Considering a career as a personal trainer? Find out how to become a personal trainer in Australia with our 6 step process:
I could sit here and write a blog that basically says do your Certificate IV in fitness and choose your business name. This might be technically correct however if you want to become a PT and actually have a long and successful career then there is a lot more to it than just completing your course.
What follows is 6 critical steps that outline what must be done if you want to succeed as a PT. Failure to compete any of the 6 will have a detrimental effect on your chances on 'making it' in what is one of the world’s most competitive yet rewarding industries to work in.
Step 1.Train yourself
A passion for training others always needs to start with a passion for training yourself. I love exploring movement of the human body, always have, and always will. The aesthetics that comes from training has just been a by-product and I suggest you look at it the same way. I understand that body image is important I get that, however as a PT if you have a high focus on just how you look it presents a very superficial view on the fitness industry. Health and Performance should always be the highest priority. I highly recommend that you spend years training yourself first before you venture into business as a PT because in short, how are you supposed to know what your client is going through if you haven’t experienced it yourself first.
Step 2: Shadow a PT
Walk in the shoes of a PT, a typical cert IV in fitness requires you to shadow a PT for 20 hours. I personally would set that figure at 100hrs. Again the better you know what you’re in for on the ‘other side’ the better you can make a judgement of if its right for you and what challenges lie ahead. Be sure to shadow PT’s in all environments, indoors, outdoors and studios so again you can get a feel for what works for you, don’t get stuck doing all your hours in an environment that you’re comfortable in.
Step 3: Do a Cert IV in Fitness
Remember spending more money on your course doesn’t mean a superior product. In fact often the opposite is true. Be sure to choose a RTO that has a well rounded scope of training practice and doesn’t live in the dinosaur age of the isolation model. If you choose online learning remember you need to work twice as hard to get the practical context of what you are learning. The amount of times I’ve lectured online students face to face that have wished they chose the face to face option because they gained so much more context from the information being taught face to face.
Step 4: Choose your location/Niche/Business name
Once you have done your hours shadowing you should have a good idea of the styles of training you love, the types of people you want to be around and the environment you prefer. Now put all that into practice by finding an opportunity in the area you wish to work. Nut out your brand, niche and business name in order to give your vision some clarity and direction and above all remember the golden rule of ‘you can’t be everything to everybody’ nor do you want to be because you won’t attract the type of client you want to work with. Direct your business to the people and style of training you love.
Step 5: Register your business
Get straight onto Fitness Australia and other national bodies to get your service the necessary registrations required, this will include, Fitness Australia, Fair Trading, Insurance, First Aid, and so forth. Without them you won’t be able to successfully establish yourself and be legal.
Step 6: Find a mentor and learn as much as you can as quick as you can
This final step is probably the most important moving forward. Remember first and foremost, your Cert IV in fitness lays a paper thin foundation and it doesn’t matter what industry you work in, if you have a weak foundation then cracks will appear. Without aggressive up skilling both formally and informally you will struggle to succeed long term. One for the biggest issues new PT’s have is the excessively high turnover of clients in their first 12 months. This is primarily due to lack of knowledge and it’s this skills gap that ultimately send PT’s back to their day jobs. Be sure to find a PT who has 10 years industry experience that you respect. Get semi regular training from them, pick their brain and play 20 questions. Learn the mistakes that they made so you don’t have to make them. It’s the cheapest and quickest way to safe guard yourself in the industry moving forward.
How much do personal trainers make? What is the average personal trainer salary in Australia?
These are good questions and ones that not only individuals who are considering the fitness industry should ask but also those that are in the process of establishing themselves as personal trainers. Annual salaries for personal trainers vary significantly between $25,000 - $150,000+ depending on the level of experience, dedication, and what role personal training plays in their life. The average personal trainer that lasts longer than the initial 6 month set-up phase generally earns $30,000-$50,000 in their first year after tax.
Setting your hourly rate:
How much we should charge as an hourly rate is a really tough question and one that struggles to be answered in 500 words, there are however some key considerations that we can look at to help us find a figure that we are comfortable with. This is critical as the figure that we decide on needs to directly match the service that we provide so our clients see value in the figure. If they don’t match then not only will you struggle to get clients but your client list will act like a revolving door and you will struggle to hold onto them.
The first point that needs to be made about setting your price is you confidence. Confidence dictates most things in life and making money is no different. If you do not believe you are worth the price that you are charging then your leads will eventually see through your mask and you will struggle to maintain a steady client list. Ensure that you love the product that you offer and it is well suited to the market you are targeting. If you don’t think the product is the ‘beez knees’ then how can you expect others to?
