by Matt Weik
With some gyms still temporarily closed and many potentially closed for good, personal trainers are scrambling around trying to figure out how to make some money to make ends meet. Here are the facts, the government isn’t going to bail you out and put food on your table, and clients aren’t going to magically just show up on your doorstep wanting to train with you.
Clients need to know who you are (or even that you exist), what services you have, how you can keep them safely train during these trying times, and how you can keep them in shape while possibly not training in a commercial gym.
Below are some things that personal trainers can do to help differentiate themselves and keep their training businesses alive and thriving.
Virtual Training Sessions
If in-person sessions are a no-go, consider going virtual. Think about it, all of your clients are already online, so it makes sense to provide them with a virtual experience. This could be the future for personal trainers, regardless, so it may make sense to start this on top of any of the other options you may decide to implement.
One thing you need to be mindful of is what equipment your potential clients may have at home (if any at all). When consulting with a potential client, ask them if they have anything at home like a pair of dumbbells, a full home gym, cardio equipment, resistance bands, or if you’ll have to work with them having absolutely nothing and can only use their body weight.
Use something like Skype, Zoom, or another platform that will allow you to video conference with your clients to put them through their workouts, keep them motivated, and push them to achieve the results they desire.
In-Home Training Sessions
Perhaps clients don’t have a problem being around people, but they aren’t comfortable around groups of people. No worries, that’s where having in-home training sessions can be an excellent option for both you and your clients.
Rather than your clients going to a gym for a workout, you take the workout to them. For this, you could put them through bodyweight workouts, or what can separate you from everyone else would be you bringing all of the equipment with you. This can be anything from medicine balls, TRX bands, resistance bands, or even something like adjustable dumbbells and a lightweight, portable bench.
With this route, you have the ability to provide your clients with a great in-home experience where they don’t even need to go anywhere to get in a good workout. Even after we are through this trying time, this could be a viable business opportunity by providing a service that may not be tapped into for your area.
Outdoor Training Sessions
Assuming you live somewhere with nice weather, unlike the northeast, where cold weather can limit your ability to exercise outdoors, implementing outdoor training sessions can help keep your personal training business alive.
Good personal trainers should be able to provide clients with a workout anywhere, and what better atmosphere to do it than outdoors where the weather is nice, and they can take in the sunshine as well (not to mention the free vitamin D)?
In order to train clients outside, you’ll either need to have the equipment or use the outdoors as your gym. Maybe you train at a park where you have access to monkey bars to do pull-ups? Or beams where clients can do dips? Going this route may make you get a little creative, but that could be precisely what your client needs to spice up their workouts. Otherwise, you can easily take resistance bands and medicine balls to put your clients through their workouts.
Build Content or Write a Book
One avenue for personal trainers is sharing their knowledge. Not only can content and books help build you as an authority in the space by helping those who read anything you publish, but it can also help do some marketing for you to bring in new clients.
Content and books will get your name out there, and anyone who reads your work can contact you for training sessions (assuming you leverage some of the other techniques mentioned in this article). In your content or books, explain how people can reach out to you for your personal training services. I’m living proof of this example and strategy, and it’s been working incredibly well for me for many years.
The one downside to this is putting aside the time to write. Writing any type of content to publish doesn’t happen in five minutes. It could take you hours to write an article or weeks, months, or over a year if you write a book. However, a book can be monetized and sold digitally across the globe to help provide you with passive income. You simply need to do your part to help market the book and get it out there in front of the right eyeballs.
Something else to consider is building a website and monetizing it. Fill it with training and nutritional information to keep people coming back.
Create a Video Series
A great idea for personal trainers is to set up a video series of workouts. You would videotape yourself doing the workouts and urge clients to follow along. This would, clearly, go behind some sort of paywall where clients could pay for specific workouts or put a package together where they pay one fee and have access to the full library of video workouts you put together. This is a great idea if you already have a following on social media.
The sky is really the limit here as you can do everything from bodyweight workouts, cardio workouts, band workouts, dumbbell workouts, etc. Get creative and keep it fun, engaging, and entertaining to keep clients coming back for more. You want to provide a service that is untapped and leverage it to your advantage.