Focus is essential for success. If your marketing messages aren't directed to the right people, they will fall flat. You must have a clear conception of your target market to connect with clients who would be a good fit for your service. Answering these six questions will help you find your fitness niche.

1. Are you spreading yourself too thin?

It takes time and effort to become excellent at anything. Failing to focus on a specific demographic will substantially increase the size of your learning curve.

Seniors, busy moms and competitive athletes can't be trained in the same way. All three of these special populations have different needs, goals and limitations. It would take years to understand how to best serve any one of these groups of people.

You will learn more effectively if you focus on one type of client. If you're a beginning personal trainer, you might need to take every client you can get. It's okay to accept clients outside of your demographic. Just focus your marketing efforts in one direction so you connect with the best prospects.

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

You could turn a weakness into a strength, but that would be time-consuming. It is often better to play to your strengths and forget about your weaknesses.

Here's a personal example. I'm really bad at multitasking. I tried to teach a boot camp once and it was a disaster. Having to pay attention to a big group of people just stressed me out. It wasn't an enjoyable experience.

I'm much better at training people in a one-on-one setting. That gives me the chance to get to know my clients on a personal level, which can be difficult in a large group. I feel more confident in this setting, because it aligns with my strengths.

3. Why did you become a fitness professional?

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ? Friedrich Nietzsche

What's your story?

How did pursuing fitness change your life?

Why do you think people should care about their health?

Take self-reflection seriously. If you dig deep enough, your niche will become clear to you.

4. How would you describe your training style?

Some personal trainers have an aggressive nature. They command their clients to push through one last repetition, which results in a solid streak of achieving new goals.

Other personal trainers have a playful nature. They mix things up by taking a training session outside on a sunny day, which helps their clients prevent boredom.

Being aware of your training style helps you identify types of people who would appreciate you most. An aggressive approach might appeal to tough guys. A playful approach might appeal to people who prefer to exercise outdoors or who get bored easily.

5. Does a certain aspect of fitness strike your curiosity?

Find a specific sport, exercise class or fitness benefit that captures your attention.

Mindful yoga classes are a good option for a quiet, introspective instructor. Spin classes are a better option for a more talkative, extroverted instructor.

There are lots of options for health and fitness professionals who like to work with athletes. New personal trainers could begin by offering their service to a high school team. That's how Eric Cressey began his career.

If you'd rather train the general population, focus on a specific fitness benefit that will resonate with your prospective clients. Don't limit yourself to weight loss and muscle gain. Exercise can be viewed as an emotional outlet. Physical strength can lead to increased confidence and self-esteem. Be creative.

6. Will there be enough prospective clients to make it work?

Try to strike a healthy balance between pursuing your passion and being practical. It would be fun to specialize in training equestrians, but that might not be possible in every location. Get comfortable with the fact that you might have to fall back on your second or third options if you want to be profitable.

Cautionary note: People change. Don't cling to your preexisting beliefs.

Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "The only thing that is constant is change." A new exercise style could strike your curiosity. You could feel led to serve a different kind of client. Your answers could change at any moment, so I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can come back to these questions in the future.

If you're interested in starting a rewarding career in fitness, check out the ACE Personal Trainer Certification

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