The need to become fit has swept the entire world and it is not showing signs of slowing down anytime soon. That is why people, mostly athletes, see a career in fitness as their ultimate professional goal. However, gyms and sports clubs are often bad employers, as the wages are mediocre and they do not offer enough opportunities for career advancement.
On the other hand, freelancing allows you to exercise your right, pun intended, to develop your skills and enlarge your clientele.
There are several milestones when it comes to building a freelance career in fitness as well as snares that you all need to be aware of before you start making big money by becoming a personal trainer or a fitness instructor.
Learn to communicate properly
In the teaching business, it is not about what you know but how to pass this knowledge to others. You might have been a medal-winning bodybuilder of a football player but instructing others in the gym is a whole different ballpark.
You will get clients from all walks of life, from factory floor workers up to corporate executives and you need to learn to establish a good rapport with all of them. Only through clear enough communication, will you motivate them to give their best and ultimately, be satisfied with your services. It is these clients that will pass the word that you a good fitness coach and before you know it, your itinerary will be full.
Patience is a virtue
Another trait that separates a good trainer from the bad ones the ability to stay calm at all times. As you already know, working out is a painstaking effort that many of your clients will too difficult to cope with. This is where your patience comes into play as you teach them by your own example to stay focused and accept the fact muscle mass, stamina, and strength are not gained overnight and that becoming fit is foremost a process that requires time.
Setting clear goals from the very start can help as well but these goals need to be realistic, as failing to achieve them can result in a serious drop of morale for the client.
It’s not only physical
An integral part of demonstrating others how exercise properly is teaching them how to behave when the leaves the premises of the gym. This is where many people fail to stick to the advice provided by their instructor and that is the main reason they under-perform.
Make it clear from day one that you expect dedication on their side because you are going to put your heart and soul to help them achieve the perfect body figure. Apart from working out regularly, two factors are important: nutritious food and enough sleep. A diet rich in protein and carbon-hydrates and roughly eight hours of sleep a day are a prerequisite if your clients expect any kinds of results. This is where your versatility will come to play as you will perform the job of a provisional nutritionist and a “sleep” doctor.
Be well informed
To stay up to date with the latest trends in fitness you needn’t get a master’s degree but you do need to be well informed about global trends in the industry. Modern fitness industry requires you to prepare special workout programs to cover the versatile needs of people who exercise.
For instance, those people who come to you because they want to improve their golf swing should not be offered a general workout scheme you have prepared.
You need to sit down and search for training programs suited for golfers, as well as understand all the medical aspects behind the sport before you can draft an acceptable program. We list golf as an example because you would be surprised by how much physics is involved in practising the perfect swing.
Set an example
People who work at gyms can afford to gain a pound or two or to lose stamina during winter. This is because the company brand stands behind their name and this is what clients are drawn by. On the other hand, you as a freelancer cannot afford to get out of shape, as your body is, in a way, a visual business card. This might seem as a stressful thing to read but in reality, this just means that you shouldn’t stop taking care of your physical health and appearance.
Just continue doing what you did while you were a pro or take up a hobby or a sport that will help you maintain the desired look. Your appearance is a strong signal for your clients not to give up and to keep on working out.
Learn to sell yourself
Again, it might seem like an odd thing to put down but you’re basically selling yourself in the best possible manner by freelancing. In terms of marketing, if you are seen training a celebrity, the newspapers might write about you and this will guarantee that you will have an influx of people asking you to be their personal trainer for years to come.
Furthermore, you can create an Instagram profile where you would share training session photos; of course, with the consent of the client. Finally, you start your own YouTube channel where you will demonstrate just a tiny bit of your expertise bit this will be enough to draw the attention of people on social media.
Getting a certificate
If you were employed in a particular gym, your employers would take care of all the paperwork, including licensing and certification. You are basically on your own as a freelancer, so you should do your best to merge into the local and regional fitness community. Despite the fact whether you work on your own or you pair up with another instructor, you can still be part of something bigger like a fitness coaches association.
However, they are going to ask for a license as a prerequisite for membership, so be sure to provide a diploma or a certificate. If you haven’t completed at least bachelor studies, now is the time to get your knowledge and expertise certified, as there are even online courses that offer a certificate after successful completion of the course.
An office job?
Many people decide to go into fitness because they find the job dynamic, as no two days are the same and you get to move a lot and meet new people, some of which you can befriend. Working from 9 to 5 is not a dream of any fitness coach but this does not mean that you don’t need an office, even if you are a freelancer. We are sorry to say but paperwork and entrepreneurship must go together, as taxes, business plans, and management are terms you cannot do without.
However, you needn’t sit down for hours perusing through bills, a there is no need for a home office. Basically, you just need a place to store all the paper files and you can do all the other work using a PC in your free time. The vast majority of your work hours are going to be spent working out and educating others but don’t neglect the business part altogether.
Finding the right space
Unlike most freelancers, you are not likely to work from the comfort of your home. Most personal trainers depend on the gym, both public and private, for space to train and the equipment they use during a typical session. Whether you or the client choose a particular gym, this works quite well for you, as you don’t have to pay rent or buy expensive exercise machines and equipment.
Think of a building a career in fitness as an opportunity to share the passion of working out with other people. This way, both you and the people you instruct will remain motivated and mindful.