I am here today with the awesome Ariana Fotinakis from Evolution by Ariana to talk about defining your niche as a personal trainer, online training, and how blogging can help your business.
Ariana is a personal trainer, online fitness coach, runner, triathlete, and blogger. I know she will inspire you as much as she did me. #girlboss
I met Ariana through the SweatPink Facebook page and one of the (many) things that stood out about her was how she really narrowed down her personal training niche to working with runners.
When you visit her site, one of the first things you read is this:
HI! I’M ARIANA
I HELP RUNNERS GET STRONGER, GAIN SPEED, AND BULLETPROOF THEIR BODIES.
Defining my niche is something I definitely struggle with so I was super excited when she agreed to talk to me a little bit more about this. She also does some online training, which I think many of us trainers would love to learn more about.
Where to find Ariana:
On her blog at Evolution by Ariana
Facebook: Evolution by Ariana
How long have you been training and how did you get into PT?
I started my personal training journey three years ago. I’ve always been really active and the idea of becoming a personal trainer had been in the back of my mind for a couple of years, but I didn’t think I could make a career out of it. Instead, I went to school for hospitality management because it was comfortable and I didn’t really know what else to do.
After a year of working in a high-end hotel I was feeling really unfulfilled and decided to go after my dream of becoming a personal trainer. In January 2013 I started working towards all my certifications while I was still working full-time, and by November 2013 I had completed everything. Hooray!
How has defining your niche as a trainer for runners helped your business?
Defining a niche is SO important. It’s easy at the start to think “I can train everyone!” And while that’s technically true, when you’re trying to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one. Having a clear understanding of who you want to help allows you to use the right language when doing your marketing and branding, and also allows you to pursue further education in the areas that will serve your tribe the most.
When you're trying to speak to everyone, you end up speaking to no one. #fitpro #defineyourniche Click To Tweet
Since shifting my focus to working with runners, I’ve started to become known locally as the personal trainer for runners. Runners talk a lot so word travels fairly quickly, and I stay active in the running community by cheering people on at races, speaking to running clinics, and, of course, getting out there and running myself!
How much time do you spend in-person training vs. online training?
Right now about 80% of my business is in-person. I am fully-booked for one-on-one clients and still want to be able to make a larger impact, so I am shifting my focus to really grow my online business this year. I have been doing online personal training since the beginning, but I’ve put the majority of my attention on the local side of things, which I think is why it grew so quickly.
What is one challenge you’ve had with online training? If you overcame it, how so?
My biggest challenge is the vastness of the online space. I live in a pretty large city, but there are way more people and there is much more “competition” online!
The “competition” I’m referring to is not so much other online trainers and coaches (although there are lots of those, too!), but things like a bigger barrier when the potential client hasn’t met you in person and the amount of trust that needs to be built before someone takes that leap in hiring you.
Blogging and social media has allowed me to connect with people in a way that shows my true personality and lets them decide if I’m someone they would or wouldn’t enjoy working with.
I’ve also discovered that running an online business is way different from running a local business. Locally, I’m able to go out in the community, attend different networking events, meet people at the gym, etc. The online networking side of things is a little more tough because there’s less trust online, which brings me back to using blogging and social media strategically in a way that serves the right people.
How has writing a blog helped your business?
Blogging has DEFINITELY helped my business.
First, it has helped me practice communicating all the knowledge I’ve accumulated in a way that makes sense to people without a background in anatomy or physiology. It’s prompted me to do a lot of research which has made me a more educated coach, and I’ve made some great connections in the blogging world which have helped to grow my business and bring new products to my tribe’s attention.
It has also really helped with my credibility. I don’t have an insane amount of pageviews each month, but I often meet a friend of a friend for the first time and hear about a blog post of mine they read and were helped by! Which is a really cool feeling. Oftentimes when women begin working with me they have already read my blog (whether I know it or not), so a lot of the things I would typically explain during the first few sessions they already have a general understanding of.
Do you have a specific niche in your business?
If you are a personal trainer, do you train clients online?