The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/How to Build Your Personal Training Business

How to Build Your Personal Training Business

Saturday, January 21, 2023

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personal trainers, work, people, gym, coach, clients, owners, money, hour, fitness, business, relationship, facility, professional, training, john, group, megan


  • ​Introduction to this week’s episode - 0:01
  • ​The idea of having personal trainers that are faceless and nameless - 7:17
  • ​What’s the biggest problem with the fitness industry? - 10:08
  • ​Why you should never bring on a personal trainer full-time - 12:07
  • ​Why you need to be a professional from day one - 18:03
  • ​Give people a path to a full time wage - 20:33
  • ​How do you attract and retain people? - 26:00
  • ​How many coaches or personal trainers want prime hours in the evening? - 28:03
  • ​How do you bring people in from outside? - 33:33
  • ​How to win friends and influence people using a spreadsheet - 36:55
  • ​When is everyone happy? - 41:33


Tyler 00:01

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to this week's episode of the gym owners podcast. I'm your host fresh back from a couple of weeks of vacation Tyler over there's John. How are you doing, John?

John Fairbanks 00:10

I did not go on vacation.

Tyler 00:11

John did not have to keep Jeff had to keep the boat afloat, ship afloat? Well, I was. I was off the radar for a couple of weeks. So it was a lot of fun. This week's episode, guys, we want to talk to you about something. We've been kind of beta testing a lot. And I think that we've seen it in gyms that we work with directly also with personal training that I personally do, John that you do, my wife does that personal trainers who work with you want to talk to you gym owners and personal trainers about the gym owner personal trainer relationship and how that business relationship can be started, how it should probably be established and some of the pitfalls that you can stumble into if you're not careful in how you set this stuff up going into it. So before we get started talking about personal training and how to make money for you in your gym, and for your coaches, we want you to go to the gym owners revolution that is our Facebook group. The link is going to be in the description. It's a resource for gym owners. We have gym owners asking questions amongst each other as to questions for us. It's also a spot where we kind of are able to test and give you guys some inside track for some of the things we're doing with the coaches and gym owners we work with directly in our coaching program, the Gear Academy, so make sure you do that for John, go ahead.

John Fairbanks 01:21

And most importantly, it's where you can see the video version of this podcast. Yeah, the only

Tyler 01:26

the only place you can see the video version so if that's what you're really into that is fucking weird, but But if that's really what you're into, make sure you head over to the gym owners revolution Facebook, links in the description. Follow the show at the gym owners podcast and Instagram follow me at Tyler effing stone and follow John

John Fairbanks 01:48

On Instagram at J banks f L.

Tyler 01:51

Let's get to it. Personal Trainers in your gym, whether you most of the gyms that we work with, in our gear Academy stuff offer some sort of group fitness components for some of them. It's the centerpiece for some of them, it's maybe 5050. But we want to make sure that you know that one . I think doing some sort of group coaching program is very important because it's profitable, right John, kind of across the board. The reason we would do group fitness is because people like working out together, it's great for retention, it's also just a great way to get the most money out of an hour as well. It also makes your product a little more affordable for people so it gives you a better you a really good angle at fucking getting people in. It's just a whole nother swath of potential clients you can get whether it's CrossFit or whether you're just running some small group boot camp stuff or even some loose or strength training bodybuilding stuff in groups. All those things work.

John Fairbanks 02:40

It's great. Well, I mean, on the group training thing, it's like we talked about it before a long time ago, but where does group training come from? Like, why did it become a thing back when it started becoming a thing? Like ultimately, you run out of time, like you only train so many people for one hour a day is only can only be so valuable. So you want to fit more heads per hour to walk away with more money at the end of the day.

