SELF WORTH, HARD WORK AND BEING AN ABSOLUTE BOSS.
Being a female, self-employed personal trainer is honestly one of the best jobs. HOWEVER, there are really tough times I'm not going to lie.
I have had so many realisations, so many 'I wish I'd done that' moments.
But how can we strive to be the best if we don't make any mistakes along the way?
How to run a business and to look after yourself whilst being self-employed is not something that we get taught, so I'm hoping these 15 tips will give you that little bit of support you may need..
You are different to every other female personal trainer
I thought competition was going to be tough, but I soon realised that we all have our own niche, our own personality and our own way of training clients. Only focus on yourself as a trainer, once you start comparing yourself to other trainers it really is a downwards spiral, that's me speaking from experience.
Don't just post photos of yourself training 'on the gram'
I see so many instagram profiles of trainers just posting videos and photos of themselves....don't be that girl. I think it's really important that you show your clients, not just because it's what potential members love to see, but because they are the lovely people who fund your business and they deserve to be shown off.
Don't assume you can't be a hardcore trainer because you're a female
I would always feel like I wasn't able to push people because I'm a female, but actually yes I can. That's what separates you from other trainers, someone who knows each of their clients' limits. One of the best parts of the job is challenging client's, it's weirdly like a guilty pleasure.
Coffee shops will become your best friend
There is nothing more professional and self employed than perching your bum on a sofa in a coffee shop with your Apple MacBook, a coffee (hot chocolate in my case) with your headphones in and diary out. It's the only place I actually get any work done without distraction. Slight expense going to coffee shops a couple of times a week (especially when you can't help but get a slice of cake too) but if you can get more work done in less time than being stuck at home then that's a win. I am all about 'working smarter, not harder'.
Your wardrobe will be filled with Sweaty Betty leggings
Ok, so I must have enough pairs of leggings to be able to wear a different pair everyday for at least two weeks, all thanks to Sweaty Betty offering 30% off for personal trainers. The leggings are genuinely so comfy, anyone who knows me will know I'm obsessed with patterns and they've definitely got plenty of choice in that department. *Manifesting my dream of becoming a Sweaty Betty influencer*
As guilty as you may feel, don't do mates rates
I'm sorry, but you can't be giving your friends and family cheaper prices, it's a business at the end of the day. You've got to make an income. If they think you're worth less than what you charge and don't want to support your business then maybe you need to think twice about training them. Like the quote from Mean Girls "little harsh Gretch - whatever, she has a right to know".
Know your worth
Setting prices is probably THE hardest part of being self-employed. You will always under value yourself which may be ok for the first six months whilst you're still finding your feet, but if you've spent time learning and gaining experience then you are worth more.
Don't worry about wanting to change your branding every week
Oh god, I must have had about five different logos by now. I think I made three of my own on Canva (so skilled I know), got the next one done by someone else and very recently I invested a lot into my newest logo which I absolutely love, made by @easytiger_designs, so check her out. You will 100% find that you will change as a personal trainer and what you want to reflect that. Will you spend a fair bit of money on jumpers and t-shirts...yes. Will you change your logo a few months later after spending said money...also yes. My advice, just hold off a little before buying merch until you're atleast 80% sure its THE ONE.
Be who you want to be as a personal trainer, not what you think you need to be
In my first six months of being a trainer I got some professional photos done by the lovely @freyaraby, the photos were brilliant, but I look back at them now and think 'oh my god who even are you?'. That's who I thought I needed to be; all black clothes, hair nice and neat. You should look at me now, still kinda smart of course but pattered leggings, cosy jumper and a beanie hat. It's me and it's much comfier. Every trainer is different, it just takes a little bit of time to find out who you are.
Take time to learn from knowledgable and experienced personal trainers
I thank my lucky stars for giving me the opportunity to work for such an awesome company. I was able to land my first job as a personal trainer whilst I was studying for my level 2. They were originally looking for an experienced level 3 trainer which obvs wasn't me, but I thought f**k it, lets go for it and see. I'm still there till this day and I can honestly say, most of what I know is from working there, the trainers, the members...I would not be the trainer I am today without that opportunity. So thankful.
There will be bad days
You know, I was on such a high streak with being pretty much booked up all the time, but we all know that doesn't last forever don't we. It's like being on a rollercoaster, feeling like you're on top of the world and then the drop arrives. There has definitely been a couple of times when I have felt so down due to losing clients which is bound to happen as you can't force them to stay with you forever can you? One 'I wish I'd done that' moment for you right here. KEEP MARKETING. Even when you don't have any slots available. You don't know what could happen tomorrow or next week. Someone may be waiting in the wings.
Learn to say NO
I was definitely a 'say yes Jess' kinda girl for a while and can still be a culprit of it now. I soon realised how unhealthy it was. You will more than likely be overwhelmed with "can you do 6am?" or "can you do Saturday mornings?". At the end of the day if you don't want to, just say no because once you say yes, it will never end. For me, I will not work before 6:45am, I am far too much of a sleep lover to see that time of the morning. I also won't work weekends because I really value spending time with my loved ones. One thing I will say, if you start to dislike your job because you keep saying yes to people when you actually don't want to, then it's really not worth it.
Buy yourself a work phone
Got an old iPhone knocking around? Buy a £10 sim and use it as a work phone. It keeps everything separate. Nobody wants to be replying to clients at stupid o'clock., I have a few clients that are really good friends, in this case, I make sure that if it is anything PT related I text them on my work phone and anything non PT related I text them from my personal phone, it honestly works wonders.
Taxes don't have to be as daunting as you think
Wanna know my secret? Be a spreadsheet geek. I use it to fill out my income and expenses so I can then just send it off to my accountant at the end of the tax year so she can do the stressful part yay! I pay roughly £120-£150 for her to take this off my hands. Yes its an extra expense, but its an expense I am willing to pay to save me a whole load of stress and tears. Unfortunately I feel organisational skills apply, so I'm sorry if this isn't you.
Make sure you take time for you
Work-life balance and all that jazz. I can't state how important this is. Being a personal trainer isn't your whole life, yes it's your baby but you don't need to spend every hour of the day working. You need to make sure you take some 'you' time. Whether that be chilling out watching your fave series, training yourself at the gym, seeing friends, whatever floats your boat. If you want to give quality service to your client's, you can't afford to burn yourself out. As most people say to me, look after number 1.
PS. I could seriously go on forever with this because there has been so much that I have learnt and still learning. But let's face it...I can't take all the mistakes away from you can I? How will you thrive?