It pains me to hear from a struggling trainer, and when I say struggling I mean a trainer in dire straights; someone living on credit or fearful that they're not going to be able to support their family this month. It saddens me even more to hear struggling trainers talk about leaving in the industry because they can't earn enough to get by. Perhaps this hits me hard because I can relate; in fact, I tried to leave the industry three different times and was only days from bankruptcy one of those times. The worst of it is the fear and desperation of the financial stress clouds your vision encumbering you to the point where it's impossible not to translate some of that fear and doubt to the people around you, namely your prospects and clients.
As my life has changed and I've been fortunate to overcome these obstacles with the guidance of others I hope the following plan will again turn around and help some of colleagues surpass the seemingly insurmountable obstacle they now face. We have to stick together.
If I was broke, fearful, just starting out or on the verge of considering leaving the industry for a job here's exactly what I would do.
The following assumes you can by a membership and talk to people at a gym or find a public gym you could subcontract out of on a revenue share basis. I know peak times in the gym are 5 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. and that if need to find a job I'm going to be pounding pavement from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day until I find something.
So I'd be at the gym everyday from 5:30 to 8 a.m. where I'd be helping other members train for free, from 5 minutes to their whole workout. Afterwards I'd give them my business card with free assessment and a free personalized workout session written on the back and I'd offer to book the appointment right then and there and continually affirm there was no-obligation at all on their part. I'd do the same again from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. each day. My only goal would be to book at least one assessment for the following day for each day of the week.
In the first session I'd complete as much of a physical assessment as I could particularly identifying dysfunction and imbalance related to the common pains many people feel, I'd measure their weight, take measures and review their food journal all in an effort to identify their goals and why they're currently not reaching them. In the next session I'd provide a short a workout with them with specific exercises related to the results of the assessment. (In fact we do this very thing in our facility) We'd discuss a sample menu or suggested nutritional changes in an effort to shown them as much real takeaway value as possible and I'd continually ask for affirmations from them that they see how this will help them reach their goals. At this point I can tell you most will be open to reviewing program options and by using the sales strategies I've discussed her or on my blog you'll be ready to close them. If I didn't have access to a public gym I'd turn my attention to lunch and learns and educate and convert small audiences the same way (while getting as many email addresses as I could.)
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I'd be pounding pavement looking for a job. If I were in desperation I'd turn to waiting tables knowing tips would be a big help and evening hours wouldn't effect my ability to train clients and build my business as much as some other jobs, or I'd turn to electronic sales at a big box commission store (and in fact I did do this once) because back to school in September and then of course into Christmas is the biggest commission earning potential of the year (and you'll continue to develop your sales skills much like serving tables.) I'd also know that store hours would also still allow me to build my training business generally during peak fitness hours.
While pounding pavement for a job I'd also make a list of local experts, Google them, see who ranks on top, and go interview them with my iPhone making sure I was in the video with them. I'd try to ask questions about their services that validate why they feel exercise is also important, I'd then put these videos on YouTube in hopes that their customers will see them. You're giving them third party credibility in much the same way social proof works for us not to mention making it easier to ask them to promote you in the future. At the same time you're borrowing their credibility, if their customers see the video who do you think they will turn to when it comes to fitness?
If you're struggling, I know it's hard, and you feel defeated. I know when you're discouraged it's easy to look at everything and list why it won't work, but if you're serious about overcoming this obstacle I know the above can help, remember we have to stick together to change the world.
After struggling for eight years as a Personal Trainer, Cabel McElderry challenged the typical gym setup and created quite a reputation for himself. His 7 figure studio now five years old has won multiple awards for business excellence. Cabel has been recognized as one of the top 100 fitness entrepreneurs in North America and is currently one of 50 nominees for Optimum Nutrition's Canadian Trainer of the Year. He now mentors fitness professionals worldwide in an effort to help them achieve similar or better results than his own. Cabel's advice and writing can be found amougst some of the biggest blogs online and he is constantly called upon to offer his advice and strategies at some the largest fitness events worldwide.www.ProfitablePersonalTrainer.com