If you love working out and helping friends and family to stay fit, and help achieve their fitness and weight management goals, choosing a career as a personal trainer is a great decision. In our previous blog, we walked you through the steps required to start a freelance personal training career and made you aware of the perks and flipsides of this profession. Today we will share with you a few great tips to qualify as a knowledgeable personal trainer and to market your profession and bring in more clients.
Personal training career is one of the fastest growing and highest paying professions today, and all for a good reason: people are getting more conscious about their health and want to invest as much as possible in fitness and nutrition. Personal training job, as we mentioned in our blog, has many benefits, including flexible hours, teaching what you love, inspiring people, traveling, and earning a lot. If you focus your career in becoming a celebrity personal trainer, you will soon be flooded with great work opportunities, for they are the biggest motivation for normal people to stay fit and exercise.
Personal Training Career Basics
A personal trainer works one-on-one with clients to create and implement different fitness regimen that helps the clients lose weight, gain core strength, build lean muscle, improve stability and agility, and achieve better physical health.
You may either work in fitness centers or work for educational service or hospitals. Your specialty and qualifications will determine your career line. Although your day-to-day responsibilities may change based on your clients and the companies you work for, the typical duties of personal trainers include:
- Assess clients’ BMR, BMI, and other health and fitness parameters
- Introduce clients to new exercises, such as Pilates, core strengthening, kickboxing, cardio, yoga etc.
- Plan exercises for individual clients based upon their personal goals, fitness level, and health condition
- Demonstrate exercises to clients
- Assist clients throughout their workout session to minimize injury and promote fitness
- Modify exercises to suit clients
- Provide recommendations and resources regarding health, general fitness and nutrition to clients on a regular basis
- Monitor client progress and take measures accordingly
- Administer emergency first aid if necessary
- Stay abreast of latest trends and exercises in the fitness industry
Most personal trainers are nationally (and some internationally) certified trainers with advanced knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and the science of exercise. You must have the ability to develop and lead group as well as individual exercise routines that are personalized to meet health and medical requirements. You must also possess expert knowledge of nutrition and diet to plan diet charts and provide nutrition tips to clients.
Your earning potential will vary greatly, based on the location you live in, specialization, clientele, and work environment. So, you may earn anywhere between $10,000 and $35,000 per year.
Tips to Qualify as a Personal Trainer
Tip 1: Walk the Talk
Personal training is educating clients on physical fitness and nutrition. It is not just about setting and conducting exercises. It is also about motivating individuals to pursue fitness for long. Therefore, in order to do it all, you must show that you are already a master in these areas. Before you start pursuing your career, ask these questions:
- Am I physically fit enough to endure long hours of exercises?
- Am I in optimal physical shape? If you want to set an example, be an example. So, you need to be physically fit and in good shape to make clients look up to you.
- Do I believe in the power of fitness? You don’t exercise because you want to stay slim and have six-pack abs. No, you exercise because you believe that workouts have the power to improve people’s mental and physical beings, ultimately enhancing people’s lifestyle. You must strongly believe in your work to motivate others.
P.S: Being in shape as mentioned in point number two doesn’t mean you must have a physical body of a fashion runway model. Being fit actually means having physical endurance, strong core, and strength and flexibility to perform a different range of exercise – from HIIT to Low-Intensity.
Tip 2: Learn about Human Anatomy
You have to have a deep understanding of the way the human body works and reacts to new exercises. Physical training is a great responsibility, as important as prescribing medicines for bacterial infection. Unsuitable exercises can lead to injuries some may even be serious. Your clients will work with freehand weights, machinery, and different cardio equipment. You will provide resistant training, cardio exercises, HIIT and various other types of workouts. Clients who have knee problem can worsen their condition with jumping jacks and jump squats.
Therefore, if you advise clients with incorrect exercises, it could cause injury to them. Therefore, you should understand the human body and develop an interest to figure out things that can keep your clients. Although you will learn much of what you need to know from your certification courses, you must not stop researching further about a new technique, cures, and trends.
Tip 3: Develop Leadership Skills
You have to make sure people follow your guidance and listen to your recommendation. For that, you have to be inspiring, reliable and trustworthy. You will also have to be empathetic, friendly (but not overly) and caring. Exercises can evoke pain, frustration, cramps, and sometimes tears. Some clients may even lose determination in achieving their fitness goals. This is where your leadership skills will be tested. You have to help your clients stay targeted towards their goals, and celebrate their success and achievements with them.
