After completing an intense and challenging personal trainer course the last thing that you want to do is to start planning out your next moves. You’d rather be celebrating, but let’s take a quick look at what you should be concentrating on (then you can go party).
In 2016 there were 23,000 personal trainers in the UK and that number will only be going up if you are to succeed you are going to want to do all you can to stand out from the crowd. In this article we are going to take a brief look at the steps you should take the moment you qualify, and hopefully give you an advantage over your peers.
For most trainers, their first personal trainer job is either a fully self-employed one, or a part-time job with personal training on the side. Either way, you will now be relying on your own skills and work ethic in a way that most people who are fully employed will never have to. You need to completely change your mindset. You are in competition with every other personal trainer in the country for clients, and this should be clear in your mind.
Everything about work needs a mindset shift, unpaid overtime is not a terrible and unjust thing anymore, it’s a chance for you to expand your business. Training courses are no longer a complete waste of time, they are a valuable way for you to improve your knowledge and make more money. Customer service is no longer something that you have to do to avoid being fired, it is the lifeblood of your business.
It might take you a while to find the right gym for you, and even when you do it may take you some time to build up a large client base. This means that you will suddenly have a lot more free-time than you would usually. Use this time to practice the art of being a personal trainer. Courses can help you learn everything that you need to know about personal training, but actually training people will help you master it.
Perform free sessions for your friends and family, book in as many free taster sessions with people at the gym (provided that you work there and have permission), and train yourself as you would a client. This practice will help you to schedule your sessions better (there’s nothing worse than finishing your fully planned program and realising that you still have 25 minutes left).
It will also help you build rapport with your clients, help you learn what exercises people struggle with, what teaching techniques work and which ones don’t etc … Finally, there’s always the chance that you will be able to get yourself some paying clients out of these practice sessions, which is a huge bonus!
A surprising number of personal trainers are introverts, which is problematic because personal training is definitely an extroverted activity. You are almost always required to go out and find yourself new clients. This involves walking up to strangers, calling strangers on the phone, and interacting far outside your comfort zone. But even the most introverted personal trainer in the world can learn how to network.
It just takes practice and a lot of hard work. Enquire about networking groups in your area, build up a social media platform and talk to other people in your industry, and other business owners in your area. Use the gym to talk to as many people as possible. Plan to talk to 5 people a day, and get at least one of them to try a free training session with you.
Networking is a great form of marketing, and it should absolutely form the majority of your marketing time. But you can also look at other forms of marketing. Having an effective website, social media presence, email list, and even using old school marketing tricks like flyering, going door-to-door, and attending events (wedding fayres are always a good marketing opportunity). Just make sure that you don’t let these techniques overtake your networking (80% networking 20% other marketing techniques is a good split).
Finally, the most important thing that you can do is continue your education. You’re a brand new personal trainer and you are going to be competing for clients with personal trainers who have been in the industry for up to 20 years.
To stand out you are going to need to learn a lot, to help build your fitness business from; marketing courses, nutrition courses, sports massage courses, or exercise courses such as circuit training, will help to improve your business and your service.