By Khaled Elmsari, AFS Community Expert

Once upon a time, you could be a generalist trainer. All you needed was a general knowledge of physical health to run classes and train people. It’s been this way since the beginning of the industry. But that’s all gone.

Take a look at some of the fads from decades past and you’ll easily see how far we’ve come in our knowledge and expectation from our trainers.

The big box gyms know this. They encourage their trainers to get as many certifications as possible. They want highly competent people working under them because that’s what gives them the advantage over other big boxes.

But when everyone has the same knowledge, that knowledge essentially becomes the ceiling. You’re not getting a better value if the trainer you have is the same guy with the same knowledge from gym to gym.

Furthermore that cycle of endless certifications went right out the window with the Internet. Like lots of things in our world, the Internet has replaced those people with a deeper knowledge base of things. Now any old Tom, Dick or Jane can go online and find the latest discoveries about kinesiology or anatomy for free without leaving their beds. Sad to say, but Google knows more than any trainer did just a decade or two ago. 

All of these things combined prove that being a generalist trainer won’t earn you any significant money. The money you can charge eventually tops out. It’s time to stand out and make yourself be heard.

Niches are a good place to start.

Niches can be results driven (like a fix my knee pain), they can be tailored for specific wants (like speed training for football players or fitness on the go for traveling salespeople), or they can be for specific audiences (like CEOs and Busy Executive women). The possibilities are endless.

But again, people are smarter and everyone’s now on the niche bandwagon. The solution? Go deeper! Find a hyper niche!

What exactly is that?

Let’s take running a 5K. Not everyone runs one. That’s already a small segment of the population and when you create a program, you’re targeting those people. A 5K program can generate X amount of dollars for you and that’s great. But what if you went deeper? Imagine what kind of money you could be earning!

So rather than just offer a 5K program, what if you had a Run Your First 5K Program, and a Beat Your Time 5K program for intermediate 5k runners who now want to get better. What if you even had a Win Your First 5k program for competitive runners looking to not just run a 5k but WIN ONE!

That’s how you create a highly specific series of programs and now you can charge more for it because of the higher value it offers.

That’s hyper niche. It’s going deeper and offering more specific solutions. The tighter the target audience the more you can charge. You offer exclusivity and results you can’t get anywhere else. Boom.

Khaled Elmsari is a San Luis Obispo native and leader in the fitness industry for 10 years. He's also the Founder of the Nor-Cal Fitness Summit as well as a consulting business (RISE Fitness Business Coaching). Through these platforms he helps fitness entrepreneurs, 1-3 years into their business, lay the foundations needed to create a successful business.

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