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Five basic steps to becoming a personal trainer

October 10, 2022 5 min read

Five basic steps to becoming a personal trainer

Chance are if you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a super fit, dedicated health and fitness enthusiast who is thinking of becoming a personal trainer. Well you need more than nutrition know-how and what to lift to shift a client’s fat if you want to become a success in a crowded industry. We’ve kindly put together five basic steps you need to take in order to get started and give yourself a fighting chance of becoming a PT.  

Firstly, here’s what the National Careers Service says you’ll need to become a PT:

  • customer service skills
  • the ability to teach people how to do something
  • the ability to work on your own
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • knowledge of psychology like theories of motivation
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design fitness programmes
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Sound like you? Don’t worry if there’s a couple you’re unsure of, that’s what the first of our five steps is about…


1. Get Qualified

When it comes to becoming a personal trainer, the most important step is getting qualified. You might be the fittest person in the room but you’re still going to need some qualifications under your belt. There are a number of accredited training courses available, but working your way through a Level 2 Diploma in Gym Instructing and/or a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training will give you everything you need to know about how to train clients safely and effectively.

You can get both qualifications and become a fully qualified personal trainer with our Factory Weights PT Academy Qualification. It’s easy to sign up and once qualified, you’ll be able to work for any gym as well as be ready to set up and run your own PT business anywhere in the world - and with our combination of online and weekend learning you can get your qualification alongside your full-time job. So you can still get that main hustle money. Click here for more information on joining our PT academy.

After the right qualifications and a bit of hard work, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful personal trainer. Then you can crack on with the real fun, marketing and building your brand!


2. Create your brand

We cannot stress enough how important building a brand is for a PT. After the qualification process, it really is worth looking into how best to build your brand. Think about what is unique about you and your brand - or your ‘USP’ (Unique Selling Point). If you can figure out what you can offer that others can’t then your brand builds itself. Remember, the key to creating a successful brand is to be authentic and consistent. Stay true to yourself and make sure your branding is aligned with your personal values.

After you’ve done all of the above, you can start deciding on your brand name, unless you’re using your own name instead, in which case you’ve just got to find someone to make you a nice logo and you’re ready to start creating your online content!


3. Get Online

Getting online is essential. Setting up a website and social media accounts is something you should do as soon as possible. You don’t need to be a qualified PT to do it, you can build an audience whilst you’re getting qualified. Then, as soon as you’re qualified, you already have the audience to advertise your services to.

After your website is live you’ll need to start writing articles and blog posts about fitness and nutrition, the best way to become a respected brand in the fitness industry is by gaining that respect, and regular, high-quality content will prove that you are a knowledgeable PT.

As you do this, you’ll also want to start networking with other fitness professionals and looking for opportunities to work with them, the more people you know, the more potential doors you open. The industry is a community and building trust with those who are already in it will help both you and your knowledge grow. With many fitness instructors increasing their revenue from online classes, collaborations are there, you just need to find them! Then you can really get to work on growing your presence.


4. How to grow your presence

As Liz Truss might say; “social media, social media and social media”. The old guard platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer a great way to connect with potential clients and share your expertise and passion for fitness, be sure to post regularly and use the right hashtags to help you reach a wider audience (yes hashtags are still important!). Keep up to date with the latest trends, memes, viral videos and get posting about them as regularly as you can.

TikTok has taken the web by storm which is why you shouldn’t forget about building your audience through it too. Because of the way the TikTok algorithm works, you don’t even need to have any followers to end up with a highly viewed viral video. Focus on making funny, interesting or unique content for the platform and you won’t need to find your audience because it might just find you.

Another great way to grow your presence is through email outreach; so, sending emails to potential clients, colleagues, and other fitness professionals. The key is to make your emails interesting and relevant, and always include a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA is basically a reason for your audience to further interact with you, a contact us button, the offer of a discount voucher, etc. Get interacting with your audience this way.

You should already have your website set up but if not make sure you have a landing page set up for people to click through and sign up, visit your social channels or get in touch with you directly, depending on how you decide to provide your training. And if you’ve got loads of channels; between all your socials, YouTube and website, then create a Linktree page so your audience can navigate between all your channels as seamlessly as possible.

As we mentioned before, don't forget about networking! Attend conferences, meet-ups, and other networking events in your area. This is a great way to meet other fitness professionals, learn about the industry, and find opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t if you were a PT who worked in solitude.


5. Get those clients

Follow all of the steps above and you’ll be in a position where you have an audience built up nicely as quickly as possible into the start of your new career.

Remember, your audience can always be bigger, so if you do manage to get to a decent number of followers, don’t get complacent. Keep up with regular posting, emailing and making interesting and informative content as much as you can. The internet and building your brand is essential for any PT setting up their business in 2022.

And if it takes a little longer than you’d hoped to grow your audience, don’t give up! Very few PTs are an overnight success, some of the most well-known trainers grafted for years before they achieved the loyal clients and audience they desired, so stick with it, work hard, stick to your brand values and you could be the next Joe Wicks.



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