Most fitness professionals and experts believe that branding is something reserved for mega corporations, but nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is you are branding yourself everyday whether you believe it or not. What you wear says a lot about you. What comes out of your mouth says even more. And how you carry yourself in and outside of sessions tells the world how you want to be perceived.

You see, if you dress like a slob, talk unprofessionally, and walk around hunched over like someone with very little confidence then don't expect to charge high end prices for your sessions. You're just not that guy or girl yet if you act that way. You have to exude the confidence and demeanor of a top professional in order for other top professionals in their field to choose YOU as their trainer. Remember, there is no shortage of personal trainers in this world. Anyone can literally go online today and take a test from one of the hundreds of organizations, pass it, and then call themself a certified personal trainer.

It’s sad, but it's still a fact ...

I even had a studio client tell one of my team members a few years back we are a dime a dozen (he is no longer working with us ;) So, if there are more trainers than there are clients, that means there is most definitely a competition for making a full-time living. This is also why those who aren't passionate about the industry end up giving up on it and doing some other line of work.

However, competition, hard work, and the mindset of a warrior is what allows the most determined to rise above the rest of the 95% of trainers who run from paycheck to paycheck. What you need to do is create your personal brand -- or as I stated earlier at least be conscious of it.

This means watching how you dress, how you converse with others (especially clients), how you carry yourself, and how you position yourself in your community. It also means making your marketing match up with your personal brand. This includes colors, logos, taglines, and anything else you want to promote YOU.

You've heard me say it before, but you must realize that "everything matters." I know most of the fitness pros working at my studio probably think I'm crazy for following up all the time on how we greet each client, how we end our sessions, how we ask for referrals, and even how the paper towels are lined up in the bathroom dispenser. Not everyone gets this, but when you come to understand that different clients have different "hot buttons" you'll realize what I mean ...

For example, some clients pride cleanliness in the workout space above all else, while other clients care more about accountability and progress reports. Remember, there's more to this fitness business game than just taking a client through a workout ...

Recognize that most high-end clients that can afford your training sessions "see everything." And the crazy thing is that if there's something they don't like about you or the workout environment they may never mention it -- they'll just end up giving you some excuse and going off to another competitor of yours. They didn't want to stop personal training... they just didn't want to continue training with you or at your current location. This means you must control everything you can in your workspace and this most definitely includes you. After all, everything encompasses your brand and how you are perceived -- like it or not.

I hope this article has opened your eyes a little into how your clients and prospective clients may view you. And, what's even more important is now that you realize you are literally on stage when you are at work you can now control how you want to be seen.

My recommendation is to take control of your brand today and show your community and the fitness industry what you're all about. Shape people's view of you through your marketing, advertising, and how they see you as you're out there on the floor training other clients.

If you live your brand everyday then I have I no doubt you'll become one of the best in this industry and people will remember your name!

Stephen Cabral has consulted for MTV, Maxim, Men's Health, NutritionData, SELF, Women's Day, as well as dozens of others. He was named the PFP 2011 Trainer of the Year. He is also a fitness writer, author, studio owner, and the founder of Personal Training Business School. His free fitness business video series, proven strategies and tips can be found at


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