The Fitness Zone
Having an enjoyable and productive first year as a Personal Trainer is critical to a long and fruitful career, says Daniel Hoy.
If you can build your client base and make a sufficient income, moving successfully into your second year, your chances of having a good career in the fitness industry are doubled.
The beauty of studying with Australian Institute of Fitness is the support you receive after graduating. The Institute has links with Career and Industry Partners, FIRE (fitness industry recruitment) Nights, and Career Scouts who are there to help you find their first job. They also have a dedicated careers website, www.fitnesscareers.com.au, so make use of the resources around you. Because we know starting your own fitness business in the industry can be a little daunting, we have collated a list of tips and ideas to get your personal training business off to a great start;
#1 - Consider starting off working at a gym or personal training studio. It will allow you to get your foot in the door, learn from other Personal Trainers around you, and get a real feel for the fitness industry.
#2 - If you are setting up your own business you'll need to actively find clients, which will take a lot of hard work and persistence. You'll need to think about marketing and sales, and as a Personal Trainer you should be flexible, adapting to your clients' schedules and physical abilities.
#3 - You may well be also limited by the availability of exercise machines at your gym, or by the equipment you can afford in your first year, so swat up on exercise variations and remember to keep the sessions fun and progressive.
#4 - You'll be engaging with all sorts of personalities, and a number of excuses and resistance to exercise, so it's important to really engage with your clients to keep them motivated and excited about their progress. You could use an event or prize to encourage them.
#5 - If you've got your own business you'll need to create a Facebook page, a Twitter account and/or a blog. These are all fantastic ways to start selling your services, because they're all free! Try to post at least once a week, offering advice, tips, special offers, and photos of your clients' progress. Make sure you target your posts to what you can offer your clients; it's about them now, not your own workouts and progress. Use the marketing advice you got in your course at Australian Institute of Fitness, and remember your USP (unique selling point).
#6 - Keep yourself educated, whether it's through The Zone, websites, books, continuing education, or fitness events. Immerse yourself in the industry; remember don't believe everything you read or hear, but do keep an open mind and do your research!
#7 - Approach your local GP or Physio, and let them know you're keen to receive referrals from them. Be sure to build a relationship as nobody will do business with someone they don't like.
#8 - And finally, be exceptional! You've entered a very competitive industry; the best way to survive is to be great at what you do. Take what you have learnt at Australian Institute of Fitness, and run with it!