Here’ s the next in our series of articles by Yvette Nevrkla, expert business coach for personal trainers, published author and founder of The PT Business Gym.
It’s a fact that the most successful personal trainers around today have a number of things in common and one of them is this; they have all defined their market and created a niche for themselves. This step alone has a powerful impact on your ability to profit from personal training and yet the majority of PTs haven’t yet done it.
There exists an amorphous collection of personal trainers out there, all with very similar qualifications, similar skills, similar services and similar promotional materials. It’s almost impossible for your potential customers to choose one PT over another. There's nothing to make you stand out, nothing that defines you as a PT. If getting new clients and holding on to them is a struggle then it’s very likely because you’re not working within any specific niche market.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re working for a club chain or are working completely independently. You can benefit from defining your market and your niche. Even if you have achieved a great level of success and are fully booked with clients, you can still benefit enormously by defining your clients and your niche. This is the step that will enable you to take your business to another level and allow you to fulfil the bigger dreams and goals you have for your PT career and business.
In economically challenging times like these it’s easy to opt for the un-discerning strategy of throwing your marketing net wide in the hope of getting as many clients as possible. However, this strategy creates a number of problems, all of which limit your success as a PT in the long run.
Some Common Challenges include:
Too few referrals, not sure what to write on your website, don’t know which networking events to go to, don’t know where to focus your marketing efforts, low confidence in your skills and in your real value, clients not readily investing in you, no strong strategic partners, unable to increase your prices.
Here are Seven powerful reasons to define your business.
Stand Out From The Crowd
Newly qualified PTs enter a very competitive market. Regardless of whether you’re working in a gym or working independently, you are working alongside many other PTs, just like you. One of the keys to your success will be your ability to stand out from the crowd; to compete effectively with your PT colleagues. Defining your target market and your niche is one of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from your colleagues and to help clients choose you over another PT. Think for a moment how you make decision about whom you work with. Do you go for the jack of all trades or the specialist?
Position And Brand Your PT Business
Instead of limiting you, defining your niche can help to position and brand your business. It’s very difficult to develop a strong, recognisable brand for yourself if you don’t know who you’re trying to appeal to. When you know who your target clients are and you know exactly what you specialise in offering them, you can start building your brand. A brand is about your image, what you stand for, your values. Again you can never appeal to or connect with everyone out there. Think about the brands that you are loyal to. It’s not accidental. That brand was designed to attract you.
Develop More Targeted And Effective Marketing Materials
Your marketing materials must speak directly to your target clients. If you try to go for everyone and anyone with your marketing it rarely achieves inspiring results. How do you communicate effectively with everyone? You can’t so you’re forced to use bland, generic marketing messages which fail to connect with anyone. If you want your marketing to deliver results then you have to start speaking to someone in particular not just anyone.
Avoid Becoming A Jack Of All Trades
People are looking for an expert. When people have a problem that needs solving they look for the best person to do it and that means the person who specialises in their specific problem. Simply acquiring more and more PT qualifications, without any thought to how it will benefit your clients, results in a superficial knowledge in many areas but you’re a master of nothing. In theory, this means you can work with as many different people as possible. In reality, it means the value and results you offer your clients are limited. However, once you’ve chosen your target market and defined your niche, you can begin the process of developing your expertise as a PT and as an expert in terms of your knowledge and understanding of your market. It’s simply impossible to become deeply knowledgeable about everything and everyone. Imagine how much more focused and strategic your decisions about your future training and development would be if you knew exactly what you needed to learn about in order to meet the needs of your clients?
Attract Your Ideal Clients And Avoid The Rest
Most PTs have given little or no thought to whom they would really love to work with and to which clients would really suit them the best. If you’re in the market for everyone and anyone, then it’s very likely that you’ll be working with many clients who aren’t right for you, clients who don’t bring out the best in you or develop your love of this profession. Not only will many of your clients not be right for you but you won’t be right for them, and this isn’t great for either of you. It will affect client results and client retention which is damaging to your professional reputation in the long run.
Demand Top Rates
One of the key factors controlling price is demand and supply. Position yourself with the masses, offering the same generic PT service to everyone, then don’t expect to be able to charge anything more than the lowest or average rates for your services. However, become a PT who specialises in serving a particular group of people, an expert with specially tailored programmes to meet their very particular needs and desires – well then you can start demanding the rates you feel are right for your expertise because you’re offering a service that is needed but is not being met by the majority of PTs out there.
Make Best Use Of The Top Strategies For Business Growth
Virtually all the top strategies for growing your business, increasing your clients and your profits require you to operate within a niche market. Strategies like networking, articles, product creation, joint ventures, website development; all of these strategies can produce fantastic results but only if they are used with a very specific and well defined niche market in mind. If you are aware of these strategies but get stuck when you actually try to apply them to your own business, it’s most likely because you’ve not yet defined your business.
These are just seven benefits of defining your market and your niche. There are many more. Your instincts might be telling you to keep your options open, to go for as broad a client base as possible but those instincts are driven by fear; fear of not getting enough clients or enough money. In reality, specifying who you work with and how you work with them, far from limiting you, opens up a wealth of opportunities to work with as many clients as you want. Defining your PT business and choosing your niche market might be one of the most frustrating steps to achieve when building up your PT business but when you do, all the other things start falling into place, allowing your business to grow and flourish like never before.
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