Are you interested in becoming a personal trainer? This kind of work certainly has a huge range of advantages from the fun and social aspects of the working environment to the individual challenges of specific clients and their goals. But becoming a great personal trainer isn’t easy. Here, Dakota Murphey shares some tips to help you on your way to success. Get the right qualifications The term ‘personal trainer’ is not regulated legally, so anyone can claim to be a personal trainer without requiring any qualifications. While this is something that you could do, it is absolutely something that must be avoided. Firstly because most reputable gyms will require a Level 3 personal training or fitness instruction qualification, but secondly because getting these qualifications sets you up for success. You might think that being a personal trainer simply involves motivating someone to do 20 minutes on a treadmill instead of 15, but the reality is that people expect their personal trainer to be highly knowledgeable and fully qualified to do the job. Find a local training provider and book a course. Learn from successful trainers If you want to be a successful personal trainer, you need to learn from those who have excelled in the profession. It’s a smart idea to really do your research on what the best personal trainers do. How do they get results? How do they get new customers? What forms of advertising work best for them? Take the time to read books written by successful trainers or listen to the most popular personal trainer podcasts. This personal trainer resource list features some of the most interesting and valuable lessons on the subject. See what your competition is doing It’s important for you to understand that your personal training business does not exist in isolation. You need to do your research and understand the competition in your local area. If you’re just starting out, you need to establish what experienced local trainers are charging and price yourself beneath them. You still need to prove yourself and find a niche in the community, so don’t be disheartened if you can’t charge the prices you would like to initially. Be realistic about your schedule One of the advantages of being a self-employed personal trainer is that you can set your own hours. But it can often be the case that you find yourself taking on too much work because you don’t want to say no to clients. Decide on your schedule and stick to it – most clients will be more than happy to work around you, and if they won’t, it’s unlikely the relationship would work for long. Invest time in social media Social media is one of the most useful tools for the personal trainer. Set up private Facebook groups between you and your clients. Here you can post their plans and programmes, and they can share their success stories and gym photos with you. Being able to stay in contact with clients can be extremely useful. Other sites like Instagram and Twitter give you the opportunity to share photos, chat with potential clients and more. Lead by example As a personal trainer you need to be setting a good example to your clients. That doesn’t mean that you have to have 0% body fat and no physical flaws, but it does mean that you need to be keeping yourself healthy. For example, it’s a bad idea to show up to a training session hungover after a heavy night. Clients need their personal trainer to be inspiring. It’s fine to be realistic and honest about your life – no-one expects their trainer to be perfect, but make sure that you are doing the little things right: drink enough water, get enough sleep and practice healthy eating. Look for opportunities to grow It’s a good idea to start getting creative with your opportunities to grow your business. For example, if you are running out of time to spend with clients it could be a good idea to on pass new recruits to another personal trainer (with a referral fee). You could even look into the prospect of taking on another personal trainer under your brand. Personalise each programme Everyone is different and that means that every personal training programme should be different too. It’s not OK to simply use the same exact programme and meal plan for every client. You need to analyse clients individually, looking at their strengths, weakness, goals and objectives. This will ensure that they will get more out of their time with you and you will hold on to their business for longer.