A Welcome Message From Erak Simsson

Congratulations on choosing personal training as your profession. I hope the following information will help guide you towards reaching your goals. You have chosen a profession that offers unlimited potential once you gain experience, knowledge, and make a firm commitment to maximising your full learning and earning potential. Once you gain valuable hands on experience, continue to learn and create value in yourself and in your personal trainer skills, you will be able to create a demand for your services. You must keep in mind that the organisations that provide personal trainer certificates do so to not only help the public but also to protect their health and safety and prepare you to pass a governing bodies examination, it is not designed to give you all the skills and experience you will need to meet the high job market and consumer demands in a very competitive market, especially if you want to work with high end clients or in a high end facility either public or your own.

Attend a personal trainer course and gaining your certification is but a first step up the ladder of success. I urge you to work smart and very hard whilst you are undertaking your training, listen to your teachers, maximise your full learning potential, and seek out quality education as you proceed on your journey to success and happiness. Some of you will make that journey faster than others, but with perseverance and determination you can and will succeed. It is essential that you form a solid learning foundation that will be invaluable as you continue to grow. Yes, you will encounter many peaks and troughs – that’s part of the growing process. Learn from your mistakes and move one.

I would urge you to download my free personal trainer starter kit. I would also refer to my frequently asked questions shown below.

These frequently asked questions will help guide you on your journey to success. Our profession desperately needs you; I do hope this information will be helpful and enable you to make informed career decisions based on facts, not guesswork as you begin your journey towards a successful personal trainer career. Welcome to the personal trainer profession.

Do I really need a website?

No you don’t, but all of the most successful personal trainers I know have one. To begin with it doesn’t have to be an all ‘singing and dancing’ one, but having a basic website presence in my opinion is essential for the long-term success of your personal trainer career. In closing… I’ve tried to offer some advice and suggestions that will help you make informed decisions about developing a successful and profitable personal trainer career with high end clients paying you what you are truly worth as a personal trainer helping people to not only change their looks, but also boost their confidence levels and minimise their risk of unnecessary ill health what price would you put on that? Seek out other people’s opinions then make the decision that’s right for you. As you proceed on your journey to the next level; I urge you to continue to seek self-improvement and set higher standards for yourself. The higher your standards the higher the rewards for you and your clients. The industry needs you; you represent the future and new breed of professionals. As one colleague to another, welcome to the personal training profession.

Is word of mouth the best form of marketing to rely upon when you’re just starting out?

Not when you’re just starting out, why? Because you will not be able to get enough people spreading the word about you. I know you’ve got family and friends, but in my experience they are not going to bust a gut to get you clients. It’s nice when it happens, but please don’t rely upon it, you need to incorporate a marketing strategy to really get the word out there about your personal trainer services, word of mouth can be part of this but should not be the main part.

In addition to developing my personal training skills what other skills should I develop?

Tomorrow’s business minded personal trainer will have to know more than how to perform a good bicep curl if they want to gain that all important competitive edge. I would work hard on developing your people and communication skills, develop positive attitudes and work habits, develop your salesmanship skills, self-management, marketing skills and motivation. I would urge you to take classes in public speaking; it will prove invaluable in helping you develop your people and communication skills. Toastmaster’s International is an excellent beginning. Lack of communication is the number one cause of client loss. With experience, you will improve these additional skills.

Should I consider buying into a personal trainer franchise or license?

This is a meaty question which a few paragraphs cannot possible do it justice. So here are just a few thoughts. Forget about the fancy name which unless it starts with Virgin, David Lloyds or Fitness First or something of that nature your potential clients will probably never have heard of it so don’t fall for a nice sounding name. Do they have a service that has produced specific results such as the ABC weight loss programme that has a load of client successes attributed to it? If it does the next question I would ask is, is it a system they can teach you? If the answer is yes to both those questions then you could be onto something, especially if it’s weight loss. Weight loss is by far the number one most requested service that personal trainers are asked for. Other questions would be around the finances, terms and conditions, selection process, the training you’ll receive and after training support. Not an exhaustive list but something to think about. If you pick a good franchise or license it can accelerate your personal trainer career by 12 – 36 months as the majority of pitfalls and best ways of doing things will have already been thought through and should be tried and tested.

Should I open up my own personal trainer studio?

This would depend upon a number of factors including; your financial backing, location, your business experience in terms of marketing, selling, financial planning and having a service which offers in my opinion more than just blocks of 5 or 10 personal training sessions as your main selling point. Opening up your own personal training studio is certainly a serious consideration when you have the necessary experience and business skills and ongoing mentoring. If you believe you have the necessary skills and backing you should certainly consider it.

Should I work in a gym or go freelance visiting people at home?

Both have advantages and disadvantages. Working in a gym such as a well known chain will normally mean paying some form of monthly rent. Normally there is either a free probationary period or reduced rent which is intended to allow you time to build up a client base before paying the full amount. Some advantages: a customer base available to market to, no buying of equipment and no travelling required apart from getting to the location, also you can schedule clients every 10 to 15 minutes so minimal down time. Some disadvantages possibly a low hourly rate once you’ve taken off your monthly rent, if you’re the last personal trainer in the facility the more established one’s may by default attract the majority of the business. Freelance visiting people’s homes. Some advantages, increased hourly rate, no company policy to follow other than your own. Some disadvantages: potentially more down-time between clients, carrying equipment in from the car when it’s cold, wet and windy is not that much fun when you’re having to do it on a regular basis.

How much should I charge per hour?