Tyler 03:06

Yeah, yeah. And we can say fundamentally, it's about fun and community and all that jazz. But let's be real. Yes, how can we stack more money for per hours way businesses work, we do have to definitely weigh that as part of the equation. Now the personal training side of things. So I think you should always offer personal training, if you have the ability to do it. If you are if you as the owner, you have coaches that can do one on one personal training, I think it is the a very incredible way to build relationships with clients that lasted are very direct, that are very, a one to one coach client relationship is very important, can be really impactful, I think you can get a lot of work done with a client over the course of a year working with a one on one versus in a group people can get lost in the mix, they don't get the attention, they don't get their their question answered their hesitation, their all their little concerns that don't float to the top people kind of bury them and just kind of hide. So there's a lot of real I think it's a high value product. And I think it should be treated as such. But it's a product that I think you should offer. Now a lot of gym owners we work with, some of them are solopreneurs, or the only coach slash staff that they have. Some have one or two people that are working maybe part time for them in their business. And in that case, then we start running into issues which are like geez, how are we going to fulfill more one-on -one stuff? How can we? Or how do you bring on a coach when you don't if you're trying to get a coach on full time? How are you going to bring on a coach and pay him to sit on Ash? I could pay a full time wage. So we found some ways that I think worked very well for the gym owner and very well for the personal trainer long term to make the relationship profitable for both people. And I think it's very important that we start with what that relationship is and what it should be to first the personal trainer. Now, if you're a personal trainer, I do personal training. My wife John does personal training. It's the thing that you need to be. You cannot take an employee mindset into being a personal trainer. If you do not view yourself as the entity that has the value, then I think you're going about it the wrong way for yourself and for the gyms that you're working in, okay? You as a personal trainer are your own brand, that brand needs to have a cohesive relationship with the gym that you work in. And that is how it should be. I do not like the idea at all of coaches, like personal trainers being on staff, and just as an employee of a gym, because that is a passive state of employment. That sucks, it has so little value because in less than less part of that relationship is there not hustling, selling and bringing in new members. It's such a one sided, it's just, you should have multifaceted benefits. Like from all the way across the board from your personal trainers, you really should be attracting people to your gym, not just upselling people from within your gym. And I think that's the important thing about your personal trainers having an entrepreneurial mindset, because if that relationship is, you know, here, you just work for me, and I'll funnel you clients. That sucks. It sucks because that personal trainer is just gonna sit back and wait. They think that they're so for your career as a personal trainer, if that's how you're doing business, like in 10 years, are you going to be better off for that? Or are you going to be better off if you learn to build your own brand, how to market yourself on social media, how to attract people to you, and then you're still selling them into the gym to be members anyways. And you're selling them into your coaching product that makes you a valuable person, for yourself, for your family, for your clients. And it makes you an asset to the business, not just a liability to sit around in hopes that someone else can sell or their again, simply, if you're if you're just an on staff, personal trainer at a gym, you're maybe lucky for an upsell, if you're doing any of the selling very rarely is that the case. And then you're just fulfilling. And by the way, it seems to me like in most cases, that money would be coming in whether it was that trainer, or whether it was another trainer, or another trainer or another trainer, you're an interchangeable piece, which is fine, but it means you're low value and you want to make high value you want your employees to be high value, which means they need to have the skills to take this thing all the way up for you.

John Fairbanks 07:17

And it's by design. Like it's that all those things are being done by design. Like the idea of having personal trainers that can be totally interchangeable and faceless and nameless. It's just It's Joey and it's Tiffany and Joey can work out with you for personal training, we can upsell you as the owner of a facility like if I think back to one of the first gyms when I was in college, where I was like, well, I could work at the mall for buckle, and sell jeans and stylish shirts, making minimum wage or I could go make money working at the gym. That was like the big 24 hour fitness facility that we have in college town. And I remember being like, okay, so I have to go and get a certification. So that cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The certification that was gonna go get was that NASM like the NASM certification, go get it. And then I could make like $20 an hour. I was stoked. And ultimately that was what it was, but it was working on the floor at that facility as I just cleaned stuff. Yeah. Like you just walked around and cleaned equipment, and tried not to be condescending. And that's where both me and another guy like that was the track that we went and he eventually was, this is an insane waste of time. And he just started training people out of his parents like it was like training people out of his parent's garage was a better situation than this full setup spa, Super Kick Ass facility that had all the clients they possibly could coach for $20 an hour, or you could just set his rate for $40 $20 and then keep the full amount out of his parent's garage like it was. But that was by design. It doesn't matter if it was John or Kyle or tailored or Tiffany or pretty whatever it was like that you are irrelevant.

Tyler 09:19

And that's on the gym owner's side of that arrangement. It works because there's a minimum level of demand that will attract meaning it's easy. It's low inputs, you have to put very low inputs into it, you don't have to put a lot of resources into marketing and selling and building relationships. And they'll just get a base amount of personal training inquiries and you'll close this a fixed amount and it's easy basic math.

John Fairbanks 09:46

And I will tell you: Do you know who all the personal guests are, the caliber or the types of personal trainers that were at this 24 hour fitness facility in the college town?

Tyler 09:56

The most bare bones minimum

John Fairbanks 10:00

It was like the people that were brand new that have never done a fucking thing that like I like, didn't want to make minimum wage working at the clothing store. Yeah. So somebody's personal train,

