At OriGym over the coming months we will be interviewing some of the UK’s most successful and inspirational personal trainers. Today we have grabbed an interview with Nicole Wright, an established personal trainer in Scotland who has had a complete career switch to follow her passion for fitness and to share her experience and personal fitness journey with her clients.
We asked Nicole some key questions to gauge where she started from, her inspiration for getting personal training qualified and her plans for the future for her personal training business.
What were you doing before you became a personal trainer and what was your inspiration for getting qualified?
Before becoming a PT I was a conference and event organiser for 9 years. It was a high pressure job where I was regularly working 16 – 18 hour days, 6 – 7 days a week. I was very stressed and not taking care of myself properly. I ended up in hospital because of a tumour in my head, which although was not caused by my job, I can’t help thinking I would have noticed it a lot earlier (it had been growing for over 4 years!). It made me realise that I needed to look after myself more and do what I wanted to do. Being a PT had been in the back of my mind for years and eventually I decided to go for it.
In what capacity did you start when you first qualified, did you go straight into freelancing or work for a gym?
Once I qualified I went straight into working for myself. I live and work in rural Scotland and I did not want to make the 1 hour trek to the nearest gym every day. Plus I had been freelancing in my previous role and was used to working for myself.
What marketing strategies have you used to get your name out there as a personal trainer?
Working in a small area means that word of mouth has been a crucial part of how I get new clients. Clients tell their friends and family and then they start coming to me too. I also find Facebook really useful. I have a business page where I post daily content such as exercise videos and recipes. Putting good content out for free builds peoples’ confidence in you and I get a good amount of enquiries every week via my Facebook page.
What would you say are the most important skill sets for someone to who is looking at starting their own personal training business?
You need to be more than an exercise instructor, you need to be a coach and a customer service professional too. This means providing your clients with excellent service in and out of sessions so that they want to stay with you and that they tell everyone how great you are. Listening is really important to building trust and a strong working relationship with clients. Letting them talk and listening to their replies means you can understand exactly what it is they are looking for and then provide the solution. In the assessment session they might tell you that they want to lose weight, but it is understanding the motives why that can make the difference to them succeeding or not.
What words of advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about starting a career in fitness as a personal trainer?
The exercise part is the easiest part, the business part is the hardest and where I have struggled the most, especially being freelance and having to work it all out myself. I now work regularly with a business coach and yes, there is a cost involved but I definitely feel that the investment is well worth it as my business and income is growing at a much faster pace than if I was doing it alone.
How do you see your own personal training business developing in the next year or two?
I am moving away from one-to-one training to a more coaching based business focusing on online clients. This means my client base is not limited to my local area and I can grow the business successfully without always having to increase the time I put in. I am going to keep expanding on this and I would eventually like to be able to offer educational fitness events.
We would like to thank Nicole for her time to contribute towards this article and wish her all the best with her personal training business moving into 2017.
View our video below to learn more about how to become a personal trainer and start your path to a rewarding career that you can personalise for your own goals and lifestyle.