The Allure of Being a Celebrity Trainer

There are a lot of trainers that set their sights on training celebrities. Why do you think that is? What is it about celebrities that makes them a desirable target market?

Is it that it would be cool to know a celebrity?

Is it because they have more money so you could charge more?

Is it because you want to be famous yourself?

Is it that you want to have someone who works their butt off because it’s their job?

Or, maybe you want to work as a full-time trainer for one person, have them take you on trips or on to their movie sets.

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First, don’t think that celebrity trainers are automatically good trainers (although I know some very talented ones: see Gina Lombardi and Chad Landers ) or what they do is something you should do with your clients. There are plenty of trainers that put their clients through unsafe, ridiculous workouts and prescribe bad diets and un-needed, possibly dangerous, supplements. Yet, most people will get some results when starting any workout or implementing any diet. And, if the trainer happens to acquire a celebrity client and they see results, they will tell their celebrity friends, and next thing you know, they’re a celebrity trainer. (see the unscientific philosophies of Tracy Anderson).

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to train celebrities.

  1. Remember, like all personal training, it’s about them, not you. Know your stuff. Give great results no matter who you’re working with.
  2. Training celebrities is a niche. There are some commonalities in celebrity life, that if you know, could give you an advantage over other trainers. (this could be anything from understanding the audition process to knowing that business meetings could make keeping appointments difficult.) You need to understand their life/work challenges. 
  3. Live and work where there are celebrities. When I lived in NYC, I trained a number of actors and performers, from soap operas, to broadway, and even one superstar Diva. They could be found (and therefore trained) in New York City. I now live in Easton, PA. Guess what? I have no famous clients here. Celebrity trainers all typically live in the big cities (as do most celebrities).
  4. Their hours can be chaotic and you need to be able to work around their schedule.
  5. The building of a famous clientele list starts with a single celebrity client, their success story, and word of mouth. You can’t just claim to be a celebrity trainer and get celebrities. Referrals are the lifeblood for building this client base.

So, is being a celebrity trainer realistic? Sure, but it takes a long time to build that niche business and you’re going to need to train a lot of “regular folk” in the meantime. I also can’t stress enough that, just like any other client, it’s about how you can help them that matters. Good luck.

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Hiring Star Power

I just read an article on the Club Industry site, Should Your Fitness Studio Be Dependent on Personalities or Programs?, and thought that it is an issue worth discussing. Who should we be seeking out as new employees? Should it be a local “star” or an unknown?Star trainer

Let’s check out some pros and cons of hiring a star.

Pros:

  1. They are a known entity. They have a proven track record of success.
  2. They may bring in their own clients from another facility (which means more revenue for your facility).
  3. Their fans (clients/members) will tell others how good they are and help build their classes or programs (more revenue).
  4.  They may bring a special talent or skill that you do not yet have at your facility (potentially more revenue).

Cons:

  1. I’ve seen trainer and instructor rock stars from one facility completely flop in another setting. Their star power may not transfer.
  2. If they brought their client’s with them to your facility, what’s to say they won’t turn around and take them out of your facility along some of your regulars?
  3. They may expect higher pay than others which, if you pay it, can create bad team feelings if others were to ever find out.
  4. They may feel that they are above the standard policies and procedures of your facility. Noncompliance is a recipe for team disaster.

SuperStar_2013_logoI believe that the answer is not a simple yes or no. Here are my thoughts/recommendations on hiring a “star”:

  • Don’t hire anyone that isn’t excited about being part of your mission. Everyone from the cleaning people to the superstar trainers need to have the passion to work as part of a team that can create or provide something special.
  • Treat all of your employees like superstars. Pay everyone well and consistent for the position that they hold (everyone that has the same position receives the same benefits and pay). Give everyone the respect and kindness that we all deserve.
  • All employees are held to the same rules. Inconsistencies in how rules are enforced will create questions and confusion. Not enforcing rules is condoning the breaking of rules.

The question of whether or not to hire a superstar employee should be less about the star power that they may bring (although it can certainly an added bonus), and more about if they are a star fit into your company.