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5 Tips For New Freelance Personal Trainers

by Olufisayo
Freelance Personal Trainers

Becoming a personal trainer is many people’s lifelong dream, and it’s not surprising — it’s an opportunity to transform your passion into your career. However, freelancing can be difficult.

You no longer have the support of a business, a steady paycheck, or colleagues to brainstorm with. Not to mention, it’s hard to know where to start. But don’t fret — here are our top tips for new freelance PTs who want to grow big.

1. Get your affairs in order

Before you get into the fun parts, it’s important to take care of the admin side of things. Firstly, it’s important to assess the best tax option. Some freelancers would prefer to register as sole traders, while others would benefit from setting up a limited company.

If you’re only starting your business, you’d probably want to opt for the cheapest, simplest option — becoming a sole trader. However, the main disadvantage of it is that you’ll be liable for the business personally. That means you’ll need to pay out of pocket if you enter any debt.

Contrastingly, a limited company is completely separate to you as a person, so it gives you another layer of security, despite being slightly more complex. Either way, you will have to register for VAT and also fill out some forms with HMRC. If thinking about taxes is giving you a headache, you may want to consider hiring an accountant or a lawyer to help.

You should also consider your insurance options. We cannot stress enough how vital it is to get this sorted before your first client session. “Helping your clients get fit is a marathon, not a sprint, and things don’t always go exactly to plan,” explains insurance experts Salon Gold, who offer a bespoke package for personal trainers.

“A client may sustain an injury while following the advice you gave them for their fitness routine. This may lead to a claim for malpractice and spell bad news for your business”. A good insurance policy would cover you in this case, which becomes even more crucial if you’re a sole trader, as you will be personally liable for any debt.

2. Know your audience

There are so many fantastic personal trainers out there, and although you are obviously the best, it’s hard to shine without understanding the type of person you are reaching out to. Are you a specialist pilates instructor that works with arthritis?

Are you an all-encompassing muscle-quencher who is ready to make every 20-something into a Schwarzenegger? Or perhaps you are keener on helping people live a healthier lifestyle and simply lose some weight? Whatever your niche is, it must be clear.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t take on clients that don’t fully align with your audience. However, having this specific affinity can really make a difference when it comes to landing new opportunities and reaching potential customers.

People would be more likely to approach you if you direct your efforts towards their own individual goals. Confusing messaging is not compelling. Appealing to the masses is futile — know your customer profile, and gaining clients will be easy.

3. Create content

Now that you know who you’re addressing, it’s time to devise some content you can attract them with. Do your research and find out which social networks they use, then focus on one or two. Take note of the best practices for those particular platforms (don’t write long textual posts for Instagram, for example, but focus on the visuals).

Look through your target audience’s most loved accounts and hashtags, explore their posts and try to think what fresh angle you can fit into the pattern. If your customer persona is over 40, there’s no reason to open a TikTok account, and instead, you should probably focus on Facebook. But if they’re 18-25, a Facebook group would make no sense.

Starting your own website can also be a great way to entice new leads. Many platforms nowadays, including Wix and Squarespace, allow you to build a website from scratch with no design or programming knowledge. Writing blog posts and articles that teach your audience something and place yourself as a thought-leader can be invaluable, especially if you highlight your unique selling point and the benefits of working out with you.

Make sure your contact details are visible on the website so that anyone who is interested doesn’t have to search for them — otherwise they will get bored and leave. Make it as easy as possible for them to convert from a random visitor to a customer, otherwise, they won’t bother.

Both your website and social media content need to provide value to your target audience. It can be tips, personal advice, explanations, or demonstrations of positions or exercises.

A little research will tell you what your audience is looking for and expecting a personal trainer to know and share. Each piece of content should either be educational or entertaining (or both combined if you’re especially talented). Whatever it is, always have the client in mind and make it worth their while.

4. Offer an online programme

Offering an online programme works on two levels: one, people will be more inclined to give you a chance, seeing as they can do it from their bedroom (or garden, or the park, or anywhere really — you catch our drift).

Secondly, you can reach far and wide through the internet, and you will no longer be bound by geographical barriers. This opens up a completely new market, and with that, new testimonials and referrals that can build up your reputation.

You can do this in multiple ways. A popular lockdown-incepted option is doing a live class on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube would be determined by your target audience and their preferred network. Of course, this would have to be free of charge but has the potential to attract new paying customers. Either way, it will create a buzz and raise your profile — it’s worthwhile to test the waters and study what other Insta-famous PTs are doing online.

5. Highlight your personality

There’s no one just like you. It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. The fact is, what makes you different is what would help you become a sought-after personal trainer, and you can’t do that without insisting that your personality shines through everything you do.

When you interact with potential clients — whether it’s online or during sessions — don’t be cold and over-service-oriented to the point of becoming a perfect clone of every call center agent they have ever spoken to. Of course, don’t go the other way and make people uncomfortable, but rather create a friendly and professional atmosphere.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your interests, crack a few jokes, and make the class fun and exciting using your charisma and charm. In other words, be real, be yourself, and treat people like humans rather than clients. Personal relationships create better results and create referrals, which ultimately attract clients.

Photo by Julia Larson from Pexels

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