As commencement season is in full swing, I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the recent graduates. You have all gone through vigorous years of hard work; having studied, made presentations, passed exams, completed internships, and are now ready for the next step – “The Real World.”
What I want to address in this article are some little things that make the big differences in this unregulated, wild fitness profession; the things that your classes, teachers, and textbooks may have left out, or not really emphasized. This isn’t just for the recent graduates either. This is for everyone in the industry and applicable to all – maybe especially to those who have been in the game a while.
The science, anatomy, research studies, theories, and education can end up being the easy part; it’s how you run your business and grow your career that stumps many. A lot of what I’m about to mention is what I’ve seen personally working in the industry the past 12 years. My experience ranges from working in big box corporate facilities, to small boutique studios, hosting weekend workshops, and public speaking at conferences, schools, and businesses.
I’ve made PLENTY of mistakes, and continue to do so. I can openly and honestly say I’ve experienced much of what I’m about to mention in some way shape or form.
What Does Your Rate Say About You
The older I get, the more I realize how true this statement is: You get what you pay for. Everyone wants to make good money to support themselves and their family, so naturally you want to be able to charge at a premium.
I once had a trainer ask me, “Gio, I see what you charge. Where do you find these people?” The question really defined that trainer and his thought process. I’ve never gone out and tried to find a certain type of client with a certain amount in their bank account. I studied and practiced for years and years, learning from mentors, attending seminars, and honing my skills (and still continue to do all of these).
It was and is never about “finding these people.” It’s about showing your worth and value to everyone no matter where they come from, and having a price point that reflects that value. Two-time NFL Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Parcells is often quoted as saying, “You are what your record says you are.” I use the same philosophy with the trainers I’ve worked with – “You are what your rate says you are.” If you are a great trainer with amazing credentials, your rate should reflect that.
If you are nervous or scared about charging a certain amount, then you shouldn’t – plain and simple. If that’s the case, then you need to 1) gain more confidence and experience and/or 2) find some business mentors and coaches such as Thomas Plummer who can help.
| Giovanni with Thomas Plummer at one of Thom’s Business of Fitness Seminars
Look The Part
No, I’m not saying you need to be 8% bodyfat, have perfectly toned arms and legs, and a six-pack. I’m saying dress like a professional. Everything matters. What you wear. How you wear it. Your body language. How prepared you are for a session. Your ability to coach and problem solve. You can’t expect to charge a premium if all of these aren’t in order. You also can’t expect to be taken very seriously either.
Trainers are in a very unique situation in regards to attire since our business attire is basically gym clothes (and how cool is that?!). But would you want to hire a lawyer that looked well put together or one who looked like they just rolled out of bed?
One final thought on appearance: next time you are in a session, be aware of how many times you look at your phone and ask yourself, am I being a professional? Does this look professional? What does this look like from the outside if someone was walking by?
Check Your Speling
I’m still amazed when I get emails and resumes with:
- Misspelled words
- Incorrect punctuation
- No format or flow
Seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Most of you who are reading this may be saying, “Oh, come on. I would never do that. That’s an easy one.” Well, I wouldn’t be writing it if I didn’t see it time after time after time. For me, personally, that’s a quick way to already start to throw up red flags. If you haven’t taken the time to thoroughly review your email/ letter, then I can’t take you seriously. It doesn’t matter to me if you are fresh out of college, in college, or middle-aged.
If you’ve read my articles over the years you, know I love quotes, and I will defer to a popular one that many of you may have heard before: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” You can tell a lot about a person by how they introduce themselves in an email and what their resume looks like. It doesn’t really take much. And if writing a professional email doesn’t take much, then how can I trust you with tasks that do take much more?
Sticking To The Basics
Nothing earth-shattering at all. Actually, probably things that you would have already guessed. It’s the execution of these things that are slipping through the cracks.
Just do yourself a favor: next time you decide on investing in continuing education, picking out what to wear, and before you press send on that email, think about the type of professional you want to be – your career and future may just be depending on it.
Subscribe to the PTontheNet blog via Email or RSS feed