Have you achieved your goal of becoming a personal trainer? If so, congratulations! But the adventure is now just beginning: it's time to find new clients.
First, though, have you achieved the highest level of training possible?
Personal Training Qualifications
The fitness industry is booming at the minute, hence why a lot of people are looking to become personal trainers, or PTs.
But while it is fast becoming a popular job, with fantastic career prospects, that by no means suggests that it is an easy line of work to get into. Personal trainers are required to reach a certain level of fitness themselves to be able to train others at the highest physical level, but they must also pass a number of assessments to qualify as a personal fitness trainer.
People wishing to be trainers would normally already be interested in fitness and possibly already working in a fitness background. Below are some of the diplomas that can help you reach that desired level of expertise:
- Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym
- Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction
- Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
Once a person has reached this level of expertise, they can go on to study towards a more specific certificate, such as:
- Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training
- Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
Along with the above qualifications, there are various courses available via colleges or private training providers which can offer you equivalent certification. But now that you've trained and proved your worth in the industry, how do you go about jump-starting your business and getting those much-needed clients on board?
Let's take a look at ways to attract a greater clientele!
Get More Personal Training Clients
When you decide to start looking for a job as a personal trainer, your first thought might be to look at the classified ads or job sites.
This is a great way to get a feel for what is out there, and to see if you are in demand as a personal trainer. For example, if you can't find a single advert for a trainer then you might be faced with a tough time getting started, yet if you find dozens of job advertisements then you might be onto a winner! But with more jobs opening up, that means there's likely to be lots of competition too.
Other tips that we have are:
- Make an appointment in the town hall of your city,
- Consult offers and job applications with government organizations,
- Check out bulletin boards in gyms and health stores.
Then there is the Internet, of course, which, nowadays, is the ideal place for a fitness instructor and clients to find each other. Social media is a huge way of communicating, along with personal blogs, so you want to make use of these as much as possible.
See below how fitness trainers and social media are well suited when it comes to promoting their services:
"Some businesses lend themselves better to certain marketing channels than others.
Let’s put one of those together. Personal trainers are, by nature of their profession, extremely fit. They tend to have photogenic physiques.
Personal trainers create content that’s ideal for images and videos. A 30-second demo of a workout is exactly what their clients are looking for.
This combination is an ideal fit for social media marketing." - Marketing 360
Do you embody the best qualities that every personal trainer should have?
Learn how to fine-tune what you are offering, especially by finding a niche and specifying what are the specialities you can offer: is it fitness? Muscle building? Losing weight? Weightlifting?
Also consider, what age group do you want to teach?
There are specialists for seniors, youth, teenagers, pregnant women, toddlers and more. Is there an audience more likely to attend your classes?
Outline your fitness trainer rates: if it is an individual course (maximum 3 people), you can offer the same rate for everyone, but if you offer classes in a group (3 or more students), it is possible to offer decreasing rates if more people join.
You can also contact a journalist in your area (print or radio, or even local TV) to come and interview you about your coaching practice and what you are offering.
The more precise and consistent you are in your prices, as well as in your description, your future students will feel reassured because they will see that you are a professional and work in total transparency.
Whatever happens, always be available and accessible, and if possible, offer a first trial class for free so your clients can test out your work style, method and personality.
When choosing a fitness professional, it will often be a question of how well the client feels with you, and if the energy is not good, it is a safe bet that they will not come back (or even worse, they could give you bad publicity).
On the other hand, if the client feels satisfied with this first meeting, and what you offer fits what you advertised, they will often talk highly about you to their friends and co-workers. This is the benefit of word of mouth publicity, which positive information can be spread very quickly and generate the arrival of new students.
Find more in-depth information about what qualifications you need to become a personal trainer.
College or university network
If you have completed your college training to obtain your diploma in personal training, you can get in touch with your former classmates as well as contact your former teachers.
In fact, parents who are looking for someone to help their idle children will often turn to teachers to see if they know anyone who could meet their expectations.
In terms of sports coaching, physical activities, fitness and muscle building, you can very well meet different specific requests.
Reach Out To Prospective Clients Via Social Media Channels
At a time when everyone is connected 24/7 on their smartphone or tablet, how can we ignore the internet when we want to communicate a message?
So yes, an entrepreneurial personal trainer must learn how to market themselves and optimize their relationship and loyal customers by marketing online.
Marketing 360 has personal trainers as clients and vows that:
"In addition to doing training videos, each of these personal trainers is adept at using lifestyle, diet, and health related posts to help people on their fitness journey.
Every time they eat out, find a new supplement, learn about a health condition or connect with others in the fitness industry, they post. They tag people and businesses and use hashtags to gain visibility.
They also add personal posts, from events they’re attending to images of them ready for a night on the town or afternoon on the beach.
With their sizable audiences, these posts also spread, creating more brand exposure."
Your own website
Following on from the above, it is essential in this day and age to have a website that will showcase what you have to offer.
By creating your own website you can present:
- An introduction of yourself, stating what your degrees are and what your experience is.
- The type of coaching you offer, your specialities: muscle building, fitness and nutrition, well-being, to lose weight or get in shape, sports training, preparation for sports competitions, etc.
- Services and prices: why not add a video presentation?
- Your tips and tricks (which can be included in a blog which sets up regular encounters with Internet users): movements and basic positions, movements to avoid, nutritional advice.
- Your potential partners (if you have any)
- A contact page for all information.
Is your website up to date and reflecting your services?
Video channels like Youtube
Youtube channels have become an excellent tool for fitness professionals to communicate their passion and knowledge with internet users and get themselves out there and noticed.
