I like Jocelyn’s idea of setting aside dedicated time for both. I also liked Shawn’s comments about being really good at training zero clients; so very true that business skills are essential or we will never get to train anyone.
I tend to go more heavily on the training side than the business side. This thread was a good reminder that I need to push a little harder on the business side, rather than staying in my comfort zone.
I hit all my weak areas first, then realized that now I know how train the ZERO clients that I had..lol. Business is as important for the independent trainer as knowing how to train. If you are a gym trainer then focus on the technical stuff first, if you are trying to survive on your own then learn how to market yourself.
I dedicate time each week to both. And like others have said, I don’t believe them to be exclusive of the other. Sometimes a question that a client asks and I don’t readily have an answer to, prompts me to further develop my understanding in that particular area. I’m benefiting from professional development which will help me with future clients, but I’m also helping my current client, letting them know that I’m interested in their particular needs and helping them reach their individual goal (ie, they’re not all treated alike). As a result, 90% of any new clients I get come from referrals. That’s hard to do living in a military community with clients moving, including myself as a military spouse, every 2-3 years!
I find that clients appreciate the time I spend maintaining and enhancing my own professional knowledge. They benefit from having a trainer who’s up-to-date on the latest training techniques, modalities and exercise studies. At the same time, I wouldn’t be a successful business owner if I let the business side of things go. So I put aside time each week to deal with the day to day business stuff which sometimes includes updating marketing practices, new software, etc.
Its all a balancing act, with the clients always feeling like they come first!