A story about Jack (of all trades)
With so much competition in the fitness industry it is important to be seen as a master of your trade, rather than a jack of all, read on to find out why
It's early February...
George is sitting at home feeling sorry for himself – his resolution to get to the gym hasn't been going well and the extra 3 stone he's carrying is still there, hiding under the free T-shirt he got when he joined the gym a month ago. George just doesn't like the gym, he hates all that running you have to do to lose weight and as for eating well, where do you start with all the different diet books?
"Right, I need to do something about this" thinks George and goes online to search for one of those personal trainer people he's seen on TV. He finds two trainers who do home visits -perfect!
Option 1 - Jack
The first is called Jack. Jack is a well qualified personal trainer - the list of certificates he has runs halfway down the page. He specialises in core stability, weight loss, hypertrophy, sports conditioning, injury rehab and even pre- and post-natal exercise. "Looks pretty good", thinks George.
Option 2 - Adam
The second trainer is called Adam. Adam is a Weight Management Coach. He offers 6, 12 and 18 week fat loss packages which include a nutritional analysis and personalised meal plans, plus tailored exercise sessions to maximise calorie expenditure in a safe and fun way. There are testimonials from lots of clients who have lost anything from a few pounds to 5 stones with Adam's help.
Who do you think George chose to call?
Rachel is sitting at home feeling sorry for herself - she's entered next year's London Marathon and started running 3 weeks ago, but has picked up a couple of niggles already. Could it be shin splints? "Maybe I need some proper advice" thinks Rachel and does a quick Internet search.
Option 1 - Jack
She comes across a couple of good websites, one of which is Jack's again. 'Core stability, weight loss, hypertrophy, sports conditioning, injury rehab and pre- and post-natal exercise'. "Well running is sports conditioning I suppose" thinks Rachel.
Option 2 - Laura
Then she sees Laura's website: 'RUNFIT'. Laura offers bespoke training programmes for 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and full marathons with injury management advice. Three of her clients have achieved personal bests in the last 2 months alone.
Who do you think Rachel chose to call?
It's late April
Jack the personal trainer is sitting at home feeling sorry for himself, "why is no one calling me, I can help everyone", he thinks.
What did Jack do wrong?
Jack of all trades, master of none. People have specific needs and want an expert who understands them. With the growth of the fitness industry and the increasing choice of trainers the public has, if your marketing classes you as a generalist you won't be seen as an expert. Take a look at the PT profile boards at your gym and see which if any stand out from the others.
What's the solution?
Whilst specialising in one to three areas is arguably a successful strategy, the real key is to convey that perception to potential clients. Make sure your promotional material sends one clear message, rather than simply stating you are a personal trainer who can help anyone. If you have more than one specialism, promote each on a different flyer, and a different page on your website. This all helps to avoid 'diluting' your perceived expertise - people must see you as a master of your trade.