Become A More Successful Personal Trainer or Group Instructor And Make More Money
When I was first asked to write about this subject, one near and dear to my own bank account, my head started to split in multiple directions. How to be a successful personal trainer? Do I write to the fitness fanatic wanting to make that career change leap? Or the trainer that did that a year ago and is now finding it hard to make ends meet? Or the seasoned professional trying to grow their net cash flow while already maxed out time wise?
Hmm… I’m going to try and address all of you. Sometimes, even simple ideas can get overlooked by the already-too-busy trainers. And the new and slightly less newbies, some things for you to think about.
Lots of fitness professionals tend to skip this one for a few reasons. Of course, it’s confusing as there are SO many places offering ‘certification’ now, from online to courses at local colleges. They are not cheap and you will need to keep paying … for CEC’s, renewals etc.
Go with a nationally accredited organization. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), (American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) are strong choices. Even, if you’ve been training uncertified for years, to quote NIKE ‘just do it.’
And newbies? Spend some time, like a year or so working at local gyms, spas and YMCAs. You will learn a lot. Be helpful to your managers, take advantage of the benefits (classes especially) and learn. Lots of times you will find your career path here. Promotions usually come from within the organization.
Be an Expert Networker
If you did the step above and got certified, then you will get a lot of benefits to expanding your circle. To be a successful personal trainer, you need to take full advantage of everything your certification has to offer. Get to know all the club owners and trainers in your area that you can. Don’t be an island, be the bench mark of your community.
Bone Up on your Social Media
Okay, I hate social media truth be told, but I must ‘pretend’ to like it. Especially Facebook. Make sure you keep your personal page clean (save the politicking for private pages only), limit the selfies to ideally those of you with clients having fun (ask for their permission) and don’t just post about you … or you trying to sell something.
Post things your clients actually want to read about 2/3rds of the time. Also, post community classes you are offering. That’s code for free. Be sure to engage your clients in your page and get them to engage with other Facebook friends. Yeah Deb, easier said than done. Which leads me to my next tip.
Have a Business Plan
The biggest mistake is to think you don’t need one!
Know your market, know your competition. And no, trying to just knock off your competitor’s ideas (apart from bad karma) will usually not work. Find your niche market. I re-visit my business plan quarterly to see where I’m at and to tweak it. Have a budget, have attainable goals, monthly, quarterly and yearly.
Be patient if you’re off, it’s a learning process and we are in an ever-changing industry. But if you put these 4 top tips into practice and adhere to them, your success as a personal trainer will come. Best of luck!
About the Author
Deborah Beck is a six-time Ironman athlete, coach and personal trainer. For over 25 years she has combined her love of sports and fitness with her passion for travel and adventure. Her early work as a Fitness Director moved her throughout Asia, the Middle East and the UK. She holds multiple certifications and is currently working towards her 500 hour Yoga Medicine. Her training philosophy incorporates Pilates, yoga, Gyrotonic and strength to produce a balanced, unique approach to high endurance training. She is currently launching a global training and lifestyle company and online community. When not traveling, she splits her time between Quogue NY and Telluride Colorado.