If you create exceptional value that is highly targeted to your niche market then the price automatically gets taken out of the equation simply because you get exceptional ‘buy in’ from the lead as they see so much value. Consider the hourly rate less of money that is handed over for the 60min and more the price they pay for a ‘package’ that includes services A, B, C ,D & E (value adds!). This is far more attractive in the client’s eyes than the alternative.
The simple fact around location is that you simply can’t charge as much out of the city as you can in the city. In fact there are even large variances from city to city depending on the size. Sydney and Melbourne pt rates are generally 20% higher than Brisbane for example. PT’s that base themselves out of the city in rural communities find they are naturally drawn more towards offering group sessions than 1-on-1 because they can’t charge the rates that make is worthwhile, while at the same time it’s more affordable for the clients. So think carefully where exactly you want to establish yourself. If you want to get the most out of a location then my golden rule is to set up within a 20-25km radius on the CBD of a major city. You will get the best bang for your buck.
While you are learning your trade mistakes are made, we all make them its part of learning no matter what the trade is. So if you’re finding your feet in a self employment setting, be kind on yourself. Start with a lower hourly rate and look to increase your hourly rate each year as your experience increases. Not only will you build a quicker client base meaning you can stay afloat more easily but you then increase your experience quicker as you increase the number of hands on hours faster.
If a high hourly rate, steady lead generation and excellent retention rate sounds good to you then be sure to check out the PT Accelerator Program. Click the button below.
Although it may not be easy to hear, personal training is, and always will be, a customer service career. No, you aren’t helping clients look for items in a store. You’re doing much more. You are the link between their current state of dissatisfaction with their health and the fitness goals they want to achieve. You can be the most knowledgeable personal trainer in the business but if you’re lacking in people skills then you’re missing a crucial element to ensuring that clients will be able to attain success. Let’s break down the link between customer satisfaction and client accomplishments.
TRAINING TAKES TIME
You know this. Your fellow trainers understand this. Clients will often ignore this. The majority of clients enter into a contract with a trainer expecting miracles. Clients will forget that success comes from their own hard work as much as it does a trainer.
YOU ARE THE ROCK
It may sound cliché but the trainer really is the emotional and physical rock of the client. Before clients hire a trainer, they have to admit to themselves that there is something wrong in their lives. They have to be up front about how they feel with themselves and their current health status. This isn’t the easiest thing to do and it often places clients into a very fragile and sensitive state. There are plenty of personal training stories about how clients have broken down during the initial physical assessment. With that said, that places a large amount of responsibility in your lap. This is where customer service will come into play.
YOU NEED TO BE AS DEDICATED AS YOUR CLIENT
Aside from being dedicated to the concrete side of the profession such as performing assessments, and creating training programs, you need to be dedicated to yourself, your passions, and your client. You need to be the reason that your client keeps coming back for more sessions. Every trainer will experience that bad string of weeks where clients stop seeing results on the scale and in how their clothes fit. When you run into this problem, are you confident your client will stick around? If not, then you need to work on your customer service skills. How do you do this?
BEST WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS
Go the extra mile:
Open Door Policy:
Create a Client Satisfaction Survey:
Exercise and diet are only a fraction of the equation when it comes to client success. When you meet the needs of clients by adding value through positive interaction and great customer service, you are essentially making an investment in a long-term client.
I talk about this blog in depth a lot in my book, if you want to learn more click the button below.
Are you considering a career in the fitness industry? Here are the top 5 things to consider when comparing a Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness from different RTO’s.
Take my word for it, there are RTO’s and then there are RTO’s. The Registered Training Organisation you choose to complete your Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness has the ability to send your enthusiasm for the fitness industry sky high, but it could also leave you feeling lost and despondent about it all. With so many RTO’s offering fitness certifications, it can be really hard to decide on a company when you are new to the industry.
So as an industry veteran, student mentor and lecturer, here is my opinion about five critical things that you should think about when making your decision as to which RTO you will give your money to. If an RTO ticks all five of these boxes, I’m sure you’ll walk away with a great experience and you will be buzzing about getting started. So in no particular order, consider the following:
Software for Personal Trainers – We Uncover the Top 5 Most Useful Options
Looking for software to help you run your Personal Training business smoothly? With over a decade in the industry we've found the best options. Read our guide to the top 5.
