In the world of fitness, networks reign supreme. For fitness trainers, their daily bread and butter comes with building strong and lasting connections with other people. Clients aside, there may even be situations when you needed to work with other fitness trainers.
“If you want to go fast, go alone
There are some obvious benefits of interacting with other fitness trainers and consultants. For instance, you can:
Here are 6 top tips how to become a networking ninja:
1. Develop a targeted website
A website is a great way to attract both customers and fellow fitness trainers. To build networks, you could start a discussion forum specifically for fitness consultants and trainers.
Your website can also be a place to start a blog/newsletter offering personal training/group training tips either through articles or through videos. You can even backlink to renowned trainers in your blog and thereby build a favorable relationship with them.
2. Stay in touch through social media
LinkedIn is the best place to build professional networks. In fact, there are thousands of fitness groups on both LinkedIn and Facebook, where you can interact with your peers.
All you need to do is post a video of yourself working out or write an article on anything related to fitness to get noticed.
When you start conversations with fellow trainers, networks are bound to form.
3. Use business cards extensively
We’re talking about both physical and e-cards. Business cards are reminders of the meeting that took place between you and a fellow trainer. When they look at your card, your network is more likely to remember you and contact you for help.
If you’re actively meeting people face-to-face, always hand out your business card. If you’re meeting people online, send across an e-card or a Thank You email, after the meeting ends. Remember to send the mail through your professional address and always attach a brochure at the end of the mail.
4. Attend seminars and meet-and-greets
Public fitness sessions or those organized by a competitor center are great ways to interact with your peers. Public events often draw people from all corners of the city, allowing you to meet people you otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet.
Seminars, meet-and-greets and other events are also great places to meet famous fitness trainers and to learn a few tricks of the trade. Remember to leave behind your card for your network to peruse later.
5. Take part in competitions
Competitions and showcases are quite common in the world of fitness and they are great way to meet like-minded people. You can build lasting connections, learn new techniques and try your hand at challenging activities.
You can also take up fitness courses like the ones run by ACE. You’ll get to interact with trainers and consultants from around the world and develop a global network.
6. Change your approach to networking
Most of us look at networking as a chore; something we need to do, but don’t really want to. This translates to the way we behave when we actually meet people.
To help you ease into it, we’ve listed a few techniques which can help you develop networks faster:
Learn to listen
When you listen (and we mean ‘really listen’) to the person you’re talking to, you come across as affable and empathetic; two qualities that are great at building networks.
So, the next time a stranger talks to you, make eye contact and actually listen to what they have to say. You’ll be able to start meaningful conversations if you do so.
Don’t let the familiars forget you
The prospect of chasing after new faces can be quite alluring; and it’s easy to forget friends on the way to the top. But one thing we tend to forget is that while it’s easy to make new friends, it’s difficult to retain old ones. So, unless you want to be all alone at the top, don’t forget to keep in touch with people you’ve known for a long time.
Learn small talk
Small talk can do wonders for your networking activities. Hanging back at a party and keeping mum can make you look inept; and let’s face it; no one likes to spend time on a person who has no valuable inputs to offer.
So, when you’re at your next networking event, jump right into a conversation or start one of your own. Talk about anything that interests you. From fitness to fashion, the sky is the limit.
Always follow up
After you’re done socializing, always, always, always follow up with your peers. Send them a Thank You mail or text, thanking them for their valuable inputs. Express your interest at interacting with them in the future.
This will increase the goodwill they have towards you.
Remember that follow-ups aren’t a one-time affair. If you have a newsletter or a monthly blog, send it across to your network to remind them of you.
Wrapping it up
Networking works wonders for business. Follow these tips and rest assured that by the end of the year, you’ll have a rock solid network base to take you all the way to the top.
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