Oftentimes low or generic rates and a lack of differentiation is a costly game that will inevitably undermine your personal training business. I'm going to start off with a very simple contention with regards to the majority of personal trainers: You aren't charging nearly enough for your personal training services!
How do I know this? It's simple: The reason lies in the "wisdom" of crowds. In a book by the same name, the central thesis states that a diverse collection of independently made decisions tallied in aggregate is likely to make certain types of decisions and predictions better than individuals or even experts deciding alone. In this case dictating what the "going" rate for personal training should be.
Unfortunately where personal training is concerned, you don't want any such standard entering in the equation as it undermines your credibility, your passion and creates a no-win situation in which your business buckles under the weight of unmet expectations colliding head on with the realities of running and operating a business.
Setting our personal training rates at "average" or area-specific levels allows us to attract the same types of clients that our competitors attract, but that's a costly game that will inevitably undermine you in the long run, and is preventing your business from achieving its highest possible success.
Clients Want to Pay You Higher Rates!
When looking at the overall personal training industry, regardless of where you are located or if you are an independent personal trainer, you first have to look at human psychology and realize that the reality is that most clients would be ecstatic to pay you a much higher rate than you are currently charging for your services.
The business landscape is littered with countless examples of high priced wares that continue to sell and retain their value merely because of the name gracing their cover, often regardless of the quality and sometimes in spite of it.
The same holds true for personal training. Perceived value is as high in this industry as any other, in fact higher. When a client is searching for a personal trainer that understands their exact needs and they find them, the price becomes inconsequential.
You are selling your services, your expertise and passion short when you simply match the rates of the local market and completely miss the point that your services are unique, varied and in high demand to your target customer.
Those searching for Gucci handbags, Apple computers, BMW's or the latest and greatest trend, don't care about the price, only the results, prestige and feeling they get from owning those items.
Ultimately, all personal training boils down to is how your client feels about themselves, their body, their outlook, their experience and the services you offer. Your training is merely a conduit for those emotions.
Therefore, potential clients looking for a specialist to help them lose weight and get in the best shape of their life or somewhere fun to workout - whether they are stay-at-home moms or professional athletes - don't care about the price, only that you can take them to where they want to be - both emotionally and physically - offer something that is unique and tailored to them, and create an environment where they feel appreciated and cared for.
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When A Client Is Searching For A Trainer That Understands Their Exact
Needs And They Find Them, The Price Becomes Inconsequential.
Overcoming Barriers To Charge Higher Rates
I can already feel the consternation as you read this when you think back to a time, maybe even right now, when a certain client couldn't afford even your "regular" rates and you wonder how on Earth you could ever charge more for your training.
I used to think the same way, until I learned about market psychology and how I needed to value my own specialized services or else no one else would either. When a concert that is perceived to be in high demand goes on sale and you want to secure a ticket, what do you do?
You either wait in line for 5 days to be one of the first to purchase a ticket, or you buy one at a ridiculously inflated rate from a scalper to secure your spot for this "special" event. Money is no object and scarcity becomes a draw.
In my personal training business, the higher I raised my rates the busier I became. In fact, I was so busy - charging over $5,000 per client, per month to train with me - that I had to expand my business and hire other trainers.
Mastering A Few Factors
Aside from overcoming what were previously limiting beliefs as to my worth as a personal trainer and the value and service that I provided for my clients, I also had to learn how to properly market and position my services as elite, in demand and scarce.
From an execution perspective there are several factors that you need to master in order to increase your bottom line - both internal and external - before you can ever look someone in the eye and ask for what is perceived to be a much higher rate than the norm in your area.
Some of these factors include:
- Perceived Value (yours and your clients)
- Limiting beliefs
- Expectations (yours and your clients)
For instance, if you have the proper marketing strategy in place but still have limiting beliefs as to your worth as a personal trainer and the services that you offer, it will come across when speaking to potential clients on the phone, in your marketing, or in your everyday dealings and will permeate your business leading to frustration and less than desirable results.
