Alex Issa – @AlexIssaFitness
When I first began my personal training career, I thought I knew it all. I thought potential clients would be begging to work with me. I thought I knew all the information possible in the fitness industry because I was a former college athlete and I work out six times a week. Two years later, I have grown in so many ways that I wish I had someone there to tell me these tips once I began my personal training career.
- Schedule time for yourself
- Personal trainers do not have the usual 9-5 time slot. We work around our clients’ schedule. That means early mornings, late nights, and the weekend. However, you must plan time for yourself. If my schedule gets too hectic, I will plan my workouts and self-development time in there as well. Working all hours of the day and week will lead to you feeling burnt out and you will not be able to give it your all to your clients.
- Network like crazy
- You will want to network with other health professionals, such as nutritionists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and physical therapists. This will create a referral system for you. Referrals are one of the top ways to continue to build your clientele base. Speaking outside of the health professions, local coffee shops, barbershops, and real estate agencies are other great spots to build connections. They are locations where small talk is generated the most. They can briefly mention their awesome trainer who helped them get ready for the beach!
- Build relationships with your clients
- You are not just there to make a program, count reps, and clean the weights. You are there to be a huge part of a person’s life! Ask them about their daughter’s ballet recital that was this past weekend. At the same time, never let the flow of the conversation take them away from their workout.
- Value your time
- In the beginning, I had multiple clients miss sessions last minute. Life gets hectic and emergencies happen. However, there will be times where a client does not feel like coming in and shoots you a text 45 minutes before the sessions starts. You are faced with the decision to charge them or not. In the beginning, I did not, but I wish I did. When they miss a session, you do not get paid for the time you scheduled for them. That is a missed opportunity for another client to train. Develop a 12 or 24-hour cancellation policy. This will show that there is a respect for your time. At the same time, you are not a robot! You will miss time for being sick or vacation. You have a family with obligations. You will mist time too, so you need to follow your own policy as well!
- Be patient
- It may take days, weeks, or months to build a solid base of clients. You may feel discouraged if you’ve been working for weeks and have not landed one client (check out my article “Tips on Landing your First Personal Training Client” if this is you). No matter what, do not quit. Do not leave where you are working because you cannot build a base. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
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