We get asked a lot by our students and there’s kind of this debate in the fitness world when you’re first starting out of whether you should do this….
The big question is – should I work for free or not?
So many people want to know. They ask “Should I volunteer my time? Should I offer this free webinar? Should I offer these free things, just to build up my credibility? To build up my brand?” That is the big question.
People are confused because there’s so much different conflicting information on this. There’s a lot of fitness business people who say, “No, don’t ever do anything for free. If you do stuff for free, people won’t value your time and …”
Or you’re setting the standard for yourself and you think you will attract low quality clients.
Then you have the other side, who says “Yes. You’ve got to get in there and start to get your hands dirty and start to put into practice these things you’re learning and build your confidence and build your skills.”
So which side are we on, on this?
We’re on the side of yes. We do believe that you should be working for free (though not forever!). But that you should, at some point, especially when you’re beginning, be doing some things, be doing some things for free, and here is why:
Number one is practice.
This is something though that is so underrated. If you are just starting out as a fitness professional, if you are not practicing, you are missing out on a huge piece of starting your business. You’re worrying about all these other things. You’re worrying about getting your logo right or getting your flyers, or getting your clients, but you’re not practicing your craft. This is something that is going to hit you hard in the long run.
It’s practice for everything. That’s for practice your workouts, practice your webinars, whether it’s an online business or an in person business, you need to put it into practice. You need to take your theory, put it into practice and you need to just get the experience, so that you feel confident every time you deliver it. After that, it becomes easier. It becomes better. Then you will actually execute on a much higher level.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that when we first started FIT CHICKS, our bootcamp company, we used to teach every class together.
We literally would be like, “You teach this section and tag me in and then I teach this section.”
We don’t recommend that at all, but the reason why we did it was because as we were developing our signature FIT CHICKS styled workouts, we wanted to test everything. We weren’t being paid at that point to teach our classes. We were just creating classes, testing, getting feedback, seeing what worked and seeing what didn’t work, and then scrapping it. It was amazing.
So practice, number one is practice.
The number two reason you should offer some services for free is testimonials.
Testimonials because you want to get social proof. This is huge, huge, huge thing. If you don’t have anyone telling other people how great your stuff is, and it’s just you- no one’s going to buy it.
You can say to everyone “My stuff is the best. My stuff is the best. Check me out, I’m the best trainer.” But if nobody else is saying it, you are putting yourself at such a huge disadvantage in the marketplace.
And while people still think of it as, “Oh, I’m still working for free?” This is worth millions of dollars in the long run. It really is. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving. It’s going to keep getting you clients. It’s worth any single penny you would’ve made on that client. If you were going to charge them $100 for your training sessions, but you offer for free and they’re giving you an amazing testimonial, then it’s worth it ten fold.
Some of our most viewed testimonials are from 2010. Those are testimonials or we had a write up in the newspaper that someone attended our class and still get views to this day.And that’s when we started our business 10 years ago. Testimonials, social proof is worth its weight in gold, so make sure that you are getting testimonials. Ask for them.
If you’re offering free sessions, if you are giving your clients anything for free, you make sure that you ask for those testimonials, whether it’s screenshots or whether it’s a write up or whether you get videos. Whatever the case may be, but you have to ask them for it. Don’t just expect that they’re going to send it to you. Make sure that, that’s part of the deal in exchange for free services.
And the number three reason we think you should work for free is you are building your tribe.
This one, we stress this so much with Fitness and Nutrition Expert students. There are so many people that say, “Okay, I need to practice my classes. I need to practice teaching everything else.” But they think of it as , “Oh, I’m going to practice with my partner. I’m going to practice with my sister. I’m going to practice with my neighbor.”
But what we ask you is, is that your people that you want to be teaching when you graduate? When you get certified? Is that your tribe that you are trying to attract? Is that your community?
Because if it’s not, then you need to to focus on actually teaching the people that you are trying to attract because if you are not doing that, what’s the point?
We’re FIT CHICKS. We are a women’s only company. When we first started, remember, we practiced with a group of friends and there was two guys that attended and it was great and it was a lot of fun. But the thing was, when it came to testimonial time, when it came to pictures, we were about to post these pictures of us doing these workouts and there’s guys in it. We’re like, “Wait a second.”
We’re trying to attract female clientele and now we have these men in this picture.
So you’ve got to think about the practice you’re going to get. You got to think about the social proof. You got to think about the tribe you are now building. So when you go and launch your business, you literally, have hundreds of dollars worth of value and all it took was your time and your effort.
You never know what type of impact you’re going to make by just doing this. But you’ve got to do it right.
So make sure you’re thinking about all those different aspects before you just start randomly just running off things and offering free webinars or classes and stuff.
If you’re not targeting the right people, don’t do it. If you’re not asking for testimonials, don’t bother and if you’re not actually practicing the thing that you plan on executing when you graduate or when you get certified, there is no point. So be strategic about it and it will definitely pay off in the long run.