If people constantly ask you to help them get fit, you may want to consider becoming a personal trainer. While personal trainers aren’t new, the online space is booming with opportunities. It’s time to take your knowledge, talent, and expertise and help others achieve their goals.
There are tons of advantages to becoming a personal trainer, including that you work when you want. Imagine being able to set your own hours so you can have flexibility in your day. Sounds good, right? Now, the term personal trainer is broad. Finding your niche is the key to being successful. There are personal trainers who only work with bodybuilders, weight-loss groups, professional athletes, and the list goes on.
Once you figure out where your skills are best suited, you’ll be ready to move to the next step. Once you’re ready to commit, there are a few things you need to do to get started.
Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer
- Get certified
It’s important to get certified because that demonstrates you have taken the time to not only invest in yourself and become recognized for your skills, but you care about training your clients the right way.
If you’re going to work in a gym, they usually require some type of certification for their trainers. Trainers must have a diploma or GED before they can get fully certified. Depending on the type of certification you seek, you may have to go through a specialized program. These programs are nationally known for personal training. In most cases, you should have first aid/CPR/AED training.
- American Council on Exercise
This class is about six months and has an exam voucher. You’ll have six months to take the exam. There are three programs to choose from to get you prepared.
- International Sports Science Association (ISSA)
There are three different accredited programs to choose from. Each one is 12 months.
- National Academy of Sports Medicine
You can pay for the exam or choose to purchase a study materials bundle. You must recertify every two years.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association
They have a membership that you can join. Once you register for the exam, you must take it within 120 days. The fees for the exam vary based on whether you are a member or not.
- National Federation of Personal Trainers
There are two course packages with the exam included. You must recertify every two years.
- Develop training strategies
Once you become certified, developing training strategies that become your signature is key. Your proprietary methods that get results help you stand out in the marketplace. Working with a sports doctor can enhance your offerings, and listening to your existing clients can also assist. Doing this will help in offering your classes in-person and online. Developing an online portion of your class will help you with exposure in the marketplace.
If you’ve decided to offer an online portion of your program, you want to make sure your clients can reach you with questions. Developing an app is a good solution where they can look at the exercises, see how to do them the right way, ask questions in the app, and get the information they need in one place. A website is also a good idea that has a members-only section. This way, your clients will get consistent updates and will be able to contact you at a moment’s notice.
It’s important to figure out the delivery of your classes. Will they be live and available online at certain times? Will they be pre-recorded? Are you going to add meal plans to this? All of these are considerations for online and live classes. Finally, you must think about their progress. How will it be monitored? Do they need to wear a heart rate monitor? How will they weigh in?
- Register your business
Once you are ready to put yourself out there as a professionally certified personal trainer, it’s time to make it legitimate. While you don’t need a business license to work as a personal trainer, it makes you look more professional and gives you credibility. You want your clients, gyms where you train, and any vendors you work with to trust your brand.
You may expand your offerings and have a desire to open your own gym. As an established business, you can quickly move on this and people will already know and trust your name.
- Get business insurance
People get injured all the time when exercising. As a personal trainer, you want to protect yourself and your clients from any risk. It’s easy to think that everything will be okay, but there’s always that one client that may want to go a step further and file a lawsuit against you. Business insurance can help.
Personal trainer business insurance can protect you against allegations of negligence, copyright infringement, and more. If you opt for general liability insurance, this will cover any bodily injury, property damage, and more. Speaking with a business insurance agent will point you in the right direction to make sure you are fully covered every step of the way.
Make sure you review the quotes on the policy and get different ones to compare pricing and coverage. You should also take the time to speak to other personal trainers to find out what types of insurance they currently use. Depending on your niche, you may have more risk than others. It’s always important to consider this when moving forward.
- Keep learning
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to stay up to date on the latest techniques and strategies on the market. Trends change and advances in the industry or from sports doctors should always be welcomed into your systems and processes. When you take the time to invest in yourself and make a concerted effort to make sure your clients are always getting the best, it will show in everything you do, including their results.If you’re using tech in any way, you should stay up on the latest tips and techniques. If there are videos on your website, they should be updated and refreshed. The graphics you use for social media should follow a pattern. How will you record and edit your videos? What software will you use, or will you have someone working with you?
Your learning doesn’t stop there. It’s a good idea to learn how to effectively use social media and watch your analytics to see when people engage most. Once you have really become established, considering merchandise and how to use a platform to sell that merchandise comes into the mix.
The best way to enhance your learning is to do it. No one can do what you do like you do it, so make sure you know and understand every element of your business.
- Creating marketing visual assets
This directly ties into the learning portion of building a career as a personal trainer. Although you may have a website and use social media, you need other types of branding to stand out from the competition. You should have a logo that’s distinctive and memorable to use on all your business touchpoints.
Your business cards and other items should also be standardized to match your logo for consistency. When developing your logo, you should consider some existing personal trainer logo ideas to imagine what you could develop.
Your graphics should also be crisp, clear, and authentic. Your clients should be able to relate to every part of your brand.
Marketing visual assets are crucial in the development of a lasting brand. Make sure you create assets that capture and engage your current and prospective audiences every time they interact with your brand.