Even though it’s mid-January and many of your clients have long abandoned their resolutions to eat better and work out more, your commitment to your industry and clientele should be revving up. The New Year can be a new start for personal trainers whether it’s amping up your current client base or taking the leap to train independently. Here are a few ideas to keep your business fit as a fiddle:
· Create fun and interesting challenges for clients. Use your imagination and let motivation be your guide. In group environments, offer a reward to the client who can do the most push-ups in the next 30 days. For solo clients, use their own progress to motivate them – encourage them to do one more rep of a compound exercise (like a squat or lunge) every time you meet. Use a low cost fitness item like a physio ball or pack of resistance bands as the prize. Or, give away passes to the local movie theater or roller skating rink.
· Take an honest look at your long-term clients. Are you in a rut? Are you doing the same workouts over and over? Has progress stalled? It’s easy to become comfortable with long-term clients and slack a bit. If you’re slacking, they’re probably slacking too. Reevaluate goals, set some new ones and start fresh.
· If you train independently, are you waiting for the new clients to call you? Simply putting up a website and waiting for the phone to ring isn’t going to cut it. Mine your current clients for potential referrals and offer a free session or two if they bring you a new client. Use internet search technology like Google Adwords to improve your search result ranking (but do not spend thousands of dollars on search engine optimization). Make contact with local health care professionals like massage therapists, chiropractors and dieticians. Ask if you can leave business cards or handouts and offer to refer back to them.
· When was the last time you got a personal training session or took a group fitness class? Take off your “trainer” hat and be someone else’s student. You’ll likely pick up a few tips and tricks along the way.
· When it’s time to buy materials for your continuing education courses, pick a subject that is completely unfamiliar to you. It’s easy to gravitate towards comfortable material but learning new subjects is an excellent way to breathe life back into client routines. Check out the excellent options available from Milestone Continuing Education.
· Buy a new piece of equipment and learn to use it. Unfamiliar with kettlebells? Take a class. Interested in learning a few Pilates moves? There are countless videos online. You may just find a critical component has been missing in your programming.
· Go digital! Find a piece of software to maintain client files and ditch the paper. Many of these software options have methods to make client communication easier. Use your smartphone or a tablet to keep track of workouts, progress and goals.
Use some of these ideas to inspire your clients in addition to adding a little more muscle to your bank account. Business is much like exercise – move it or lose it!