If you take a moment to think about the top personal trainers around you, you’ll notice that many of them focus on a niche area of training.
Personal trainers that target a particular market can become the go-to person for a specific demographic or training modality. By doing so they can position themselves as ‘The pregnancy PT’ or ‘The Functional Training Guy’ instead of competing with the many trainers who offer a wide, non-specialist range of services.
If you can discover your niche area and target your marketing towards it, you could find yourself with a loyal following of clients that you genuinely love to train. Unless you instantly know that what puts a fire in your belly is training clients for endurance events, or helping older adults maintain their mobility, you might struggle to pinpoint your niche.
The following tactics can help you identify your area of specialisation.
Maybe you already have the beginning of a niche client base but haven’t realised it yet. Take a good look at your clients and see what aspects they share. Start with things like their age, gender and occupation, then consider their fitness goals, abilities, favourite sports and personality types. Certain types of clients could already be gravitating towards you.
If you have a varied client base, which clients do you most enjoy training? Do you love helping very fit athletes reach their peak, or assisting older clients with chronic health conditions to become stronger and enhance their quality of life? There’s probably a type of client and training method that you prefer.
Take a look at your personal life, sporting preferences and exercise habits for a snapshot of what you really love doing. Enjoy pounding the pavement every morning? Maybe target your marketing to marathon runners. Get excited about weight lifting? Aim your marketing towards the bodybuilding crowd. Live for footie? Perhaps some players in your local teams would be interested in some additional sports-specific personal training outside of their regular coaching sessions.
Perhaps you’ve trained in martial arts for years or you’ve recovered from a lot of injuries in your time. You may not realise it, but this can give you a lot of experience in certain areas over other trainers, allowing you to better understand and empathise with your clients.
Did you work in a different job before personal training? Perhaps you were in the corporate sector and understand the challenges of living healthily while working a sedentary desk job. Maybe you used to work with children and have the skills to build good rapport with younger clients or parents. All of your past experiences can contribute some extra skills that set you apart.
You can always gain additional skills, qualifications and certifications that enable you to cater to specific markets. For example, AIF’s Nutrition Coach course equips you with the skills to help clients make better nutrition choices, while The BioMechanics Method Corrective Exercise Trainer course teaches you how to assess clients for musculoskeletal imbalances that cause muscle, joint and movement problems and program the exercises to fix these issues. By making such additional skill sets integral to your marketing, you can attract clients that need these services.
Once you have identified a niche market that you want to cater to, you can tailor your services and marketing towards it. Consider the following:
Successfully targeting your niche is all about giving people the personalised attention and in-depth understanding of their situation that they want. If you figure out what your niche market really wants then you’ll start to develop a name for yourself. That way, when someone says ‘I’d love a trainer who could help me with X’ your name, and experience in that area, will be thrown into the conversation.
Knowing how to be a great personal trainer is not the same as knowing how to run a successful business. Tailored to PTs, the AIF’s Fitness Business Essentials course focuses on the latest digital marketing practices and trends to give you the best chance of sustained business success in the fitness industry.