Tip 4: Get Training from a Personal Trainer
To understand your goals as a personal trainer, the nature of work, trainer/client relationship, and other nitty-gritty of this profession, hire a trainer and get training from him to achieve your physical fitness goals. You have to observe them carefully: see how his and your relationship develops, how he sets routines, how he talks to different clients, and what makes him effective at his job.
A great deal of what you teach others will be based upon your personal experience. Therefore, it is important that you try different exercise regime and approaches so that it may later help you lead your clients.
Show interest in your training and ask your trainer to try various exercises with you so that you are able to get broad experience.
Tip 5: Select Your Specialty
Since this is a very competitive business, choosing a specialty will make you an expert in that area. It will also help you to stand out from others. Get additional certification to become a niche expert. For instance, you may want to train individuals with cardiac problems or train obese individuals with weight management routines. Having a specialty will help you focus on segregating your client base.
Tips to Bring in Personal Training Clients
If you want to achieve success in your marketing and promotional activities, you need to focus on two things. First, you need to stand out, and second, you have to show your values and create a brand identity.
Many personal trainers although have the necessary skills and experience, often lack in finding clients. They either don’t know where to start or have no clue how to sell their values to clients. Before we share the marketing and promotional tips that will help you in getting your clients, learn two more things. First, personal training skill is subjective, meaning clients generally do not know the difference between good training and the best training. The perception will sell you, better than the actual skill and expertise. Second, people often like to show off that they have the best and not just the ‘good to go’. It increases pride and gives them a reason to stick to you. So give them an opportunity to show you off as the ‘best’. They will indefinitely market you.
Tip 1: Write Blogs
Writing blogs has nil barriers to entry. However, you may need practice and a lot of research-based knowledge to become a skilled writer. However, you are not here to publish a book and become an author. You don’t need penning and vocabulary skills. You need more of subject skill, and that you are already an expert of.
When you start writing blogs, you invariably become an expert in the eyes of your clients. When you are looked up as an expert, clients will choose you over others to train. Writing doesn’t limit to blogs. You can publish written materials, write in newspaper columns, create brochures and pamphlets for your brand, send weekly emails to potential customers, or/and even write good captions on social media posts.
Blogs and written materials will provide your clients with answers to the questions they look for. Here is an example: You write a blog on exercises that can help sciatica patients. One of your gym member’s relative suffering from sciatica complains about it.
The member having read your blog shares the link to her cousin. When you meet this new client, he has already created a great impression and thinks you as sciatica expert.
So, writing is definitely not a bad idea. Your only goal should be providing content that is important for clients and that they can show off to others. For inspiration, look at other fitness blogs and magazines.
Tip 2: Identify Your Trusted Source of Information
Every business or neighborhood has a Maven. A Maven is trusted or reliable source of information. They are the information specialist – individuals we rely on to connect us with new information. You inspire one maven and you will end up having 50 potential clients. They will have a lot of trusted connections and they can help you get all your clients.
Two Mavens that can help you win:
- Doctors: Doctors will have lots of customers with dire need of physical training of some kind. However, most referrals will be patients, and patients are hard to pursue in terms of changing their psychology.
- Café shops: Coffee shops’ baristas know more people, especially the young crowd and millennials who consider fitness a Mantra. They can help you in many ways. So, befriend a barista of your favorite coffee shop and within a month, you will be able to make your list of potential clients.
Tip 3: Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
The first place people look for news is Instagram, more than any news channel. However, since your Facebook is older, you will probably have more connections there than Instagram and Twitter. You are in touch with these people through social media. Some are close and some acquaintance. However, they all, except for few, are reliable, friendly, and helpful. Use social media to your fullest.
Your friends and relatives will have 10 connections each with whom you can contact. You can also advertise on social media. The best way to advertise here is shooting videos of your training and showing them what you can do. Make short videos of different exercise routines you would train, and definitely show your litheness and agility. You will probably want to focus on showing off your workouts. So, show off. There is no harm in doing it.
However, there are rules to get famous via social media: you need to post regularly, probably one update a day; post only relevant stuff, comment on other posts, and network.
Tip 4: Ask for Referrals Immediately
Don’t dilly-dally, just ask. You cannot hurt your existing relationship by asking them favors. They are with you because they love you and they will do anything to support you.
You can also ask your clients to share a word about your training and competencies to their connections. Ask them to tag you or your official handle on fitness related posts that they come across on social media so others can see your work.
Make sure you have printed brochures and flyers that you can readily handout to anyone who drops in or asks for. Word of mouth publicity has the biggest success rate for local businesses. And your clients and your immediate social circle will be able to help you in that aspect. However, be competent, try new exercises and do something different to gain reputation and more clients.