Tyler 10:10

As somebody asked me, you know, they're associated with a YMCA and YMCA is a nonprofit. It's one of the things I hate the most about the fitness industry as you have things like the YMCA meddling. And you know, it's a great resource for a community, but you have this like, nonprofit entity that doesn't need to make any money. And they just start kind of reaching further and further and further into space. And I have to compete on price and quality for somebody that doesn't have to turn a profit. And it's like, well, fuck me, right. But one of the problems they have is like, their personal training is not very profitable, they can't seem to keep personal trainers, and they can't seem to sell very much of it. And I was like, Yeah, let's start running. Your personal trainers can't make a good living from you. That's problem number one, you're not going to keep them because of that, therefore, they're not going to stick around, therefore, you're never going to get a good part. You have a person like me who's like a career coach who has been training for a long time coaching for a long time, that knows a lot of stuff. I'm not doing fuck off for $20 an hour, I'll do a fuck off for 30 or $40, I'm just not. And I'm not interested in a bunch of shit that's going to where you're just trying to pass somebody off to me to just, I don't understand to check some box for your, that none of the metrics in a place like that fucking matter. And I can't pretend to give a shit. Therefore, the odds of me ever working in a place like that is absolute zero, absolute zero. And so they're asking me what they can do, I was like, well, charge more, you're gonna have to start making it very easy for them to do you want them to bring in their own clients, you need to, in order to do so you need to get all your fucking bureaucracy and red tape out of the way. And just let a person bring a person in, sign them up and off and off you go. And, but that coach needs to be able to be an entrepreneur, they need to be able to set their own prices like well, what they can set their own prices, we charge as well see, there you fucking go. Right. There you go. You know why I just told you. And so that's when I started having these conversations with people about why their personal training stuff doesn't work. It's always them and their bullshit that's in the way. Always, always, always always. And so we had one of the best arrangements, here's how I think it should be structured, you're you can absolutely bring on a personal trainer, if you want to pay them an hourly thing to do some stuff around your gym, if you've got tasks, maybe you can maybe do that as a starting point for maybe a few hours a week, if you have some cleaning to be done or whatever if need front desk, so I kind of maybe I'm okay with that, depending on your situation, that should be such a minimum, you should never bring someone on and promise them full time at all, in my opinion, because that person you don't want, you should you can bring on almost anybody if their training, philosophy and attitude aligns with you and your business and your culture. That's thing one, if you have group fitness group fitness is a great way to get them to start because they can make relationships we've talked about this in the past, and you plug them in to a couple of your group fitness classes, have them do some minimum, some shit around the gym a little bit from there. And that allows them to fulfill that primary function if you brought them in, which is to upsell build relationships, upsell your group fitness people, people that around the gym, they can upsell them up into some personal training, you want to work with me I do this here, let's that's that's the, that's the minimum. That's the standard relationship. But you cannot put all your eggs in that basket because that is not a growth. That's not a growth plan. That's like a that's basically an average ticket price increasing plan, which is okay. But that's not going to bring bodies into your place. And you need to grow, you need to increase your average ticket price. And you need more bodies, right? You need all these things. That's the feedback loop that we want to make sure that we're creating. So when you have the personal trainer come in, the best thing is the way that my wife and I approach when we go to a place to go to coach, there's what we do is we say Alright, here's what we're here's what we can do, let's come to an agreement on the price. What do you need per hour for me to coach a client here? What is that, if you need to go a percentage maybe if there's going to be a cap because if I'm if I'm worth $100 an hour, and somebody you got over there is worth 40 guests, you're not getting 25% of my 100 because I am the one that has that value, I may give you more than the 25% You know, say of the may give you 15 instead of 10 or some shit, but we're not going all the way because that's me, that's my added value. Now on the other side of that as well. I also need to be able to be a personal trainer, to bring in my own clients and if I'm not, if you have a personal trainer, or someone who comes in and just wants a job, that's a problem. If someone comes in and wants the opportunity to coach people in your place and to bring people in and to who can go out there and sell themselves out in the world and can attract members to your place. That person is an asset and that is the relationship that you want. You cannot have blind mindless wandering around bodies going I sure hope somebody gives me clients this week. I sure hope that somebody can sell somebody makes somebody. If you say they gotta make somebody like you and want to hire you, it's already over. So a good personal trainer out in the community delivering results, managing their own social media, their own brand does their own sales attracts people to you. Therefore, that relationship now is worth pure profit on the hour, you're not sticking a bunch of salary out into this thing, it's frankly, it's not even really a payroll situation at that point, it's a contractor. And that's the way that's the best way for the personal trainer in the long run anyways, because they're a true entrepreneur, they're building a brand and a business. And I've owned gyms, I've owned a gym with a big facility, we've owned, we, John and I are getting involved with another facility here soon. And it's owning a gym is a lot of what for, it's a whole lot of what for and if I'm just a coach, if I just want to be coaching and make money, I would happily spend all of my the same amount of money that I spend in overhead for a gym, I'm happy and spending it to just a coach in some place. Because I'm not responsible for the equipment, I'm not responsible for taxes, I'm not responsible for any of the bullshit that goes on. And I know that I don't have to manage it, I don't have to manage the facility at all, I can just come in and use it for use. And so the place that we work out of now, between my wife and I, they make, they make way, they take way more money from us coaching there than I ever paid in rent, utilities, taxes, all this other shit. And we're all very happy about it. Because I don't have to deal with it, I get a nice facility to train, I don't have to worry about anything, they and if it's not enough money that I'm taking home, I just raised my price, just raise our prices, so that everybody's fucking happy. And that arrangement is great, because not only are they making money off of ours, they don't have to sell if somebody in there also wants to do some personal training. Now they have some people who are some places you can send them to which that's not so lucky. Not some flunky, who doesn't know what they're doing, who's just milling around hoping somebody likes them enough to coach, oh, we're professionals.

John Fairbanks 17:11

And that's the second layer. Really, that first layer is being able to bring in a kind of high court where for you as the personal trainer, coming bringing value, you're a high value kind of asset or add on to the gym. And really, for you as the trainer, you just get a nice place to be and not have to worry about all those things you just described. The next layer, then from a gym owner's perspective, is now you have proper mindset individuals that are now in your facility, and you don't have to go find them. You didn't have to find because that's, you know what I mean, like we talked about all the time, like how do you find an ace, we ain't gonna fucking find them. Because if they're good enough, they're not looking for you to give them a handout, not at all good find people that are worth their fucking weight in gold, that come to you and say, Hey, this is what I want to do. And now you just have a business relationship.

