To find success early on as a personal trainer, finding a niche can be very helpful. A niche is a target market segment. Finding your niche means having a specific idea of who your target audience is and how you can help them specifically. Knowing your niche will also provide insight towards building your business model, bringing in more clients, and how to best help your clients meet their fitness goals.
Finding a niche is not a requirement for being a personal trainer, but it does help distinguish you from other trainers who might make generic programs for all their clients rather than specialized training for different clients. As a trainer, you can take a segment of the market and focus your efforts towards learning more extensively training styles and needs for that group – which will help with establishing trust with clients and shows competence towards current or future clients in that segment.
Remember, the best niche for you is a cross between the people you most enjoy training, those who can and want to afford you, and problems you are qualified and enthusiastic to solve.
#1. The Busy Professional
Those who are always looking to improve their lifestyle and make it healthier are a fair shout because they tend to be run-down. In order to appeal to people who work out vigorously, you'll want to focus primarily on efficiency and availability - as long as you can fit into their busy schedules and provide them with a unique solution to their circumstances, they will find your service an attractive proposal. This niche is best suited for trainers who live in a busy city and maybe even have some experience working in a dynamic corporate environment.
#2. Training for the Disabled If you're a fitness professional, then it's rewarding to help people who have gone through some life-altering situations where they had to physically and mentally overcome a challenge. Some examples include people who had a limb amputated or those born with a disability. You can encourage then to train in fitness, helping them to make the most of the life they have. What's needed here is empathy and patience and a desire to help people 'live their best life'.
#3. Coaching for Military and Police Forces
The police and military are powerful forces in society, and they typically require recruits to be in the peak of physical condition. In other words, the better you get fit, the more likely you can get into a law enforcement or military program. As a PT, you could focus on helping those individuals who want to get into the police force or defense improve their chances of getting in - or on helping those already in improve upon their strength and physical well-being. This niche is usually best suited to trainers who have had experience in the military or police force, so they understand the training demands and performance levels required to excel in that environment.
#4. Training for LGBTQ+ Community
Another approach is to offer your professional PT services to those who might otherwise feel disenfranchised. Certain groups in our culture will often find it more difficult to find a trainer who accepts them for who they are and is able to understand their needs and what they should do to achieve their goals. A good example of this is the LGBTQ+ community who would benefit from working with trainers who have specific knowledge, understanding, and experience.
#5. Strength Training for Everyday People
Many people are keen to improve their strength and perform better in everyday activities, especially if a personal trainer is pointing out that strength-building increases confidence and even helps burn fat too, so it's a great all-round exercise.
#6. Weight Loss for 50+ Women
As you have no doubt worked out already, a straightforward way to hone in on a niche is to think about a group of people who might have specific needs and desires you can solve. One such group could be women over 50 - who are often keen to keep the weight off, stay feeling young and healthy, and live longer while they're at it. You don't have to be a woman experiencing aging yourself to help those people but having gone through the same experiences with hormonal changes and weight gain might allow them to trust you better.
These are only a few examples of niches you could focus on as a personal trainer. If you feel a connection or feel you could offer added value to a specific niche, focus on that niche. While you may think that refining your potential audience would be detrimental, it often actually causes you to become focused on what works for that audience and become especially skilled in being a trainer for this segment of the market.