You've just become a certified personal trainer - congratulations! Now it's time to start thinking about how you're going to build your brand. After all, as a personal trainer, your brand is what sets you apart from the sea of thousands of others getting certified every single week. It's how people will begin to remember you and tell others about you and could be the make or break on what will motivate someone to want to train with you over every other jock in the gym.
But building a personal brand can be a daunting task, especially if you're just starting out. Where do you even begin? Luckily, I have made plenty of mistakes and wasted hours of time in this area for you - so for now you're best off staying focused on the following 3 areas.
Step 1: Focus on ACTUALLY getting good and leveling up your skills!
Before you get overwhelmed trying to narrow down the rest of your training career to a niche you have no experience with......or skip steps and start working on your branding and a logo (likely a waste of your time just yet) you just need to start getting sessions under your belt. You need to get good at this whole training thing before you try and go deep on a personal brand with no substance. You should absolutely still plan on taking more courses, and attending events/conferences but stay focused on cutting your teeth as a trainer and just training your face off.
This focus alone will catapult your confidence and skills and actually start to give you a better idea of the kinds of people you want to continue to build your business around - aka niche. Make sure to document everything in this process as we get you thinking more about building your brand and putting yourself out there from a marketing perspective.
Step 2: Start to Develop a Professional Online Presence
These days, potential clients will almost certainly check out your online presence before they decide to work with you - so it's important to make sure that at minimum you start to actually have one. I mentioned already that chances are a website may be a poor investment in your time too early on - but if you have major aspirations that's the level of professionalism that will set you apart.
At a minimum invest in some professional headshots and spend some time cleaning up all of the social media and professional platforms you might be on. Make sure you have a consistent visual personal brand across platforms (surprising how few trainers do) and it will be just another vote of confidence in you as a true pro for those doing their due diligence and stalking you on the interwebs to see if you might be the kind of person they want to train with.
Step 3: Begin Creating [Compelling] Content!
Begin is the key word here....because fear of looking dumb or not being smart enough freeze far to many new trainers from doing any of this. Not sure where to start?
They say we are all best suited to help our former selves - so start there. Make a list of all the things you didn't know, struggled with, or learned in your own fitness journey up until now and chances are you should have dozens of ideas to get you going. Then don't overthink it....just do it.
Photo, video, text, who cares - what matters most is that you start. Aside from the fact that you are going to need to lean into your personal network to get client leads as a new trainer, think about how much better you will become at communicating what you do to others after doing this for years?
Chances are, just like anything else you will get better as you go. On the flip side this area is also easy to spend far too much time in. You don't need to have Nike level branding and video editing, but start to make your presence known in your local community and circle of influence.
In the End...
These are just a few of the dozens of things we could dive into when it comes to crafting a great personal brand - but even just starting to see yourself as one is a step in the right direction for new personal trainers. It's a never ending process and without a doubt your views of yourself and who you want to serve are going to change along the way, so don't worry about it being perfect. Just get started.
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Coach Joe Drake