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A Guide to a Rewarding Career as an Independent Personal Trainer & Wellness Professional

 

Does helping people achieve their fitness and wellness goals make you jump out of bed in the morning in excitement? If the answer is yes, then you should consider a career in personal training as an independent wellness professional.

This is a guide for those considering a career in wellness as well as for those who have already started and want to scale their operations.

Being an independent personal trainer can not only be rewarding, but it can also be a lucrative, full-time profession with stability for multiple decades in a rapidly growing market—a career that provides freedom, excitement, and personal growth and satisfaction.

We at FitForce.com are excited to be on your side as you establish and scale your personal training and wellness business. In this article, we will be covering the following topics:

  • Understanding your career paths
  • Starting and establishing your personal training business
  • Scaling your business for long-term and sustainable growth

Understanding Your Career Paths

Personal trainer career paths lie on a spectrum from generalist to specialist. On one side of the spectrum, generalists are the trainers you see at gyms helping individuals achieve their fitness goals, whether that be staying fit, improving flexibility, increasing stamina, losing weight and/or gaining muscle. On the other side of the spectrum, specialists tend to work with individuals with more niche interests such as Yin Yoga, pilates, and meditation as well as helping those with unique physical needs such as athletes, people with disabilities, and people with injuries. Trainers who consider full-time specialist careers tend to have years of experience as well as formal education and/or training in their specific specialty.

Too early in your career and can’t decide?  

The experience of working with various clients will help you narrow down the fitness goals you are most interested in helping people achieve. When you find something compelling enough for you to invest your time and effort in mastering, that might be the right time to consider taking the first steps to specializing your practice. Be sure to do your research online and offline by connecting with other specialists to truly understand the nuances of their practice. Determine what training programs and certificates will help you master that specialty, and create a personal roadmap for getting the education and training you need. Most importantly,  always have an eye for growing a client base interested in your new specialty, and be ready to transition from generalist to specialist as your client base grows.

Whether you’re a generalist or specialist, the best personal trainers know that communication is the key to success. You’re going to be paid in return for creating results. Understanding your clients and their expectations is going to be one of the most important aspects of your personal training business. Developing your interpersonal and communications skills and developing a repeatable process for serving your clients are critical factors in providing a great customer experience. That excellent experience is the foundation for a sustainable and lucrative independent personal training business that will allow you to enjoy the freedom of independent work.

Starting and Establishing your Personal Training Business

Starting an independent training business can be intimidating. Success lies in your ability to develop your process. A well-thought-out process enables professional delivery of services and ensures a great and consistent customer experience, both of which are key to a successful career.

Process refers to a set of repeatable steps, plans, and programs designed to provide a great client experience and ensure that your clients achieve their fitness goals. Your process is not going to be developed overnight—it is going to time and effort to implement a truly polished process.

As you develop your process, keep in mind that it needs to present you as different from other trainers. So, use these guidelines as just that: guidelines. Be open to and welcome feedback from your clients, and adjust and refine your process.

The key to developing a good process is taking the client experience into consideration and prioritizing that above practically everything else. As you start developing your process, use your friends and family members to get feedback and measure the effectiveness of your process. Ask for their honest feedback, the bad and the good, and keep iterating. Finally, when you are ready, roll out the process to clients.

At a high level, your process should cover:

  • Intaking clients
  • Settings measurable goals
  • Developing individualized programs
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Tracking your clients’ progress
  • Communications and engagement
  • Invoicing and payments

As you are developing your process, be sure to leverage technologies available to you to streamline and automate the administrative tasks. A streamlined process enables you to spend your time on what you do best, freeing you up to engage with your clients to help them achieve their goals.

Data is king. Record your clients’ measurements frequently and log their workouts to keep them engaged. Engaged clients tend to achieve their goals. Their word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals are going to be one of the best sources for acquiring new clients and establishing your business in the first few years of your career.

Scaling your Business for Long-Term and Sustainable Growth

To scale your independent business, consider streamlining and automating the administrative steps of your process, developing your online presence, and exploring online revenue opportunities.

Your ability to scale your business depends on your ability to scale your process. The administrative overhead of running an independent wellness business can become prohibitive if your process is not streamlined. We highly recommend investing in streamlining and automating the administrative parts of your process. Invoicing and payment, scheduling, and communication are chief examples of administrative tasks that can be streamlined and automated using online platforms such as FitForce.com.

Moreover, to truly scale your business, you should consider connecting with prospects outside your immediate network. Developing an online identity can be extremely effective for expanding your reach to potential clients you wouldn’t meet otherwise. Be sure to establish your online identity early on and invest time and effort in engagement. Online advertising on widely available networks such as Google and Facebook can also be a very cost-effective way of acquiring new clients.

Finally, in recent years, selling online fitness programs has become a rich revenue stream that gives more experienced trainers the ability to train tens, hundreds, or even thousands of clients at once.

This was the first of what will be many more articles. In future posts, we will be digging deeper into more specific topics.

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We at FitForce.com are excited to be your partners as you start, establish and grow your independent personal training business. The FitForce.com for Trainers app, available on App Store and Google Play, is a full-suite client management tool that truly streamlines the delivery of personal training services, allowing trainers to focus on helping their clients while providing a truly exceptional customer experience.

Download FitForce.com for Trainers!

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