Automated Systems – Part 2

In the first article of the series, we looked at the importance of finding a “niche within a niche” for your personal training business. We also covered a 5-step checklist that you could use to identify your own niche to focus on. This article was first published on this site back in February 2002, and the link for that post is Please have a look at that article so that you can be up to speed for this one…

In this article we’re going to start the transition from what you’re currently doing, to becoming a specialist in your chosen niche. Remember that you need to make this transition stepwise, so that your business continues while you’re doing it. To do that we’re going to cover in detail the first 3 steps of the transition:
1. Define your chosen niche in more detail—what are their needs, wants, fears and frustrations?

2. Find where people in your chosen niche hang out. Who has your clients before you?

3. Check out the competition. Is anyone already targeting your niche? What are they doing? How can you differentiate yourself from them?

1. Define your chosen niche in more detail

Before you can market to your chosen niche, you need to understand what motivates them. What are their needs, wants, fears and frustrations? What keeps them awake at night? By understanding this, you can target your marketing and your product exactly to suit their needs. This means you can blow your competition out of the water!

Here’s what you need to do.

Take about half an hour to write down the answers to the following questions:

A. What’s their demographic? (gender, age, income level, job, location, family situation, etc)

B. What keeps them awake at night?

C. What are their top three daily frustrations?

D. What are they most afraid of?

E. What do they secretly desire most?

It’s important when you’re writing these, that you focus on the FEELINGS behind the FACTS.

Here’s an example from the niche that we looked at last time: “brides-to-be who want to look their best on their wedding day”.

A. What’s their demographic? — 19 to 40 years of age.

B. What keeps them awake at night?— Not looking and being in the best possible shape for their very special day. Survey’s done found that four out of five brides try to lose weight before their wedding, spending an average of $810 on personal trainers and weight loss classes.

C. What are their top three daily frustrations?— What to eat to get into shape, What is the best exercise program to undertake, How to stay on track with it all.

D. What are they most afraid of?— Not fitting into their dress.

E. What do they secretly desire most?— To look like a princess.

2. Find where people in your chosen niche hang out

We talked in the first article about the importance of being able find large groups of potential clients, to make your marketing more focused, easier and therefore cheaper. Spend some time answering the following questions about your chosen niche:

A. What magazines do they read? Bride Magazine, Bride To Be,

B. What conventions or expos do they go to? The bride wedding expo.

C. Where do they shop? Wedding dress shops, Florists,

D. What products do they buy? Flowers, hair dressers, makeup artists and photographers

E. Which websites do they visit?,, are a few.

F. Which groups or associations do they belong to?

G. Who else is currently selling something to them? Florists, hairdressers, photographers, Wedding receptions and wedding venues, Honeymoons and travel destinations, Decorations and wedding hire, Food and wedding catering and Jewellery and wedding rings.

This last question is a very important one. If you can find out “who has your client before you” then you have a huge marketing opportunity. The idea is to find someone who already sells something to your target niche, but is not competing with you. Then you can add value to their sales by offering something of value that leads the client to buy from you.

Here’s an example:

Any Wedding venue is the contact that has the potential client before you. You offer them a DVD to give to their clients for free. This DVD is full of hints and tips on how to get into the best possible shape for the big day. Of course on the DVD is a special offer to get a free one on one session using your service?

3. Check out the competition

Surprisingly, this one isn’t as important as you might think. Just because there is already someone selling personal training services to brides-to-be, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t touch this niche.

Begin by finding out who is your competition in your niche area. Here are some places you can look for your competition:

– Internet – you may want to type in your local area, as more people search locally on the internet these days.

– Yellow pages

– Local Paper

– Weddings venues in your area, hairdressers, etc.

Once you’ve identified your competition, you need to look at what they’re offering and how they’re doing their marketing. Here are some of the questions you need to ask about your competition:

– Are they targeting high volume low prices or low volume higher price business?

– Where are they advertising and how often do they do so.

– Do they have a free report or do they just try and sell off their marketing.

– If I saw their marketing, would I call them?

– How much share of the market do they have?

– What type of service do they offer? High, Medium, Low.

– Is there a way we could work in together

– What have they missed that we can capitalize on.

Now that you know your competition, you need to find ways to differentiate yourself from them.

This DOES NOT mean “lower your price”!

There are basically 2 ways to differentiate:
A. Make your service stand out from the others

B. Target your marketing to a different area, or “fish in a different pond”.

Here’s how you do this.

A. Make your service stand out.

By providing a service that stands out (ie is different from) your competition, your customers won’t be able to compare you just on price. The idea here is to provide things that are hugely valuable to your customers, and that they just won’t get from other trainers.

Here are some examples:

– Provide a free report on the 6 ways to ….

– Give a money-back guarantee

– Offer access to different services for little or no extra cost example: message, supplements

– Hold regularly workshops, functions

– Send out a monthly newsletter

– Send out weekly email hints and tips personally address to each person.

– Have a customer service program: example, send out birthday cards, movie tickets etc.

B. Target your marketing to a different area.

Here’s where the research in step 2 (above) really pays off. If you know where your customers already hang out, then you can market directly to them. So for example if you are targeting new Mums, a flyer offering a “free trial session” would go well in maternity stores, baby equipment stores, on the notice board at the child health clinic, and on the counter at the obstetrician’s rooms. A little gift for each Mum in the maternity ward, along with your business card, would probably also work.

Example 2: If you wish to have corporate men over 40 as your niche market, then you could arrange to do a special health and fitness assessment at their office. This way they see that you can come to them (because they are busy) and you can offer them a report on where they are at health wise. Then, you can offer them a solution to their current health and fitness.

The reason these types of things work is because most other personal trainers are just not doing them. Most personal trainers think that marketing means putting an ad in the paper, or leaving flyers around at the gym. By going instead to the place that your clients hang out, you’ll generally be the only personal trainer whose marketing they’ll see. So of course they’ll buy your service!

You should be well on the way now to becoming a specialist in your niche. You now have a far greater understanding of what motivates your clients, where they hang out, and how you can differentiate yourself from your competition.

In the next article we’ll look at how to refine your service, so that you exactly meet the needs of the clients in your new niche. We’ll also show you how to decide on your pricing structure.

See you next week!


PS if you have any questions, or you would like to see what else is going on in our group – come on over to our facebook page… see you there!