Working in the fitness industry is a dream for many people – this fact alone, makes it highly competitive.
There are numerous courses available both online and offline, that in theory at least, allow individuals with little experience to become qualified personal trainers.
Don’t let that hinder you, or demotivate you; just do your homework and don’t risk more money that you can afford in your business venture.
To start with, here are some things to consider:
Are you in the right area?
With personal training seen as somewhat of a luxury, you will need to be in commutable distance of a more affluent clientele/area
How much do PTs in your area charge?
Make some enquiries and see how much the competition charges.
Compare your qualifications and experience to those of your competitors.
Will you pay rent to a gym or commute to your clients?
Again, see what the rent is for PTs in your local gyms. This can be several hundred pound per month. If you commute, remember you can’t fit clients in back-to-back as you need to factor in time to commute to homes, and also look at the cost of petrol etc.
If you are visiting clients in their homes, what equipment will you need?
Swiss ball, BOSU, Strength bands, mats etc.
How will you convey professionalism?
Leave clients with ‘physical evidence’ such as training programme cards, evaluation and progress sheets etc. It’s also important to have a uniform and be punctual and reliable.
How will you keep your books and organise your accounts/tax return?
Will you do all your bookkeeping yourself and fill in a self assessment – or will you use an accountant to do the majority of the work?
How will you market yourself?
Think about your Unique Selling Point (USP) and Strong Selling Point(s) (SSPs).
These might be your background, experience, qualifications, age etc.
I used to work in marketing – so I can answer this one a bit more in-depth.
- You need a website
- Social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube
- A Google Business Page
Creating a Website
The easiest way to create a website is to use a WordPress.com site, and buy one of the premium templates.
- Go to WordPress.com
- Click get started then choose your industry e.g. “Health and wellness”
- Choose your layout (probably best to have a ‘welcome page’
- Choose a ‘theme’ / template. You can change this so don’t worry too much about it just yet
- Name your site – just the wordpress.com domain name for now. You can get a ‘premium’ domain name later
For adding content to your site, see the tutorial below. It takes a while to understand the side-menu:
Marketing Your Website
Once you actually have a site in place, you’ll want it to start ranking on Google.
Search on Google for your “[location] personal training]”
For example search for “Chester personal training” (in incognito mode/private browsing)
Take a look at the ‘Google Suggestions’ at the top and the bottom of the browser
These are the terms that you want to get your website ranking for.
Except for the branded terms, like “kt chaloner personal training” in this instance, as you’re not really going to be relevant to those searches, and it will be difficult to outrank the real Kt for that term.
Where possible, keep all your details the same. It’s important to keep your Name, Address, Phone number and website consistent across all directories.
For a full list of directories and sites to submit your company details to – see Businesstakeaways‘s site.
Register with Google
Go to the Google Business page website, and fill in all of your details. You will need to verify your business, by phone or by postcard.
It’s pretty straightfoward, you just get a code to plug-into your Google Business page.
You will need to register to get a chance of appearing in the ‘local pack’ results on Google.
Other pointers for ranking on Google
- Try and get at least 5 reviews on your Google Business Page and Facebook page.
- Add a blog to your site and add some high-quality content
- Link back to your blog and site from your social profiles with relevant updates and your latest blog posts
- Upload pictures to panoramio.com and Flickr, add longitude and latitude details and embed some of the pictures on your site
- If possible (you can’t really alter code on a free WordPress blog), put location in meta title and image alt text.
- Again, if possible, add opengraph code to your site
Put keywords like “Chester Personal Training” in your bio.
You can gain followers on Twitter, by using the Twitter advanced search, and following people in your area who are tweeting about fitness.
About 50% of the time, the people you follow, will follow you back. You can use crowdfire to ‘unfollow non-followers’.
Invite all your friends to like your page.
Consider Facebook advertising. It’s arguably the most cost effective way to get your name out there. Video works well, and even if people don’t interact with the advert, you will still be noticed and ‘front of mind’ of a lot of people.
Here is a great guide to get you started.
I wouldn’t recommend Google Adwords unless you have a really in-depth knowledge of this advertising platform. Visual adverts work much better for fitness businesses.
If you are interested however, here is a post to teach you the fundamentals.