Are you thinking about starting a personal training business? Perhaps you have a passion for fitness. Everyone who knows you bumped into you at least once at your local gym. People trust you when it comes to working out. You’re an authority on the physical transformation process and health. You might find it rewarding to see people transform their bodies. But, is that really what it takes to be a personal trainer?
When thinking about personal training, most people think about fitness. Right? But personal training is a lot more than fitness. It’s about setting goals, providing motivation, giving feedback, and most of all, it’s about accountability. And without any of these, it may be hard to achieve practically anything, not just fitness. This is what you probably already know. Now, what does it take to start a personal training business?
To ensure that you’ll succeed in starting a personal training business, here are 6 things you need to know:
1. Starting Your Personal Training Business With A Plan Is a Must
Before you go ahead and jump right into telling people they should work with you; you need to have a business plan. There are a lot of people starting a personal training business. There’s a lot of competition in this industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts fitness training will grow to 8% by 2024. So what makes you different? Why should people pick you out of so many options?
You need to do your research–tons of it. You have to be as detailed as possible because having a good business plan is going to be the backbone of everything you do. It will give you competitive advantages if you do it right. To get you started, it might help to come up with a vision and mission statement. Think about the core values your business believes in. Identify your personal brand.
Some people might not think these are important when it comes to generating revenue. But others must know how you’re running your business. They want to see what you care about and if you align with their values. Maybe you have an emotional story on why personal fitness is important to you? You’ll gain more clients by sharing more about you and your brand.
Why do you do what you do? What’s in it for them?
The most important topic you need to focus on when starting a personal training business is your clients. They’re going to be the reason you keep running.
You need to always have clients in your mind. Ask yourself:
- What niche should you specialize in?
- What services do you offer?
- Who do you serve specifically?
You need to find out who your ideal clients are and why they would be the right fit for your business. You wouldn’t want to take in anyone (even if they can pay for your services). If you work with the wrong people, you might not meet their expectations. I’m sure you want to avoid complaints as much as possible.
When you find out who your target market is, you’ll know exactly who wants your services. You can refine your services to appeal to them more. It’ll be easier for you to get in front of the people looking for what you have to offer.
Your ideal clients should be people who you know best. You should know all their pain points and the real reason behind why they’re not satisfied with the way they look. When you understand a person well, they will immediately trust you and keep coming back for more.
The Specialties Your Clients Will Come Back For
It’s better if you specialize in some services instead of all things fitness. You can focus on getting great at specific skills so people will see you more as an expert.
When you’re dealing with older clients, there may be some workouts they can’t do that a younger client can. This is where you come in and educate them on what’s best for them. Here is where your specialties will shine. example, maybe you’d like to serve older clients? There are a lot of personal training businesses serving young clients already.
Or perhaps you can focus on helping adults who can’t find the time of the day to squeeze in a workout? This would be an advantage for you. You can learn more about what it’s like in the shoes of a professional athlete, a new mother who wants to stay in shape, or a divorced man who wants to get back into dating.
Another example of specialties could be a skill you’re good at. Maybe you want to teach people how to get the best out of a workout without any equipment–only pure body strength? This would help a lot of people who don’t have a gym membership or any equipment at home. And because of you, they’ll know how to get the most out of a workout with only their body.
Do you see why it’s crucial to specialize in a niche? You’ll be seen as an authority, and you will be able to demand higher rates down the road.
2. Plan on How to Prove Your Clients They Can Trust You
Have you ever had your middle school physical education teacher boss you around on the track field? He yells, “Give me a 1-mile run!” as he starts to blow his dollar store-bought whistle. It’s 8:30 AM on a Monday, and you are not in the mood. You’re only half awake, and it’s too cold to be outside. The sun barely got up, so why should you? You then think to yourself, Who is he to tell me to run? Has he seen himself? I’ve never seen him run. He’s not even in good shape.
This is exactly what goes through people’s minds when they see personal trainers who don’t follow their own advice. It’s harder for clients to trust you if you don’t physically look the part. I don’t mean you have to be the world’s strongest looking person. But if you at least know how to demonstrate the things you’re teaching, you’ll be trustworthy.
You can think of it as if you are your own advertisement.
