02 Apr 12 Tips to Being a FINANCIALLY Successful Trainer
Being a successful trainer means any number of things to different people. Maybe success is passing a lot of certifications. Maybe it’s travelling a lot, training in exotic locations. Or perhaps it’s being a presenter to groups of your peers at a convention. What ever it is, there is still one important point everyone agrees on…it’s good to be financially stable, and have money in the bank.
ASPATA has grouped our list of the top 12 tips to helping you, become a success in the wallet, as well as in the gym.
- Market, market, MARKET!: it really is amazing that in this day in age with all the tools and avenues available to us, most trainers sill believe that just because they are certified they will get clients. The fact is you MUST market your product, which is YOU! All day, everyday, relentlessly. Take time to invest in marketing courses and books that will help you learn to market successfully on any budget. Guerilla marketing, online, flyers, articles, videos, podcasts, word of mouth, and the all important referrals.
- Learn about (and integrate) apps: learn about all the useful apps you can. Today’s smart phones are all travelling production studios in your pocket with high end HD cameras, and microphones. Tablets, phones, iPads, and netbooks all have hundreds of apps that can be useful to the successful trainer. Video editing like iMovie, audio editing and podcasting like Boss Jock. Social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Social Cam make it easy to get your message out. Tools to track client progress, and calendars to book sessions. While apps like Coaches Eye, HRV and Push, can take your skills training to the next levels.
- Master the close: Being able to conduct a proper consultation and close the sale is the most important skill at trainer can have. You NEED to learn how to speak to clients, and let them sell themselves on your product. No good marketing and having a ton of certifications, if you can’t sell a simple package. Learn to use words like invest instead of sell. Learn to prescribe, not allow for the client to choose what they want. Sell your value. Don’t be known as the ‘cheap guy down the road”.
- Have the proper business tools: If you plan on actually being a successful trainer, and be seen as a professional, you must treat you and your fitness business like a REAL BUSINESS. Figure out what you need to do to operate like a business. You need to have a business name, Tax codes, be able to take credit cards, online payments, bank transfers, and issue proper receipts and invoices. Today it cannot be simple with companies like Square, Paypal, and Siam Pay, supplying credit card readers that fit on your iPhone and Android devices.
- Decide on your niche: if you are a jack-of-all-trades, you are a master of none, and nobody want to go that guy. They want the professional. Decide on what it is you love to do most, what you are good at, and what you think you will be a master of. This doesn’t mean you can’t step outside this, but you should focus on it. If you’re really into kettlebells, become the “go to” guy for kettlebell training. If you love fat loss, become the fat loss specialist.
- Decide where you want to go: you need to decide early on where you want to go. Do you want to own a gym? Coach at a CrossFit box? Be involved with MMA? Do corporate wellness? Get involved with a large corporate gym, and work your way up the ladder? By knowing where you want to go, you will know what you need to do to get there, and who you need to meet and network with to make it happen.
- Get your own coaches and mentors, and hang out with people more successful to you: Having your own coaches and mentors can be worth its weigh in gold. Learn from those who have what you want, and learn from their successes and mistakes. Invest in people who have the skills you lack, investors, marketing masters, popular coaches, life consultants, and design specialists. Also, look at the main 5 people you associate with on a daily basis, this will tell you where you are at, and you may not like it! If you’re hanging out with trainers who go home and sleep between sessions, just wait for clients to be handed to them, and generally show no passion, you may want to re-evaluate your social circle.
- Have systems in place: you need to have your systems, and procedures in place and on paper. If what you’re doing is working well and you need to teach new employees or assistants all your procedures, you want to have that in a form you can pass to them, not all in your head where you will have to spend too much time teaching and supervising.
- Websites are nice but not essential: too many people spend too much time, money and effort on websites. A nice Facebook page, maybe a landing page, photos, testimonials and social media proof will do a lot more for you than a website.
- Photos!!!: A picture speaks a thousand words. If you can have before and after pics, client success stories in photo form then you are set. Also, if you can get pics of training any sort of higher profile client, like a well known business person, or celeb (even the local weather TV person) people will be inclined to work with you.
- Make the training an experience: clients stick around when they feel important and valued. Make all your sessions from the consult to the final day an experience. On their first day, have a welcome pack ready. T-shirt, water bottle, journal, nutrition sample packs, whatever, just have something. Then focus on training pics, small videos, and recording publically milestones in their training.
- Definitely work at a corporate gym for a bit: A lot of people bash the big corporate gyms, but they are an amazing learning tool. By working in corporations, and large chains, you will learn all about systems, and tools. These gyms have entire departments developed to focus on marketing and tracking. Observe, learn, and take with you.