Fitness Business and Marketing

What do you do to be different?

It is a widely held opinion amongst the personal training community that the market is becoming ever increasingly crowded. It feels like training providers are churning out an every increasing number of personal trainers into what can for some feel like an already saturated market. Personally I do feel that it is harder for those starting their career in the fitness industry to establish themselves, and I do agree that the amount of personal trainers has increased dramatically since I entered the industry.
However, I do not feel that the market is saturated, hard yes, but saturated no. Many new entrants into this great industry follow a very similar path, offering a similar service to the same client base. This is in my opinion one of the main reasons that so many new entrants to the industry find it so hard to gain enough traction to develop a steady income.

A number of years ago after reading a couple of his other books I bought Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. This book is a real must for anybody in business who is looking to make sure that they offer a unique and different service that most importantly stands out of the crowd… hence the name, a purple cow would defiantly stand out!

The idea is that if you stand out from the crowd more you can attract more attention to your products or services. With more attention the hope would be that you make more sales. This then directly translates into you earning more for your time and also carving that all important niche out for yourself.

So as a personal trainer how can you stand out? How can you be different? Really for me this comes down to three main areas. Your market, your product and your delivery.
I am a big believer in the importance of carefully selecting your market. You market does not have to be big or the one that everyone else is going after, it just needs to be strong enough to generate, either fully or partially an income you would be happy with. I think one of the most important aspects in choosing a market beyond the qualifying is it profitable? Should be, do I have passion for working with these people? Passion shines through and makes selling much easier. There are so many markets out there that are under represented, being different by the markets you choose can cut the amount of competition that you have and lead to a easier route to profitability.
Once you have your market you then need to start thinking about what they want. This needs to be carefully considered with the clients true need in mind… note this is not what you think they want/need but what they actually want and need. A well designed group of products, that appeal to your particular market and gives them a specific set of benefits. This will speak directly to the clients that you are trying to target and stand out form all the other products on the market as it meets their specific needs.

Now that you have a market and you have a range of products, a key way to gain traction in the market is in how you deliver your service. By delivering a superior product to those around you it is possible to create a premium product. I always try and remember that clients want to looked after. Doing small things like having a sweat towel and bottle of water at the start of a session, costs you pennies but goes a long way to promoting that premium feel. Remembering life events like Christmas, birthdays, and recognising the achievement of goals again makes you service more personal! Remember premium product equals premium pricing!
I hope that this article has helped in understanding the importance of being different. Resist the temptation to bow to the pressure of being the same as the others, remember being different is good!

Action Points:-
• Review who you are targeting, create a profile for each of the market segments you work with.
• Do some genuine research, find out what these segments want.
• Design products that fit the specific needs and wants of your market.
• List the benefits of the product offering to the specific market segment.
• List all the ways you can be premium.

Tom has been involved in the fitness industry for nearly 20 years. He is a specialist in rehabilitation, exercise referral and helping other fitness professionals to improve their business. He is also involved with course development, teaching, assessing and IQA of a range of training courses. He is always willing to meet other professionals so please do contact him via social media with any questions or just to say hello.

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