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How to earn a £100k a year as a personal trainer…

25/10/2016

Are you serious? £100k a year as a personal trainer?

How to earn a £100k a year as a personal trainer

To some people hearing that a personal trainer can earn £100,000 per year seems absolutely absurd! A fitness instructor can’t earn that much can they? 

Especially when the average personal trainer earns approximately £16,000 per year. The truth is anyone can become a 100k a year PT in my opinion, you just have to know how.

In this post I endeavour to explain how to become a 6 figure earner in the fitness industry and share some tips which i’ve learned on my own journey through running my business LEP Fitness.

The aim of this post is not to provide an exact Blueprint – a step by step guide, but however to share my story of how i’ve done this. I know this post will help give you ideas and strategies which you can apply to your own journey. So let’s dive in…

How to earn a £100k a year as a personal trainer…

Doing the Math…

How to earn a £100k a year as a personal trainer…

So first of all let’s figure out the financial logistics. In order to earn £100k per year you need…

  • £8,334 per month
  • £1,924 per week

For the sake of simplicity let’s look at how many sessions you’d need to do each week to hit the £1,924 target.

  • £30 per hour x 64 sessions per week
  • £40 per hour x 48 sessions per week
  • £50 per hour x 38 sessions per week
  • £60 per hour x 32 sessions per week
  • £65 per hour x 30 sessions per week

Of course there are many other ways you can get to £1,924, however the above numbers show a range of personal trainer prices which I typically see in the North of England.

The reality…

overworked personal trainer

I’m sorry but I don’t care who you are, you are not going to be able to deliver 64 high quality PT sessions every week! I know this from experience, i’m one of the most enthusiastic people you’ll ever meet when it comes to coaching, but 2 years ago I visited PLANET BURNOUT because I was doing 60 sessions per week! I was absolutely frickin exhausted beyond belief.

At the weekends (when i’d finally finish at 5pm on a Saturday!) I was absolutely shattered. Sunday was spent in bed, barely able to move. My diet went out of the window, I was living off caffeine (you know them horrible Relentless drinks? yuk!) and my training in the gym stopped as well (I had ZERO left for anything other than coaching sessions!). I started to lose my passion for personal training and had to rethink my business model…

No More than 30 sessions per week…

In my opinion as a coach you cannot deliver anymore than 30 x 1-1 high quality coaching sessions per week. That’s 6 hrs per day 5 days per week. Anymore than this and I believe the quality starts to decline.

I understand that us personal trainers have to pay the bills and survive, I totally get that, however I see too many trainers selling themselves short by taking on too many clients, or those who are the wrong fit or just because they want more money!

Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting more money but if your service offering declines you’re doing a disservice to your clients and your integrity. I speak from experience and it was extremely difficult for me to increase my prices. In fact I was scared shitless (pardon the bad language!).

  • What if everyone leaves me?
  • What if I can’t afford the bills?
  • What will my friends think if I fail?
  • What will my family think if I fail?
  • What if I end up broke (again!)?

All these thoughts ran through my head. I didn’t make rash changes over night but I realised I had to work less and charge more. I had to make-sure the service quality that I offered was the best I could provide and be willing not to take on every client, but rather to look for clients who were the right fit.

I can’t charge £65 per session in my area!

I know some of you will be thinking I can’t up my prices to £65 per session when I currently charge £30 per hour. That’s a valid point and you’re right, you probably can’t make this leap. Let me tell you how I made the slow transition…

First of all instead of charging £40 per hour (my rate 2 years ago) and doing 50 sessions per week,  instead I increased my prices by £10 per session and only did 40 sessions per week.  This meant I was earning the same amount per week but working 10hrs less. Last year again I increased my prices, allowing me to do 30 sessions per week and earn the same income. This transition did not happen over night, in fact it took me 2 years!

I now work 20hrs less than before but earn the same income. I take Thursday, Saturday and Sunday off and my business and personal life is in perfect harmony.

Supply and Demand…

Now if you’re new to the fitness industry or don’t have many clients it’s going to be harder to charge higher prices. The more people that want to train with you the higher price you can command. The aim of any starting personal trainer, IMO is to accumulate as much experience as possible and learn how to deliver results and work with people.

This takes time, but someone who works hard in the industry should be able to gain 3,000 sessions worth of experience in a couple of years (30 sessions per week x 2 years). Add into the mix lots of extra reading, and participation in training courses and you’ll be ahead of most coaches.

