If you are an individual trying to make a long lasting career in personal training, then you need to utilize EVERYTHING you can. Or at least experiment as many avenues as you can to see where your business can shine. Gone are the days of just being a trainer at a gym, and hoping to have enough clients to make a living.
If you are at a chain gym, the pay won’t be enough and the hours are long. You can make a liveable income (depending on your location), but to rely SOLELY on in person clients is a mistake. Covid will have taught you that if you haven’t learned it already. In fact, Covid for a lot of us taught us how screwed we may be if we rely heavily on paying our bills through how many clients we train a day. Your entire income can be wiped that quick.
Private training may or may not serve you a little better. If you used your time wisely at a chain gym learning the ropes of building your clientele, marketing yourself, working the floor, and keeping a consistent flow of clients coming in, you can do really well privately. But again, you do not make a default salary like other people. Your yearly income relies solely on how many sessions you end up servicing each month. That can be scary especially if you have a family to feed.
This is where social media comes in, as well as everything online. In my opinion this is an absolute MUST if you truly want to be a successful trainer. You need to be doing all the above AND social media.
Instagram should be like your portfolio. It should showcase your work whether that be testimonials from clients, before and after pictures of clients who made amazing transformations, tips and tricks for working out and eating, you name it. People won’t know your name on a bigger scale unless it can be shared. Instagram allows you to do that. This is the best way for existing clients to tell others about who you are. This is a great way for people who don’t know you exist to see why you are more worthy than any other trainer. You need to have engaging content that pulls people in and gives them a reason to pay attention.
Believe it or not, TikTok is where everyone is at. It's quick videos and they are seen by millions. What better way to showcase your knowledge than by putting up quick 30-60 seconds tips on everything: food prep, lifting technique, do’s and don’ts, and more. Trainers have built successful businesses JUST off TikTok. I reference it’s importance here because it can drive traffic to the next platform.
Let Instagram and TikTok be your canaries in the coal mine. Instead of wasting your time creating a 10 minute video that may or may not hit on Youtube, use the stats of your 30-60 second clips from Instagram and TikTok. The ones that get the most views might be worthy of doing deeper dives on Youtube. TikTok is harder to monetize. But if people like what they see there, and you can get them to redirect to your Youtube page you can offer more, consistent, free information, and build a more loyal following.
Scaling Your Brand
You need social media in order to scale your brand. There are only so many clients you can service in one day. It’s going to burn you out. What if instead, you can simultaneously have 50 more clients through social media, whom you connect with through online training programs, virtual classes, and seminars?
If we know money can disappear quickly, we need to hedge our bets. Especially in a field like personal training where nothing is guaranteed, and your livelihood is on the line, as well as potentially your families. That way when something gives, the others can still be there. Have online courses people can pay for, workout programs people can buy, or online clients who can pay monthly to use your services.
If you are starting out, be willing to provide tons of free but valuable information online! Remember. No one knows who you are. The fitness industry is saturated with influencers and competition. You are going to need something that stands out from the crowd if you expect to make any money. No one is just going to pay you out the gate. If you provide tons of useful information, through various social media platforms, you are only increasing your chances of being seen by as many people as possible. This will then give you the opportunity to connect, and engage with potential clients who will stay with you for a long time. In this day and age, you can’t afford to not at least try all the methods above until you find what works for your brand.