As soon as people see how fit you are, they want to know your lifestyle, diet and exercise routine. In fact, if you are a fitness freak, we are sure that at one point of time you must have done informal fitness training for your friends, family and colleagues. However, if you seriously feel fitness is your ultimate passion, you can simply change your career line to become a freelance personal trainer.
We have shared in the blog some very important facts about fitness training and easy steps to become an independent personal trainer. So, before you take a leap, please read through it.
What Can Be Expected and What Can Not? – The Pros and Cons of Freelancing
If you think personal training is a slam dunk career where you get to help people with something you regularly do, something you love and something which is flexible, then you need to rethink. Although, the field is a great career opportunity, you should definitely know the pros and cons of becoming a personal trainer.
The Perks of Becoming a Freelance Fitness Personal Trainer:
- Get to know people at a personal level through one – on- one training sessions. You get to create customised routines and schedules, according to client’s capabilities.
- You will be rewarded with appreciations and more clients, when your customers see and feel the result in their bodies.
- Opens door to other career opportunities from the same field, such as fitness instructor, gym trainer, health blogger, dietician etc.
- Working freedom at its paramount level. You get the flexibility to choose your clients, timings as well as fee structure.
- You get paid well in the profession, once you become an expert. You can charge hourly basis, weekly and monthly basis, depending upon each customer. You can charge different prices to different clients as well.
- There is no certainty in your income. Just like any other freelance profession, cancellation can happen all the time. When it comes to fitness, people are not easily motivated. So, some may pay for one session and never show next time.
- Schedule change is common, based on the availability of client. Your busy hours will most often fall in early mornings or late nights.
- Initially, it will be tough to make a living. Depending upon your experience and living city, you can make between $20 and $120 per hour. However, that may not suffice, unless you have a thriving clientele.
- It is easy to get burnt out in this profession as personal training takes a lot of energy, both physically and mentally.
7 Basic Steps to Become a Freelance Personal Trainer
1. Learn the Important Qualities Required
Some of the soft skills that are essential to develop before you begin personal training are:
- Motivating skill
- Communication skills
- Nurturing and caring
- Time management and
- Analytical skills
You will work with different clients with different health issues and temperament. Some may come to you with injuries; others may blame you for not losing weight and the list is never ending. Since, each person will be different you will have to mould your exercise routines and interpersonal skills accordingly.
2. Enrol in a Certification Course
Get yourself certified from an accredited organization. This basically means accredited organizations have their certification procedures and protocols accredited by an independent third party, such as NCCA.
Some of the parameters you need to check before doing a course:
- Internationally recognised or not?
- What are the qualifications required?
- Is the certification offered in your city?
- Does it come with seminar or workshop?
- Cost of certification
- The procedure for renewal (like completing certain number of hours as educationalist)
Most organizations have websites that contain all the necessary information for obtaining a certificate. A website should be your first point of contact.
3. Start Your Career with a Job (Important)
You can work at a variety of places to gain relevant experience before setting out as a personal trainer. Also, working in the following places will contribute to building a customer base for your freelance career.
- Join as a trainer in a popular gym.
- Work as fitness instructor in a personal training studio. They focus on small training groups; they are specialised; they typically pay more.
- Join local fitness club or community centre as a personal trainer.
- Look up at hospitals and wellness centers, spas and resorts, schools and colleges and corporates that wish to improve their employees’ health.
4. Specialise in a Particular Area
Don’t be a jack of all traits and master in none. You have to gauge the population that draws towards fitness and consider a speciality.
It could be anything, such as working with the elderly, sports people, overweight or obese people wanting to lose weight or people with health issues who need to work on their stability, posture and balance.
Few options for specialisation include:
- Athletics and Sports trainer
- Weight Management trainer
- Working with adults or older people (require special certification)
- Medical trainer working for rehabs (require Medical Exercise Certification)
5. Setting Up Your Business
Once you get a certification, you don’t have to work for someone else. It’s time to set up your own brand. Some of the elements to take in to account before you launch as a freelance personal trainer are:
- Financial Investment on marketing and advertising
- Fitness Equipment (weights, resistant bands, mats, stepper, exercise balls etc.)
- Business Expenses, including website, business cards, certification and renewal, travel etc.
- Miscellaneous, such as clothes, shoes, music, water and first aid.
- Learning to manage business – accounts, taxation, mileage and so on.
6. Marketing Your Business
Marketing is probably the most important thing you will have to do to acquire more clients. Some of the mediums you should explore to market your services include:
- Website and blogs
- Business cards
- Online or offline seminars
- Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram
- Newspaper Pamphlets
- Networking through business meets
7. Enhance Your Skills and Knowledge and Be Indispensable
Continuing education on fitness will keep your certification current and will let you to stay updated on latest developments in fitness, health and weight management. Yearly health conference, fitness and health magazines, convention programs and courses are some of the means to enhancing your skills further.