Being a fitness professional is a competitive field. Even though fitness career related occupations are projected to grow by 13% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than other occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, WHAT you do, HOW you do it, and WHY you do it is going to set you apart from the rest of the fitness professionals.
Today we will be exploring what is your WHY and how do you use that to find your niche.
What is a niche? If you look at a dictionary definition, it is “a specialization, an interest that appeals to pockets of the population.” But another definition that stands our to me is “a comfortable position in life.” It means you have settled into YOU, your more authentic self. When you are more true to yourself, you deliver your services fully and without apprehension. Clients get that and like that! Having a niche will make you more focused in the training programs you deliver and provide a better and more efficient match to clients. If your niche is weight loss, you will stand out to clients whose goal is weight loss.
To help you find your niche, let’s explore what is your WHY, WHAT does that look like, and HOW will you make your niche a reality. So, get ready to do some work and answer some questions.
- WHY are you a personal trainer? (Insert your fitness profession here.) It could be “Yoga Instructor”, “Athletic Trainer”, “Corporate Wellness Coordinator”. You get the picture. Some top reasons might be: you believe in a healthy, physically active lifestyle; you want to help others; this is a calling or a vocation; or you may have deeper reasons that are more personal.
Activity: Write down your WHY and read it out loud. See it, read it, hear it, own it.
2. WHAT does that look like in terms of your program or product offerings? Maybe one of your reasons is instilling a lifelong pursuit of activity, so working with youth is where you feel you can make the most impact. Or another reason is older adults and maintaining physical independence. Link what you do to why you do it.
Activity: List all the ways you can communicate your WHY into the programs and products you deliver.
3. Bridge the gap between your WHY and WHAT with HOW: How do I do that and how do I get good at it? Are there any skills/traits/characteristics I need to acquire or learn? Then, go out and get them. Attend workshops, study for the certification, find a mentor. Practice, practice, practice. Take on clients that may be out of your comfort zone. Ask to observe other trainers in your desired niche. See what they do.
Activity: List at least five skills, education, or characteristics you need to acquire and practice to be considered an expert in your niche. Then, for each one, identify one thing you can do TODAY to move forward in acquiring it. Example: You want to be able to teach your clients yoga. Search online the available training in your area.
If you are unsure about your WHY, WHAT or HOW, get out there and experience all the fitness industry has to offer. Take every opportunity that comes your way. Teach a class. Work in a gym. Volunteer at a PT clinic. You don’t know what your niche will be until you give it a try!
Labor of Bureau Statistic. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-an“Fitness Trainers and Instructors : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Apr. 2020, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm.