Did you know that self-employed personal trainers can make as much as $90,000 per year? Of course, this is on the higher end of the spectrum, but it’s still worth mentioning that this can be a lucrative career choice for fitness junkies. In the time of COVID-19, more people than ever are stressing about their health. After all, with gyms closed and outdoor spaces limited by social distancing, the average person is struggling to maintain their health.
Reports claim that home fitness trends have been surging since that start of the pandemic. Because gyms are closed and stress is at an all-time high, more people are investing in fitness equipment, fitness watches and trackers, and online tutorials to stay in shape.
One of the best ways to stay in shape, however, is by relying on a personal trainer. After all, everyone is different. Your workout and diet plan depends on a number of factors that one-size-fits-all plans simply don’t address. This includes factors like your body type, fitness goals, and health needs. By investing in a personal trainer, these individuals can start to see real results, whether we’re experiencing a pandemic or not.
With the surge in home fitness only growing, it makes sense that you would think about becoming a fitness freelancer. As stated above, a successful entrepreneur can make enough money to live more than comfortably. Even though it might take a little while to get off of the ground, it’s a worthwhile endeavor if you have the drive and passion to make it work.
Are you interested in becoming a fitness freelancer? Rely on these tips to make your dream a reality.
Get the proper experience/credentials
Personal trainers have two forms of gaining customers: experience and credentials.
Becoming a fitness freelancer means that you need to have a background in fitness and health. For many, that means attending school to get a degree in sports medicine. This credential ensures your potential customers that you actually know what you’re talking about. When you have a degree in sports medicine, you’ll also be able to offer them health and diet tips which a basic personal trainer might not be able to do without working with an experienced nutritionist. After all, offering the wrong advice could put your clients at serious risk.
If you don’t have the money to invest in a degree, there are other ways to become a fitness freelancer. Getting a certification in personal training is one way to do it. This is more affordable than spending money at a four-year college. Try looking into options available from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, or the National Strength and Conditioning Council. It’s likely that you won’t get your certification right away, but you can explain to current clients that you’re in the midst of getting your certification when you get your freelancing business up and running (pun intended).
While it’s recommended that you achieve certification, your experience in health and fitness can also speak volumes for your credentials and ability to gain new customers. If you’ve become a personal trainer organically at your local gym, this looks great for becoming a fitness freelancer. But you can even gain credibility by highlighting your own personal fitness journey. Since most certification programs expect you to have a background in fitness, starting on a personal level could be a great way to get a leg up on your journey to freelancing.
Even if you do become a certified, degree-holding personal trainer, that doesn’t make you a doctor. Encourage your clients to seek medical attention throughout their fitness journey. They should be corresponding with their doctor and especially their social security disability advocates if they’re trying to recover from car accident and require physical therapy. Your job should be to strengthen, not perform therapy. If you claim to offer medical advice, this could get you into serious legal trouble. It’s worth your while to contact an attorney to know the ins and outs of what you can and can’t say to your clients. Most of the time, you might be better off referring them to doctors for adults than trying to do it yourself.
Obtaining the right credentials is pivotal on your journey to becoming a fitness freelancer. But how will you stand out from the rest of the fitness crowd?
Discover your niche
Do you know what kind of fitness services you want to offer?
This can help determine your target audience. You might want to consider people who need help with their fitness over people who are already thriving as athletes. For example, seniors need plenty of healthy tips for staying fit as their body ages and changes. But you can also target certain fitness demographics like cyclists, yoga enthusiasts, or runners specifically. This can enable you to specialize in a field and gain a stronger following than just offering “fitness” as your main goal. While it’s great to be general at times, offering specific strength training programs for older folks might help you stand out more than just offering lifting tips.
But that doesn’t mean you’re also limited to home workouts. While these industries are thriving right now, there are still plenty of ways to flex your creative muscles (again, pun intended). As people try to get more creative in outdoor spaces, they’re also looking for less-common ways to social distance, like searching for pontoon boats for sale or ATVs that they can operate on their own. While it doesn’t seem like these are particularly athletic sports to the uninitiated, most athletes know that a level of fitness is required to do it well. Think about your own hobbies and how you can make a living out of that. If you’re really into sailing or hiking, offering tips for these niches can make a big difference.
