As a personal trainer, you’ll work with a range of people at different stages in their fitness journeys, from total beginners to the finest of athletes. But how exactly do you become a personal trainer? Follow our tips.

1. Get qualified
If you want to work as a personal trainer, it’s important that you have the relevant qualifications. Being properly certified will allow you to operate as a personal trainer in your country – although it won’t do you any harm to have one or two extra qualifications on your CV to make you stand out in your profession. In the UK, a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification will enable you to work as a fitness coach within a gym or health club. The Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification will allow you to operate as a self-employed personal trainer. It’s also useful to get some other certificates under your belt to help you stand out and give you that extra edge over your competitors – for instance, it’s very useful to have a first aid certification or to have completed courses on running a business or a niche sport. There are courses from Study Active that offer the UK personal trainer accreditations, as well as other useful fitness qualifications that can help you to operate – as well as stand out – as a self-employed personal trainer.

2. Gain work experience
While getting the appropriate qualifications is important, it’s crucial that you also gain the relevant practical experience if you want to become a personal trainer. The easiest way to do this, especially when you’re just starting out, is to arrange work experience at a local gym or health club. This might be unpaid initially, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. Even just working in the reception of a fitness club can help you break into your career as it will enable you to get a feel for the industry as well as make important contacts. You might want to shadow an experienced personal trainer to observe them in their work. It’s also useful to work with another personal trainer as though you were a client to gain a fuller understanding of the trainer and client relationship.

3. Network and promote
Networking is an essential part of any successful business as it helps you to connect with new clients and explore professional opportunities. If you’re serious about making it as a personal trainer, then you should aim to master your networking and marketing skills. In today’s digital age, there are far more marketing opportunities for self-employed traders and small businesses to take advantage of, but you need to use them properly. Social media is an excellent way to connect with clients and find potential business, so do consider creating an online profile on at least one social networking platform. Make sure you interact regularly with the profile by creating engaging posts and making sure you respond to customer comments regularly. Be careful about oversharing though – you don’t want to spam users with screeds of repetitive posts. Doing this is likely to have the opposite effect and turn users off from your profile. Also, don’t rely solely on social media; try and be inventive in promoting your business in other ways. There are a multitude of ways to network and market your business; for instance: wearing your business logo out and about, advertising on a billboard, organising fundraiser events for charities, sponsoring a local youth football team, among many others. The ways you choose to market your business are limited only by your imagination.

Gaining the relevant qualifications and work experience, as well as learning to network and promote yourself will all help you towards becoming a successful personal trainer.