How to Find Your Niche as a Fitness Instructor

Posted by Amanda Vogel, MA

How to Find Your Niche as a Fitness Instructor

With the fitness industry getting more competitive all the time, you might have heard that finding a niche for yourself in group exercise puts you at an advantage. For example, it sets you apart from other instructors in a positive way, helps simplify and streamline your services, and might even prevent burnout from wearing too many instructor “hats.”

You might be sold on the idea of a niche but unsure about how to arrive at what that niche should be. Here are a few ideas for finding a niche you love to teach.

Your Expertise and Education

First, analyze what class style(s) and format(s) you’re qualified to teach. Where does most of your education lie, and could your niche be developed from existing skills? Or, will you need to get additional certifications or training? Usually, niches are born out of what people are already most busy doing. But not always—see below. 

Your Passion

Beyond your immediate qualifications, ask yourself what you most want to teach. Where do your real interests lie? Pondering this can help you get one step closer to a niche that you enjoy teaching long-term. For example, you might have multiple certifications and lots of experience as an indoor cycling instructor, but you get most excited about teaching Zumba once a week. Let your passion for specific formats guide you.

Your Participants

When landing on a viable niche as a fitness instructor, it’s also a good idea to look at your current participant base. Is there a particular demographic or client need that you feel uniquely equipped to serve? Is there potential for  online clients? You might already be naturally attracting a specific type of participant to your classes—this could be anything from people in a certain age bracket to those who love fast-paced, competitive workouts. Looking at who’s coming to your classes already, and whom you resonate with as an instructor, can help move you toward the right niche.

Your Instinct for Trends

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to forecast into the future. Some instructors like to stay relevant in the fitness space by riding the wave of a new trend before the market gets oversaturated. As you hone in on a niche, consider how various formats might fare in years to come. Some classes are still going strong even after a decade on the fitness scene. Others are just picking up momentum now with good promise for future growth.

Finding your perfect niche might somewhat depend on whether your personality gravitates toward nurturing what’s tried-and-true versus taking a leap of faith with emerging trends.

Pursuing Your Niche

If you’re passionate about pursuing a niche in group fitness, start working on your goal as soon as possible. This might mean cutting out some classes to make room for others that best match your new direction. Once your niche is firmly in place, though, you can look forward to teaching in a style and to groups that genuinely energize you as an instructor.

Topics: Group Fitness

About the Author:

Amanda Vogel, MA, human kinetics, is a self-employed fitness instructor, presenter and writer in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to being a social media consultant, Amanda tests fitness gadgets, gear and clothes and writes about them on her blog Find Amanda at @amandavogel on Twitter and @amandavogelfitness on Instagram. 

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