Things To Know When You Become a PT
Before I write my “How I became a PT” story, I thought it would be good to write down all my learnings to date, from starting out through to now.
- Work all the hours in the beginning because they’ll be few and far between as you build up a schedule. Never say no but give yourself at least one day off, even if you’re telling yourself it’s only 1 hour on a Sunday. You need that mental break!
- See if you can teach a group class as this will help people understand your approach and get people to know you as a trainer.
- Initially, be open to working across 2 studios to catch people in off peak hours and then have a space for peak hours.
- But! understand that this can get time consuming with travel and one day it might be worth you focusing on one space.
- Know your worth and don’t feel that because programming and training comes naturally to you, you shouldn’t charge for it. It’s your time and trust me, it adds up. I massively underpriced myself, don’t do the same.
- Network. Reach out to other PTs/people in the industry. Often an opportunity can arise from a coffee so you don’t know if you don’t try.
- Get yourself a PT, and then get yourself another PT. You need to value your profession, so if you’ve never had a PT yourself, how can you really understand the benefit for your clients? Plus, it’s how you learn. You see how they interact with you, you learn their ways of teaching and programming and you can apply elements you feel will fit with your own style.
- Always know that there will be someone better than you. BUT there will be a hell of a lot more people worse than you. The personal training industry is full of all sorts of characters. You’ll come across some “know-it-alls”, but truth is, we never ever really know it all as it’s constantly changing, different trends, new research plus people have different opinions.
- Keep learning. Education is KEY! Firstly it shows you value your job and your clients. The more you train into a niche, the more you discover similar issues that are worth learning more on. Secondly, it helps put you ahead of others because a lot of people feel what is an incredibly basic Level 3 is enough – IT REALLY ISN’T. Finally, it helps you specialise in your niche further.
- You won’t start out with a niche, you find it as time goes on. Initially I taught everyone, from male bodybuilders to female HIIT fans, then drilled down into my niche.
- Don’t dwell on people finishing their time with you. This is really important when starting out. It will depend on your approach to training, their circumstances etc. Some people want a reboot or to learn some skills, some just want a cheap offer, others are in it for the long haul with the weekly accountability.
- You will (and should) know the ins and outs of your clients. As soon as they walk in that door you can tell if they’ve had a bad day at work or if they’ve had a good night’s sleep. Mood massively effects training and also clients like to talk.
- Mostly get clients you get on with otherwise that hour is going to be painful for them and you too – you want them to look forward to that time and see it as an investment. Yes, in the beginning you may have a few frogs but in time , you’ll be able to pass them up. Use the consultation process at the beginning to work out whether they’re good for you or not.
- Don’t be afraid to charge for referrals. Likelihood is people will do it to you. Hell, in my initial stages the person was getting £15-20 a session out of me through referrals! And that was over 3-4 months. Truth be told, it was hard at the time but I wouldn’t change it for the world as it helped me get clients when I wasn’t known/established. And a lot of those clients I still have 4 years later!
- Then again, when something no longer serves you, don’t be afraid to move on.
- Invest in business coaching and your business. How do you expect it to grow if you don’t put any effort in?! In order to progress you have to change something (like with exercise).
Once you’ve been in the industry for a while, remember now it’s you time to share your knowledge and experience with others.
The fitness industry is surprisingly warm and welcoming (unless that’s just the people I’ve met, but then again I’ve now met a fair few people and I can safely say, you’re in good hands!)
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Great post, thank you! Lots of great advice!