Why not illustrate your expertise through one or more short clips in which you highlight different aspects of sports coaching in the form of online courses.
You can, for example, show exercises to build muscles, arms, thighs, back, glutes, while giving tips on how to avoid injury.
Each workout is like a regular meeting you have with those online and the more people who see you, the more potential clients there are.
If you can build a positive reputation with those browsing the Internet, it is likely that they will talk about you, and will share your information on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Even for you, nothing prevents you from also creating a page specifically dedicated to your business, to share information and articles related to personal fitness training, and make it even easier for others to click and share when they see something they like.
Find out more about becoming a personal trainer in the UK...
Of course, don't forget to specify that you offer your knowledge and experience with in-home sports coaching or private group lessons.
The more you talk about what you do, the more you will illustrate your professionalism as a trainer, and the more likely it is that the information will be passed along and you will gain new students.
Don't forget to get informed about personal training insurance before working with clients.
My PT website states that:
"By reading your emails, clients gain a sense of your business style and expertise. They trust that you're an authentic fitness expert. With this rapport, they're more likely buy your personal training program.
Though attracting prospective clients via email marketing is a huge step towards the success of your personal training business, email marketing benefits go even beyond this."
So what are the benefits of sending out emails?
- It’s an affordable option
- It helps you build relationships
- It's easy!
- You don't need to track it - just click send and it's gone!
- One 5 minute email can reach thousands of individuals if marketed right
- It showcases your specific skills and how you stand out from the rest
Organizations offering private lessons
At the start of your career, it is always difficult to find students, so why not go to professionals who will take care of the link between you and future students?
Offering group and private lessons within an association is a great way for clients to get to know you and they might seek you out on their own afterwards.
By registering on one of the sites offering to help others connect to personal trainers, you will first, show that you are a professional and secondly, multiply your chances of finding students without making a lot of effort.
The purpose of registering with an association for trainers and tutors is to help you meet new students.
In general, these sites are very serious and scrupulous about the registration of their members, so you will need to discuss with them your ambitions, your expectations, and especially the prices that you intend to offer for your personal training courses.
After you've been accepted, the organization will put you in contact with students who are in your geographical area.
Then it will be up to you to offer the same high quality of service that you advertise on your profile and to create a positive link with your clients!
All of the above are great ways to reach out to new clients, but what if you could get clients flocking in without having to do a thing?! Don't get me wrong, you still need to have the things like websites and social media profiles in place, but once you have nailed these areas and then back to doing what you do best - fitness training! - then your existing clients should start to spread the word. And there's no better advertising than word of mouth.
Make sure your Facebook page has an easy to leave feedback system so everyone can read all of your 5-star reviews!
Is becoming a personal trainer really easier than most people think?
Be The Best: Your Personal Trainer Profile
Here are some tips to optimize your profile in order to attract new students to your coaching classes:
- Highlight your strengths: skills, experiences, sports coaching specialities. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a student and ask yourself what could make the difference between you and a competitor.
- Tell a story: being a personal trainer is not just about doing exercises, it's also about building trust and openness between the teacher and the student. Show that you are attentive to the expectations of your students and the associations you work with, share your successes and favourite tips. This can allow you to maximize the price you ask for your training sessions...
- Talk about the commitment you offer to your students: don't speak in technical terms, just say what your sports coaching course can bring, what are the goals you can achieve together: weight loss, fitness tips, getting in shape, toning, muscle building, weightlifting, well-being, nutritional advice.
- Add one or more photos of you in action: "a picture is worth a thousand words" says the saying, and it's true that by illustrating your coaching activity, you will multiply by 10 the number of contacts who reach out, and, therefore, potential students.
- Be careful when writing your ad: no errors in spelling or syntax will be allowed if you want to be taken seriously.
Finding students is not always easy, it is necessary to know precisely what you want to offer and can offer as a personal trainer, highlight your qualities, be dedicated and persevere, and surround yourself with professionals who can give good advice.
Then, if the work you offer is of a high standard, word of mouth will do the rest and those who appreciate you will talk about it to friends, which will bring in more students. You can build a successful personal training business, step by step.
Thinking About How To Price Your Services
All of the above are great tips, but let's face it, they do cost money.
If you are raking in money, this won't worry you too much but the chances are that you are turning to marketing methods because you are somewhat lacking financially! It's a vicious circle!
The cost of a fitness training session varies from professional to professional. If you are very new to the business, then a benchmark personal training session would usually cost somewhere around £30 to £65, depending on your level of expertise. A session is 45 minutes to one hour long.
As a fairly new personal trainer, you may not be feeling as confident as your competition. You want to avoid underselling yourself, yet don’t want to set your prices so high that you miss out on clients.
Here are a few things you need to consider when setting your price:
As a rule of thumb, the average cost of a personal training session is around £30 an hour, but this can rise into the hundreds when you think about cities like London.
The higher the demand, the more you can charge for a session.
If you're unsure where to set your price per hour, take a look at your competition – what do they offer? Is their service more or less advanced than yours?
Don't underestimate how much you will have to pay in tax and national insurance as a self-employed individual. The amount you need to pay for NI contributions starts at £2.95 per week. Don't forget too that you must pay for public liability insurance as a personal trainer. All these costs add up.
Have you got any unique selling points? It may sound a bit superficial but being the brother of a famous footballer or the sister of a reality TV star could be a selling point for your business. Not undervaluing your skillset, it may be that you have won awards or competitions related to the fitness field that you can focus on in your marketing campaigns.
Join the discussion: is personal trainer insurance really necessary?