Being a personal trainer or a fitness instructor is a natural fit for anyone who is passionate about exercise and health. The role gives you the chance to teach and support others, helping them to achieve their fitness goals. It can be hard work at times, but it can also be very rewarding.
Personal training is also part of the larger health and wellness industry. This means there is always a demand for personal trainers. After all, people are always looking for ways to improve their health and lose weight.
A personal trainer can provide them with the direction and motivation that they need. In many cases, this is more effective than someone trying to improve their own health.
Convinced yet? If you are, read on. We’re taking a look at how you can make money as a personal trainer – even if you’ve never worked in a gym before. We’re also considering various ways to attract clients and increase your income.
Table of Contents
Making Money As A Personal Trainer
What You Need To Get Started
There are two different ways to earn as a personal trainer. One is to join a company and work for them. The other is to start your own personal trainer business. Both approaches can be effective and the requirements are pretty similar.
Licensing And Certification
There is no nationally recognized certification to become a fitness instructor, although there are various licenses that you can attain. However, there is no legal requirement to have a license.
You could actually start your own business with no previous experience and no knowledge of the field – although that wouldn’t be a good idea.
If you want to work for someone else, you may need to go through some type of licensing program. Most places will have specific qualifications that they want you to get, so you’ll need to research these before you apply for a position.
On a side note, there are some online services that ‘certify’ people as personal trainers. The certification just involves very basic information and is mostly just a way to dodge liability. This type of certification may be a way to make you look better as a personal trainer, but it is incredibly manipulative.
You should also check local requirements for being a personal trainer and having a small business. In many cases, you’ll need to register your business name, even if you don’t plan to hire employees.
It’s a good idea to consider insurance too, especially if you’re going to run your own business. There are a few different types. First, you’ll want protection for yourself, in case you get injured.
You’ll also want liability insurance. This protects you if clients get injured. Let’s face it, injuries and accidents do happen. It’s always best to be prepared.
Beyond this, you may need insurance for equipment, especially if you plan to invest in expensive machines. It’s always best to talk to experts and get advice about what you’re going to need for your specific goals. Insurance can be expensive sometimes, but it is worth having in the long-run.
Experience, Passion and Fitness
You’re also going to want some expertise and interest in the field. No one is going to hire a personal trainer who is out of shape or seems to know nothing about helping people get fit.
You don’t need to be the world’s leading expert. But, at the very least, you’ll need to spend some time researching and getting into shape yourself.
You should also look into techniques and methods of training. After all, you want to promote the best possible outcomes for your clients.
Working For Someone Else
There isn’t much to say about getting hired as a personal trainer. This is simply a job, so you’ll need to look out for listings and go through the application processes.
You could also visit gyms yourself and ask if they are looking for more trainers. Some may have positions available, even though they’re not advertising.
The requirements to be a personal trainer will vary from one gym to the next. Some places may look for experience and specific qualifications. Others may simply need someone who is fit, as they can teach the rest.
Starting Your Own Business
There is plenty of money to be made working on your own. Many clients won’t want to go to a gym, especially if they’re embarrassed about their weight or fitness. Gyms can also make members pay for personal training and for membership, which isn’t appealing either.
Starting a personal training business isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds. But, there are some steps that you need to take.
Choose An Angle
Fitness is a huge field and there are many personal trainers out there already. You can increase your chances of success by choosing a specific angle to focus on.
For example, stay-at-home moms may be looking for personal training that improves their fitness, without being extreme. Alternatively, you might target overweight or obese clients, ones that are trying to get fit and lose weight. The options are endless.
To start off with, you might want to think about your audience. Who are you going to promote to? What type of training are they likely to want?
Specializing like this has many advantages. For one thing, it makes marketing much easier. Having something unique to offer sounds much better than being just another personal trainer.
The approach makes it easier to refine your skills too. After all, if your customers are mostly interested in light-to-moderate physical training, you don’t need to brush up on bodybuilding techniques.
Think About Equipment
Most personal trainers will need some equipment. Precisely what this is will depend on your audience and the type of services that you’re going to offer. You need to carefully consider this in the planning stage.
Do you want to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in a home gym and have people come to you?
What about just focusing on more basic and portable equipment, like dumbbells and resistance bands? Many exercises can be done with bodyweight anyway, so you don’t need expensive machines for most audiences.
If you plan to train clients in their homes, then you can expect them to have most of the equipment that you need. However, you’ll still want some of the more basic and easily portable items.
You would also need to make this clear to potential customers. People who have never used a personal trainer before may not know what to expect.
Once you’ve got your angle and equipment figured out, you need to let people know what you offer. This is the most critical part and can seem the most challenging.
Thankfully, there are many avenues that you can take.
You might start off with local techniques. For example, you could post an ad in the local newspaper or on Craigslist. You might direct customers to a phone number or email address, where they could contact you and talk about the particulars.
But, what about using a website?
Websites are powerful in so many ways. They’re great because they offer a large amount of information all in one place. For example, you might include details about your services and pricing. As time goes on, you could also add testimonials from satisfied clients, along with before and after images.
Building a website isn’t difficult or expensive, not anymore. The process also saves you time in the long-run. You can simply direct people to the site to answer their initial questions. That’s more productive than having to explain everything over the phone or by email.
A website can also help you promote yourself. Small businesses often rely on local SEO techniques to make their business easier to find.
This is becoming more and more important. Nowadays, customers often look for a company’s website before they do anything else. So, having a findable website is critical.
You can also take advantage of other digital techniques. Many businesses use social media, such as Facebook, as ways to promote themselves. This can be a great way to engage people.
Other types of social media can work too. For example, inspirational fitness images are often popular on Pinterest and Instagram. By taking this approach, you could get people passionate about their fitness and promote your website, at the same time.
One final approach is networking. You may be able to convince health providers to recommend your services. Satisfied clients may do the same, along with people who you know personally.
This is another reason why having a website is so important. People can easily direct others to the site (so, make sure your domain name is easy to remember).
You can also print and distribute business cards with your website on them. Honestly, there is no shortage of options. Feel free to get creative. The more people who know about your business, the higher your potential income.
Provide A Good Service
To create a successful business, you need satisfied clients. That’s especially true early on when you’re just starting to get traction.
I go to the gym every week to lift weights, and I like to relate money-making ventures to weight lifting, exercise, and weight loss. In this case, making money as a personal trainer is very similar to training.
With action, you can make money relatively quickly. In fact, I think if you take some serious steps to starting your own personal training business (assuming you have the qualifications), you could make $500 or more pretty quickly, then you can reinvest that money into building a website, doing advertising, and growing exponentially month over month.
Focus on providing the best possible service, one that is personalized to each individual client. Exceeding clients' expectations is a sure way to grow your business by word of mouth. Plus, if your clients are meeting their goals, people will notice, so each successful client is like a walking billboard for you!