For as little as $30 a month, Personal Trainers can now have a ‘virtual BFF’ in business; PT software just makes life easy. If only this software was around when I first started out in the industry; it would have saved me hours of work on the weekend sending confirmation text’s, re-writing programs and updating my database!
There are four key components that make up a great software program for Personal Trainers. If you are considering investing in one of the hundreds of products on the market, then you need to assess how the following features could reduce your workload and add value to your clients at the same time:
Not too many companies provide all four components, so be sure to think about what gaps you are looking to fill in your business, what would make life easier and what can bring value to your clients. The last thing you want is something ‘fancy’ that you either don’t use to it’s full potential or means double-handling in terms of paperwork and data entry.
Here are my recommendations for software that ticks most of the boxes. These five provide a number of stand-out value-adds and are a reasonable price.
But these five won’t be the best fit for everyone – do your research. What do you think: are you using software to improve your business? What do you recommend? Leave us a comment!
Top 5 Things To Consider When Choosing A Personal Training & Fitness Business Name
Starting a personal training or fitness business? You want to nail your choice of business name as a compelling brand name can help boost your business success!
Deciding on your business name is a very personal thing. As Personal Trainers, we generally start off as sole traders so the business name is a direct reflection of us as individuals. We are torn between wanting the name to mirror our values and what we stand for yet at the same time reflect what our market wants to read.
Below I’ve outlined five things to take into consideration when choosing your business name so that when you launch your business, the first thing a prospective client says isn’t “whaaaat?”
Have you got a great business name? Leave a comment below and tell us what it is and how you came up with it!
Insurance for Personal Trainers –what are you covered for?
Getting the right kind of insurance coverage is vital for personal trainers. Read our fitness insiders guide to personal training insurance.
If you are training clients in a personal training capacity, you had better be insured. I know it’s painful to fork out the premiums every year, especially when it is so unlikely that you will ever use it. But on the off chance something goes wrong, at least you know you are backed by financial assistance that will prevent a long life of repaying huge debt.
Who provides cover for PT’s?
There are a whole host of providers that you can take out a policy with; if you are registered with Fitness Australia they will steer you towards Guild Insurance, and Physical Activity Australia registrants have easy access to their partner Marsh Advantage. A quick Google search will bring up a dozen more. No matter who you choose, it should set you back between $100-$200 a year, depending on the level of cover and the types of activities you are covered for (i.e. your Scope of Practice).
What do they cover?
1. Public Liability Insurance: This covers a claim against you for bodily injury or property damage to a third party that occurs from the process of your business as a Personal Trainer. The key here is that public liability doesn’t cover against you being negligent (we’ll talk more about this soon). It covers claims that come about from you breaching a duty of care you owe to the public, which basically means you did something morally, ethically or legally wrong and it caused someone or something to be damaged. Most insurers provide cover for between $10-20 million.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance: This cover insures you against any claim that comes from a client who alleges that your professional advice as a Personal Trainer caused them loss. This could include personal injury, property damage or financial damage. The cover indemnifies you from any breach of duty that you owe as a Personal Trainer, which means that you are protected against legal responsibility for your actions and your policy will pay out against anyone that successfully sues you.
What does all that mean?
There are two terms that ALL Personal Trainers must understand: Duty of Care and Scope of Practice.
Duty of care
Remember that ‘duty that you owe’ refers to your duty of care, which I like to think of as just being a good and caring citizen, who recognises the responsibility to protect the health of the clients that contract your services. If you breach your duty of care for a client, you can be found to be ‘negligent’. For example, if you make zero effort to follow up on a client when they report pain after a session then you have breached duty of care. If you don’t pre-screen a client before training them and put them through vigorous cardio training without knowing about their heart condition, then you have breached your duty of care. If common sense is followed and you take appropriate precautions for safety, then generally speaking you won’t have a problem with duty of care and your insurance will be valid.
Scope of Practice
A Scope of Practice is a statement defining the role and responsibility of someone in an industry, and is often developed by governing bodies to ensure the members of that industry are aware of what they can or cannot do. It also helps the general public to understand what services and standards they can expect from industry members. Fitness Australia’s Scope of Practice for Registered Exercise Professionals can be found here.
