Sink Or Swim As A PT, The Choice Is Yours

The PT Industry like any other industry is competitive ! The average salary for a PT in the UK is around £19,591 (; however this can differ in other parts of the world such as the US and UAE. For the hours PT’s put in, most in the UK are not flourishing!

But in an industry worth £5 billion, someone must be making money! Whether you like him or not, Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) has £12 million turnover per year, earning the average PT salary every 14 hours!  He recently had over a million views during one of his PE workouts on TV.

 Bruce Lee commanded a fee of £1000 per hour to train with him. How many PT’s would be comfortable charging that?

How is it possible to earn this money when some trainers feel uncomfortable charging £30/hour?

Getting Smaller to Get Bigger

Like them or hate them, One Direction had the most successful year of any band ever, earning $130 million in 2015.

How did they do this? They targeted teenage girls, and only them. They don’t make music for males, for adults or for very young children, just teenage girls, and this niche made them successful and rich.

Who are the highest paid doctors? The ones who specialize in treating one condition or body part. You wouldn’t go to your general practitioner if you needed a heart transplant.

Let’s bring this back to fitness. Joe Wicks made his fortune by focusing purely on 15-minute meals and 15-minute workouts on Instagram.

Who else is successful in the industry?

  1. Ben Coomber & Martin MacDonald, who specialises in nutrition education.
  2. Jenny Burrell, who focuses on female health specifically pregnancy/postnatal and menopause
  3. James Smith, who specialises with online coaching, books etc.
  4. Bret Contreras, ‘the glute guy’

I could keep listing names, but you get the idea – these guys all succeeded and thrived by becoming a specialist in one area.

What is a Specialist?

When you are next in the gym, look at the PT profiles. Look at the list of specialisms. Normally loads of them!

It starts off with qualifications:

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”

Here are some things to consider when comes to specialising:

  1. Be a specialist in one thing
  2. Be great in a few
  3. Be good in many

Unfortunately, this is how most PT profiles look across all gym groups – everyone is a specialist in all the same areas. We all blend in together. No one stands out.

Defining Your Own Specialist Area

There are two things to consider when defining your niche:

  1. How big is the niche?
  2. How well do you fit the niche?

The size of your niche needs to be big enough for you to gain enough clients from. If you want to focus on males, 20-35 years old who want to step on stage and compete in body building shows, BUT your gym has only 5 people who fit this niche, it isn’t the right one for you at your club.

Unless you take to online training, you need to find another niche.

Secondly, if you have never competed before yourself OR ever trained anyone to compete, you don’t fit the niche. You don’t have the reputation or the experience. So again, choose another niche.

I look at the pre and post-natal qualification which includes nutrition for post-natal recovery. The size of the niche is HUGE. Approximately 50% of the population will either be pregnant or post-natal at some point in their life.

Next Steps After Defining Your Niche

After you define your niche, you need to do everything you can to establish yourself as the go-to expert. Here are a few things you can consider to achieve this:

  1. Social proof – do you have evidence of having been successful yourself or with others?
  2. Social media – your social media is a reflection of you. I am a big believer that your personal social media should include references to your niche area.
  3. Experience – get experience training people in your niche to gain the above.
  4. Authenticity – when people see you in real life vs socially, are you believable as the expert in your chosen area?
  5. Clarity – change your PT profile so your message is clear. This is who I train (and make sure you do it well).
  6. Reputation – it takes years to build up a good reputation but only seconds to ruin it. Be professional.
  7. Stand out – don’t be like every other L3 PT. To be more appealing to one group, you have to be less attractive to the others.
  8. Education – the first thought in any choice of education should be ”does it help me train my chosen niche better, or will it help me gain more clients from that group?”

In Summary

To really flourish and stand out as a PT, you must specialise. You have to define a niche. Being a generalist is totally fine, but to earn more money and to go to the next level, you must focus on one group and do everything in your power to become the go-to expert for that group. The one area that no one else can ever be better than you at, is being you! Define what niche works for you, what are you passionate about, and then create your strategy and plan from that.

Written by Kevin Mantle BSc, ASCC

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