How Jason Altidor grew a successful personal training business

Jason Altidor shares his experiences of becoming a personal trainer, coping with the pandemic, and his advice for up & coming fitness instructors

"You're stronger than you think in every aspect."

"Don't compare yourself to others."

"Don't put pressure or stress on yourself."

"No need to prove to anyone but yourself."

"Continue building your blocks to create your masterpiece."

These motivational quotes are some of many that Jason Altidor shares with his bootcamp and personal training clients to inspire and push them to succeed. After deciding to switch up his career to pursue his love of fitness and motivational speaking full-time, Jason began coaching at BAM Training for three years before moving on to take over the business and launch his own business Jason TheCore.

Jason accredits much of his success and ability to grow and build his business by starting with group training and then beginning personal training. By doing this he learned more about his clients' specific and individual needs and designed a program built on passion, motivation, and achieving small goals that lead to the larger goals.

Personal trainer, Jason Altidor, doing a side plank

We sat down with Jason to discuss his experience running his business and his keys to success for attracting new clientele, client retention, marketing, and how to build growing your business into your overall plan of action. It's no surprise that Jason is a motivational speaker, and after you read his advice for other business owners and how they too can be successful, you'll see why. Keep reading to learn more.

What did the route of becoming a personal trainer look like for you?

The route was very gradual and that's what I really appreciated. It didn't just happen and I didn't just say 'ok I'm just going to drop everything and then BOOM I'm a personal trainer.' It started with me training a few people on the side. I used to go to the gym and take some time and show them how to do certain repetitions of an exercise.

I felt being more educated with experience coaching clients in a group allowed me to learn how to be a personal trainer more clearly. If you have about 5, 10, 15 people at a time in a class or session, each person has a different case. Some may have injuries, some may be very skilled and advanced, but some may have little things they need to work on. When I began personal training clients one on one that became easier to manage because my full attention was on each individual client. I found taking the baby steps to get to that point made it easier to become a personal trainer.

What have been your most successful strategies at attracting new clients and retaining clients especially during the past year?

The most important thing is consistency and to remind the clients who approach you that because we're going through these times, it's more important than ever to stay active. A lot of times clients will come to me with a certain goal in mind and I always say to them 'it's great you want this goal, but you obviously can't have it overnight, so how can we build towards the goal?'

It's important to focus on the smaller goals on the way to achieving a larger goal so once they understand that there are smaller goals that need to be attained, then you can start to build weekly or bi-weekly or twice a week and then that becomes more long term instead of just having a one-off client where you train them just one or two days. You want to keep them longer by creating more of a long term plan with them and grow with them and they improve on themselves every time.

How do you explain the importance of smaller goals to your clients?

I say to focus on your strength before your size. When I say size it could be losing weight so being smaller, or you want to gain muscle, become bigger, then that's the bigger aspect, and it's a much easier goal to focus on becoming stronger because with strength comes size. So as you get stronger you will lose body fat you will gain the right amount of muscle that you want, and then start appreciating your goals more. You start with one push up today, tomorrow you get to do two. And I feel that if that goal is focused on and then you see the results and can see the differences then we can go from there.

Keep reading to see how Jason successfully adapted his business during the pandemic

How did tailoring your program to your clients' individual needs help you encourage clients to keep training during the pandemic?

A lot of people felt desperate because COVID happened so sudden. A lot of things were closed and a lot of things were unavailable. People were panicking and saying "I don't have a gym I don't know what to do..." and it was just kinda reassuring them that life does not revolve around one location. I'd tell them,

'You still have to work with what you have.

You might not have all the equipment so let's just start with your body weight.

How can you maximise that potential?

How can you work on the imbalances that may be causing you not to get further in your journey?'

I reminded them of all these little things and then they'd start realising how important their fitness journey is. They'd see that and then they'd want to continue to grow and get better.

Some people have taken that advice and have gone on to do their own thing and then they've realised they need more coaching and come back. Some people need that constant coaching so they stay long term, and I have people that started during COVID still with me and they still wanna do follow-ups just to see how well they're doing.

Do you believe starting with group sessions as opposed to starting out directly as a personal trainer helped you retain clients and transition them into a one on one setting?

Yes, it was easier because they already knew me from that aspect and they already trusted my guidance. They trusted my work, so it felt a lot easier to make that quick move.

Jason shares his tips and advice for instructors starting out on their personal training journey

What is your advice for new group trainers and instructors who are exploring personal training?

For me, it's passion first. I say that because group training and personal training is actually two different things even though they're very similar. With a group, it's very general. The energy can be high because for example if it's a high paced class or a HIIT training class you know you want everybody to do well so you're encouraging "ok guys let's go finish these last few reps, let's go, let's do this."

Now as a personal trainer, you might have that one person that might be harder to work with and there might be one person that's just easy. Clients are never going to be the same and it's that passion that's going to drive you to love your work and not to see it as work. When you love what you do it just doesn't become work anymore so I feel that has to be in play before you build on anything. You can't say you're doing it for the money or you're doing it because it's a great opportunity. Love what you do first then build that brand or build that model after that.

What tools and resources have helped you grow and market your business?

I haven't really used any tools per se. It's been more of the trainers that have been around me and work with me. I feel they've given me the tools and they've given me experience and advice. I've taken everything with a grain of salt.

With a large social media following, what advice do you have for business owners struggling to improve their profiles?

It's to network. As we all say it's easy to do, it's hard. It's basically getting yourself out there and networking and finding people, interacting with them because the more interaction you have the more growth you have, the more they're willing to follow up, and they'll support you. You have to meet the person halfway. You can't just expect to just sit there and post and wait for everybody to see what you do. It's that interaction, and then it becomes more personal and people are more inclined to see what you're more about.

How has word of mouth and referrals in your local area contributed to your reach?

It has been a big part of it, especially during the summer. I would do a lot of referrals or a lot of summer discounts. Everybody likes a discount and everybody likes the fact that that they can benefit from something they enjoy. You remind them that they're just as important and you're looking out for their wellbeing at the same time. You also hope that they would join because they enjoy what you do and then they spread the word and pass it on to other people so that they can enjoy that.

If an aspiring fitness instructor or trainer came to you for advice on where to start, what's the one thing you would say?

I guess the best way to start is by figuring out, 'what is your overall plan, your ultimate goal and what do you want to create?' You mark that down and then you create a tree so then you decide how to get towards that goal and the steps. You have to always have the big picture at the end, but also have the little pictures that will create the big picture.

If your goal is to get 10 clients by the end of the week, you start with client 1, and where can you find client 1? You have social media, you have word of mouth, you have posts you can create, you have stories, so you focus on getting that one person and once you do, you say ok 9 more to go. It's just creating that same cycle and that same flow and it gets closer to that big goal at the end.

Thank you for sharing with us Jason! To learn more about Jason and his business, check out his website, here.

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