Many trainers are looking for more direction when it comes to growing their business.
They love running their business, they feel good about it and the clients they have, but they also feel overwhelmed and unsure a lot of the time too. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple step-by-step process for this?
Last Friday I asked you and the Bootcamp Ideas community to share 2 words to sum up how you’re feeling right now about your business. Here are some of the words the community shared:
I get it, I’ve felt all of those feelings. Sometimes in the same week (or day!).
(If you’re unsure what I’m referring to with the ‘2 words’ then head here).
Because I’m the kind of person who likes to solve a problem, I’ve downloaded dozens of ebooks, completed online courses, read super long blog posts, watched YouTube videos and tried to copy what I saw other fitness businesses doing. All to try to solve this thing called ‘business’.
Back in my early days I had no idea what, if anything, would help and ended up utterly overwhelmed by the amount of information.
When I decided to try things out, often what I was told would work didn’t and then other seemingly random things did work.
Looking back now though I can connect the dots. I can see why some things worked and why other things didn’t. I can see what was missing from the things that didn’t work. And for the past 6 years I’ve made it my mission to share this with other trainers (and they’ve seen amazing results too).
Today I want to share with you 3 of the common misconceptions I see trainers make that are leading them to a lack of direction and results in their businesses. I hope these shine a light on some areas that you can work on.
1. I Need Someone To Tell Me What To Do
I’ve seen so many ‘quick fix’ products and courses pop up over the past 12 months. It makes sense, because we feel like so much is out of control (thanks pandemic), we’re attracted to the shiny step-by-step formulas being sold to us in our Instagram feed. The lure of having some certainty and knowing what to do is strong.
The problem with a lot of these programs (which I can tell you as someone who has bought too many of them – especially last year) is that they focus entirely on tactics and not strategy.
Let me explain what I mean by that with an example:
Your client wants to get fit, really fast. It’s beach season, okay (cue eye roll). So you, being the expert you are, assign them a daily tabata of burpees. We’re gonna get things happening with some HIIT. This is our tactic for helping them get fit.
But a few days in they reveal that they loath burpees and have an existing back injury. If we stick to our tactic we’ll merely injure them and likely lose them as a client.
If however, we take a step back and get to know their goals and situation, we can come up with an epic strategy to suit their needs. We should really have done that in the first place. Having a strategy will help us pick which tactics to use (eg. working with their physio, learning movement patterns, strengthening their core).
As you can see the wrong tactic can be worse than useless if it doesn’t fit a great strategy.
The same applies to running your business. You need to have a strategy which will tell you which direction you’re going in and then you need to pick the right tactics which will help reduce overwhelm and allow you to take action.
2. Trial and Error Is The Way To Go
This misconception often happens after the first one if we haven’t worked out the difference between strategies and tactics yet.
Utterly burnt out after buying a bunch of products that turned out to be crap, we decide that we’ll just tough it out alone and work it out.
And hey, this is a valid path, but it’s also a pretty damn painful one which I’ve seen lead to multiple trainers throwing their hands in the air and closing up shop. I honestly want to cry when I get those emails.
Usually this happens after spending months of trying to copy what they see other successful fitness entrepreneurs doing online and seeing no results (or seeing some results but only with working around the clock). The problem with copying what we see others doing is that we don’t have the full picture. Just like how we can only see 10% of an iceberg floating in the water, we only see 10% of their strategy.
That person might have an entire team of people helping them JUST with their social media.
No wonder you can’t keep up as a one-person band.
They might be trying out something new that actually isn’t working.
No wonder it’s not working for you either.
This is where having access to peers and mentors is so important. Rather than just copying what you can see online or following a random tactic, you can get insight from those who’ve been there before you. You can ask questions and get feedback.
Those are the magic conversations that make the difference between someone who runs an amazing business for 10+ years and someone who quits in the first year.
3. You Just Need MORE Clients To Make a Living
This misconception is what leads people down the first two paths. Why do we pay for ‘quick fixes’ or copy others? It’s to get more clients right?
Always more clients the gurus tell us. Oh, and you need to be making 6- or 7-figures too. I guzzled those lies for years like my toddler with her first chocolate milkshake.
But it’s false.
What you need are BETTER clients and good systems for KEEPING those clients. You need to be charging them the right amount of money and you need to be smart about how you use your time.
If you are simply chasing more, more, more it’s easy to end up with one or more of these problems:
- Crappy clients who don’t turn up.
- No new clients because you’ve exhausted your networks.
- A loathing for marketing (because it never works for you anyway).
- Sessions that are only half full.
- Feeling like your time is not respected.
- Working hard but no money to show for it.
- Burn out or, on the other side of the scale, apathy.
‘How do I get more clients?’ is asking the wrong question. There is ground work which needs to be laid before you start spamming the ‘gram.
Making a great living from your fitness sessions is about more than just the number of clients you have. It’s about how energised you feel about your work. It’s about having good boundaries around when you’re working and when you’re not. And it’s about paying yourself so you can do it again tomorrow.
Most trainers believe that if they just copy what they see others doing online or buy a ‘quick fix’ program that they’ll find the certainty and direction they seek in growing their business.
Instead, I’ve found that, just like a client of yours who is trying to lose weight, there is no magic pill for building a business. Mentorship, peer support and learning from those who’ve gone before you (who also share your values) is far more important if you want less overwhelm and more certainty.
The 5in3 Challenge
We’ve got a new program for BootCraft coming out that helps trainers who run their own sessions get support and clarity in growing their business. I’ll be able to reveal the name to you at the end of the week.
In the meantime I want to show you how you can add some energy and direction into your business now. This week I’ll show you a way to add 5 great clients (or reactivate some that disappeared last year) in 3 days. (This is a tactic that you’ll be able to apply to your overall strategy – and it’s free.)
It’s called The 5in3 Challenge.
We’ll take on this challenge together – here on Bootcamp Ideas – while we wait for the arrival of BootCraft Pro. Whoops! I wasn’t meant to tell you the name yet.
I hope you’ll join us,
Kyle ‘Whoops’ Wood
P.S. Let me know if you’re joining the challenge here: The 5in3 Challenge
Kyle Wood created Bootcamp Ideas in 2010 when he was hunting around on the internet for workout ideas. He ran a successful bootcamp in Victoria, Australia and spends his spare time managing this site, adventuring (or lazying) with his wife and find new ways to make bootcamps even better.