IDEA recently surveyed personal trainers to find out the best piece of fitness industry advice they’ve ever received. Here are two of the answers we received as they appeared in a recent “Tricks of the Trade” column. How would you answer this question? Add your feedback in the comments section below.
The one piece of advice that has really worked for me is “five a day.” I heard this at a group I joined called the Be Better Project, led by Phil Kaplan. We learned a lot of good information about growing a personal training business. The idea is to talk to five people a day about your business. If you are shy, you could start out with just talking or saying hi to five people a day. Once that feels comfortable, then talk to them about your business. Don’t do a sales pitch; work what you do into the conversation casually. I always let people know that I have a monthly email newsletter that discusses exercise and healthy eating and includes a great recipe. I ask them if they would like to receive my newsletter. If they say no, then I say, “Okay, no problem.” If they say yes, I get their email information and sign them up.
I always carry an index card with me and I write down the contact information I receive. My kids used to ask me every day who was on my card. It kept me accountable.
The people I speak to tend to remember talking to me, and they think of me when asked if they know a personal trainer or when they are looking for a trainer themselves. I have had people call me who were referred to me by someone I met in the grocery store. This “word-of-mouth marketing” is very effective. Most of my business is from referrals. If people meet you and talk to you in a nonthreatening environment, they tend to be more comfortable and open to you. I specialize in working with people who want to lose hundreds of pounds; going to the gym can be a threatening environment for these clients.
Owner, Fitting Fitness In™
I received the best piece of advice from my back surgeon, and it turned into my motto “Just Move.” After I had spinal fusion surgery, I was in a great deal of pain. I was stressing out about not being able to do my preferred workout (Tae Bo® at that time). With two toddlers at home and a husband who traveled for work, I was depressed and felt that I’d never get back to my former fitness level. My doctor simply said, “Just move. You don’t have to ‘do a workout’ to exercise.” He told me to just do one thing I didn’t do the day before: dance to my favorite song, walk, play with the kids, etc. As soon as I let go of that “workout” mentality, I was able to relax and appreciate the strides my body was making in healing itself and regaining strength.
I often work with clients who are struggling. Being inundated with photos, websites, etc., of incredibly fit, ripped individuals is very defeating for them. They think they must “kill their workout” to get anywhere. I simply tell them to “just move.” Slowly but surely we get to their goal, and they often tell me that keeping it simple is what finally worked for them.
Judy Koenig Browne
Manitou Springs, Colorado
To read more answers, please see “What’s the Best Piece of Fitness Industry Advice You’ve Ever Received?” in the online IDEA Library or in the May 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.