Once you build a client base, have a proven track record of results and have more people wanting to train with you than you can handle then you can easily increase prices. The aim is to become oversubscribed (check out this great book called Oversubscribed to learn more about this concept). If you’re fully booked with 10 clients who all train 3x per week (30 sessions per week) then it’s not going to be too difficult to become oversubscribed.

Move to a city…

Granted there’s a certain limitation to what you can charge based on where you live. For example in London there are personal trainers who charge £200 per hour, I actually even heard of one guy charging £1,000 per hour! Holy crap balls! Typically training in City’s is going to allow you to charge more, but likewise there’s also going to be stronger competition. This is where finding your niche can be advantageous.

Attract the right clients…

I see far too many coaches taking on every client possible! If the client is willing to pay them money they’ll take it. The truth is that this can be a very dangerous business strategy, you’re effectively building a dodgy foundation. How do I know? because i’ve been there done that and got the t-shirt!

When I started as a personal trainer I thought I could transform everyone! Truth is there are plenty of people who are not ready to be coached and will drain your energy. Every client is your responsibility, you decided to take them on. I hear coaches blame clients for there lack of will power, sorry to break this to you… but you’re either using the wrong methods, or you decided to take them on! A clients lack of results is always your fault! If they aren’t benefiting save your integrity, give them a refund and find someone who will benefit from your time. This is a hard pill to swallow but I promise it will be worth it.

Invest in yourself…

You want to charge high prices, and to be oversubscribed with clients queuing up to do business with you? Well then you’ve got to know your shit and be able to provide amazing frickin value. I’m not just talking about teaching exercises and writing diet plans… you’ve also got to know how to motivate people and inspire them to achieve great things.

Most people don’t believe in themselves, they’ve spent a lot of their lives with limiting beliefs, and confidence set backs. Knowing your shit when it comes to anatomy and diet are crucial but the psychological, life coaching aspect is just as important. You’ve got to invest time and money into: books, audiobooks, private coaching, courses, etc. Never stop learning.

Share content and provide value…

60% of my enquiries come from referrals and the rest come from internet marketing and blogs. For the last year i’ve written a blog 1x per week and schedule at least 3x Facebook posts for every week. By providing value to your community you’ll be the first person they think of when they need a personal trainer.

For example I had a lady come to me 2 years ago, who said she’d been reading my blogs for 1 year before contacting me! 2 years later this lady is still training with me! The investment of my time into my blogs, articles and videos has allowed me to pick up plenty of new enquiries over the last 4 years. This will also help put you ahead of the competition.

Semi private personal training

Semi private personal training

This is a great way to leverage time. To be honest i’m not a BIG fan of fitness classes, that’s not to say they don’t work, i just haven’t found them to work for me. Semi private personal training however is a mixture of private coaching and group classes. By training 2-4 people in a private coaching session you can still share the intimacy of private coaching, but charge more. Say you charge £65 per session for 1-1 personal training, then you could quite easily charge £100 for semi private training (£25 per person with 4 people). This is a great way to increase revenue on your personal training business, whilst saving time.

Online coaching

Another great way to increase turnover and provide value to those who are unable to train with you in person. I must admit this isn’t something I have mastered. I currently only have 5 online clients. That said i know coaches who’s entire business model is based on online coaching.

Conclusion…

I hope you enjoyed reading. I’ll repeat what I said at the start, this post was not intended to be an exact blueprint, a step by step strategy to help you become a £100k a year personal trainer. Instead, I’ve written this post to share what’s worked for me.

Hopefully you’ll have learned a thing or two, gained a little inspiration and it will either directly help you with your own personal training business or ignite an idea which will move you forwards. There are no quantum leaps to becoming a £100k a year personal trainer, but if you can make small progress each day, and each week, and each month and each year, then i’m extremely confident that you will find success.

Extra Help for personal trainers…

  • Are you a PERSONAL TRAINER or aspiring PT?
  • Maybe you know someone who’s in the PT industry?

If so please share or tag your mates in this post. Here’s a 5 part series i wrote to help coaches…

50 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR PERSONAL TRAINERS AND PT BUSINESS OWNERS

This series includes 50 absolute knowledge bombs which i’ve accumulated over 7,000 coaching sessions. These posts will help you in business and with your coaching. I promise there’s some ‘reyt’ gems (as the Sheffield locals say!)

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions please leave them below or e-mail me here.

voted one of the best personal trainers in the world - LEP Fitness

Nick 

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