With a finite number of billable hours available during the day, personal trainers and other fitness professionals often hit a ceiling in terms of their earning potential.
However, there are ways to boost your earning power. Here are five of the best…
1. Broaden your list of qualifications
Instead of doing the bare minimum to get your continued education credits (CECs), trainers who continually improve their skill set and knowledge base not only become more competent at their job, and are better able to deliver results – which clients are often willing to pay a premium for – but they’re also able to expand their offering to current and potential clients.
After all, why refer clients to a massage therapist when you can become a qualified therapist yourself to meet more than just one of your clients’ needs? A broader service offering also means you can supplement income during periods when personal training clients aren’t as active, like during winter or over December. And with more qualifications you’ll also have an attractive resume, should you ever wish to look for formalised employment in training institutes or big commercial gyms.
2. Leverage the group dynamic
It may take an initial investment to secure the appropriate location and get the necessary equipment, but by training up to 15 people an hour, who each pay less than your one-on-one rate, you significantly boost your earning potential.
As a result your services also become more accessible to a wider potential market and clients are inclined to bring friends along, making it ideal for referral business. Group training sessions are also highly engaging and are lots of fun for both the trainer and clients, which will add a new dynamic to your business model.
3. Become a specialist
You can choose to gain qualifications in a broad range of health, fitness or sporting disciplines, or you can choose to specialise in a specific area. And specialised skill sets warrant higher hourly fees – you’ll boost your income without working additional hours. It’s the same reason why a medical specialist charges exponentially more than your GP.
The rehabilitation of special populations, pre- and post-natal exercise,corrective exercise and sport-specific conditioning are all specialised fields that require a greater amount of study. These specialists can therefore command a higher hourly rate for their services as they substantially increase their value to individuals in need of their skills. You could also specialise in a specific field within personal training, such as transformations, weight loss or stage prep.
4. Improve workout efficiency
Most training sessions last for 45 minutes to an hour, because that’s generally how long it takes for a workout to have any real benefit. However, if you could deliver the same, or even greater benefits to your client in less time, you’d be able to earn more per hour.
Full-body electro-muscle stimulation, or EMS training, lets you do just that. EMS is an extremely effective form of exercise. It is able to deliver a training effect that can often take up to week to achieve using conventional exercise, in just 20 minutes, and there is a large body of scientific evidence to support this statement.
Personal trainers who invest in a mobile EMS training device are therefore able to charge a full rate for an EMS session as their clients are getting just as much benefit, effectively tripling their hourly earning potential.
5. Get a side hustle
One of the best ways to scale your business and break free of the inherent time-based limitations in the traditional personal training billing model is to take your business online. A great place to start is designing and selling individualised exercise and nutrition (if you have the qualification) programmes.
With the correct systems in place you can also offer one-on-one coaching and counselling. With the variety of Internet-based communication channels available today, like Skype, email and instant messaging, to name just a few, you can engage with more clients during the course of the day while still offering a personalised service.
You can also sign up to affiliate marketing and sales programmes where you can earn a share of revenue or commission for selling workout gear, exercise equipment, supplements and ready-made healthy meals to your clients.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.