In a previous blog series we looked at what it takes to get big results for clients with normal lives. We discussed many aspects of how to be a successful personal trainer and coach and see your clients achieve their ultimate fitness goals. Here we look at how you can use your coaching skills to broadcast your message and market your fitness business to get new clients regularly.
This article is the intro to our next series, we list those essential coaching skills and how you can make them crucial for your marketing efforts. Read on to find out how you can attract exactly the type of clients you love to coach and to grow your fitness business at the same time.
Coaching Skill #1. Rapport BuildingIf you've been a personal trainer for some time, you'll understand the difference between the first, the 10th or the 100th session with the same client. In the beginning, you're starting to get to know each other, discussing general topics and potentially understanding how your client lives their life. After a few weeks, they may trust you to tell you a bit more of their personal life, and if they are still with you after a year, you'll most likely know everything about them, their spouse, kids, parents and pets.
When it comes to marketing your services, your audience will go through a similar journey. They will hear about you the first time. If that first impression was intriguing, they'll keep reading your posts, watch videos, and so on. If you keep providing value, eventually they will be convinced to hire you when they need you. Working on your rapport building skills will serve your marketing efforts too!
Coaching Skill #2. Communication – Interpersonal and Writing SkillsOnline personal trainers and online coaches have one disadvantage (or an advantage depending on where you stand on the introvert scale) compared to in-person trainers: the lack of the body language channel, often even the voice.
When you speak to someone in person, you have multiple ways to gauge the real reaction and thoughts of that person: the words they use, the tone of their voice and their body language. On a call, you lose the body language, and when you only speak in writing, you lose two-thirds of the tools to communicate effectively.
With this in mind, it's essential to have very clear interpersonal skills, to work on your speech and writing skills, so you have enhanced tools at your disposal to broadcast precisely the message you want to give to your clients in their coaching and send out in your marketing.
Coaching Skill #3. Educator and Leader – Building a Supportive CommunityAt the beginning of every personal trainer's career, they think their profession is about fitness, exercise and workout design. Not long after starting to work with clients you realise that physical fitness and training methods are just a fraction of what you need to be a successful trainer/ coach.
Having gained experience, designing workouts or delivering sessions will not be too challenging. Great trainers see the person you're working with, their unique needs, anatomy, fitness goals and the barriers they need to overcome to get there. In their eyes, you will be a teacher or educator, helping them understand how their body works, why they need to perform specific exercises, how those help them achieve their goals and so much more.
You also become a leader, taking responsibility for your clients' progress, and showing an example with how you lead your own life. Showing them you are also human now and then is essential so they can relate, but if you are regularly late for sessions, always exhausted, or eat fast food in front of them, I can guarantee they won't be 100% compliant to their program either.
Transferring that into the marketing world, you can become the educator to many via producing useful content, engaging with readers and answering any questions they may have while also showing snippets of how you lead a healthy life they so desire.
Coaching Skill #4. Trainer and TraineeYour clients generally know very little about anatomy, exercise science, exercise programming, and nutrition. That's why they hire you, so you can teach them, train them, and help them learn.
On the other hand, you won't have any knowledge of what they feel when they wake up first thing in the morning, or how their joints react to a particular load, why a movement feels difficult or even how much pain/soreness/niggle they experience or perceive when working out unless you ask them.
Your clients will be your teachers for you to understand what their body can and cannot do, how far you can push them before it's too much and generally how fitness will affect their life. Accepting that your role in this coaching relationship is two-fold is the first step towards a successful client transformation.
Just like with your clients, in your marketing communications, it's important to stay humble. The person who comments on your posts, emails you to ask about your services or gives you a call will have a whole other world going on that you don't know. He or she is looking for answers from you. Be the trainer first to understand their needs, then after you've established how you can help, offer advice and promote your services if you can help them.
Coaching Skill #5. Empathy and CompassionHave you ever heard or read this quote? "People may not remember what you did or what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel." We have already discussed in detail how being empathetic and compassionate towards your clients can help them adhere to their plan and achieve greater results.
People relate to people. When you market your fitness services, approach anything you publish with your target market in mind. If your audience feels that you empathise with their situation or problem, they will trust that you can help them and will be more likely to hire you.