How To Build Your Peer Network of Fitness Business Owners
Running a fitness business can be a tough and often lonely road. Building a powerful peer network can help you overcome your business challenges and build strong relationships that lead to bigger and better things. Here’s how to build them…
Building Your Peer Network
Being a personal trainer, especially one that’s focused on growing your fitness business can be lonely.
There’s a good chance you don’t get the respect you deserve from your friends, family and even clients. They think this is something you do as a hobby to make a little money. It’s rarely seen as a legitimate business and you’re rarely taken as seriously as you should be for the work that you do.
You and I know better though! You’re making an impact, you’re changing lives and you’re building a business.
A network of your peers in the industry can be one of the most powerful resources you have as you try to find your own success.
There are ways to overcome a lot of these personal trainer stereotypes and avoid being pigeon holed. For me it was acting as professionally as I could, building relationships with other successful business owners (usually clients at first), and marketing myself in a way that built the image that I wanted my business to reflect.
However, there was one group of people that I can directly connect to any of the successes I had as a fitness business owner and that kept me motivated. It was a network of peers that I had created to share ideas with, discuss challenges and help motivate me.
This peer network has changed and adapted over time but each of them had an important role in my own development (and I think I did the same for them). A network of your peers in the industry can be one of the most powerful resources you have as you try to create your mark and find your own success.
So how do you build it? We’ll talk about a few ways here…
Connect Via Social Media
It’s easier than ever to connect with your peers via social media. I keep in touch with several people who I respect and often ask advice of through Facebook Messenger. You can choose to take the conversation off social media to email, text or phone if you wish. And I’d probably suggest that you do that at some point.
I’m not a fan of some of the larger groups for fitness pros on social media because they get diluted pretty quickly. I’ll follow along to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on but don’t participate very much in them.
If those groups aren’t your cup of tea either you can easily connect with peers by sending messages to them, congratulating them, acknowledging them, sharing their posts and generally engaging with them to add value.
Join A Community
There are tons of options to join a community. At Fitness Revolution we created The Academy as a way to help you succeed in business through valuable content and education.
Another big factor was adding in our private discussion group so that you can connect with your peers. Groups like this often require a small investment, but it’s worth it.
There are peers that I still connect with from an old forum that Ryan Lee ran back in the day. And the Boot Camp Blueprint was a program that allowed me to connect with people like Dean Carlson, Tiffany Larson, and many others who are close peers and a huge part of FR now.
The downside to this type of peer networking is that you rarely get to know the people really well. It’s all done virtually and has it’s limitations.
High Performing Groups
For myself the next level of engagement and my biggest breakthroughs have happened when I joined high performing peer groups or coaching programs.
The ability to meet your peers in a live setting, outside of your business and day-to-day routine is powerful. It takes time to develop a strong relationship.
However, if you’re committed to getting to the meetings and make an effort to connect with your peers you’ll see huge rewards for it.
A Coaching Program is a larger group of peers that you can connect with. It’s what some would call a mastermind (we differentiate the two pretty clearly). You’ll find various levels of peers in these groups and the peer network that you build is a little less intimate.
A Mastermind, at least for us at Fitness Revolution, is a small group of peers at a similar level looking to help each other. They are looking to learn what the other successful business owners are doing and trying to move faster towards their goals.
Many of the people in my Mastermind groups have become good friends. There’s a bond and connection that develops over time as you get to know the peers in your group at a different level.
Programs like these can facilitate the growth of your peer network and really accelerate your success.
Before I joined any coaching groups or masterminds I spent time attending live events and seminars. This allowed me to meet my peers from social media or other communities online in person.
It can be really intimidating to attend these events, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry or don’t know many people. I can remember my first Perform Better Summit being incredibly scary. I felt like everyone else was an expert, and I was a complete outsider.
You have to get out of your comfort zone though. If you make an effort to introduce yourself to people I promise that you’ll find they are welcoming. Even the experts who are speaking, at least most of them, are easy to talk to once you get over the intimidation factor.
Spend time between sessions talking with people you don’t know, ask lots of questions, introduce yourself to the presenters, and go to lunch with a group. You can also spend time after the event hanging out at the social or going to dinner with groups.
If you put yourself in the right situations you’ll find opportunities to connect.
You can make huge leaps in your growth as a fit pro and business owner at live events.
Nervous about it? Ask the host of the event or members of their team to connect you and introduce you. I know at our events I’m happy to introduce new attendees to some of our regulars and coaching clients so they can feel comfortable.
After the events follow up with the people you met and stay in touch with them. You’ll find that you attend the same events year after year to hang out with them. I met Nick Berry for the first time because I drove 3.5 hours to an event to be at a short 2 or 3 hour workshop he was delivering. Then I stuck around after to hang out for dinner.
Fast forward to today and he’s one of my best friends and a business partner. You could have a similar interaction that changes the course of your life at an event.
Choose your peers and your groups wisely! They are a powerful resource for you. That power can build you up or send you down the wrong path. Put yourself in situations where you can connect with peers that will elevate you. You won’t regret it.
An Amazing Group of Fitness Business Owners Is Gathering Here…
Each year we host our Elite Fitness & Performance Summit to bring fitness pros and business owners together. It’s a chance to be introduced to innovative ways to grow your business, strategies to multiply your profits and great breakthroughs for your business.
Plus, you’ll have the chance to network with some amazing people to start building your powerful peer network! Your chance to register for this event at the Early Bird Price ends on 8/5. Don’t miss out…