According to exercise.com, there are about 375,000 personal trainers in the U.S., and the industry is expected to experience higher than average growth in the next few years.
Like any saturated market, if you want your fitness business to be a success, you need to find your niche. With this established, you can stand out and carve a place in the market for yourself.
What is a Niche?
A niche is a specific area of expertise in a larger, more general field. This means that in an industry filled with personal trainers who offer general services, you can specialize in a personal training method or a specific set of clients.
Maybe you’re a woman and want to help other women feel comfortable. You can provide personal training exclusive to female clients. Or perhaps you’ve worked with baseball clients before. You can establish yourself as a personal trainer to baseball stars.
Steps to Finding Your Niche as a Personal Trainer
So how do you figure out your niche as a personal trainer? There are two main considerations: expertise and people.
Finding a Niche Through Experience and Expertise
Do you like working with certain types of equipment? Are you more inclined toward a particular fitness technique? Do you have extensive experience with clients using a specific exercise?
When you decide to become a personal trainer, you most likely already know the kind of training you enjoy doing yourself. You can use this as a starting point to build your niche around. Consider the following questions:
- Which areas of fitness do you enjoy?
- What relevant experiences do you have?
- What services can you confidently provide to your clients?
Your niche needs to be organic and personal to you. When you’re passionate about the service you provide, it shows and gives your clients a reason to choose you over others.
Here are some niches you can consider as a personal trainer based on your experience and expertise:
- At-home workout
- Strength training
- Weight loss
- Aerobic training
- Stamina training
Lots of these overlap, so you could technically offer more services other than your niche. But as previously established, an expert on one area of fitness is more helpful in the long run.
Finding a Niche Through Clients
Another way to establish your niche as a personal trainer is by thinking about your ideal clientele. What type of people do you want to work with? What lights you up when training someone? Who needs your help?
Remember that the perfect client is not one type of person but a combination of traits and behaviors. With millions of potential clients, there is a percentage of them that you’re best suited to help.
To find out your client niche, consider your current clients or the people you’ve trained. Then think about the clients that brought you the most satisfaction when they succeeded.
- What is their gender?
- How old are they?
- What do they do for a living?
- What are their biggest fitness problems?
With these considerations, you can get a good idea of who your perfect clientele would be. Some of the types of clients you may want to focus on include:
- Busy city professionals
- Stay-at-home parents
- Athletes for specific sports
- Military or police forces
- New moms intending to lose weight
- People with disabilities
- LGBTQ+ people who may not feel safe among others
Similar to finding a niche through expertise, you can also work with multiple kinds of clients. In fact, you can offer general personal training services to everyday people who are just looking to maintain their fitness.
All the while, your focus should be on your niche client so you can establish your brand and position yourself as an expert in training for that specific demographic.
Other Ways to Find Your Niche
1. Start with a diverse clientele
It’s not always easy to draw your ideal client unless you have extensive experience and have worked with many people before. So to start, it’s okay to work with a diverse group of people.
Over time, you’ll be able to discover what type of client you excel at training and develop your niche from there.
2. Research your competition
It’s easy to snag a personal trainer job. But if being a personal trainer is your career, you must research your competition to find your niche and stand out.
Look into personal trainers in your area to start with. Are they already targeting a specific group of clients or providing certain personal training services? Is there a gap that you can fill?
For example, if most personal trainers in your area target the younger demographic, it’s in your best interest to choose middle-aged or older adults as your clients. Not only will you stand out, but you also won’t have to vie for a client’s attention.
Why Do You Need a Personal Training Niche?
Now that you know how to identify your niche, it’s important to understand just why you need to. We discuss the benefits of establishing a niche below.
1. Reach Untapped Markets
Fitness is a lifestyle choice that many people are scared to start because of common misconceptions. From tough trainers to overly rigorous routines, there are many barriers to successfully reaching people who are ready to get fit otherwise.
However, they remain out of reach because fitness coaches and personal trainers often only compete over the same small group of people. When you establish your niche, you can identify and reach out to untapped markets that could use your expertise on a specific facet of fitness.
2. Facilitate Growth
Once you find your niche, connecting with untapped markets and growing your personal training business is easier. This is because you will be able to attract clients that match your expertise, allowing you to respond to their fitness needs more accurately.
With success stories from clients that are your perfect match come word of mouth. Clients who have a positive experience are more likely to share it. Your current clients may recommend your fitness services to their friends who need them, which facilitates growth in your career.
3. Reduce Competition
As mentioned earlier, plenty of personal trainers working without establishing a niche technique or clientele have to vie for the attention of the same group of potential clients.
Think of it as starting a grocery store close to another one and a local market. You’re all selling the same things to the same group of people. How can you get customers to buy from you if they can quickly get what they need elsewhere?
What you need is a uniqueness factor, which you can get when you’ve established your niche. If you’re specifically selling fresh fruits, people will turn to you when they need fruits instead of another grocery store, assuming that you specialize in fruits.
The same principle applies to your niche as a personal trainer. If you start targeting a group of people with specific fitness needs, you will be able to stand out among other trainers and reduce your competition.
You can attract clients who are looking to train with someone with your expertise. This helps limit your competition to those with similar niches instead of all personal trainers.
4. Build Your Brand
Like any business, you need marketing; part of that is having a unique brand. It’s easier to establish that when you have a niche.
With niche expertise, you can tailor your marketing materials and voice to cater to your target clientele. The goal is to be who someone thinks of when they say personal trainer for athletes or personal trainer for a cardio-based workout.
These are niches you can explore and build a brand around. And when people start to associate you with that particular niche, they are more inclined to think of you when they have a friend or family member looking for the personal training services you offer.
5. Develop Loyalty
Connection is an essential part of successful personal training. These days, clients want to personally connect with trainers to feel seen and heard. It’s also easier for clients to accomplish fitness goals when they can sense that they can trust their trainer.
Having a niche helps you develop loyalty because your clients trust you know what you’re doing. And because you can create tailored fitness plans based on your area of expertise, your clients’ success rates will be higher, making them more loyal to you for the results you provide.
6. Do Work You Love
As mentioned above, one of the ways to find your niche is by focusing on the kind of fitness techniques you like doing or the type of clients you like working with. If your niche is something you’re passionate about, enjoying your work more is just another benefit.
Insure Your Personal Training Business
Once you’ve established your career within your chosen niche, the only thing left to do is protect it. API Fitness helps you do this with insurance for fitness professionals.
We provide coverage for different fitness professionals, whether you’re a personal trainer or a fitness instructor, helping you keep your finances secure. Learn more about the coverage of our insurance plans today.