One thing you have as an independent trainer over the big box gyms is the opportunity to build loyalty within your marketplace. You can establish meaningful relationships with your clients to build a culture and a strong sense of loyalty.

Often times, trainers completely overlook this advantage. Not only is building a fun culture and strong loyalty good for retaining clients, it's also the number one factor that determines word-of-mouth marketing (referrals).

However, when it comes to thinking up ways to build a culture in your business, you may have no idea where to begin. First off, you'll want to identify what you want the culture in your training business to feel like. You probably want clients to feel like your facility is their "second home" and where they come to be surrounded by friends, good energy, a positive atmosphere and where they can always get the best workouts in town.

So how do you achieve this? You want your program or facility to be like the sitcom "Cheers;" where you know and greet each one of your clients by their first name. Give your clients the love that big box gyms can't. Send them motivational text messages, give them props and recognition on their Facebook walls and make their experience in your facility fun, entertaining and more than just a workout. 

By creating your unique culture within your training facility, you are creating a point of differentiation that can’t be matched by your competitors. Some other very effective ways to build a unique culture in your facility is by having client appreciation parties, creating your own language amongst your staff and clients and offering different levels of "belonging," giving your clients the opportunity to work their way up to the highest level.

This builds a strong sense of loyalty among your clients; and that's when word-of-mouth marketing and referral generation really takes off. In fact, for most fitness trainers the cure for not getting referrals is often building a better sense of community within their business; loyal clients will be your best referrers.

Once you build a unique culture and a strong sense of loyalty you can begin to command more money and charge what you are worth; and that's never a bad way to build a successful business.

Get more ideas, tips and strategies for building your fitness business by visiting Bedros Keuilian's blog,