August 6, 2018

What are clients looking at before they book you?

Every single time you get a new client you should be asking how they found you.

That is part of your marketing; if they are a great client, maybe there is way to do more of whatever it was that brought them in!  If you keep getting clients that have personalities or needs don’t match your skill or style of training, maybe you are fishing in the wrong pond.

In my experience I find that clients are generally either really impulsive and do very little research before getting a trainer, or they spend quite a lot of time doing research and talking to friends and looking for ‘THE ONE’.

Here’s  couple of tips to help you stand out.

Social Media- Trainers love their social media and it’s a great source of client leads. Use it to your advantage. If you are using your Instagram page for business, keep it for business, same with Facebook and Twitter. They are all tools, so use them as such. Post some great insights on fitness, and some great workout advice,. Let clients see you in action on the gym floor. If you have the skills, maybe throw in some nutrition tips.  Let clients see everything you do and offer.

Give clients something to find with your name on it. 

Be aware of the sum of the total not just the odd great post. If you have a inspiring gym post one day but the next post is you’re throwing-up all those tequila shots in Cancun spring-break-style, you are not really walking your talk. You can have a personal page and and professional page if you want to keep all your party pictures.

If you need to up your Social game, there are tons of resources out there. If you opt to get some help,   just be aware if someone you are paying promises to get your numbers up, really understand who they are targeting and how it benefits you. If your numbers jump but they are all in Iceland, that’s not going to help your day to day business unless you plan to travel.

The great and powerful Google: Have you ever Googled your name? If you haven’t, first of all- What?…. Second of all- Do it now!  Then come back and read the rest of this.

What did you find?

When trying to stand-out, spandex and Army boots in the desert wasn’t my first choice.

Give clients something to find with your name on it.  Hopefully when the look they will find more good posts than those spring break pics!  If you have ever written an article or had a blog post or been written up in the paper or won a bodybuilding show, it’s all there. That’s me to the magazine trying to stand out before social media existed.

You can start a fitness blog, and try to get it noticed or published other places. Now days there is really no need to build a web site, unless you have a well established brand or more to offer. Otherwise save your money.

Oh,  Just a FYI- if you have any priors, or court notifications that are a matter of public record that just may show up as well. But if you have tons of other good stuff out there someone would really have to look to find it.


Recommendations or testimonials :  We all love to base our decisions on others’ advice.  If we trust and respect someone, we trust and respect their recommendations.

Why not ask your existing clients for testimonials?

Other ways clients can get the same sort of stamp of approval is reviews about you on web pages, or other client comments listed on another page. Getting media coverage or getting on some top 10 trainer list will do huge things to your credibility and because so many people see it; it ranks higher.

You:  You are your own best or (worst billboard). Clients are watching your every move, hopefully not in a stalker way, but if you work in a gym that has members in it, chances are potential clients are watching how you conduct your business.

If you are texting while your client is doing planks or not really engaged, chances are they won’t be calling!  Eating a burrito on the gym floor or going out for a smoke-break in gym gear is another fail. Same thing for your own workouts: show them how it’s done. But if you are one of those assholes that leave big sweat marks on the bench without cleaning it up, or let huge weights crash to the floor just to get noticed, unless they are into that sort of thing, you are not the guy or girl they are going to be asking for!  Be the role model, the ideal of fitness they want you to be, but accessible at the same time.

The human mind is an amazing thing.

Don’t forget to floss!

Playing the silent but smart and humble guy is sweet, but it’s not going to help fill in those few slots in your schedule.

We don’t pay attention to anything unless it’s exemplary or dangerous. As a humans we tend to notice flaws before we notice what is right. It’s a survival thing; if it appears ‘normal’ it doesn’t pose a threat, so our mind registers it as safe. Things won’t capture our focus unless something novel  or  exciting enough to actually focus on it.  However if it looks different or wrong we will pick up on it right away. For example if someone has spinach in their teeth, it’s really difficult to notice how pretty their eyes are.

If you consider yourself a professional, stand out in a good way, be a voice. Do your best to set an example and make it easy for clients to find you.  There has never been a time in history where you can be so easily visible and most of it’s all free!

Groom those social media profiles, write that blog, brush your teeth, and stand up tall.

Our reputation does precede us.  How you run your business is how your business will run. The best thing you can do is handle yourself professionally, and feel free to show off a little.

August 6, 2018

Have you ever struggled to really connect with a client?

Chances are, even if you are known for being ‘the last 5lb’ guy, the one that really helps clients get to their goal weight, that’s only part of why they are training with you?

We are all emotional beings and our motivation for action is often complex.  There are the surface goals which we are great at recognizing and realizing for clients, but how good are you at helping them realize their unspoken goals? Truly great trainers can really bring out the best in people because they help them find the best parts of themselves. It’s helping them become better inside and outside. If you can do that, you have loyal clients for life that will sing your praises all day long.

My clients’ wives and husbands often joke that I’m cheaper than a therapist.  I’m not saying that we sit down and talk about our feelings sort of thing, that’s not it at all. Type A’s just don’t do that.  It’s just that as trainers we see such a broad slice of the human condition across different populations which give us a chance to gain some unique insight. Good trainers are able to apply that knowledge to get results. Every client is unique, so what motivates one person will invariably be different in another.

….as trainers we see such a broad slice of the human condition across different populations which give us a chance to gain some unique insight.

If you do everything by the training book, every exercise, every diet tip, but you can’t listen or aren’t there for them emotionally, or able to steer the client into positive action, you likely aren’t going to get the results or keep them around for very long.

We are all more than what appears on the surface.

If a goal is image-based they could be wrestling with some insecurities, searching for some value within themselves that they have attached to their outside image.

Sure that 6 pack is a great goal, but what is that saying about them? I need to feel validated, I want to be appreciated for my hard work, I want to find love, all those things they unconsciously attach to reaching that goal.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you can support the verbalized goals, and the unconscious needs you will both win.



Just a couple of examples so you get what I’m talking about, but it’s way more complex in real life.

If you have a client that is having problems with weight and is constantly beating themselves up about their lack of will power or always focusing on how fat they are, pointing out they they are making poor choices and not losing weight isn’t going to help them. If you can steer them to looking to what is good in their life, and celebrate the good choices you are are helping them change their thought patterns. Positive reinforcement begets more positive behavior. Talk about what they enjoy, find out what makes them light up and move them towards more of that, and away from negative self-talk. If it’s a pattern they repeat over and over, asking how they think they can solve those problems can switch their thoughts form a
poor-me mind set and over to problem solving mode.

If you have a client that is always late, unprepared, under slept, under fed, find out more about their lives. Is it stress? Are they overworked, how can you offer some ways to simplify their life. Are they depressed? How can you make their day just a little brighter, maybe they just need a little genuine exchange?  Or to be noticed. If they get a haircut, let them know you noticed, and how sharp it looks.   I’m not saying be fake or insincere, just be part of their conversation, show them you care. If you aren’t comfortable with the complements, tell them a joke or a funny story to shift the mood.

If they show up angry, you don’t need to know why, just let them know you noticed they are struggling today, so let’s work on that with some exercise that lets them vent off a little aggression. I have a couple of exercises in my repertoire I affectionately call anger management.

We don’t really want to unpack any one’s bags but our own, we aren’t qualified to deal with that, and frankly we don’t really want to take that on. This is all unspoken action. But if you pay attention to body language, like how they walk into the gym, or how they stand; and listen to what they say and how they say it. You’ll find out more than you need to know to help inspire and motivate them to feel stronger and more able.  Even if it’s only 6o minutes at a time.
In the process just might just learn a little bit about yourself!