By Mark Fox, Health and Fitness Tutor for The Training Room
No one could have predicted what was going to happen in 2020. As the world was hit by COVID-19, businesses of all sizes were left scrambling to adapt and still be able to generate money.
The fitness industry and personal trainers (PTs) were no different. Many managed to move their services online, coaching or teaching through video platforms and social media channels, but, sadly, some very good PTs may have been left behind.
As we head into the New Year, with the lessons of the pandemic under our belts, we take a look at five resolutions PTs can adopt to achieve success and happiness in 2021.
- Have a game plan for every eventuality
As a result of the pandemic, we’ve well and truly entered the ‘phygital’ age, whereby people are seeking a blend of physical and digital experiences across all sectors, including health and fitness.
This shift in consumer behaviour means there’s a new pool of potential clients searching for remote PT and online coaching, who may not have considered – or even known about – these options before.
Therefore, diversifying your offering so that you’re able to provide both in-person and online products/services (essentially, becoming a ‘hybrid PT’) could help generate new business and get you out of a deep hole if anything like this happens again – the key to both surviving and thriving in the years ahead.
Why not take a nutrition course so you can start offering online nutrition programmes and coaching, bolstering your PT business? Considering that people have become more aware of their health and nutrition as a result of COVID-19, largely due to the link between obesity and more severe cases/deaths, this could be a golden opportunity to expand your income.
- Charge what your services are worth
The effect a PT can have on a client’s life is priceless but, for some reason, we often undercharge for our services, not recognising our true value.
Rather than demonstrating our value and the reasons why people should want to work with us in order to gain clients, many of us enter a ‘race to the bottom’ –
competing on price by constantly lowering our fees and offering discounts. This then leads to other PTs doing the same, creating a constant cycle of undercutting that can force some PTs out of business.
This sort of tactic can work for a supermarket chain, but when you’re selling your time and services, it’s most likely going to end up with you looking for a new job. Do you really want to be known as the lowest price PT in town, or is it time you started charging your true worth?
To do this, calculate how much money you need/want to make and how many hours you’d ideally like to work. This will then tell you how much you should be charging for your time/services. Once you have all of that figured out, concentrate on delivering amazing results that people will be willing to pay a premium for.
- Use social media to be social
Social media can be a great way to show off your brand, educate, entertain, and celebrate client successes.
But are you spending too much time posting and not enough time on the social aspect that can make a true impact on your business?
You won’t attain new clients by posting more; you’ll do this by genuinely interacting with them, so they like and trust you enough to use your services. It can also help to boost referrals. In fact, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
To give yourself the time to do this, create a content plan and schedule in your posts in advance (there are some great, free social media management tools that can help with this). You can then spend as much time as possible engaging with the people visiting your pages to turn prospects into clients and clients into raving fans.
Make sure you check your account daily and respond to all messages, comments and mentions in a timely manner, even if it’s just a ‘like’ or reaction. Showing that you actually pay attention to your followers/clients and make the effort to interact with them can go a long way to building positive, long-lasting relationships.
To help with the above, try to avoid unnecessary distractions, such as spending hours checking the number of likes on your posts or constantly snooping on other PTs’ profiles in a game of comparison. While competitor research can be a useful exercise if planned and executed regularly – allowing you to learn from what others are doing well and not so well – try not to get too caught up in it, making sure you have enough time to focus on your business and audience. Bear in mind, that not all social media profiles tell the full story, either.
Finally, while posting regularly is essential for showing that your business is alive and well, it’s pointless if you don’t know who you’re speaking to and aren’t framing your messages in the right way. Don’t just post random content each day; learn what works and then double-down on your high-performing posts that you know strike the right chord with your audience.
- Show your personality
Humans are far from perfect, so why do so many PTs try to portray themselves as just that?
You may find that being a little more open about your life and habits could help clients relate to you on a deeper level.
Who hasn’t started out with the intention of having just a few scoops of ice cream only to end up devouring the whole tub in one sitting? Your clients will appreciate you being a ‘normal person’ who’s also capable of messing up from time to time.
Talking about your other hobbies and interests that aren’t fitness and nutrition-related can also help you to appear more relatable. As the old saying goes, “people do business with people” and the same could be said for PTs and their clients. If you’re able to demonstrate that you’re more than just a PT – with different sides to your personality – people will more likely want to train with you, especially if you have extra things in common.
By sharing your passions and interests in your sessions and on social media, you’ll eventually attract the perfect clients for you.
- Practise self-care – it’s not just for clients!
As PTs, we spend so much time helping and supporting our clients that we can often forget to care for ourselves.
Question – if you aren’t looking after yourself, how can you expect to look after your clients in the best way possible?
Remember the health and safety messages you get on planes as you’re about to take off? They tell you to put the mask on yourself first before helping others. The same applies to being a PT. Make sure that your physical and mental health are in good order before trying to coach others with theirs.
Ensuring that you practice what you preach – making time for self-care (including exercise, healthy eating and rest) – means you’ll come to work each day bringing your ‘A’ game.
With 2021 likely to be another rollercoaster year as we continue to navigate our way back to some kind of normality, hopefully, these resolutions will stand you in good stead for reaching your personal and professional goals.
Looking to take your fitness passion or PT career to the next level in 2021? Check out The Training Room’s range of industry-leading PT qualifications and CPD courses here: www.thetrainingroom.com/courses/health-and-fitness