More and more Personal Trainers are choosing to move away from the big commercial gyms to work in private studios on a freelance basis. This can provide many benefits not only for the Personal Trainers themselves but also for their clients.
Often Personal Trainers start their careers employed by gyms and fitness clubs which give new trainers a readymade network of colleagues, the structure of an established club and the protections that a big company can provide such as sick pay and holiday pay. Often though, as Personal Trainers grow in confidence and skill they end up looking for new challenges and so turn to freelance work as a natural progression. While it is a big step to move away from the protective umbrella of a commercial gym most Personal Trainers do so as they believe in the service they are giving and are confident they can do it better away from the restrictions of a fitness club.
Clients obviously believe this too as many follow their Personal Trainers, support them through the transition and enjoy the changes that come with the move. The same high quality sessions are provided but there is more of a personal touch and the atmosphere is more relaxed (though the work outs may not be!). There are no fixed templates for training session and there is more freedom in where sessions are held, be it in a private studio or in the park.
Clients can also avoid expensive joining and membership fees and are not tied into fixed term contracts. They benefit from more flexible timing of sessions, no use it or lose it, which is a must when jobs involve travel or when clients go on holiday! In turn, Personal Trainers are not under pressure to hit unrealistic targets month in, month out and all of the money paid by their clients goes directly to them. There are of course overheads for using a private studio but these are nothing like the amount which commercial gyms keep as their share of the kitty. Freelance Personal Trainers also have to do their own accounts and tax so it’s important to set up a simple business model and keep good records.
Many clients want to support their Personal Trainers and often provide valuable recommendations to their friends and colleagues and their Google reviews and the like can also reach a wide audience. Social media is also a great way for Personal Trainers to market their services. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide great platforms to connect with new clients, share newsletters, blogs, photos and success stories.
Beyond marketing, the web has helped Personal Trainers in many other ways to make the move from commercial gym to private freelance studio. There are sites on how to run a successful business, tips for working in the Personal Training industry and extensive exercise libraries full of new ideas. It’s cheaper to have websites built (and there are also heaps of DIY web page design programmes too) which give Personal Trainers a real presence and allows anyone who is searching on a whim or a mission to find a local studio.
So if you are a PT thinking of making the move, or if you want to achieve your fitness goals, there’s no time like the present to look at the private studios near you!