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Every student starting their personal trainer course dreams about being a successful PT. Unfortunately, the reality is not everyone will make it. Not everyone will be able to support themselves with PT income and not everyone will find a suitable job.
I believe training providers should do more to prepare students for life after the course but graduates should ask themselves if they did everything to succeed as a trainer.
Here are 9 common reasons for personal trainer failures.
Too many beginning personal trainer give up on their dream too early. Building your PT business takes time. You won’t succeed after a month and it’s not going to happen in six months either.
Sometimes it will take years to hit the level you want to be on. Those who keep grinding rip 80% of the benefits. Because so many newcomers give up so easily those on the top get the biggest slice of the cake.
It takes 2 years of constant practice to be good at something and it takes 5 years to master it. Look around you – most of the successful people dedicated plenty of time getting where they are now.
It is actually a great news – if you are willing to work you are going to succeed – that’s guaranteed. You will simply outwork your competitors who will fold in few months. Your competitors will move to the next big thing just to fail again. You will make it by simply keeping going!
A lot of beginners are on the right path to success but they don’t see it. They have unrealistic expectations and often overlook smaller wins. For some having 3 clients after just two months of running a business is a sign of failure.
You need to know what’s possible and what’s achievable, especially in the early stage of your career.
Personal trainer courses are intense and require some hard work to complete. For many PTs, it’s the end of their learning journey. However, fitness evolves and you need to keep your knowledge up to date. Being up to date with current fitness trends will help you to develop a better service and increase your customer base.
Apart from learning everything around the business, you need to do study marketing and sales. Of course, you don’t have to sign up for university but knowing how to build your offering, how to promote your business and finally how to talk to your customers is important for anyone willing to build a serious PT business.
Too many newcomers expect great results without putting any decent work in. They feel entitled – the world should bend to their knees and provide for them. They are not willing to grind. They are not willing to wake up early in the morning and end their working day at 10 pm. They are not ready for a challenge.
In the interview, Will Smith once famously said – “When another man is sleeping, I’m working. When another man is eating, I’m working”. Successful people work hard. They go out of their comfort zone and do the stuff others are not willing to do. This is a winner’s attitude which you need to apply if you are ever to succeed.
Personal trainers face a fierce competition. Few thousand new PTs graduate each year and each of them wants to be the successful one. If you are not able to provide a top-notch customer service you are lost. It is much harder to gain a new customer than it is to retain one. But to be able to get repeat business from your clients you need to make sure they enjoy training with you. Sometimes it will require going an extra mile to working unsociable hours or offering a better deal.
As I’ve mentioned before – you need to keep monitoring current fitness trends and capitalise on them. If people are hot on boot camps it would be silly not to provide one. If your clients (or gym goers) talk about HIIT training make sure you provide have it in your offer. You can’t ignore fitness market trends.
Solid communication skills are crucial for successful PTs. People often mistake communication skills for a good command of English. These two have little in common. You can use good English but still be a poor communicator. You need to work on the frequency of communication and its clarity.
Somehow related to communication, “people skills” are crucial for every personal trainer. Natural charm, ability to understand your current and potential clients and good small talk skills can go a long way. If you can’t retain your clients it is very likely you lack these skills. If you feel it is the case don’t forget you can always learn them.
It is one of the face-to face marketing tricks – make yourself likeable. Some people simply got it – everyone around them seems to like them and it is hard to resist the charm. We love their company. I’m sure you know at least one person of this type. If you are not naturally likeable you need to work on it. You should start with your communication and people skills – improving in these two areas will automatically make you more likeable.
Now you know common reasons for personal trainer failures. Keep them in mind and avoid them at all cost. Avoiding them will give you all chance to succeed.
Here’s a short quiz helping to judge your PT potential. It is based on the research of the characteristics of the successful personal trainers. So, do you have what it takes? (67% participants get below 12 points)START THE QUIZ »