Tyler 18:03

Exactly. And these are business relationships. These are partnerships more than it is an employee employer relationship. And in my opinion, as a personal trainer, that's how it needs to be. You need to be a professional, you should be a professional from day one, don't even bother being an employee, learn how to be a professional, it's the only way. Now one, we handle our own sales for stuff your trainer should handle your own sales, if you got to kind of onboard a man to some of these principles that we've talked about, like how to make a better offer sex, you can coach them up on some of that stuff. But the fact is, they should be closing their own sales. You shouldn't , as a gym owner, funnel them some leads from people within your gym. That's also fine to let them close, let them set the price. Trust them. It requires trust, if you don't trust them, don't fucking work with him at all. That's, that should be the barrier within that right away. Now. The other side of this is they're also going to bring a lot of new members, you guys talk about all these coaches out here talking about how do we get new members? How do we get new members? Well, what if you bring in a human who's an asset, who people want to work with, you know, the place where we're at now, I would guess I could be wrong, but between the people that, you know, we coach that are from that place, also the people that we've brought in, I think over the course, there's probably anywhere from 20 to 30 members that are there, because we're there, that are our clients that we've brought in that are now constant. So you do the math on that, like what's what's that worth selling 30 new people that are also going to stay for as long as they're working with this person that ends are going to get results. The gym owner didn't have to sell it, you'd have to do anything, and didn't have to pay marketing resources. You know, when you start getting into some Yes, when you start to get into some of these advanced metrics, not advancement, but these are these standard metrics. But like your cost for acquiring a new client, your cost per lead cost per new client acquisition like that number actually is higher than you think once you start marketing and tracking really what that all is, and this is a true zero. For the gym. It's a true cost, no more Money, we're just out there doing the work on our own because it benefits us. And every dollar that we make that goes, money goes to the gym. And these people are paying for memberships. And we sold them on those memberships. And it's and they're getting results. This is the other piece, because they're working with professionals, they're getting results, which now means retention is much higher, their investment is much higher. Having a professional who charges more money also allows somebody to invest personally more, they're more personally invested, they will work harder, they will get more results, they'll make better decisions, they're on the hook. That is that feedback loop of success that we talked about. So if you're trying to make somebody a full time employee, listen, the employee thing is wonderful, especially as you get to a scale where you have other responsibilities that need to be done. But what are you going to do for 40 hours? Like what are you, what are you, let's be honest, where are you at where you're going to sign? Full time? What are you going to pay someone a full time wage for ? That's rough, but you can give someone a path to a full time wage. And this is a thing when I worked for a heating business. I've talked about it in the past, we had to own all of our own tools. And nobody else ever made us do that, why 20 grand up front, pretty much before I can work here. And I've done that I was at that time I was eight years in the field, like what the fuck, I've been doing this for a long time, I don't kind of want all this specialty shit. So we'll help you, we'll make sure we'll give you a path to make sure you have but I want you to be a professional, I need you to have ownership over this, that makes you an asset. That means you can pack up and go anywhere else and make a lot of money. Because if you say I have all my own shit, now that next place knows you're a professional, we all know you're a professional, that that piece has stuck with me this entire time. And I think it's very important that you give people a path to not just leaving you and going on and doing something else, but just a path to being a professional path towards whatever wages they want to earn. So John, if you come to me and say, Tyler, I want to work in your gym, I want to bring some clients, I say perfect. What is your same thing? We talked about setting expectations with clients? John, what do you want to accomplish? Like, what do you want out of this, and you're like, Well, I want to earn X amount I want to work however many hours a week, I want to be able to, you know, say perfect, I can give you a few clients, right? That's the thing that's reasonable, I can bring you a few people, I have a few people who might be interested, if you can sell that I'll give you a base, you're gonna need to attract some people. So get out there, hustle, leverage the relationships that you make here, the successes you have from these first few people. And you can get to 1015 20 personal training clients. And as you're doing that, once you get to this point, based on these numbers, here's how much money you'll earn. And now you've I've given you a direct path to like, here's how you can get started, you may have a day job at this point, that's perfect, right? Because then I don't. You don't have to take this big leap. And it's not on my dime. Yep, you come in, and you get started with these few clients. And then it's on you to grow out of that. It's not on me to fucking feed you until I decide or you're not ambitious enough. And that's the problem with these places that have just coaches on staff. And they're just like, Well, I mean, we really don't want to, you know, if I bring in someone from outside, you know, we kind of ran into that deal recently. Right?

