Thursday, May 7, 2009

Staying Power in PT

"Hey John,

Just wanted to leave you an email letting you know that I love your blog dude. I read your
Trainers & Scratch-off Tickets post, and it resonated with me.
In fact, I wound up going through your blog and reading anything tagged "Fitness Marketing". You've got the marketing world down pat man. There's a lot of absolute garbage. A whole lot of bullshit and hype from people who aren't even in the field any longer. The online world lacks a whole lot of integrity.
What really bothers me is that people hiring personal trainers are no longer getting top-tier quality.
I'm not a personal trainer myself, but I've been going through some education at the YMCA because I spent most of my life being overweight and have been working hard to fix that on my own.
When I tried to get a job as a personal trainer at a gym so I could gain more experience (hell, I offered to job-shadow... with ZERO pay. I just wanted to watch), all I was asked was how much money I wanted to earn. I was kind of startled.

I basically said "look, I want to learn from people in the industry. I don't care about sales, I've been doing marketing for clients for two years. I know my stuff. I don't know as much about personal training as I'd like to, and I've not learned enough in my classes"

And the information I've found online has been absolutely abysmal... on both the business-end of Personal Training and the profession of Personal Training. What I find online is confusing information, forum heresy, and a lot of hyped up products by trainers who aren't even in the field anymore.

I think the biggest problem is that when you're a personal trainer, you're basically self-employed. Being self-employed is like having two jobs: you're the employer and the employee. If you focus too much on being the employee, you wind up not marketing yourself enough and so you don't have enough clients. If you focus too much on being the employer, you end up caring all about the $$, and not enough about the profession itself.

I've seen a few sites here and there that offer some solutions, but they don't seem to be complete. Worse, I find that they actively plagiarize, and treat their customers like sheep.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my thoughts with you... Sorry for the long email, the topic gets me a little riled up."

Omar
P.S. Keep up the great posts dude!

[Response]
Omar,
Thanks for the email. In some circles I am known as a "hater".

Not sure why. I condone marketing.

This blog is used for marketing.

I market myself and my products....however, I am 100% AGAINST trainers --just starting out--and trying to get in the "get-rich quick" mentality. There are so many trainers that WANT to be millionaires and live the life without putting an effort 'in the trenches'.

I am 100% FOR trainers that are ready to roll their sleeves up and dive into the world of training clients. The ones that want to learn new and exciting things everyday about the multitude of things that come at you day to day as a fitness professional. I recently interviewed Eric Cressey for my website (which will be published soon), and he noted that many novice trainers STILL have trouble with basic functional anatomy. Shouldn't the trainer know where the humerus is located and what muscles attach to it? You'd be surprised at how many trainers can't tell you anything about the humerus, but can spit out some cool catchy phrases from a marketing sales page seminar!

And when I read that last line, I feel there is something wrong with that. You see, Omar, some trainers are "taking their eye off the ball". They are forgetting to invest in their own personal growth and are putting in their efforts to ensure quick financial growth. And in the end, the latter is ALWAYS short-lived.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. Feel free to comment anytime and thanks for reading this blog!
-John

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