Pros know what it takes to develop their own unique shape. But when it comes to the shape of a healthy career, there is often little meat on the bone Given recent news, it’s not due to a dying industry. Recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and IHRSA reflect 44% growth over the past ten years with anticipation for even higher number coming over the next few years. Industry growth aside, it appears there may be a hole in how we train, maintain and promote our own.
EASY COME, EASY GO
Despite an influx of new blood, increasing membership numbers and shifting attitudes towards fitness, you may be surprised by the number of new trainers who drop out during year one. While some reports are slightly higher or lower, on average almost 80% hang up their nametags and hand in their clipboards before year two. So, for an industry in full bloom, why such catastrophic retention statistics? Is this level of failure what new trainers in the community should come to expect? And how can they increase the odds of success? For an industry positioned for incredible growth in the next ten years, it’s time for everyone to start problem solving.
While jumping ship may come as the result of any number of factors, the root cause may be the reason why many made the shift to strength and conditioning in the first place: the natural entrepreneurial spirit of the personal trainer.
PERSONAL TRAINER, PROFESSIONAL ENTREPRENEUR
Today’s trainers are more than just about the brawn. To be a professional trainer, it takes an entrepreneurial spirit and a sharp business mind. If one is drawn to the field, they either must come equipped with business acumen or be willing to get up to speed. To do that, fitness professional --- in addition to mastering fitness know-how --- must get into gear with right “brain-frame” to accommodate and an increasingly discerning client. Clients today expect more from us in terms of our knowledge and our skills. They have options, enjoy freedoms afforded by technology based exercise options, and look to work with those who capture their interest, their imagination and their hearts.To do this, Fitness professionals need to look beyond the science and tap into something deeper: the basic building blocks of business acumen.
Whether or not you admit it, being “body-smart” does not make you “business-savvy.” But for those adopt an entrepreneurial attitude - and the willingness to become masters of business- the industry will prove a fertile ground for career growth. Of course, that means juggling a few roles simultaneously. Being a trainer means you’re a healer, a motivator AND an entrepreneur. Whether you work for a club or establish your own business, success means becoming a master of both skill sets.
As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to know which areas of business are essential to building a strong business foundation.Below you’ll find a short list of the five most meaningful business areas where your time and your creativity will yield a healthy return on investment:
Marketing Strategy and Communications
Lead Conversion and the Buyer Journey
Social Media and Digital Networking
Defining who you are, what makes you unique and an effective method for engaging your target market is the equivalent of creating a strong fitness program for your clients. By mastering these skills, you will elevate your business to the top 20% of the industry.
Not Convinced? Just ask around. Go ahead - ask around - and you’ll learn that no matter how well you know your stuff, smart trainers often take their fitness advice from fitness leaders. When it comes to smart business practices, its time we looked for business guidance from the industry’s business leaders.
ABOUT ROBERT BARCIA
Robert is a Marketing Communications expert and a passionate champion of small business entrepreneurs. As a thought leader in branding and content marketing, his unconventional approach to building relationships with the consumer has enabled industry underdogs to achieve “big dog” status.
Robert began his career at Equinox Fitness Clubs as a personal trainer and fitness educator. Through his love for storytelling and problem solving, Robert has created a career in the crossroads where humans meet business. He excels at uncovering the human element in entrepreneurship, knows what it takes to transform a business from “good” to “great” -- and lectures about why exceptional careers begin when we embrace our inner “underdog”.
With a career spanning more than a decade, Robert enjoys running his very own referral based consultant practice with industry clients that are recognized as some of the most powerful brands in fitness. He currently develops video based marketing assets in partnership with Pale Native, a company devoted to developing highly effective under five videos for crowdsourcing campaigns.