John Fairbanks 23:03

Yeah, we've heard the scenario, which was, somebody came in with the same exact pitch this idea and the the gym owner opted not to move forward because he didn't want to upset the applecart or demote his existing people's existing people

Tyler 23:20

and coaching staff by the existing coaching staff. And that's fucking short sighted and crazy. Right? I kind of get it, but it's like, listen, they think what the issue is, in that case is, that's the gym owner who's one never thought outside the box very obviously, first off, but to is when they start thinking, well, there's there's this much pie, right now that there's more if there's, you know, 20 new clients, or 10 new clients getting coached in this facility. These other personal trainers in the facility think Well, geez, that's cutting into my piece of the pie. It's like, No, I'm bringing an entire another fucking pie here. For all of it. I'm going to work on this one, and there will be some fucking spill over and y'all are going to be fine. You're still fighting over the same pie. I am making this pie bigger for all of us. Are you fucking stupid? And so, but when that gym owner had told one of our coaches, it's like, well, then, I guess there's really no reason to worry about that. Like, if you're worried about your personal trainers who you have on staff, who obviously then are not out there selling. Because if they were out bringing in attracting new people, this concept would already be fresh in this person's brain structure. Yeah. And that is, it's just like, Well, no, this is what we do when they come here and they need to, they gotta man the front desk, and they gotta sweep the floors. And they got us like, Oh, you got secretaries and janitors that employee Yeah, that's fine. I'm not that and if that's what you're looking for, that's that's fine. But, understand that will always dictate your ceiling. And that's what sucks is that once that's your structure, how are you going to grow? How are they going to grow? And for a gym like that? My question was, always like, Okay, well, how are you going to sell more personal training? If you're stuck, how are you going to attract more members, you're like, these things don't work together on this at all. And you're just kind of stuck in this place where it is. No, we just want to keep things exactly how they are. And there's no plan for growth. And in business, if you're not growing, you're dying. If you don't have a plan, you'll also die. So it's, it was one of those pieces that we kind of see, we're like you forget, in a lot of facilities that people don't think, in this modern way, there's a lot of things that have happened in the last 510 years. And what happens is we're truthfully someone who is a go-getter and wants to be a professional has all of the leverage in the world. And then I was talking with a gym owner, or not a gym owner of a business owner, two separate business owners, one runs like a very large scale, like heavy equipment repair shop, like giant tractors, and I'll shitness big chains facilities all over the Midwest, and, and so they opened a new facility. And these are, these are many, many, many millions of dollars to open in a new city. This is a fucking is a big, big operation. He has a hard time finding people to work. It's just tough. And so they get a bunch of people right out of the tech schools and, and they do that thing. But he said, I already said, you know, he had a couple guys that came out, they were qualified, they could do the work, they worked hard. They said, you know, the pay is good. Obviously, they pay him really well. They throw money at him to throw benefits. They said, if I can keep my benefits, I can work 28 hours a week. I'm okay, that's all, that's what I want. I want just under 30 hours, you still give me a bit. But then give me that I want three days off or whatever, four days off a week and, but that's the amount of hours I'm willing to work. And if you're allowed to, if you're allowed to work, if you work with me on that I will work here and I will stay here. It's a non-traditional arrangement. Most people you only want to ride anyone they got on the payroll until they fucking dead, but it's like, but he said, You know what, one I can lose the fucking guy. And if I'm gonna ride him for 40 hours and be miserable for 10 and want something else, or he'll or he'll go somewhere that gives him that, or he's just gonna find something easier. That's a little less pressure for fucking this to fill the gap because he's willing to take a 25% pay cut pretty much right. And so in this guy's case, he kind of opened his eyes to it. And now he's open to very non-traditional employee-employee relationships. And on the other side of the service industry, or in the, you know, the heating side, there's another concept that's been going around a lot, which is how do we again, how do we attract people? How do we cover your after our stuff, it's, it's challenging. And in his case, it was like, there's another strategy people use, which is, you get a guy who's kind of an ace, either semi retired or has a lot of experience maybe just doesn't want to work the grind. And you give him very high hourly pay, but he just works Saturday and Sunday. Yeah, six to 12 hour days a week, it's the perfect like leaning into retirement or a guy with his own project going on. As long as he's a professional and is an ace, he can get I mean, toward nearly two thirds of the way to a full time wage, essentially, from just working the weekends to long days on the weekends. But now you're important. Your clients have the ability to have weekend service calls and you get work done on the weekend, they can fill in gaps when all the other guys are at home, they can have everyone prepared for the week. It is a very, it's a very, it's a new world out there. It's hard to hire people,

John Fairbanks 28:19

and then translate that to like a gym. It's how many coaches or personal trainers want the prime hours in the evening. Yeah, everybody wants him. But the fact that there are people out there that are in unique positions where we were talking to a gym owner where it was, I want to bring someone in to do personal training or groups, but for only when kids are in school. So I can specifically target where it works for her. And it specifically targets the other stay at home moms or people that would fit into this niche that I don't have any other coaches that would want to do this. Yeah, you're finding a very specific puzzle piece for a very specific problem.

Tyler 28:59

Yeah, and that new structure though, that idea of like how do we think that those new arrangements are the future? Okay, right. That's the future unless you already have a massive system in place. Excuse me. Fish oil, man, if I can choose me up. If, unless you already have a very, you know, like a friend Well, he's got five 600 members in his gym, still a group fitness facility, many different specialty programs and shit. Big news coming their way. I can't announce it yet. But anyway, they've got they could maybe bring on somebody who's full time if you wanted to. But the fact is, they kind of don't either, unless you're up into the management stuff, management of the business. There's not full time employees. There really are a lot of coaches, a lot of coaches, but they're coaching for four to 10 hours a week. That's just the way it's going to have to be and if you want to only carry full time people, that's fine, but you better hope. I prefer that they'd be full time and a lot of it'd be them full time for themselves then they can be a full time professional. They have to bridge that gap between the hours and the pay that you can give them right now, and the hours and pay that they want, it's on them to earn that difference. It's not on you to sit there. And just your your business can't support it, the fitness business, we don't charge enough, y'all don't charge enough money, to have employees sitting on us not doing shit to just be bleeding money for hours and hours and hours, the type of show you can get away with if you're in a bigger structured business, this is not the case, this isn't some office where you can get by working two hours, two hours a day, you know, billing out 810 And everything works fine. In the end, this is not how this works.

