Tips: Starting out as a Personal Trainer
So you want to be a trainer
Become a PT and Strength and Conditioning Coach! It's a great job if you love working with people and have a special love for health and fitness. Check out my previous article for all the reasons why you should dive in.
Below are my 5 top tips for starting out, creating your business and keeping yourself sane as you go.
They range from things I did do that worked, things I wish I had done and some things that are specific to the industry and how we communicate now, which was different to when I started out.
If you are just starting out or thinking about it and want to have a chat, feel free to get in touch.
1. Keep learning and never stop
Even if you feel like you've finished your qualifications, always be on the lookout for more things to learn and make sure you always have something coming up in your calendar.
Look for courses that you think will broaden your knowledge, that will help your clients and will help make you the type of trainer you want to be.
I did strength and conditioning focused and work on hormones early on which helped shape my focus.
Challenge yourself also to tackle subjects that seem left field or tricky.
And keep trying lots of new and different types of exercise.
2. Have a website
Even if it's just one page with how to contact you! It is so much easier to do this now with companies like Squarespace and Wix. A site gives you instant credibility and makes it easier for people to share your details for referrals (which is your bread and butter).
When I started out I didn't have one for three years! Although it was a different time and getting a site was an expensive undertaking, I do wish I had one straight away. You can't do your job without one these days.
Of course, this also means social media is a must. Work out which ones work for you and which your clients are on. You don't have to have an active profile on every single social platform. More on that in systems.
3. Make connections
Talk to everyone. Say hello to everyone, start up conversations, always be friendly and ready to help. You never know who will turn into your favourite client or refer someone to you. This is especially important if you work in a commercial gym with lots of trainers on the floor. Make sure people remember you first.
I offered free initial consults (I still do!) to incentivise people to give you a go. Word of warning - never assume you have a new client until they have committed and paid for their first block!
4. Get to know your clients and always manage expectations
When you first meet them, find out as much as possible, even before your initial consultation and always read their state of mind. This helps you tailor everything you do to their needs and their personality. Learn about how stressful their job or home life is, whether they get enough sleep, how they are best motivated.
In your first session, some clients are quite nervous; others are expecting to get smashed. The reality this that the consultation is more about finding out how they move and their levels. I explain as much as possible about what is going to happen in each session, reading their state of mind and tailoring as I go.
5. Have systems and procedures
This might take you a while to get right but do make sure you are doing this consciously. Think about how people book with you, how you keep your calendar, how people pay you, your accounting, keeping track of clients and their progress, what and how you post to social media and so much more. There are so many systems you can use to help you run your business effectively.
The more you create systems the better foundations you have and the smoother it will be for you to add more clients and grow. You'll take up less brain space worrying about whether or not someone has paid and be able to focus more on finding new clients and giving your clients the best possible experience.
Even if you're in a commercial gym, take note of how they run the systems for the day when you will need to do this yourself.
And don't forget:
The Rock says so