The fitness industry is full of gimmicks and get rich schemes. The reason people lean on these schemes is because it is easy. It is easy to sell something that is already packaged and ready to deliver. Easy for the “coach” means less work they have to do and less overall education they have to pursue. This is a lie that is perpetually pushed by the majority of the fitness industry…I wrote about this earlier in the year here: https://getjdfit.com/2019/06/easy-is-a-buzzword/
Whether you own a gym or you work as a trainer, people should not be looked at as dollar signs. Playing the numbers game in this industry diminishes the quality of your product. If all you care about is cramming as many people through your front door as possible, you will not win. As an owner, you need to influence every one of your members and clients. Whether it is taking 10 minutes to help someone with their dead lift or discussing mobility drills that could HELP them, you will retain more members from the free things you do rather than the paid things…
At our gym, we do not have contracts. Everything is month to month. There are zero maintenance fees, zero sign up fees or anything else I can think of to squeeze some more money out of people.
We treat the gym as a superscription service. If you are willing to give me money for a membership, I will help you with anything that you need. We hand out free strength programs, nutrition guides and mobility programs to all who ask. Our goal is to not nickle and dime the community. It is to help improve the overall health and quality of life for our members.
It is important to know what you know. However, it is more important to know what you do not know. If we cannot help you at the gym, we do not hesitate to refer you to one of partnered businesses.
Marketing is easy. Instead of sharing memes you stole from Pinterest, showcase your clients or what you know. You are selling yourself…and all the Tony Robbins quotes in the world will not get people through your front door.
If you do not know enough to write about it. There is one solution for you…hit the books!
My number one pet-peeve for people in this industry is they are afraid to read. They are afraid of admitting that they do not know. They are afraid to give knowledge to people because they think their clients will leave them. If you have a lot of knowledge to share, people will not leave you. In fact, more people will come into your establishment seeking your advice.
Stick to a Common Theme
You should be peddling facts. Not anecdotal evidence and feelings. I envision this as a straight line. If you are hopping on and off every fitness wave that comes your way, people find it difficult to follow you. If you are grabbing a hold of every fitness trend and then drop it when something else new and shiny comes along…you look like a charlatan.
If you remain consistent with facts, this straight line approach will never be misinterpreted.
Just because something works for you, does not mean it works for the entire population. Everyone is different. Everyone responds differently to different things. This is where experience and education comes into play. If you cannot offer alternatives to everything that you do because you only offer one solution, you are doing more harm than good. You should have progressions and regressions of every exercise. You should have programs that meet an individual’s needs…not what you think you can hand out in mass quantities.
You are not always a hammer and everything is not always a nail….
Evidence Based Resources
When you are trying to make claims on the good ole interweb, do not use sources that are written by 23 year bloggers with interior design degrees. Find studies that have been done on a subject and go from there. Just because you “feel” or “think” that something works, does not mean that it does.
If the studies are paid for by the company that you are selling…they are not valid. More specifically, if you are selling a product that paid for a study to be done on it, chances are…those scientists are going to have nothing but wonderful things to say about the product.
Instead, go to places such as pubmed. It will save you a lot of time…
Continue Your Education…
I touched on this earlier but the number one thing that should be done on a daily basis is furthering your understanding. The second you stop learning, this field will pass you by. If you do not know, do not pretend like you do. It only cheapens the industry and you are part of the problem.
In regards to continuing education, you have to find sources that are credible. Not a guy on Instagram selling 6 minute ab programs.
Prerequisites I use for acquiring education are: Does this person work with clients on a daily basis? Can I take this information and use it right away in my facility. Is it practical and within my scope?
Your training capacity will continue to grow exponentially the more you know…
Just Be There
What this boils down to is you being there and present throughout the day. If your main goal is to get as many people on auto debit as you can, you will fail. Help when you can and hand out information that is easily consumable by your patrons. You are not there to bleed their pockets dry.
Be a leader. A leader is someone who admits when they are wrong, and is in service of their members. Your gym and it’s members come first. In business and in life, you are required to work harder and longer than you want to. If you establish some of the things we have went over today in your own business, you will succeed.