John Fairbanks 30:31

I have a question. Right now, when we're talking about bringing in personal trainers and having this model, either from the personal trainers perspective, or the gym owners perspective, there's very specific gyms that we do this that you and Megan and I run out of and work with. They're not, they're not there. They are not CrossFit gyms. No, they're not, they're not that traditional style of gym, they're going to be like an Anytime Fitness, it, they're going to be kind of more of those 24 hour facilities. Does that sound accurate? So does the model, how does the model change? Because we have lots of folks that are either going to either own their own spots that are the CrossFit style boxes? Or will we have plenty of folks that are in our community that do own franchise boxes that have all the machines and all the stuff and key cards for folks to come in and come and go as they please? How does that model adjust? If you're someone that's like a crossfit box or a functional fitness type box?

Tyler 31:37

I think it's almost nearly the exact same thing. I think in my opinion, I think you have a better chance of actually there's going to be a what's the word that need is not being met in CrossFit gyms very likely in group fitness. It's not that it's not being offered enough. The standard is I see CrossFit on the thing of smells like group fitness, that's just what the impression is, which is fine. But we've transitioned John, you and I have transitioned a lot of CrossFit gyms and group fitness gyms, into gyms to sell a lot of one on one personal training. Definitely. And that's it's the thing that once you start offering it, it just works because they want it whether it's a little bit of extra work, or now on the other side of this, we've talked about why this works for everybody, right? Is in acquiring new members. Now, if you're a brand that only looks and smells externally, like group fitness, that is not going to work for someone who doesn't want group fitness. Or maybe I am just not comfortable with this and we talked about this before. There are clients who will only do group fitness, then there are clients who will not ever consider at all for even a moment doing group fitness. And yet the ones who would never consider for a moment coming into your CrossFit classes probably are going to be more profitable to your CrossFit gym than any of your fucking group fitness people. Because they will come in and they can spend 40 6080 100 $120 an hour for personal training. And they may attract bring in new people to start building their own little semi private group of people that they know and they trust towards their goals, not just the workout you put on the whiteboard today for everybody that's fucking one size fits all stuff. Whether that stuff is effective or not is up to you and how you execute it. I'm not here to shit on anybody's training methodology. But what it is to the outside feels like everyone's just doing the same workout. But I got this thing, or I have this specific thing I want or I don't like doing these things like can I you know, so that's a piece that I think is actually great as you can you'll actually get more people into your gym, you'll attract more people to your gym. If you're across the gym. It's almost easier. If you do group fitness to transition to growing your personal training side of it. It really is in my opinion. What was the other side of that question? John? Where does it work? That's the one I think absolutely.

