Find your Market Niche and Brand Yourself to Earn More
Close your eyes for 5 seconds and 10 new personal trainers will enter the market. Seriously, new personal trainers are popping up as often as new Starbucks and juice bars on every corner. However, this is far from being a problem. With more trainers entering the field, competition naturally rises, which forces each of us to become better. With increasing competition, many trainers may fear their earnings will decrease and the market will become saturated. However, the opposite is going to happen.
With this surplus of trainers and ever-increasing public interest in fitness, there is an even greater opportunity to earn more money. However, taking advantage of this situation comes down to finding the right target audience for your specific services. Today’s world of health and fitness includes numerous fitness professionals displaying hot abs, and even “pretend” trainers on Instagram dishing out advice because they have impressive physiques. Most trainers think they have to lower their prices to get clients and stay afloat. But in fact, the opposite is true.
After considering these 5 questions, you’ll be unique and won’t be mistaken for any other trainer. You’ll attract only those clients who are a perfect fit, and price won’t be a factor.
1. What’s your origin story?
It’s one thing to be inspired by other well-established fitness professionals and think that emulating them is the only way to be successful, but you must avoid this. The world doesn’t need a copycat. What makes them special isn’t necessarily their workout plans, but instead, it’s their fitness story. Copying them is career suicide and will lead you to being second rate. Strive to be Coca-Cola, not some other knock-off soda brand.
- How do you do this?
- What made you get into fitness?
- Were you once obese and lost tons of weight, and that experience led you to your true calling?
- Did you have low self-esteem and find that achieving a fitness goal gave you the confidence to go after other goals in life?
Whatever it is, tell your story so potential clients will have something that makes you seem human. Sure, some clients won’t relate and will pick someone else, but that’s the point. Trying to cater to everybody will lead you to catering to nobody. Don’t get stuck in the middle (i.e land of nowhere) where you don’t have a true, distinguishable identity. Everyone has a unique story and angle. Take some time to write your story.
2. What’s your target age range and profile?
Training a 55-year-old is much different than training a 27-year-old. Sure, we all want to look good, but between varied age brackets, those aspirations and language used are much different. A 27-year-old might have motives to shape up to appear more attractive to potential partners. The-55 year-old wants to get off medications or avoid them altogether while maintaining a great quality of life to play with his or her grandkids.
Thinking about the age range of your potential clients helps determine how and where to market to them. Think about what publications they read, and how you can reach them through various promotional opportunities.
3. What’s your specific fitness skill set?
It’s easy to get caught up in the latest fitness trends, but please avoid this. Sure, Crossfit is popular, boot-camps are super fun to many people, but if this isn’t your jam——don’t jump on the trend because you’re searching for the next dollar.
People can sense inauthentic behaviors and motives. And it will show in your work that you aren’t really passionate about your program.
Instead of following fitness trends, think about your core roots.
- What type of fitness do you normally gravitate toward or have a background in?
- What type of training do you enjoy teaching and programming?
Is it kettlebell workouts, strength and conditioning for athletes (young or average Joes), training busy professionals, entrepreneurs, soccer moms, millennials who want hot abs and more sex appeal——the options are endless.
4. What are your target market’s core values?
Ok, you have your specific fitness skills in mind and your age demographic breakdown. The next step is to try and get inside the head of your potential client.
Think about some common issues and goals that your potential client will have.
- Is your client coming to you because they need more self-love and acceptance?
- Is it whole health and wellness that they are after?
- How about competition prep?
- What about general health issues such as removing the need for blood pressure medications and managing their diabetes?
Being able to speak your target market's language in an authentic manner helps you become relatable on a personal level, thus increasing the likelihood for the sale.
5. What are your personal character traits?
Fitness professionals are often reminded that “people buy trainers, not training”. This statement is 100 percent correct.
You may have impressive certifications and other advanced knowledge, but the average client looking to get in shape doesn’t understand those specific nuances. To them, the weekend certification trainer is the same as someone who possesses a master’s degree and multiple specialized certifications.
A simple way to distinguish yourself is to highlight your personal character traits. You have figured out your target market’s core values in the previous section. Now it’s time for the client to understand who you are and what you stand for.
A great starting point is deciding what’s unique about you as a person. For example, with me, I’m into the arts, music, and various creative endeavors, so I tend to let this be known, and naturally, people with these similar interests gravitate toward me.
Another way to uncover your personal, unique characteristics is to think about what friends, peers, and family generally give you compliments on. Lastly, think about some outside hobbies that you enjoy and remember to highlight them. These attributes will connect with your potential clients and market to them on a deeper level.
After considering these five questions to develop a more cohesive branding of yourself and identify the type of person you want to work with, the price of your services will be irrelevant. Once you know how to talk like your client, know their nuances, their feelings, their pain points, and share a similar lifestyle, the increasing number of trainers will have little effect on you.