Surprisingly many personal trainers still charge for sessions individual by the hour or in blocks of 5 or 10 normally offering some form of discount if 10 or more are purchased. I personal think that this is both dated and means you’ll find yourself having to re-sell sessions every 4 – 6 weeks that’s tough and a difficult way to generate a predictable cash flow. I recommend that personal trainers create specialist programmes i.e. the most obvious been weight loss typically last 3 – 12 month packages. You should then sell it according the value you place on it. Some trainers are reportedly charging £150 per hour an industry average I would suggest is around the £30 – £50 mark if you want a per hour rate, but I don’t recommend it.

How do I combat a lack of self-belief that clients will pay for my services?

Most people lack self confidence when starting their careers and asking for money. It’s just part of the growing process. Provided you’ve thought long and hard about your ideal client and have designed services to meet their specific needs your self belief about charging high end prices will quickly grow, especially as they start to get results.

Is personal training school enough education to justify a high income?

No. 6 – 12 weeks of personal training school is not enough time to teach you all the additional skills you’ll need to create a demand for your services. Getting your personal trainer qualification is but your first step. The personal trainer certification is designed to follow a curriculum set forth by a governing body to protect the public health and safety of the consumer. It is not designed to teach you all the skills you’ll need to meet the job market and consumer demands, especially if you want to attract high end clients and charge high end prices. You’ll need a lot of hands on experience working with clients. In addition, you’ll need a lot of hands on training and experience in marketing and selling, if you are opposed to learning these two vital skills you may as well stop now.

How long does it take to build a successful personal trainer career?

There will be many factors: experience, business knowledge, your location, proper guidance, and a lot of initiative on your part. If you are fortunate enough to work somewhere with someone that has excellent knowledge of the personal training profession and is prepared to mentor you it’s possible to build a successful and profitable personal training career within two years after leaving personal training school.

What are the pitfalls and obstacles in building a successful personal training career?

Unfortunately 6 or 12 weeks in personal trainer school is just not enough time to gain valuable hands on experience and other skills such as marketing and sales all necessary to meet the job market and consumer demands. In my opinion, there’s too much hype and glitter as seen at many of our trade shows and not enough basic commercial information about working with real every day clients who are nothing like the people you trained with on your course that could do everything and wanted to. The general public are not like that if they were they’d be personal trainers as well. If you want to attract high end clients, charge high end prices, then you’ve got to develop a high end service which is normally means specialising in one particular area. Good is not enough anymore. Chasing the next big fad, unrealistic career earnings as you start out, poor work habits, negative attitudes towards other personal trainers and life in general are other obstacles you must avoid.

What about job security?

An excellent personal trainer will always be in demand and never without clients. Competitively speaking, you will probably succeed by default. Studies consistently show that only 10% will make the required effort and sacrifice to achieve success; the other 90% will keep looking for excuses to fail. If the personal training profession is so good, why do so many personal trainers leave the profession? Well there are many reasons – unrealistic career and earning expectations, lack of personal initiative and self-motivation, lack of objective information about the realities of sacrifices needed to succeed. Other obstacles are offering too many varied services therefore being perceived as a generalist rather than a specialist, lack of quality business education in the areas of marketing and sales, lack of career guidance and chasing after the next big fitness qualification thinking that clients will come beating down their door to buy their services. These are just some of the reasons so many leave the profession. Far too many people leave the profession before they give it a chance. Building a career and personal training client base will take time, experience, patience, ongoing support and education, and a fierce determination to succeed. Sadly, far too many want to run before they can walk. Building a personal trainer career and business is a journey. As you set out on your journey you will definitely encounter many peaks and troughs as you scale the ladder of success, learn from your mistakes. With smart hard work and a competitive spirit you will reach your goals.

What is the outlook for the future of personal training?

Even in during an economic down turn, there will be a great demand for personal trainers once you gain experience, continue to learn, create value in yourself, and create demand for your personal trainer services. Although statistics show we have a surplus of personal trainers, there is and will be a high short-fall of well trained and committed professionals who truly stand above the crowd. Obesity levels are growing women and men are seeking out the services of personal trainers no longer as a luxury, but a necessity. Our ability to work with both women and men, the national obsession with looking and feeling good about ourselves, make the future very promising indeed.

Will there be a demand for personal trainers?

Although it may seem that there are far too many personal trainers, there will always be a great demand for outstanding committed professionals who truly want to maximise their full learning and earning potential. Studies continue to show that only 10% of all people in all walks of life and occupations will succeed; the other 90% will be looking for all the usually excuses to fail. Tough times always separate winners from losers, but tough times always present fantastic opportunities for those well informed and willing to take advantage of these opportunities. Today’s savvy consumer are crying out for professional and well informed personal trainers who truly want to exceed client expectations. If you work hard, develop a strong desire towards continuing education, keep a positive attitude, gain experience, develop your people and communication skills, develop your business skills, create value in yourself, and persevere, you will be able to create a demand for your personal trainer services.

Is a personal trainer career a good profession to enter?

Potentially, a personal trainer career can offer unlimited opportunities for those willing to maximise their full learning and earning potential. A personal trainer career can be varied, exciting, fulfilling, challenging, and financially rewarding provided you receive the proper training, guidance, and education in the early stages of your career and business development. Forming positive attitudes and strong work habits is critical in developing a successful personal trainer career. Unlike University, where the entrance standards are highly competitive and require a large investment in time and money, a personal training career can be a shortcut to financial security. Once you are able to gain valuable experience, create value in your skills, and create a demand for your services, your earning potential can be unlimited. The sky’s the limit. An outstanding  personal trainer with good business skills will never be without well paying loyal clients.

Sincerely, Erak Simsson

For more information call
01980 595 502

Or email erak@weightlossocoachandtrainer.co.uk