John Fairbanks 33:50

Yeah. And more or less, it was just what is the strategy? Is it different? And

Tyler 33:55

yeah, let me let me touch on how you do this. Right. So one, we talked about bringing people in, right. So either in the 24 Hour Fitness Globo gym space, or in the group fitness space, bringing people in from outside is going to be what it'll be, it's on the coach, it's on their branding, it's on their ability to hustle. That's how that works. I think it's easier to draw people, new people that would not normally be in group fitness to a group fitness facility. If you're adding we're adding personal training, you know, we also do this that works right. Now let's talk about upselling from within those people who are already members into doing group fitness. I think that the process of doing that in your CrossFit gym is a little bit different. The strategy needs to be I do think if you're going to be a personal trainer at a group fitness gym, I do think you need to be coaching some of the group fitness classes because that's how you're going to build relationships. I think you. I think it's silly to neglect one path of sales leads neglecting your internal path of sales leads for personal training and only only relying on the coach and your external sales strategy to bring people When to close personal training. So John comes in, I hired John, I'm gonna stick him in a couple classes, he'll fill in for some people, sometimes you can cover maybe if I'm the owner, and I'm coaching, I worked with him a couple times, and then I just let them cover one of my least favorite classes doesn't matter. He's just got to be seen, you got to see and be seen, you need to be friendly, you need to be fun. You don't even need to be that knowledgeable, people just need to like, yeah, that's about it. And then from there, people will see you in and around the gym. And from there, you can start to build those relationships, that's a long game, you can't come in and start hard selling right away. But that is a way, it gives the coach you know, a couple hours, paid work a week, at least that's kind of guaranteed, doesn't require them to sell. And I think it's advantageous all across the board. Now, if you're in the 24 hour gym, it's a bit different, because you don't really have any right to talk to anybody. You know what I mean? They're not, there's a lot of people there that like the training, we're out there. Like, if I wasn't being friendly, people would just think I'm the big guy that's in there that marches around and works with just a couple of people a week, right? That could be intimidating. That could be, it could be a lot of things. So it is on you, the coach, and you need to if you're a gym owner, you need to make sure that your your personal trainers know this, if you're in the 24 hour place to boost internal sales, that guy needs to be friendly as hell, you need to have a smile on your face to everyone that works walks in the door, you need to say hi, it does it's a customer service position, even when they're not your clients. Yeah, sucks. But in doing so word gets around that your phone does, it sucks. I'm not like I can't do it, I do it. But I don't like people, I don't like to pop, I don't like the population, all that great of the world, to where I can be friendly when I want to be friendly. But I can't, I couldn't sit at the front desk and smile at everybody all the time. That would be my day. But when I'm in there, that's what I got to do. And so you do it, you're nice, it's friendly. And it's and by the way, it's rewarding. If it forces you to do it, you can't just sit in front of your computer here and talk business with John all day. So. But there was a really cool strategy that I read from a guy who's a personal trainer is how he built his first big client base. And one of the things that he did was he liked to systemize. This being nice to people thing, using kind of these like classic these, some of these, like how to this, this is the like How to Win Friends and Influence People concept, which is you just talk to them about things that they like about their life as long as they're able to answer questions about themselves. And they feel like the subject is dumb, because everybody is the hero of their own movie. When you do that, they're immediately endeared to you and they like you. Okay, now I think a lot of those books teach people how to be sociopaths. So just bear with me on this. That's not a strategy you need to take, like in every facet of your life. But I do think it's okay to use some of these things in, you know, in sales and marketing. But what this guy did is, he actually started just a spreadsheet. Now I'm not a spreadsheet guy, I would just tax my memory until it doesn't work anymore. But what this guy did was, had a little spreadsheet, and it was, hey, found out the person's name as early as he possibly could. And when he found out their name, he wrote it into the spreadsheet, maybe a little description about what time they came in. And then he would just gradually make conversation with them over the course of six months, a year. But eventually he has like 60 or 70 people that are there, that he knows like, oh, the sun's coming back from college or this or that or, or they got a grandson who's, you know, just playing basketball. And those are these little things that when you see this person Oh, how's How's Timmy? Timmy doing basketball almost over? That little type of little type of question was this kind of fucking, he's great. He likes and if you know, if they think that you care now, if they know that you care, they can't just think right? If they know that you actually care and put in the effort to know something about them. Whenever the end, they know that you're a personal trainer whenever they're looking. And whenever anybody in their sphere of influence mentions personal trainer, they go, this guy is so fucking nice. You know, and he knows about my mom. And when my aunt was sick, he talked to me about it and, and you know, and then this and that. And so that but that guy did this. And he just built that up, because he started with no clients. And then he had one, and then he had two. But then eventually he had this list of people that he knew he knew pretty well. And they were the ones that ended up coming to him. And that gave him his big base. That is a way to make sure that you're the value, not just the gym, and not just the concept of you know, having a trainer, which is people want a trainer. But in the grand scheme of things if you're a trainer, you need to be the valuable asset you need to be the thing that people want to work with, they need to want to work with you because that's the difference between you making 20 bucks an hour and you make a 90 So those are the things if you're in group fitness, you got to coach the group fitness, you got to be seen because you're only going to earn street cred in a group fitness place. If you're working out with them. You got to be fit. You got to do you know what I mean? You gotta work out with him. You got to do the deal. And then you also need to be coaching some group classes so that you get to do the same thing we talked about with the guy with the spreadsheet. So you get to Know the faces, you get to know the names, you get to know the life so they get to know you. And then you have that familiarity. And now it's very easy to close sales from there. If you're gonna be one on one, you got to be friendly to people who aren't your clients yet, you got to be friendly to people who don't hire personal trainers, you got to be nice, you gotta be smiling. One of the best things that my wife does is she coaches her group, group fitness classes are not group classes, but her private groups. She coaches out on a 24 hour jam group with anywhere from three to five people. But they have so much fun. And so they're laughing, they're smiling, they're making these huge milestone achievements and doing this, you know, stuff that's like heavy shit for them. And it's a big accomplishment for him all the time. So there's always, you know, excitement. And in a 24 hour gym, where there's some people just sitting there kind of grinding by themselves, or people may be lost and don't know what to do. There is a laundry list of people that if Megan just went up to him and started talking about maybe, yes, but would you maybe want to do it? Yeah, not only that some of the people, just the things that they're doing now that you people will start using the tools, the way that yeah, the exercises and the tools that that we use, they'll start using them the way that we use them, which is good. It means you have influenced it means they respect what you do, it means they trust your judgment and they and your expertise. And just doing that for shit. She has only been


there for since the summer, like five, six months.

Tyler 41:23

I mean, this has not been very long at this facility. And the facility is making money hand over fist. Megan's making great money. Everybody's fucking happy.

John Fairbanks 41:33

Why they'll here's really important, though, and then we have to talk about this specific thing. Why is everyone happy? Why is everybody making money hand over fist, and they're happy because of that,

Tyler 41:42

because everybody's fending for themselves.

