“Just get the client in front of me, and I can show them what I can do” is a common phrase I hear among trainers who are fresh in to the field or who are stuck in a rut trying to find new clients.
For many, becoming a specialized service provider means having to be an entrepreneur. Here’s five lessons I learned growing my personal training practice that I wish I knew before I started.
Network In, Around and Outside the Industry
I’m always looking to connect with different professionals in the health and wellness industry. After all, new clients are everywhere, so go find them by taking advantage of every networking opportunity you have.
Keeping an open mind has taken me far in my career. Personal training and a dance company aren’t the most obvious match, but when I met someone who worked with the company, I leveraged my lead. Now I have the benefits of their business and a whole new potential client base.
Consider a Paid Mentor
The right mentor will be invested in your success as much as you are. They will provide insight in to your business without holding your hand. Ideally, they have firsthand experience in your industry, but it’s not necessary. And don’t forget about the benefits of paid mentorship.
Advice is great and guidance is better, but paying for guidance will push take action and not take it for granted. I have paid for mentorship and I have always seen growth, even in slumps of productivity.
Investing in yourself is one of the single most important things to carry throughout the rest of your life, so make sure to keep paid mentorship in mind.
Stay a Student
Always be learning (professionally and personally) and be good at what you do, and your work/results will speak for itself. You need to be knowledgeable in your respective field. Learning more about what you do and how you do it can breed innovation.
This ties into the fourth lesson I’ve learned over the years: differentiate.
What skills do you have that make you special and unique in your field?
When you’re in a market where every person in your industry does the same thing, you need to find something about yourself that will make you stand out.
Never Put Down Your Competition (or Anyone Else, for that Matter)
Other players in your industry may look like they’re competing for the same market, but if you’ve differentiated enough so that your services are unique, they aren’t really your competition. They play their game, you dominate yours. In a specialized industry (such as personal training) only practices with a credible, trustworthy reputation succeed.
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