Becoming a Personal Trainer
To succeed as a personal trainer with a thriving business and plenty of return customers, you not only have to play the part, you have to look the part. This means that if you're going to teach people how to be fit, you have to look fit.
To succeed as a personal trainer with a thriving business and plenty of return customers, you not only have to play the part, you have to look the part. This means that if you're going to teach people how to be fit, you have to look fit. You don't have to be Ms. Body Beautiful, but you must give off the impression that you lead a healthy lifestyle. Look fabulously fit so you exude credibility and confidence. So rule # 1: shape up first!
Becoming a Personal Trainer: Factors to Consider If you want to become a personal trainer and set up your own business, here are factors to consider:
1. Do you have the personality and patience for hand-holding people who are easily discouraged and de-motivated? An effective personal trainer needs to be a nurturing and caring fitness coach. The idea is to consistently encourage and enforce a positive attitude. You must guide them in their weight goals so that they don't have unrealistic expectations.
2. Sign up with a personal trainer and see how he or she trains. In fact, if you can afford it, sign up with several trainers and pick up on their good qualities/techniques. Alternatively, you can do a tour of four or five gyms in your area and observe how trainers conduct their sessions. You may also ask the gym manager what his criteria are for hiring personal trainers.
3. Get certified as a personal trainer - most fitness clubs don't hire non-certified personal trainers. Personal trainers need to know about kinesiology, physical fitness, sports medicine and the muscular-skeletal system. This doesn't mean you need degrees in each, but your certification classes will teach you a little bit of everything. Also, if you can specialize, the better your chances are for your business to reach more clients. Specializing means going beyond physical fitness training; you may want to learn how to conduct rehabilitation exercises for people who had accidents or for people with chronic pain.
4. As for logistics, you need to look into: whether your business is a partnership or single proprietorship, getting a business permit and deciding if you'll set it up from home or rent a location. You need to get personal liability insurance and learn marketing.
5. Target market - opportunities for personal trainers are abundant, even in tough economic times. Health is an ongoing concern, no matter what one's financial health is. Decide if you want to target your community, the corporate world, spa resorts, or people needing physical rehabilitation. You can also target government clients or private clinics, hospitals and sports medicine establishments.
6. Define your marketing strategies - you need to market yourself effectively and this involves marketing your services at minimum cost. Decide if you want to send direct mail, post flyers in your neighborhood supermarket, library and sports arenas or make cold calls. You can also create a web site or have brochures printed and leave them at corporate offices - if you want to service this particular niche.
7. Establish a word-of-mouth referral system - let's face it. People would be a little hesitant to run their fingers through the yellow pages. Word-of-mouth recommendations are as important as marketing yourself. Let others do the marketing for you by providing excellent, courteous and knowledgeable service. Stay on top of the latest training methods and have testimonials ready in case potential clients ask to see them.
8. Volunteer - a great way to establish a network of contacts is to volunteer time and effort in community activities. For example, if there's a fund- raising campaign to buy new sports equipment, offer your services to campaign organizers by saying you'll give free 10-minute demonstrations or do a free three-minute massage for donors! This is a great way to hand out your business card.
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