John Fairbanks 41:47

Megan has to fear it's her. It's her business, all those pieces. But Meghan was our very first guinea pig, testing what we know works with gym owners, when you own a business, a brick and mortar location. Could this be done if we treat the human like a brick and mortar location that you are the business. So when Megan was part time, still working her nine to five job, and now only being able to fit in a couple hours here or there to just get started as a personal trainer.

Tyler 42:22

For five months, she worked less than 10 hours a week on this and made an amount of money that would make you sick, if you're a normal person just out

John Fairbanks 42:30

hustling. And it wasn't because she had outrageously overpriced stuff. It wasn't because it was like a bait and switch. It was none of those things. It was what we had built with her that offered a stack and threaded everything together so that it flowed so elegantly. And so psychologically, naturally to anyone she had a conversation with that there was never a time where she was essentially cutting her own throat, you got to start new. And because I'm new, and I'm inexperienced, I have to charge less. And then I charge a little bit more for every new person that I meet. And then eventually I have so many clients that I'm fucked, because I'm running out of time, and I can't just raise my prices on them. We avoided all of those pitfalls, every one of those problems that we had seen time and time again, in multiple different industries, we had positioned Megan in that way. And that is why the power of what we talk about all the time, the order that you do these things matters so much. And it's why we lead and talk so much about getting your offer stack correctly, getting it built out correctly, knowing the process of how you're going to take someone through a sales sequence. That's what we hang. That's the bread and butter, what we hang our hat on. And that's what we can do for personal trainers for gym owners. Especially if you're a gym owner and you don't want to and you have personal trainers that suck. Do you want more money? Do you want to have entrepreneurial type people that are in, maybe you are ahead of the fold?

Tyler 43:58

If you got personal trainers that are new, just this is okay here, you want to make more money, I can't so here's how you do it. Here's your path. Here you go. This is the path for you walked on it or you don't but if you're not, if you're not moving towards it, and they have complaints about pay or, or whatever, then that's the at least you've established expectations and opportunity and they chose not to do not to fulfill either of those things. And then you're fine. And you know until the next person comes in and the next person comes in.

John Fairbanks 44:24

Because we have heard complaints from gym owners like folks that we've worked with now I have known for years we've heard the complaints were the personal trainers, the coaches that they have that want to do personal training, but they're not making enough money. Oh, they're not making enough money and it's not even worth their time to come back and train somebody because the split that we have with the gym, what I'm keeping up with their keeping, it just isn't enough at the end of the day. And this is like Well then why don't we completely redo this like we know how you can start to make more money to where now everyone's happy your coach as happy you're happy, the client is more happy that you're working with. And it's just that easy. You just have to know where to point them. And that is why this is where we say, right in this spot, because we know exactly what works, how quickly you can turn that around. And it just like it fires everybody up.

Tyler 45:20

Well, and I think it's important that he also keeps, you know, the first place that Megan was out of, like, you know, worked out great same pricing, and all the other all the things and then the problem is, is the place was not able to really operate in a way that was respectful to Megan's clients, it just didn't work is you know, loud music on while she's still trying to coach people, you're not gonna compromise. You're not gonna behave professionally around Megan's clients, we're making it so clients don't feel welcome, in this place coming in for the amount of money that we feed them. And even now compare to them the amount of money that they're missing out on by having not been able to behave like professionals towards these people that are paying more money than any, even towards the gym, than any of their existing members. That is an issue that now the nice thing is for the personal trainer, and for a gym that wants to behave professionally. Like, the coach has the leverage because the coach has the clients. And when both parties have leverage, it works. Because the relationship is good, the place we're at now, they do a great job, our clients feel super welcomed, they get the VIP treatment. Everybody's great. We're constantly asked for any new equipment you want and into this, always worried about keeping us happy. You know, we're worried about keeping them happy, because we like this arrangement, too. That works when everybody has leverage and everybody's a professional, when only one person has the real leverage. And the other person's party thinks they have leverage or wants to behave petulantly. Well, the adult just walks, and I'll take all my fucking money too. And so it's really important to know that if you're a gym owner, and you're fucking up, and your coaches are leaving, and they're taking your clients with, that's on you, too, you fucked up, okay, you either got to fix how you establish these relationships. In the beginning, you got to fix how you fucking act in this process and how you're fulfilling this service. Because this is a thing. It's about quality control. It's the same thing. John, we talk about Google reviews and all this stuff. One of the reasons that we want as much feedback and public facing testimonials from our clients, why? Because it makes me do a good job. Because if eight out of 10 of my clients were like, This guy fucking sucks. Blah, blah, one star, one star, one star, but if all those got buried, and there's no incentive for me to get better, right, none. Okay? So this is really important. Put your money where your mouth is act like a professional, establish a professional relationship with another professional, be professional and fulfill the professional service and you'll make fucking professional wage. It's very simple. All the way across the board. Guys, we gotta get going. I gotta head over and coach. Make sure you follow the gym owners revolution Facebook group. That is, the link is in the description of the gym owners revolution. Get in there. I don't need to tell you why again. So thanks for listening. Follow the gym owners podcast at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler reference. Don't miss Tyler eff ironstone and John

John Fairbanks 48:06

and follow me at J banks f L.

Tyler 48:09

Thanks for listening everybody. We'll see you next week.

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