• Personal Trainers Need Personal Connections
    Building rapport with your clients requires developing a social relationship as well as a fitness relationship, which may even involve the occasional Facebook post.
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  • Personal Trainer right for meConnecting with Clients
     
    With the evolving field of exercise science, it can be a challenge for personal trainers to develop a good working relationship with their clients."Connecting with [clients] really means getting to know them, creating conversation, and [developing] rapport,” says personal trainer Mark Nutting.  
     
    Personal trainers need to be able to develop a relationship with their clients by understanding their fitness goals as well as their personal interests. 
     
    According to Nutting, it is traditional for personal trainers to assume they can work with everyone, but in the reality of today’s fitness industry, “specialization actually gives them (personal trainers) the opportunity to make more of a name for themselves.” 
     
    Finding Common Ground

    Nutting notes his previous shoulder injury as a common ground that he uses to relate with clients. Although injuries are often viewed as a negative experience, Nutting has been able to use his rehabilitation and strength training tips to help others recover from similar injuries.The common ground doesn’t have to be fitness related either. Nutting has developed rapport with some of his clients because they similarly have sons in boy scouts.  
     
    Personal training is not just about goal setting and program design, but also about finding a niche that helps build a connection with clients.Can I Post on my Client’s Facebook Wall?Depending on the fitness arena, personal trainers can improve their relationships with clients by interacting with them via social media outlets.  
     
    This can help personal trainers attract new clients as well as build rapport with existing clients. Any social media posts aimed at marketing a personal training business should highlight the value of the business, rather than simply advertising for it, says Nutting.

    Given all the dimensions of social media, it can be used in a way that makes a boot camp or a one-on-one personal training session stand out from the crowd.Connecting with your existing clients helps show that you are interested in their lives outside of the three to four hours you meet with them per week. Social media also has the benefit of being immediate. If a client has trouble being accountable for their cardio routine, a Facebook® or Twitter® post might be the best way to keep them honest. 
     
    Finally, social media allows existing clients to market a personal trainer to their friends. When Nutting was asked about the power of social media in today’s fitness industry he responded, “word of mouth is word of social media.” 
  • Grabert_Derek

    About the Author:

    Derek Grabert, MS, CSCS,*D

    Derek Grabert, MS, CSCS,*D is an Education Content Coordinator for the NSCA. He holds a master's degree in nutrition and has experience as a university instructor for human nutrition, anatomy, and physiology classes. He has coached high school athletes, special populations clients, and general fitness enthusiasts on the health benefits of strength training, aerobic training, and the integration of proper nutrition.

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  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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