How to Get Started as a Personal Trainer

You’ve just graduated with your certificate 3 and 4 in fitness – now what? You have ambitions of becoming a personal trainer, but how do you get started?

Needless to say, this is a highly competitive industry. It’s crucial that you get off on the right foot and provide yourself with a stable platform to launch your business from.

So, here’s some advice to help you get started as a personal trainer:

Gain some experience training people

Word of mouth is the primary way personal trainers find clients. Of course, when you’re just getting started, you have no clients to spread the word. So, focus on gaining some experience training people. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Look for personal trainer jobs at a gym
  • Offer free training sessions to friends, colleagues, or family

Some gyms or fitness centres hire personal trainers to train their members. While you won’t necessarily be running your own business, this is a great way to start out. You learn the ropes, get experience training all sorts of people, and start to build up a client base. When you’re confident enough to move on, you have people that can review and recommend you.

Offering free training sessions is a good way of showing off your talents to other people. Sometimes, you have to give things away for free to make money in the future. The people you train can help spread the word, birthing your personal training business.

Find a USP

A unique selling point helps you stand out from the crowd. As a personal trainer, there are a few things you can try to give yourself a bit of an edge. For example, think about focusing on a niche part of training. Perhaps you train people to improve their athletic performance? Or, maybe you’re a fat loss expert? If you focus on a niche, it makes you seem like an expert in that particular field. So, if someone wants to lose weight, they’ll look for a trainer that specialises in fat loss.

Another USP could be your approach to training; do you put a firm focus on recovery and stretching, along with general weight training? Are you very big on nutrition and coaching your clients to eat better?

Find what makes you unique, and run with it. Make this a crucial part of your brand, and you’ll start attracting clients.

Develop training programs

It’s no good being a personal trainer if you don’t have anything to offer potential clients. So, you should work on your own training programs. Create different programs that people can sign up for. As an example, you have a three-month plan, an eight week one, one that’s all about strength, and so on.

The benefit of this is that it makes you look like you know your stuff. Plus, it’s an easy way for people to sign up to your service. They see everything that’s included in the plan, and they know if it’s right for them or not. Of course, you should tailor each program to your individual clients; the programs themselves are more or less frameworks for what will happen.

Create a website

We live in a digital world, so you need a website to be a personal trainer. It gives you a professional edge, which instantly helps you beat away some of the competition. Make sure the design is modern and works on mobile devices – this is key for both marketing purposes and for making your brand look good.

Your website is a place for you to describe your service and show people what you do. Tell them about yourself, lay out your different training programs, and provide contact information. By having a website, you give people a chance to find you online.

Market yourself

The last thing to do is also the hardest; spread the word. We’ve already covered a few things in this article – gaining initial clients to spread the word, building a website – but there’s so much more you can do.

One simple tip is to print out business cards. You can hand these out to people, ask your local gym to pin them to a noticeboard, put them in coffee shops, etc. It’s an old fashioned tactic, but it works. Another tip is to use social media. Display your knowledge of fitness through informative posts or videos. It’s a chance to show off what you can do, and people see what you’re capable of. Lastly, work on your website. Improve your SEO, so people find you in search engines. Many online guides go into this in detail – it’s well worth reading one.

Getting your certificate 3 and 4 in fitness was merely the first step in a long journey. If you want to get started as a personal trainer and grow your business, then follow the guidance above.



Tony Attridge is the Owner and CEO of The College of Health and Fitness (est. 2002). He has lectured at various Universities and Private Training Organisations for over 20 years in fitness, health, sport psychology and wellness. He has been involved in the fitness industry since 1988 and is a Level 3 Strength and Conditioning Coach, a Sport Psychologist, Sports Nutritionist and an Exercise Scientist.See Tony's personal website


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