American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise
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You can’t be everything to everybody. This statement rings true in many facets of life, but in recent years it has become especially poignant for health and exercise professionals. Fitness and nutrition are no longer considered “one size fits all,” and the ability to customize your programming or services for your clients is limitless, meaning that helping a person achieve their wellness goals can require hours and hours each week, making it impossible to scale your business if you try to do everything yourself. That’s why it’s become so important to learn how to leverage established tools. 

It is easy to admit the need for third-party tools that support your business—the websites, booking software, social media accounts and marketing materials. But when it comes to utilizing tools that deliver additional fitness or nutrition content, health and exercise professionals sometimes get defensive and view these resources as competition. Here is the truth: If you simply focus on the personal relationships you develop with your clients, you will never be replaced by a virtual fitness offering.  

As a health and exercise professional, you have to be mindful of your time and focus on where you add value. If you continue to burn the candle at both ends, you will eventually burn out and that won’t help anyone. Your value comes from the relationships you develop with your clients. 

Value comes from communication. Take the time to get to know your clients so you can better understand what they want, what may be holding them back and, ultimately, how you can empower them. 

Value comes from customization. Mass market programs service a general need, but it is important to understand that real results come from customization. You add value by creating a program tailored to each client’s specific goals, understanding their limitations and evolving the program as your client progresses. 

Value comes from accountability. The idea of accountability may be the single most important piece to a client’s success; knowing that you are there to support, encourage, hold them accountable and help them get back on track when they slip can be more valuable to a client’s success than the actual workout.

At the end of the day, recreating the wheel when it comes to fitness and nutrition content is not what’s adding value for your clients. Instead of trying to create all of the programming yourself, direct your clients to high-quality third-party content. To service the needs of a diverse client base, research digital fitness providers (e.g., Peleton® App, Openfit®, Nike Training Club) that can provide safe and effective virtual workouts for those days when you cannot directly train your client. Leveraging a third-party content provider increases the value of your services, helps your clients achieve their goals faster and, ultimately, allows you to grow your business.

You can’t be everything to everybody if you want to succeed as a health and exercise professional. Leverage established tools where it makes sense so you can focus on where you add the most value for your clients.