So you’re a qualified personal trainer with plenty of expertise, but are you marketing your business to the right people?
Many fitness professionals use social media, websites, flyers and other forms of marketing to build their client list – another tool available to you is market research and analysis.
What is market research?
Market research is when you collect data in order to help you decide the best way to reach your customers and compete with others operating in the same field.
There are different types of market research, from surveys and questionnaires to 1-2-1 interviewing and focus groups.
Market research can help you to:
- Profile your potential clients (location, demographic)
- Set the right prices and offer the services they want
- Find the best way to reach your customers
- Upsell to existing customers
- Identify your competition: location, price, services, marketing
What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative data?
Qualitative data such as general feedback and comments, helps you to find out about trends and explore the opinions and feelings of your potential clients.
Quantitative data uses questionnaires and surveys to find out statistical data, which allows you to measure information on charts or graphs.
Before you start…
Identify exactly what information would help you and the data you need to gather to find this out. Make sure questions are clear and lead to useful answers. Think carefully about the most effective – and cost-effective – way of carrying out your market research and do a test run before you launch.
After you have conducted your research…
Once you’ve collected the required information and data, you’ll need to analyse it and then decide on what actions to take, based on the results.
Market research can help you build a picture of how to develop your personal training business by providing information you can then use in a business plan, marketing plan or SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). It can also help you to set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound).
Examples of market research for a personal trainer
Example 1: A newly qualified personal trainer is launching 1-2-1 training in a local gym.
Market research could include research on the local population to find out the age range and other demographics, which will help to establish how much to charge and whether there will be interest in 1-2-1 sessions rather than group training.
Example 2: A personal trainer with a Level 3 Award in Designing Pre- and Post-natal Exercise Programmes is considering starting fitness classes for pregnant women and new mums.
Market research will help to establish what sort of classes they might prefer, any barriers to taking part (such as lack of creche facilities) and where to target marketing (online, local health centres, cafés etc).
Example 3: A personal trainer wants to build a client list for the sports massage therapy side of their business. Market research could include talking to or sending surveys out to existing clients to see if this is something that would be of interest to them.
Carried out with careful thought and planning, market research can be a useful tool for anyone running a personal training business, from new starters building a client base to established trainers looking to diversify or keep clients in the face of new competition.