When I started out 20 years ago, I was in a large, upscale gym. The bottom line, at the time, was to make as much money as possible, so I focused on developing a very broad knowledge base, so I’d be able to work with any prospect. I think this mentality persists today; trainers don’t specialize because they feel it may limit their income. In fact, the opposite is true. If trainers do not specify who their niche market is, it is very difficult to differentiate themselves from the next trainer.
For example, let’s say that two trainers each want to work with female tennis players. One develops marketing for ‘female tennis players’ while the other markets to ’25 to 40 year old female tennis players competing in league play.’ Who will have an easier time targeting her market?
Even in a big-box gym, trainers can effectively specialize. Here’s a quick how-to. Talk to the membership reps. Learn who the gym’s largest demographic is. (30-40 year old women? 25-30 year old bodybuilders?) Choose a specific niche within that large demographic who you’d really like to work with, then communicate that to the membership reps, or whomever it is that assigns clients to trainers. Let them know that you are specializing in only that market, and that you’d prefer to let other trainers have the prospects who don’t fit the niche. When you do get a new prospect, be sure to contact her in advance and invite her to bring a friend to her first session as a bonus. Last, bring enthusiasm to the session, and make them feel like they’re your only clients.
Specialize your niche until you can”t get any more specific!