How to Become the Dominant Trainer in Your Area

While some scratch their heads and wonder, others take massive action. It’s really pretty simple when it comes to turning yourself into the dominant fitness professional in your area. The formula is proven. The only thing that can’t be provided by someone like me is the desire and guts to take this knowledge and apply it.

That being written, I’m going to lay out the things you must have and do to get you started on the road to complete domination of your competition. The goal of this exercise? When someone in your town is ready to hire a fitness professional, yours will be the only name they think of.

1) You must have a website.

If you want to be viewed as a true professional by your prospects, customers, peers, and the media, you simply must have a presence on the internet. Not having your own website is completely unacceptable.

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to create your own site. There are plenty of affordable tools you can find online that will enable you to have your site up and running the very same day, even if it’s just a one page website that includes the basics. And by basics, I mean the information your prospective client wants to know about. Namely, who do you work with and what do you do for them. Yes, they want to know that you are an expert at what you do, but the emphasis needs to be on “what’s in it for THEM,” not you. That’s Marketing 101.

As you build your site, you can add additional pages that explain your services, the products you have for sale, articles you have written, and everything and anything else that promotes you and your expertise.

2) You must have media connections.

No amount of advertising can buy you the type of instant credibility you receive when you are featured as a fitness expert by the news media. And while your prospects are each seeing more and more marketing messages about fitness and everything else, you need to take advantage of free publicity to stand out from the crowd.

Journalists, editors, and producers need to become some of your best friends. They are always in search of fresh and unique story ideas. You need to deliver them so that your prospects look at you as being head and shoulders above the rest of the fitness professionals near you.

How do you do that? It’s pretty simple, really. Contact every single media outlet in your area and introduce yourself. Let them know that you are always available to offer story ideas on the topics of health and fitness. And if they ever need comments or quotes for a story that they are working on, you’d love to help them out.

3) You must have produced at least one information product of your own.

The media loves published authors. So when you write your own book, you establish yourself as quite literally the man or woman who “wrote the book on the subject.” Your prospective clients will look at you that way as well.

When you’ve written a book or created your own DVD, you reach yet another level. Products not only add to your credibility, but they are a terrific way of generating serious passive income.

4) You must have a newsletter.

Whether it be physically mailed to prospects and clients, or simply sent via email, a regular newsletter allows you to both educate your target market and raise your credibility in their eyes.

And while there are newsletter services that you can subscribe to, I have found from personal experience that you are much better off creating your own. Why? Because people buy from those they know, like, and trust. A regular newsletter allows you to use your “voice.” People want to know how you really feel about topics related to training. People want to know your personality. This is about being a mainstay in the public eye and that means having courage and speaking your mind. If you want to dominate your area, it means you have to be willing to take risks.

5) You must be a good public speaker.

If you are unable to get up in front of a group of people and give a presentation, you’re going to have a hard time growing your business. It’s an absolutely vital skill that you need to possess.

There’s no shortage of places for you to speak. You can try:

networking groups
women’s and men’s clubs
civic organizations
religious organizations
Getting yourself “booked” as a speaker is simple. Most organizations that have weekly meetings are consistently looking for speakers. Simply call and ask them if they’d be interested in a presentation on fitness. Unless they just had another personal trainer give a similar talk, most likely they’ll be thrilled to have you come speak to their group.

Yes, it’s true. They’ll ask you to come and speak for free. However, speaking adds to your credibility and gives you the appearance of being a much more respected expert than other fitness professionals. And when a prospective client sees your future speaking engagements on your website, you’ll have a serious competitive advantage.

Plus, public speaking is a great way to sell your products and services. In fact, if you can record one of your presentations, you can sell that as an information product! See how this all ties together?

6) You must write “how-to” articles.

Being a good writer is another critical skill because having simple “how-to” articles published is a terrific way to promote yourself as the most qualified trainer in your area. There are all sorts of publications that would be happy to publish them. To start with, most of the organizations that you are going to speak at have a newsletter of their own. Do you think they might be interested in some free content to keep their members healthy?

You can also approach your small neighborhood newspaper and local community magazines. Plus, just about every town and city has their own website. And what about your local Chamber of Commerce? And the great thing is that you can usually write one article and have them published in numerous publications!

If you’re looking for ideas on what to write about, I’ve got two suggestions for you.

First, think about the questions you get all the time from friends, family, clients, and prospects. Since those people are asking you, you know others want to the answers to those questions too.

Second, go to your local newsstand and stare at the covers of the magazines that your target market reads. The headlines tell everything. If the national fitness magazines are writing about it, you know it’s a hot topic that people want information about.

And if you’re wondering how to write one, well you’re reading one! Simply come up with a “how to” title, write an opening paragraph or two, and then list all the tips that explain exactly “how to” do something. At the end of the article, include a very short bio about yourself and make sure it leads to a website where they can download even more free information. This way you add them to your database so that you can continue to market to them directly. This is another reason why it’s so important to have a website. Again, see how this all ties in together?

7) You must leverage your time.

Most trainers never make the time to grow their business. Just like the general population will never find the time to exercise, they must make the time and so must you. This means leveraging your time. To do so, you need to be aware of where you are currently spending all of your time.

How much time do you spend:

training clients?
searching for public speaking engagements?
writing “how to” articles?
If you spend all of your time training clients, how do you expect to become the dominant trainer in your area? If you said you can’t, you’re right. So how do you leverage your time?

Hire trainers to train clients for you.
Train clients in small groups so that you make much more per hour.
Run fitness boot camps.
Create and sell your own information products.
Write articles for publications for profit.
Develop workshops that you are paid to present.
Leveraging your time also means hiring others to perform professional services for you. Spending too much time doing your books? Hire an accountant. Spending too much time keeping track of sessions used by clients? Hire an assistant.

There are many professionals who you can hire to make your life easier. If you want to become the dominant trainer in your area, you need to be focused on one thing—growing your business.

8) You must mine your database.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know many people. In fact, when you list them all out, you’d be amazed at just how many. Once you finish that start to think about how these people can help you. Who do they know? What do you need? They might know a great place for you to speak. They might know a website where you could submit your articles. They might know an inexpensive accountant who can do your books. They might know someone in the media who would love to do a story on your training business. Get the picture?

Plus, I’ll bet they know some very influential people in your community. Ask those people to lunch and pick up the tab. Pick their brains. What do those successful people know that you don’t know? Who else do they know that you should know? If you want to be the most dominant, and thus successful, fitness professional in your area, you want the most influential people creating a buzz about you.

9) You must be willing to decline business.

All of the above tips are critical. But there’s no replacing the walking, talking billboards that are your paying clients. If you feel a prospect is not serious about becoming a living, breathing marketing piece then turn them down. Don’t let all the hard work that you’ve put into your business be ruined by those who are not willing to do the work it takes to succeed.