It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at the fitness industry and understand that it is booming. The question is, why is it so hard to grow a fitness business and your personal training salary? The average personal training salary is around $61,000 which is pretty good when considering the average salary for other occupations. There’s no doubt that you can make great money in the fitness industry as a personal trainer.
However, when looking at the salary of an entry-level personal trainer, it’s around $35,000 per year. It often times takes trainers years of industry experience and education for them to break the $50,000/year mark.
In this article, we will go over exactly how you should approach your personal training business if you want to see your business grow. So whether you’re a new trainer or a trainer who feels “stuck”, buckle up. We are about to take a ride into the trenches of how to be a successful personal trainer.
Step 1. Establish business goals and pursue them with every decision you make.
This one seems like a “no-brainer”. But the thing that people lack is putting pen to paper and defining goals they want to hit. Once you have a goal, assess whether or not the decisions that you are making support your goal.
For example, let’s say your goal is to get 15 clients. Then if that is your goal, look at what you are doing while at work and ask yourself “how is this going to get me to 15 clients?”. If you can’t answer that question, then you should probably shift gears into doing something else that will help you meet your goal.
If there’s one thing that the gym is great for, it’s socializing. However, next time you’ve sat around chatting up a storm with your buddies at 3pm on a Monday, hopefully you’ll remember this article. While you shouldn’t blow your friends off, define times in which you will do nothing but focus on your clients and growing your client base. Your friends really should understand this.
Your salary will be a direct reflection of your ability to set goals and execute on them.
But hold on… setting a goal isn’t going to be enough. You must be confident in your ability to achieve this goal.
Setting a goal isn’t going to do anything for you if you are constantly thinking that you won’t hit that goal. When you set that goal, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter a when. There are legitimate psychological phenomenon that occur when you set goals and fully believe in them.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction? The Law of Attraction isn’t some universal magic. It’s foundation is actually rooted in psychology. When you focus your thoughts, feelings, and actions towards a singular goal, you activate different parts of your brain that help your be more “present minded”. Consequently, you become more solution oriented and more likely to hit your goals.
As an exercise of goal setting, sit down and write down long term and short term goals. Start with your long term goals and then ask yourself what you need to accomplish in order to get one step closer to your long term goal.
Step 2. Continue to learn and seek deeper education.
If there is one thing that is going to get you to the next level in your personal training career and your personal training salary, it’s continued education through extra personal training certifications or specializations. There is a direct correlation between education level and salary level/career success.
When we say, continuing education, we don’t mean just making sure your CEU’s are met each year. That part is assumed as a part of just keeping your foot in the door as a personal trainer. What you should be doing on top of this is seeking extra personal training courses that can help you become an expert in your desired field.
Besides approaching it from your career standpoint, you should also approach it from the standpoint that if you are educating yourself you are improving yourself and therefore can provide better service to your clients as well, which should always be a goal of yours.
Step 3. Get organized and manage your time effectively.
The schedule of a personal trainer is hectic. Primarily because trainers schedules are strongly dependent on other peoples schedules. And to top that off, you have to squeeze in admin time and sales work as well. However, if there’s one thing you can learn from those who do have a high personal training salary, it’s that they organize their day and have a schedule that they stick to like clock work.
There are a lot of reasons why you should create a structured schedule:
- Avoiding burnout. One of the biggest factors that leads to burnout is the lack of scheduling. It just simply leads to more stress then is necessary.
- You be become more efficient. It goes without saying that you are more likely to do the things that you say you are going to do if you pencil them into your schedule. Additionally, creating a structured schedule that you abide by helps you get into a routine.
- It can help you separate your work life from your personal life. If your schedule is hectic and unorganized, then you are more likely to forget things that you will later have to complete at a home or when you didn’t anticipate in doing so.
One of the biggest aspects to staying organized is figuring out how to manage your clients effectively as well. Using a client management software can help you save time in doing that pesky admin work. You can save time in creating workout templates, nutrtion plan templates, auto email reminders, and a lot more.
Step 4. Create a financial plan and expect an inconsistent income.
Just like your schedule, your personal training salary is more likely going to be a little inconsistent as well. The demand for personal training fluctuates and it does so sometimes without warning. While it does fluctuate around the holidays, it may also fluctuate outside of times of the year that aren’t as predictable.
What happens when a client has a sudden life emergency and two other clients go on vacation? What happens when one of those clients is one of your more frequent clients? You have to have a contingency plan for this in the form of savings.
Additionally, if you have a financial plan in place, then that means you are more likely to have a savings and more likely to be able to afford courses that can help you expand your education.
Step 5. Have a plan for referrals and marketing yourself.
If you’re an in-person personal trainer, then referrals will and should become a major source of your client base. It doesn’t have to be an awkward discussion with your clients. In fact, if you have done your job in preserving the trainer-client relationship well and gotten the client the results they want, then they will more then likely be happy in helping you find more clients through referring you to others.
There’s a saying that goes “the best new business comes from old business”. This isn’t saying old clients will come back to you. While that is something that can and does happen, this quote is referencing the word of mouth referrals that happen when you satisfy a client.
While you may be working for a gym that helps you get clients through a dedicated sales team, it is still your job to make an effort to get yourself more clients. This is a great skill to learn and will help you become a more independent trainer, and eventually, will help you one day in starting your own business if that is the route you choose.
Now, if you are an independent trainer or an online personal trainer, then I highly suggest learning how to market yourself online as well. If you are able to learn digital marketing skills, then the sky is basically the limit in terms of where you can take your fitness business and personal training salary.
Step 6. Don’t ignore client compliance and create an honest relationship with your clients.
When it comes to personal training salary killers, having a really high turnover rate for clients is one of them. The goal at the end of the day is to help your client get the results they want and to work with them over a longer period of time. What you’ll find is, as you help clients hit their goals, their goals will start to shift as they become more confident in themselves.
However, the key to keeping clients around for awhile is getting them results in the first place. One of the things that can act as a major inhibitor to that is low client compliance. If you are assigning your clients workouts and nutrition plans, then it is also your job to make sure they abide by what you assigned them.
Here are some quick tips that can help you retain clients
- Don’t be afraid to be frank with your client. If your client has done a bad job at making sure they hit their workouts or nutrition plans, then sit them down and make it clear that the only way they are going to hit their goal is if they really start taking the programs that you have assigned them seriously. With a lot of people, this is all you need to do to get them back into the gym or the kitchen with a chip on their shoulder.
- Track their progress. Progress tracking is crucial as a personal trainer. This way you can measure if what you are doing is really working. Additionally, it gives you something to reference as well when giving the client praise for all the hard work they have put in.
- Celebrate the wins. When your client hits a new PR, give them all the hype. Depending on your client, this might even be the first time have even experienced a new gym PR in their life. I mean, when you think about it, it’s actually pretty cool what they have done. They have, on a biological scale, improved their body for the better. That’s pretty darn cool if you ask me.
- Be yourself and have fun. If there’s one thing you one want to avoid doing, it becoming the robotic mean gym trainer that does nothing but assigns workouts. If you are yourself around your clients you are far more likely to foster a genuine relationship with them. To add on top of that, they will probably be more likely to be excited about coming into the gym!
- Be solution oriented. Let’s say your client has a hard time cutting out junk food. Instead of getting mad at them or placing blame on them, help them in creating a realistic plan that will eventually help them get off of junk food. It is not realistic for a client to just quit bad habits on the spot.
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