Certification Is Verification When Starting A Personal Training Business
A great way to prove to people they can trust you is to get certified. Every fitness trainer and training business should have certification to show so that clients will have the ease of mind knowing you’re trained properly.
Find out what certification you should get when starting a personal training business–based on what you’d like to specialize in. You are seen as an expert in the field. Make sure you act like one. Start the relationship with your clients right from the very beginning – with them being confident in you. It proves to them that you have the knowledge and can help produce results.
Additionally, if you’re running your own business, you should learn more about the certifications that’ll help you avoid any lawsuits. There are always possible risks in the fitness industry since you’re dealing with other people’s health and safety. It’s best to protect yourself too.
Invest Time In Educating Yourself More
There’s never a time to stop learning. There’s always something new to gain even though you might think you already know it all. Although former education isn’t required, it’s always better if you want more clients. As a professional, you should never stop learning. Never stop reading and keeping up with the latest fitness trends and news. There will always be opportunities for you to grow.
For example, you can attend another personal trainer’s class. Perhaps there are some things you still need to work on, and other people can do it better? You can go to conventions and conferences. That’s where you’ll network and connect with like-minded people. Think of these as all investments for your business. It’ll make you and your business stronger.
3. Think About The Costs Of Starting A Personal Training Business
Costs and expenses are never easy to think about, especially when you’re starting out. That’s why you need to plan carefully to see what’s right for your budget.
These questions will help you find out how to estimate costs for starting a fitness business:
- Will you purchase liability insurance?
- Is there going to be another partner involved or other employees?
- Are you going to open your own facility or meet with your clients somewhere else?
- Do you have to buy any equipment and other supplies?
- Have you set aside a budget for advertising and marketing?
You can plan out how you’re going to distribute your budget in these different categories. And depending on your answer, you might or might not have many overhead costs. It mainly depends if you’ll either have your own facility, go to a local fitness center, or work from a home-based gym. Let’s say you meet clients wherever they’d like to meet. You won’t have to spend on rent, utilities, equipment, maintenance, and staff. You’ll only need to spend on gas and liability.
4. Starting a Personal Training Business Shouldn’t Mean Working 24/7
You’ve probably been thinking about how much you should charge your clients. Usually, personal trainers charge clients for each session–an hourly rate. Perhaps you can charge clients more if you have to travel to them? Or you can offer a special promotion to clients if they decide to pay upfront for several sessions?
I can’t tell you exactly how much you should charge because I don’t know what you know. But I do know that the prices may vary depending on the location you’ll be training at. You can see what other personal trainers are charging in the area. If you want to charge clients more, you have to think about the value you’re going to give them. Are you going to provide them with the equipment? Are you going to teach them new skills? What makes you better than anyone else?
Don’t raise your prices without any change to your services. Always find ways to add more value. You can start by giving them advice about their diet or recommend what supplements to use. As you pick up more clients, you can also consider raising your prices. That means your time is more valued to many more people.
Are You A Full-Time Or Part-Time Personal Trainer?
You have to decide how much you’re willing to work without dealing with burnout.
You might be eager to take on as many clients as possible, but remember – you need time for yourself too. Try to get your clients to commit to a consistent schedule. This will allow you some time to operate and grow your business in other ways.
You’ll have to get used to working during hours that people don’t. When clients clock out of work, that’s the time you clock in. You might even have to work early in the morning–before clients get to work. You’ll have more free time in the middle of the day, but be prepared for less time with your family and social life.
Personal trainers may be able to make their own schedule, but if you’re starting a personal training business, you might find yourself committing too much time in hopes of more success. Don’t forget to block out time for your personal interests. I know you might feel guilty about doing it and not working. But taking some time off will improve your performance, and you’ll be able to give your clients your best.
All successful business owners that I personally know spend time reflecting–rejuvenating their minds and body too.
5. Don’t Just Strengthen Your Client, Strengthen The Relationship Also
I mentioned how important it is to learn about your clients earlier, but really, it deserves a whole section itself. Before you even think about taking on a new client, get to know them first. You can ask them:
- What are your goals for these personal training sessions?
- What do you hope to accomplish with a personal trainer?
