What Makes a Successful Personal Trainer?

What Makes a Successful Personal Trainer?

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Personal trainers are often seen as the face of the fitness industry. Many misconceptions still surround the profession, but what’s clear is the sheer impact trainers have inside and outside of gyms. Day in, day out, they help clients achieve their goals and truly make a difference to their lives. Subsequently, it’s seen as the promised land for many who are just starting out.

While it has the potential to be a highly lucrative and rewarding career, it’s worth noting that the majority of personal trainers are self-employed. This means they’ve got to work incredibly hard to consistently strengthen their personal brand and secure new business. It’s simply not a role for fair-weather people looking to get rich quick, which may explain why 1 in 3 new businesses fail within the first three years. To establish yourself takes a focused mindset, a great attitude, and plenty of drive.

We’ve trained countless personal trainers over the years and many have gone on to carve out their place in the market. A lot of elements can contribute to a person’s success and we’ve picked out some of the most important ones. Here’s what makes a successful personal trainer:

They are qualified


Seems like a given, right? Having the right qualification will get your career off to the best possible start and begin to open doors. Gym managers and clients alike need to know the person they’re involved with knows what they’re doing.

A popular phrase around our office is: ‘no one wants a second-rate anything’, especially when it comes to something so important as health and fitness. From a perception standpoint, having a personal trainer who is Level 3 qualified and a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) and/or the National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) suggests a certain level of baseline quality.


They have personal goals


Always monitoring the goals of clients is a critical part of the role, but the most successful PTs also have an eye on their own development. This goes far beyond stealing a few minutes for yourself in the gym, these goals look at the bigger picture. The best in the industry treat what they do with the utmost seriousness, they are their own business after all. Along with this mindset brings long term goals, plans for expansion, sales/clients targets, and other opportunities such as a seminars or online sessions.

They master the consultation


Aside from your own marketing efforts, the consultation is a golden opportunity to not only land a new client, but create a lasting relationship. If you ask the right questions, quickly establish their needs and begin to create a fitness plan there and then, you’ll find sealing the deal very easy. A great technique to use is ‘future pacing’, essentially referring to the prospect as if they’re already your client and talking to them as such.


They make time for themselves



Burnout is a very real and very common problem, but the best PTs have a few tricks up their sleeve to ensure they’re striking a healthy work/life balance. A few of these include: always making sure you’re eating and exercising properly; combining clients with group training where possible; having defined working hours; and most importantly, taking at least one day off a week.


They live and breath fitness




Virtually every personal trainer we’ve helped get qualified has had a burning passion for the industry to match our own. They’re always reading, learning about new trends, and constantly looking to refine their approach. To really make a mark, you have to love what you do.

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