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Ten Rookie mistakes by Rookie (and not so Rookie) Personal Trainers

Don’t be a self-righteous prick. You aren’t perfect. I’m not. Your clients aren’t. You don’t have to be right all of the time. You’ll learn more with your ears open and mouth shut than the other way around. Nobody expects you to have all of the answers, so don’t act like you do. There are about 3 people in the world that are smart enough to be considered gurus, and you and I aren’t on the list. So allow some humility in your interactions with people, accept that clients are going to slip up from time to time and that other people are going to have a crack at you from time to time. It’s part of the gig as a PT. Deal with it.

Learn how to spell. Don’t learn how to use spell check. Social media is full of well-intentioned posts from people that have got their grammar and spelling out of whack. What will the average reader do when they see that? They’ll focus on that rather than the message. I’m all for getting on with it and getting your message out there, with the ‘Good, not Great’ theory that it doesn’t have to be perfect…but there comes a point where the way the message is delivered detracts from the message itself. We all make errors from time to time, but at some point you need to take some pride in your work. If in absolute doubt, the red squiggly lines under the words are a good clue. There’s only one PT that I know that I’ll let this slide because he’s a great trainer and his message is right on the money, all the time, and he cares more about his clients than the $$ and has done for a long time. He gets a pass on this. You don’t.

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Grow some cojones – create the product, not the demand. How do you think modern vehicle production would look if Henry Ford had waited until he had a thousand likes on his Facebook page before starting production of the Model T Ford? Grow some balls – get out there and take a freaking risk, like every other entrepreneur has done for themselves. If your clients wanted safe, they’d hire an accountant to count their push ups for them. Just like the aspiring actors and actresses in Hollywood that are working as wait staff until their big break, the world is full of PT’s that are working in anything other than the fitness industry, waiting for things to ‘fall into place’. Here’s your big clue here guys – things are not going to fall into place – they’re going to fall apart unless you grab them in your left hand and start shaking hands with your right. Nobody is going to buy your product unless you are willing to go out and sell it.

Stop buying off the shelf ‘buy my guaranteed 6 figure income’ shit on the internet. They give you all exactly the same product. If 100,000 satisfied customers have all bought the same product…there are a lot of PT’s that are trying to sell with exactly the same methodology. Are you the same as everyone else? Hell NO! You have a niche, and you’re not afraid to use it. Selling isn’t easy, it’s the hardest thing to get right in this caper – getting clients over the dotted line is the tough bit. I should know, I’m totally crap at it. But make your own mistakes and learn from them, don’t get sucked into making an ex PT have a six figure income.

Don’t sell shit until you know your own shit. You’ll get every man and his dog trying to sell you stuff that you can sell to your clients. I have no issue with PT’s adding some passive income streams to their business, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that selling protein bars is going to get you out of your financial pickle. It will make you a few bucks along the way, but until you absolutely know your own product inside out, stick to what you know. When your business is bursting at the seams with clients and you can’t fit anyone else in – go crazy, and sell sell sell. But do NOT let the add-ons distract you from your core business

Post your own content. Facebook is full of memes and quotes and everything in between. Sharing someone else’s content is a sure way to get people that see it to go to the original source, not explore your page further. Write your own content, do your own blogs. Your clients are paying you for what YOU know and give them, not for you to be a recycler. Even same big name PT’s quote everyone else but themselves. Ultimately, if you are to create a name for yourself where clients seek you out, you need to have something that people can identify with. If all you ever do is re-post something from a big name PT, what’s to stop your clients simply buying the big name celebrity’s online program? Nothing, and you’re the one that led them straight there. Duh!

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Nobody cares about your ‘Leg Day’. End of discussion….no wait, I have more. Just stop with this shit. So you did a leg workout. We all do leg workouts. What’s the big deal? Come and trek Kokoda or climb Mt Agung with me in Bali and then tell me about your leg day. You worked out for 40 minutes – that’s your JOB. Posting about leg day is douchebaggery. If you absolutely must post about leg day, post the workout and let us dissect it for you…uh huh…….you still there???

Do NOT post about how many sales you made on your wall, your page, your business coach’s wall or any freaking where. This is one of my pet peeves. Feel free to post about how much value you added to a client’s life by helping them through a difficult training phase. It is ALL about your client, and not about you. If you do a great job, provide amazing value and know your shit, you’ll get ubersales. Posting about how much money you make from your clients is crass.

Don’t have a bad day. Or if you do have a bad day, don’t tell us about it. Your FML posts will ALWAYS appear on your wall at the exact same moment that a potential customer is having a look at who you are and what you do. You are ALWAYS on duty. Using the same theory, don’t post photos of your plans to rip into the Trans-Atlantic Beer Drinking Record on your next holiday. People see stuff. All the time. Have a bad day on your own time, and go to your own people to deal with it. Posting that crap on Facebook is narcissistic. You’ve been told.

Don’t post photos of your green smoothies. The reason for this is simple. It just shits me, and I’m allowed to be self-indulgent in my own blog. Just not a self-righteous prick.

There are more…lots more…but you’re going to have to wait to buy my guaranteed PT coaching and sales program to find out more…

Yeah, I was just playing with you.

Mostly.

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Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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