- How urgent is it for you to reach your goals?
Ask as many questions and get more clarity on what they want. They’ll appreciate you for listening as it shows them you care. Once you discover what your client needs, you’ll know exactly how to deliver your services. Not every client has the same body and goals. It’s your responsibility to find out who they are and what they want.
Sometimes a client wants to focus on gaining muscles instead of losing weight. Some clients might have an injury that you should know about. Some other clients just simply admire you and want to learn from you. When you understand your client’s goals, you can educate them on what to do next. You’ll find out if you’re the right fit for them or not. Sometimes what they’re looking for might be out of your services, and it’s fine turning them down. If you do well in connecting with the client, fewer objections will come up. It’ll be hard for them to say no to you.
Client Relationships Pay Well
Imagine you have 10 loyal clients who pay you well. That’s all you’ll need to at least pay the bills and more. Imagine if you have 10 inconsistent clients, though. You’ll probably be opening your availability to pick up more phone calls and hope you meet your sales goals every month.
There’ll never be a “bad month” if most of your clients are ongoing. You can show your appreciation to clients by checking in with them and see how they’re doing. Ask them if they have any questions or need additional help. You can even give them simple gifts if there’s an occasion.
What’s even better is that if clients like you, they might refer other people to contact you for your services. It won’t be a problem for you to ask them for testimonials either. If more people see how great you are with your clients, they’ll want to work with you.
6. Marketing is Everything When Starting a Personal Training Business
If you don’t have much of a budget for marketing when starting a personal training business, you’ll want to depend on client testimonials and referrals. In other words, word of mouth advertising is your best bet.
It costs almost nothing to do word of mouth. But there’s a trade-off–you have to keep clients happy and produce results. Does that sound fair enough? Another affordable way to market your services is through social media. It’s free to make an account on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Why not leverage it?
You can use social media to attract new customers by offering helpful information and value. Try not to sell. It’s better if you see social media as a place to answer questions and connect with your audience. You can share useful fitness tips and tricks. You’ll likely gain more attention that way. Also, you can offer free sessions at your local gym or community centers. That’ll create some buzz online and increase your profile’s visibility. It’ll even highlight your skills and you could gain new clients if people like what they see.
Networking is something your business can thank you for when you invest time in it. You can either host or attend public events and reach out to other personal trainers who’ve gone through what you’re going through. They might recommend you tools you need to help grow your business faster. Those who are already successful in the field are most likely willing to share some advice and guidance. You’ll avoid some mistakes and make better decisions.
Make Money With Your Website
Don’t just finish making your website and leave it in hopes people will find you. Your website is a powerful tool you can strategically make money with. It’ll require you to be active online and update it frequently. What any good websites need is quality content. The more valuable your content is, the more free traffic you’ll bring. People will start noticing your services if your content is interesting enough.
Even search engines will favor your website by ranking you higher if they see that visitors find your information helpful. Your website will become more accessible to anyone. This will give your business more credibility and authority. You can start by adding a blog to your website and consistently post engaging content. Your audience will feel connected with what you have to offer, and they’ll be more convinced to pay for your services. You’ll do less of the selling.
If you’ve set aside a marketing budget, you can consider running online ads–either through social media, Google, or both. That’ll help your business pop up right in front of your target audience.
Starting a new business is no easy task. If you focus on the right things, in the beginning, you’ll be set for success through the process. That’s why you need to avoid common mistakes other personal trainers make. Making the right decisions will help put your business forward and in front of others.
I want you to be aware that there are a lot of people starting a personal training business, and clients want to find out why they should choose you instead. A good business plan and a strong relationship with your clients will differentiate you. And with the right marketing, people will be familiar with your services across all online platforms. Whatever you do, the key thing to remember is – keep learning. Stay up to date with the latest fitness news and trends. See what other successful business owners are doing to dominate their industry.
If you are still lost in your business planning or need help scaling your business, you can turn to the High Ticket Influencer Program. This program gives business owners and coaches access to exclusive secrets and guidance on how to grow their business to 6-7 figures. You’ll be using the same system and strategies I used for my business too. If you’re really serious and ready to take your work to the next level, then the High Ticket Influencer Program might be for you.