You love working out, you’ve tried every studio that your class pass will allow you and you are convinced that a career as a personal trainer is absolutely for you. Sound familiar? Here’s a few things to consider before you make the leap and apply for your training….
1)Your own training may take a backseat
Love waking up early and smashing that workout before you get to your desk? Yeah….so will your clients. Peak gym times, e.g. pre and post work will hopefully be when you are busiest- have you ever tried to get motivated to work out at 3pm because it’s the only time you have during the day? Its not always easy. Enjoying movement and keeping a decent fitness level is obviously an important pre-requisite but your clients do have to come first, and that can mean adaptations will need to be made for your own workout routine.
2)Where will you work?
Outdoors/local park? Rented space in an existing studio? Travelling to client’s houses? Each scenario has benefits and drawbacks- outdoors environments are often subject to inclement weather which can cause session cancellations, renting space can be expensive until you have an established client base (and even then take a large chunk of your income) and travelling to clients houses, whilst saving money on rent and avoiding weather issues, can take a considerable amount of travel time and can reduce the number of hours you are actually able to book sessions. Think carefully about where will work best for you- this may change over time but initially continuity of training venue will be enormously helpful.
3)Your income will take time to stabilise
Clients will likely pay for their training in session blocks, and when they pay all together your bank account will look ££££. BUT. You will need to remember that their payments may be for a few months worth of training with you and you will need to budget accordingly- goodbye monthly salary. Ask yourself- On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable are you with uncertainty and variability in your income?
4)You may need to consider a side hustle
Most PT’s I know (myself included) have a side gig instructing classes. I am lucky enough to have some fab cycle teaching gigs with great studios in central London. It can be a great way of ensuring a regular monthly income as well as providing you with extra opportunities for meeting potential new clients.
5)You will lose clients (and income)
It happens. If someone loses their job, becomes unwell or must start making financial cutbacks- often PT is the first thing to go no matter how well your client is doing or how much of a rapport they have with you. It really is essential to try to not get too complacent and remain aware of building a pipeline of clients so that your income doesn’t suffer too badly. (it’s a fine line between having a healthy client pipeline and over filling that diary though- this is a development area for me!)
6)There is more to being PT than just being with clients
Personal training is more than developing and delivering exercise plans to be clients. It is VITAL to empower, motivate, educate, and encourage. Always keep in mind that you are running your own business and block out admin hours for invoicing, client programming etc. Finally get proactive and connect yourself with other industry professionals- other trainers, gyms and instructors are NOT your competition and can be so helpful. I learn so much from other PT’s and find this an invaluable part of developing my own skills and my business.
7)Be aware of your social media use and presence
Social media is intrinsically linked to the fitness industry. Find your own personal style, beliefs and the way that you way to work with clients. and use your social media to showcase this. Don’t be afraid to be think differently and be authentic- in a world full of fitpsos, this can be a positive and refreshing change. Ensure your social media is updated regularly as potential clients will often check out your Instagram and twitter accounts if they are interested in working with you. NEVER film/take photos of clients for use on social media without their express permission. I rarely take photos/videos of my clients as I believe it is their personal time and I find it invasive and potentially distracting for my clients. Finally don’t get hung up on the numbers, as the number of followers you have does NOT equate to how good a trainer you are! Some of the best and most experienced PT’s I know have smaller social media followings but are some of the busiest due to word of mouth referrals.
Finally, if you do decide to retrain and become a freelance PT GET AN ACCOUNTANT and also make sure you have a firm late cancellations policy. (Seriously, just trust me :-) )