.
- Encourage referred customers to become referrers. Once a referral has signed up to one of your packages and they are happy with your service, it’s the perfect time to ask them for referrals. And the cycle continues.
- Remind clients who have referred previously, to refer again. You already know they are happy to refer someone, so it’s more than likely they will be more than happy to refer again.
- Engage with your followers on social media. Anyone following your on social media already believes in your brand, especially if you are engaged with them with regular posts and responses to comments.
- Encourage referrers of products to also refer your services. If you also sell and collect review for products, you can ask those who leave a positive review for your products to refer your services. If someone has had a positive experience with your brand, they will be more inclined to refer any and all of your products and services.
- If you have staff, ask them to refer people as well. Staff advocacy programmes are becoming more popular with business both big and small. Your team members who enjoy working for your brand will have a network of people who they can refer you to.
You don’t have to be a great salesman to get referrals. All you need is a good reputation and a great services. Use these to leverage your existing clients to grow your business and increase your personal trainer income.
Earning More as a Personal Trainer
These 5 simple tips are guaranteed to get your more clients. You’ll find that once you have a few clients, it will start to snowball. You will be able to train more clients with different goals, as you have a range of skills. Your bespoke packages can be tailored to any clients wants and needs. And as you have such a great online reputation, your phone will be ringing non-stop.