Likewise, let's say you've got your mindset and perceived value locked in place and realize that you need to charge way higher rates, but your strategy, marketing and positioning are poor, then your results will also lag behind expectations.
To get to where you want to be, a comprehensive plan is necessary to create a thriving and sustainable business impervious from attacks from all sides that is built to last with a solid foundation backed by real research, science and the strategies to overcome any resistance from your potential client.
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There Are Several Factors That You Need To
Master In Order To Increase Your Bottom Line.
Dominate Your Niche And Propel Your Business To The Next Level
At the very top of the list of things to do to start turning around your business and be able to charge higher rates that are both justifiable to you and your target audience, is to specialize and dominate your niche. You're not going to get by simply training anyone and everyone that wants to lose weight.
It's not nearly specific enough to separate you from the crowd and create raving clients that swear by your doctrines and teachings to the point of paying virtually whatever you want because they feel that you and your business are specifically designed with them in mind.
Therefore, in order to charge higher rates the first thing you need to do is position your services as elite, filling a niche or specialized for the exact type of client you are trying to attract that ideally aligns with your true passions as a personal trainer and helping others.
Every personal trainer does something that is elite, is of a higher perceived value or possesses some skill or attribute that allows you to charge much higher rates.
Here are some examples of ways you can differentiate yourself from other trainers and dominate your niche through a special skill set or a knowledge base that not many trainers have, such as:
- Speed Training (Track, Sport Specific, etc.)
- Boot Camps or Other Group Exercise (Military, Weight Loss, Other Specialty)
- Sport Specific Training (Baseball, Soccer, Football, etc.)
- CrossFit, Navy Seal Training, Egoscue Method, Kettlebells, etc.
- Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, etc.
- Rehab/Injury Specialist
- Older Adult Fitness
- Pre/Post Natal
- Pool Workouts, Water Aerobics, etc.
- Distance or Triathlon Training
- Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure Competition Experience
- Rowing, Cycling, Rock Climbing, Skiing, Swimming, etc.
- Chef, Nutritionist/Dietician, etc.
- Life Coach, Counselor, etc.
- Massage Therapist, Deep Tissue Expert, etc.
- Model, Actor/Actress, Other Current of Former Entertainer
- And many, many others...
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In Order To Charge Higher Rates The First Thing
You Need To Do Is Position Your Services As Elite.
Provide A Unique Service
But it isn't just about what you know or what specialized skill you have. It's also about how those services are delivered to provide your clients with such an amazing experience, that coupled with your skill set, your rates are completely justifiable to you, and most importantly of all, your potential client.
Here are some examples of a unique service that along with your training niche can propel your business to an entirely new level:
- You specialize in late night or early morning training
- You are able to travel with your clients, or travel to them
- Your personality type is desirable (i.e.: soft spoken, no B.S., etc.)
- You have a private facility that clients can come to
- You give massages or cook for your clients, or teach them how to cook, etc.
- You offer 30 minute sessions, or stay as long as the client needs
- You are good with a certain demographic such as kids, older adults, etc.
- Any many, many others...
So taking from the two lists above, let's say that you were a personal trainer with 10 years experience working with basketball players that was able to travel with a team on the road for long periods of time.
Or you are a trainer that is very passionate about helping overweight women that are completely new to any type of diet or exercise program and you have a private facility where they can come and train with you in a safe and private environment.
Or perhaps you are an ex-bodybuilder or fitness competitor that can help other competitors get in contest shape and you specialize in training clients late at night.
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The Possibilities Are Endless
So in light of the above, do you think that any of these skill sets or possible service combinations separates your personal training business from the rest of the pack? Further, do you believe that those services appealing to a certain niche and demographic are worth more than just the average training experience at a chain gym?
By not following the "wisdom" of crowds and realizing that you should be charging much higher rates than you are now, your personal training business will not only survive in any economic environment or location, but thrive as a result of putting together a complete personal training experience that builds off your passion for helping others wrapped in the proper balance of niche appeal and service offerings.