I’m kind of blown away sometimes by the feedback this blog has got …
It started as a way for me to get attention and learn from a few other people, and it’s turned into something real crazy …
What I’m even more blow away by is the stories of people that have taken action based on the info they’ve gotten here, and have done some amazing things with it. Everyone tells me they have more clarity, purpose, and are accomplishing more in weeks and months than they have in years and years because of the insights and tactics they’ve learned here. I love that part –
And even better is when every now and then, one of my newsletters or blog RSS’s bounce back because the trainer doesn’t work for that crappy gym where he had an email accout any more – Hahaha! Not a real testimonial, but twice as good!
One guy that’s really taken the info I’ve given him to heart is Michael Duivis. He’s a guy that’s used all of the info he’s gotten here and made some explosive changes in just a couple of months.
He started as an assistant manager in a big-box gym, working 60-plus hours a week. And when he tells me what it was like back then I’ve got to say it brings back fond memories!
Here’s a guy that was “highly successful” at Personal Training by all standards, and his life was a living hell. The sad case is this is all too typical of the work life of most people in society today …
Right now, I’m going to tell you about Michael’s story from my perspective, and I’m sure he’ll chime in with his side in the comments section. We’re only about 3 moths into it right now, but things are flying – he’s already in the top 10% of this biz, with bigger things on the way. And looking at him really is an example of the step by step process of getting out of the gym and getting your private practice established.
Step 1 – Get Started
Hey, remember way back when I was giving readers access to my web guys and was helping them make their websites – AHHHH …. the good old days, when I had time to do stuff like that! Well Michael was one of the first guys that was smart enough to jump on it.
I remember his first few questions to me – he was working in the gym at that time, and told me he was taking a few weeks to write a business plan, explore the market, do research, etc.
I told him to stop right there – being a solo trainer is not like starting a high-level corporation. You only need about a dozen high-paying clients- that’s a very clear and simple goal, and requires action, not planning. You have a very wide audience to find these clients, and at the same time a small number of them you actually need to reach for success. And if you nurture them and continue to have more clients flow into your pipeline periodically, you can very legitimately earn six figures without much effort – believe that!
So I told him to forget about wasting the time in the planning phase – he can do that later-on when he’s looking to expand his training practice, but for now, just get the damn thing started! Get focused on the goal and make the decision – he took my advice and decided to do it so we got started on his site right away …
Step 2 – Keep Your Marketing Simple
Next, in planning his site, he showed me examples of sites he liked. No doubt, they were flashy sites for real estate firms that were naturally throwing away tons of money in their marketing. Again, back to the lesson of simplicity, potential clients do not demand nor do they expect a high level of flash to the site of the trainer they’re looking for. They want the information so they can make the best informed choice, and they want a trainer that’s going to benefit them. So you need both on your site – info, benefits, and the last part is testimonials. Remember all three, and just keep a level of polish and attractiveness to the site, and that’s all you need.
Step 3 – Just do it
I’ve got to give Michael a lot of credit – he was highly tenacious in getting his website done, and once we got it out, it was really looking spectacular. He had video testimonials on there, lots of key info, and a very attractive look. The next step was to dump the gym and just do it, and he surprised me by how quickly he made the jump. He just told me one day that he had officially dumped the gym and decided to go solo. I was kind of shocked by how abruptly he did it, but once you get this idea and belief in your head, it’s hard to turn back. He hardly had any private clients on tap, and tons of bills to cover, but he didn’t wait for the right time – he just did it!
Step 4 – Believe
Next we had a talk about getting clients. Even though he made the move, the one thing that I could tell he needed was the real belief that this was possible. No matter how easy we call it, and how many other trainers have done it, going out on your own without any clients can be very scary. I can definitely relate. That’s the one thing that I tried to assure Michael of – here are the three things that were the gist of the advice I gave him:
1. If you can do it in a gym you can do it solo – If you’ve been struggling in a gym til now, fighting with other trainers for leads, always under the pressure of a quota, and having to train a ton of hours, then you can surely make it solo – it’s in fact much easier.
2. Push new clients hard for leads – To be a successful solo trainer, you don’t need all of the aggressive ninja hard sell and referral tactics – those all have their place, but this level can be a more laid back and easy game. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that you do need to be aggressive, and that’s most important when starting out. You need to push to turn one client into two, then two into four, four into eight, etc. Every successful trainer will tell you about the one client that brought in tons of referrals and got their whole business started – you need to cultivate this type of phenomenon.
3. Set training hour and income goals on a weekly basis – You need to set a goal of how many hours you want to train and how much you want to make, and then push to hit that number. Reschedule missed client sessions immediately, book sessions frequently, and if you have an hour already taken, then double it up and run a semi-private session – whatever it takes, get your sessions in! A session is money for us, so the more sessions you can get in, the more you’ll make.
Step 5 – Hustle
Once he made the clean break from the gym, Michael had a ton of free time on his hands. This was the time to hustle. I gave him a lot of ideas on people and places to tap, and he looked into a lot on his own. The one thing I reminded him about was time management, because it’s very easy to waste a lot of time and gas driving around pursuing pointless things during this phase. Instead, use the phone and tie down appointments and do as much detective work as possible. Time management is most important for trainers – watching every minute, if for no other reason than so that you have more time to really take off, and do the things you want to do, which is what this is all about anyway.
So there’s his story! He’s gotten up and hit all of his initial income goals; not at six-figures in under 25 hours a week yet, but getting there quickly and probably just a month or two away.
If you were on the fence, I hope that shows you this is definitely something anyone can do. Man, I love this!