How to Build a Successful Personal Training Business
It can be easy to put off the dream of starting up your own business. Whether you’re afraid of the lifestyle change, intimidated by the responsibility, or nervous about potential debt, it can be quite a scary journey to embark on for just about anyone.
But if you’ve been putting off starting up a personal training business, it’s looking like there’s no time like the present.
There’s never been a better time to be a personal trainer; according to the Department of Employment, levels of employment for fitness instructors will increase by at least 16.1% between 2019 and 2024. At least two-thirds of those fitness instructors are self-employed. With those odds, what’s stopping you?
Now, you might be asking yourself: but how do I get my business off the ground? What marketing strategy is going to work for me? How do I make sure I’m successful? Should I run my personal training business online? Or maybe, where do I even start?
Here’s a short guide to running your own successful personal training business: what you will need to begin, how to get the word out, and where to go from there.
Before you even start envisioning what your business might look like, you must get certified.
You will also need a Certificate in First Aid. Once you’re all over that, you’re certified – meaning that you can officially begin making up your business plan.
Once you’re certified, the next step is to get registered.
Although it’s not technically a requirement, registering your certification as a personal trainer will prove that you’re not just qualified but skilled. Your future clients will find this reassuring when they’re looking you up.
Registering for a membership with Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia demonstrates that you maintain a high standard in the fitness industry through your ongoing professional training and development.
The need to re-register every two years establishes your ongoing commitment to your craft. Depending on where you choose to register, your membership can also provide you with public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. This kind of protection is always reassuring for business owners, especially when you’re working for yourself.
Know Your Customer
So, you’re certified, you’re registered – now what? It’s time to build your new business from the ground up. Of course, that is easier said than done: where do you even start?
The first thing you should be thinking about when building your business is your customer.
A successful business is built around its customers. So, it would help if you got an idea of how your potential clients might look.
Ask yourself: what does your target market look like? What do you want to provide for your clients? How are you planning to achieve that through your business?
When starting, it’s helpful to keep your market broad so that you can get people talking across a range of demographics.
This gets the word out for your business widely, providing you with a variety of testimonials and spreading your marketability through word of mouth.
To know your target market, you need to know yourself. It’s essential to understand what you need; it’s your business after all. If you want to love your job, you need to love what you do and understand your role as a personal trainer.
Ask yourself: what do you want your day to day to look like? If there’s a specific area you enjoy, whether it’s as broad as targeting weight loss or as specific as strength training for bodybuilders, it might be worth specialising your business.
Specialising won’t just help differentiate your business from the rest of your competitors. It will also give you the ability to tailor your day-to-day routine, crafting a lifestyle you love.
It’s easier to specialise once your business has been established for a while. Starting broad helps you learn what you enjoy so that you can hone in on that later in your career.
Market A Lifestyle
When it comes to mapping out a marketing plan for a small business, nothing is more helpful than social media.
Think of your socials like your business cards; your online profile is probably going to be the way you introduce yourself to most of your client base, so planning your personal brand is essential when it comes to building your profile.
The way you market yourself is entirely up to you, but a general rule of thumb when it comes to social media marketing is to avoid a sales-heavy approach. Don’t pump your followers with explicit advertisements and promotions.
Sure, you’re technically selling your business to your potential new clients – but it should never feel like you’re shoving your business into anyone’s face.
Instead, your socials should promote more than just the services you offer; your socials should show off the kind of lifestyle your business is promoting.
Sure, you can post a workout video, but provide even more value by posting things like before and after shots, healthy recipes, and daily mantras.
If your personal training business is going to be successful, you should be offering more than just a workout routine.
You’re more than just a YouTube video people can follow along with at home; you work with your customers one-on-one so that they can be the best they can be.
You’re offering a lifestyle to strive for; a lifestyle only you and your business can provide.
The best way to promote this is via your socials: create an Instagram feed and a Facebook page that promotes more than just a service, but a lifestyle.
Get Out There!
Once you have mapped out what you want your personal training business to look like, there’s nothing more important than getting yourself out there! You can market yourself all you want but at the end of the day, you learn by doing.
Throw yourself into your new routine and learn what you love; discover what’s so great about working for yourself.