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Getting Your First Personal Training Client
Becoming certified as a personal trainer can be empowering and even life-changing. And, for those setting out in search of your first client, it can be more than a little intimidating.
There are a number of tips for new personal trainers to follow. The more critical ones, however, are those that lead to building a clientele. The reality is that very few new trainers “hit the ground running.” They also rarely make a lot of money from the start.
Being new to the business does have its challenges, but being assertive in your desire to become successful in a gratifying career will help.
Connect with Potential Clients
Spend a lot of time in the gym. Become a familiar face and meet as many people as possible. And it never hurts to look the part. Show that you know your way around the gym and that you understand the importance of keeping yourself physically fit.
A smart way to get noticed is to provide a free training session for a friend, colleague, or family member. It allows everyone else to see you in action. It will speak to how you interact with clients and put your knowledge to work.
Remember, you are among like-minded people in the gym, so don’t be afraid to start up a conversation. Let it be known you are a certified personal trainer looking for business. Be willing to share your knowledge and offer tips to anyone who seems open to the information. Seek out anyone interested in weight loss, strength training, or incorporating new exercises into their workouts.
It is beneficial to offer a free training session to someone who appears to be a potential client. They might come away from the workout impressed with your knowledge and comfortable working with you.
For the most part, people prefer to not make a financial commitment when “going in blind.” Let your assets work for you while making potential clients feel better about their investment.
Social Media and the Online World
Be willing to market your services, especially when just starting out. Start using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or any other form of social media. There is no better way to spread the word that you are open for business as a certified personal trainer.
Sharing your fitness knowledge within your network enhances your credibility. It also expands your reach at no cost to you, which is vital when looking for your first client.
Creating your own website is another option. It provides a place to promote your business through video, testimonials, and personal blogs.
Even more lucrative is the option of starting an online training arm for your business, where clients purchase access to your various workout videos.
Reaching out to the local community offers another way to reach potential clients. Distribute business cards and flyers to area businesses that agree to share them with their customers. Include a description of the services you offer and a way to contact you. Offering a free consultation is a good way to convince people to make that all-important initial contact.
Local health organizations offer another way to reach potential clients. Connect with various clinics, doctor’s offices, and senior living facilities. Let them know you are local and interested in helping anyone recovering from an injury, in need of losing weight, or wanting to live a more active lifestyle. Become their go-to contact for anyone who would benefit from the use of a certified personal trainer.
Tailoring Your Business
Not to be overlooked is the fact that there are several different ways to make a living as a certified personal trainer. The career path you start with doesn’t necessarily have to be the one you stay on forever.
Most new personal trainers find work at a gym in their neighborhood, be it a national brand or a locally-owned facility. Some national gyms offer work that does not include selling personal training sessions, which is appealing to beginning personal trainers. The tradeoff? You’re paid only a small percentage of the cost of the training session, basically the equivalent of minimum wage.
Producing your own clients pays considerably better because it includes a sales commission. There is an art to completing a sale, and not everyone is cut out for the work that involved. But if you start with a solid belief in your ability and what you offer, the process becomes more natural.
Developing sales and marketing skills is beneficial should you decide to work as an independent contractor or start your own business. This is the most financially attractive way to go. Options include working out a deal with a gym to pay a fee for using the facility to train clients, or setting up your business where you train clients in their homes.
The latter option calls for an investment in some equipment, including dumbbells, a weight bench, and exercise mats, but there is no sharing of the money you make per session.
Overall, is important to practice patience, but also to be willing to invest your time at the outset in building your brand. This can lead to a financial payoff down the road.
Looking for more ways to build your client list? Add an ISSA specialization or two to stand out from the crowd and draw in specific clients. As a certified personal trainer, you have plenty of options to make a living in the fitness industry.
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