Six tips for success in your fitness business

Julia Stent, CEO of personal trainer site Spotter, shares her tips for success in the fitness industry.

The UK health and fitness industry is growing. It’s a trend primarily driven by the private sector, which now has more clubs, members and market value than ever before.

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report by Leisure DB also revealed there are now more than 9.7 million fitness members in the UK, and one in every seven Britons is a member of a gym.

As more people invest in healthier lifestyles, personal fitness trainers should be cashing in, offering expertise and motivation to the swelling ranks of gym goers.

Keeping your fitness business healthy

Despite industry growth, only 54% of UK health and fitness businesses will survive the first five years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Follow these tips for success.

Work on your USP

Every fitness trainer needs a unique selling point. Perhaps you’re a specialist at helping with weight loss, working with new mums, kettlebell training or a strength coach. Picking a specialism and investing in yourself with further training can set you apart in what is a highly competitive and crowded market.

Clients are also more likely to search for their specific issue on Google e.g. personal training for diabetics. Having a strong social media presence and writing great content could make you easier to find. Having a specialism can also help you define your target audience for more effective content and marketing campaigns.

Make goals

Whether you have a specialism or not, making goals for your professional development as a fitness trainer is crucial to ensure the information you’re relaying to clients is as up to date as possible. Find the experts in your field, and follow their work online and on social media to stay at the forefront of the dialogue.

Look for courses or seminars offered in the subjects you specialise in from companies you respect, make a plan for how many you will attend each year and carve out this time from your busy schedule. It’s an investment in yourself that will pay dividends with careful planning.

Focus on loyalty

Retaining customers is both cheaper and less time-consuming than acquiring new ones. Foster loyalty by adding value to their lives beyond fitness sessions.

This might mean sending a personalised email to congratulate a client who gave 100% effort in a session, or creating and sharing motivational e-newsletters to send out to your database of existing and potential clients. Perhaps you invite your contacts to join you for a webinar on your specialist area, or perhaps you make short tutorial videos for social media that give bite-sized instructions. Also, share your examples of client successes and collect testimonials from as many clients as you can.

Create quality content

Content creation has multiple benefits. Quality content shared with existing clients adds value beyond paid fitness training sessions. Used on your website’s blog, it can boost search engine optimisation (SEO) – how likely you are to be found in search – if relevant keywords are used organically and if content is uploaded regularly.

It can also be used for marketing on social media to grow followers or increase your brand awareness, for example. The opportunities and platforms for publishing content are numerous. Try a few and find the ones that resonate most with your target audience.

Branch out

Look for alternative revenue streams. Maybe you could approach local businesses and offer group classes for staff on their lunch breaks. Perhaps you could offer nutrition consultations via video conference. Make sure that every product recommendation earns you cash because your expert opinion really does drive sales for fitness brands.

If you’ve got the skills and are adding real value to your clients, don’t be afraid to raise your prices. If price rises are to affect your existing customers, be open and transparent about the increase and give advanced warning. If you’re investing in yourself and your business, don’t be afraid to reflect this in your pricing. If you’re worth it, go for it.

Julia Stent is co-founder of  Spottera money-making site for personal trainers

Further reading on fitness businesses

An interest in health and fitness turned into a unique small business venture

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