On the other hand, you might veer away from the experienced athletic community altogether. COVID-19 has resulted in a spike of home improvement projects. While commercial lawn services to a great job providing a beautiful garden for their clients, encouraging the average Joe to get up and get gardening can be a great workout. It’s estimated that doing regular household chores can burn 200 calories per hour if you’re around 150 pounds. This could be even more if you’re heavier. Starting a business around home fitness for the average homebody can be a cool way to get your name out into the world.
Let’s go into some of the ways you can offer your services in 2020.
How can I offer my services?
Since most people are trying to work out at home, your best bet is to work with clients online. After all, COVID-19 is still a serious threat. You want both you and your clients to stay safe. Just like online urgent cares have been offering one-on-one appointments with clients, so have fitness freelancers. Charging them for an hour-long consultation can quickly add up. Think about offering personalized videos and consultations online and over the phone since it’s a great way to start out.
Once regulations start to lessen and the threat of COVID-19 goes down, you can start considering investing in a hybrid model. Meeting with clients in-person ensures that they’re performing the workouts accurately so that they don’t hurt themselves. The last thing you want is your client to have to call spine doctors because they hurt their back.
For some, investing in an app might be the wave of the future. Popular apps like My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, and more already exist, but they don’t have what makes your business unique: you. Developing an app might be pricier than simply building your own website or uploading videos onto YouTube, but it can be a great way to target a younger demographic with an interest in smartphone apps.
You’ll also want to set your hours so that you’re not working all the time. Becoming a fitness freelancer means that you’ll be tempted to work day in and day out. But sticking to an eight to nine-hour workday will help you achieve a better work-life balance. When you’re living healthily, your clients will notice. Set a good example and ensure that you’re taking care of yourself, too.
Marketing your business
If you’re working as a fitness freelancer, you’re likely working from home or in someone else’s gym. As such, you won’t have a physical location to perform traditional advertising, like hanging signs, passing out flyers, and offering in-person deals. When you’re trying to get your business off of the ground, the internet will be your best friend.
Odds are that you’ll likely be engaging with most of your clients online. In order to get the word out about your business, you’ll need to rely on these marketing factors:
- A website: Building a website to represent your brand and image means everything. This is the location that people will find when they search for you online. As such, you need to offer streamlined information on a website that loads quickly on computers and mobile devices. Otherwise, you’re missing the brunt of your potential clients. Establish a website, list your hours, include a phone number, offer a contact sheet, and make sure it looks good to boot. You might want to consider investing in a custom website builder for help.
- Use social media: Engaging with your clients online will, in turn, keep them engaged with you. Follow similar businesses to see what they’re doing that’s resulting in their success. Post often, list your business’ important information, and throw up a few memes on your page now and then. Establishing a social media following is key in growing your business. Consider investing in LinkedIn profile, too, to make your business feel more legitimate.
- Invest in SEO: What do you think happens when people search for goods and services through a search engine site? Long story short, proper keywords are essential in boosting your presence online. By targeting certain keywords pertaining to your business, like “online fitness guru” or the like, more people will be able to see your business online. As such, you should start a blog offering helpful tips in order to be seen online more. If you’re not the marketing type, there’s no shame in investing in professional SEO services to get your business off of the ground.
Marketing your business is no easy endeavor. Rely on the above tips to get started but don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Becoming a fitness freelancer
Becoming a fitness freelancer isn’t a walk in the park. You need to meet certain credentials and know the bounds of your practice. You can’t tell someone about their health or vision since you aren’t a doctor or someone with experience in eye doctor appointments. As such, it’s important that you refer your clients to the right people at the right times. Be sure to get a lawyer to work out the ins and outs of running an online business.
When all is said and done, it’s not easy to start your own business. In the time of COVID-19, however, fitness goals and online tips are more important than ever. If you want to get your name out there, you should start sooner than later. Rely on these tips to make the most of your journey as you first start out.
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