In reference to insurance, if you are working outside your scope of practice then you are blatantly working outside your insurance policy and are therefore uninsured. For example, giving specific nutrition advice when you are not a qualified Nutritionist. The problem here is that the insurance providers often default to the scope of practice to see if the activity that you were doing with a client when they were injured was covered – and unfortunately the definitions are quite grey. There is no defined list of what is or is not covered, and Fitness Australia’s boundaries include ‘Development of safe, effective and appropriate exercise programs tailored to client or group needs’; and ‘Exercise delivery inclusive of demonstrating, instructing, monitoring, reviewing and modifying program content including technique, method and progression’.
In my personal experience, I have spoken to my insurance company to clarify if I am covered to prescribe Olympic Lifting to my clients. Initially, the answer was a flat ‘no’, but then it seemed that some progression exercises were appropriate while others were not, and some work with clients was deemed to be ‘Sports Coaching’ not ‘Personal Training’ which is outside of Scope and therefore not insured at all. However, my case was strengthened as I had undertaken formal recognised training in Olympic Lifting and therefore if something does end up going wrong, I am ‘more likely’ to be covered as I can prove adherence to Duty of Care and appropriate skills to back up my decisions.
So what am I covered for??
The key is to read the fine print. If you get the feeling what you want to do isn’t covered, speak to the insurance company directly or look around for another policy that will cover you. My best advice? Get it in writing, he-said-she-said doesn’t hold up in court.
Liked this article? Check out our other business-related blog articles which you can find listed under the Business Tips category at the top right of this screen.
Hiring great personal trainers for your studio is a lot easier said than done.
Building a team of qualified and motivated trainers ensures your business has the best possible chance of success. Likewise, your trainers leaving can result in losing both clients and revenue. Any business owner knows this is something you need to avoid at all costs.
Stating your trainers are the face for your company is obvious, they’re going to interact with your clients more than anyone else in your organisation. If your employee turnover rate is high, your clients notice and the familiarity they crave isn’t provided at your establishment. If you want to lower the risk of losing trainers and clients, you need to spend time focusing on the hiring and training process.
This article was provided by Sean Donnelly from ListFitness.com. Sean is an avid fitness enthusiast who started his own fitness blog recently to share his fitness tips and thoughts about living healthy. Follow Sean on Twitter.
Great personal trainers tend to work with the same clients for long periods of time. This is not surprising. If customers are happy with the service you're providing, they'll be happy to stick around.
Still, the time will come when you need to find new business. Customers come and go for a variety of reasons, many of which are out of your control. Having a steady stream of new clients is important for stabilizing cash flow and growing your business.
The good news is, acquiring new business doesn't need to take a tremendous amount of effort. These surefire tactics will help you maintain a continuous stream of new leads while focusing on the part of your business that matters most: your existing clients.
Incentives For Your Existing Clients
Your existing clients can be one of your best sources of new business. We’re more likely to buy from people we trust. This trust also extends to people our friends trust. When our friends make a recommendation, we would rather take their advice than try to make the right decision on our own.
Set up systems so that not only is it easy for your customers to refer their friends, but it’s to their benefit too. Got a new client that’s nervous about their first session? Invite them to bring a friend along with them. They’re feel more comfortable and their friend might become a customer too. For your more loyal clients, let them know that every time they refer a friend you’ll give them a new session.
Talk About What You Do
The people you interact with every day are all potential leads. Your barista, your dentist, or even the girl you meet at a party could all be looking for a personal trainer. When you talk about you do, there’s an opportunity for a great connection to be made.
I’m not talking about pitching everyone you meet. When you love what you do, these types of things just come out naturally in conversation. Remember how we’re more likely to buy from people we know and trust? That holds weight here too. The people you interact and build relationships with are more likely to want to work with you than a stranger. So make sure they know what you do!
Get to the Top of Google
Options one and two are great for finding leads within your existing network, but how do you find leads outside of that network? It’s important to reach beyond the people you and your clients interact with in person. If you don’t have a friend to ask, where else do you typically go looking for answers? Most of us turn to Google.
There are hundreds of thousands of people looking for personal trainers online every month, and at least some of those people are looking in your area. If you don’t already have a website, it’s time to set one up and invest in a search engine optimization expert to get to the top of Google search results. The good news about this is that it's not that expensive either. This strategy allows you to get in front of the exact people who are looking for a personal trainer—all while you're busy at the gym helping someone hit a new personal record.
It’s time to take your personal training business to the next level. Use one or all of the tactics to start generating new leads on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did!
Author: Lucas Taylor is a recovering finance industry veteran who blogs about all things personal finance. Read more by Lucas on Finance Informer.
Tristan Hill, Masters of Sports Coaching, author of Lifting the Bar and mentor to Personal Trainers.