Qualifying as a PT is an exciting but scary experience. You've been blasted with a load of information during your course and you've memorised the texts books; now it’s time to enter the real world of training! You’re qualified and ready to work your magic on the general public.
We've put together some top tips on how to grow and develop yourself in the fitness industry, and here they are:
Train your Family and Friends for Free
Your PT course is a bit like a driving test. You have to do and say things in a particular way to get through it and become fully certified. However, the real journey starts when you are out there and training people. You’ll come across people with lots of different ailments*, some major and some minor. The key is to safely work with these people and build up some experience, for you and for them. Remember, these people could potentially become paying clients too! Friends and family can really help you as they’ll help you master the skills required to become an established PT. You will be able to put into practice what you learnt on the course and successfully use it on ‘real’ people. Remember, family and friends could be your biggest cheer group too and help you build up your business through word of mouth and social networking. What most PTs don’t realise is how important marketing is.
*Note, some serious medical conditions may require a specialist qualification... But you already knew that!
Once you are training people, remember to collect stats about how much weight or inches they have lost. Photographic evidence is probably the most powerful tool when it comes to selling personal training because customers love to see what they might achieve, too. Before and after shots of clients are a powerful way of demonstrating this. Very simply, take photos of your client** on day 1 of their programme, then retake at the same angles 4, 6, 8, 12 weeks later, for example.
**Note, not all of your clients will be comfortable having their photos being taken. Explain the benefits in terms of motivation but don’t push it if they really don’t want them taken.
Get Endorsements and Testimonials
Offer to train someone in the community who is highly regarded. You will have to do the groundwork on who that might be. If you offer the right people free or discounted sessions they could become walking, talking advertising for you and your business.
Once you've trained your client for a while, ask them for a testimonial. Make sure they are happy and comfortable with you using them for marketing purposes.
Never Stop Learning
Once you've qualified your options are huge! Never stop reading and have a thirst for knowledge. The fitness industry is so exciting and ever evolving – Always keep up to date! Keep your ear to the ground and get ready to pounce on the next trend!
We’re fortunate to have the internet available 24/7, with a world of research articles and case studies at your fingertips.
After a while your niche may become apparent. Perhaps you like working with older adults or people looking to increase muscle size? Either way there are courses you can take to progress your career to the next level.
A job as a PT isn't just being robotic and going through a training plan. We have the ability to make a real impact on someone’s life. Tell them why they’re doing certain exercises and how it will help them. Send them articles you've found. Even give them homework to do! Most importantly, be infectious, take pride and be passionate about what you do!
Build up a Network
Start making connections with people that can directly help you bring in new clients. This can be physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches etc. If you personally suffer with an injury go and see a physio. Tell them what you do and start to build a working relationship with them. In time you will hopefully get a two way referral system going. You refer clients to them, they refer clients to you. Win win!
Whether you are out on the gym floor working or using the local park, you can be your very own walking advertisement. You should be keeping yourself in the best shape possible, and you should be leading a healthy, active lifestyle. If you are training yourself, your technique should be spot on and you should be conducting yourself professionally at all times. Body language is one of the most powerful forms of communication. Do not underestimate the impression you give people by how you train and how you conduct yourself. Be professional at all times.
The last one is really important...
NEVER curl in the squat rack!
Don’t be known as the PT who doesn't know what they are doing! Get results, be inspiring and make people WANT to train with you. Most of all, enjoy what you do, this is a fantastic industry to be a part of!
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