You don’t have to stop your day job if you want to travel the world. How to become a travelling PT!
More and more, people from a diverse range of professions are being tempted to work abroad. Everyone, from lawyers, to builders, accountants and Engineers, are choosing to venture further afield, and PTs are no exception, personal training in Australia and around the world.
There are a number of ways you can travel, and even more reasons why you might want to. Australia itself is an interesting case study. Increasingly, a large number of people are choosing to stay for periods of six months or longer. Of course, if this applies to you, you’re going to have to find some work to support yourself.
As a PT, is personal training in Australia, for example, a viable option?
On the one hand, you might be leaving some clients behind, especially if you’re planning a long period away from your home country. However, you are also gaining a huge potential client base in your new residence, wherever that may be. Below, we have compiled a few key tips that will present you with the opportunity to rapidly expand your business while personal training in Australia or elsewhere abroad.
Thinking about how to become a personal trainer in Australia or abroad? You have to stand out.
You may be in a new setting, but you will quickly discover that the same rules apply. In personal training, you will find that there is tough competition in most countries.
So how are you going to stand out in a saturated market?
Be good at what you do. First and foremost, make an impact when you arrive. Make sure local gyms and healthcare centres know who you are, and start networking with potential clients on the gym floor. Carry forward your instincts and organisation, and try not to feel intimidated by the new surroundings. If you make an excellent first impression, before you know it you’ll be the go-to man or woman for the neighbourhood.
Show how good you are
These people don’t know you, they need to see how good you are before they are going to put their hard-earned cash into the program(s) and personal training that you are offering.
- Putting yourself out there over social media is vital for travelling personal trainers. It will enable you to build up a steady network of locals and fellow expatriates, who may quickly become a fertile target market. Some travellers may be enthusiastic about training, especially those who are spending extended periods of time abroad. Identifying such individuals will be key in recruiting clients!
- Build up a buzz because you’re now located in a different country. If you’re personal training in Australia, for example, the audience you already have in the UK may know many ex-pats in your new location. Make sure to get old clients to share this information with people who are living where you have moved. In the internet era, referrals can happen across borders and oceans.
- Build up a portfolio of imagery and video clips across social media platforms. This will really appeal to potential audiences and showcase your skillset when training others.
- Word of mouth is one of the oldest, but most effective, marketing techniques. A source of information from someone you trust will be a large factor as to why an individual may try something new. So, encourage your new clients to talk to their friends and/or colleague’s about the services you offer. On top of this, why not offer a referral bonus? A free session, or a group nutrition seminar? It will certainly help to endear yourself to your new local audience.
- Speak to people at the gyms you attend, and openly discuss your successes with previous clients. Invite potential clients for a free group trial day so people can familiarise themselves with your style and methods.
You have to be proactive in this business and now more than ever if you’re travelling.
Alexander Hughes: A Case Study
One perfect example of the travelling personal trainer is Alexander Hughes. Having committed himself to relocating and personal training in Australia, Alexander ran bootcamps, 1-2-1 personal training sessions, and online training.
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I met Alexander while travelling through Australia. He’s an ex-British Army paratrooper, who became a personal trainer before deciding to travel himself.
Alexander landed in Melbourne having had to leave his existing clients back home. He found, just like any other travelling personal trainer, that he had to build up a network of key people to spread the word about his PT skills.
“In the beginning, I stood outside stations giving business cards out for an hour or two in the morning, which gave a free complimentary first session for the value of £50. Every introduction whilst giving the business card out I would take my time getting to know that person, to be liked and trusted.”
“After 3 months, I built a client base of 6-8 solid clients. I then went to work for a company called Fig Australia who hired me to work as their manager. All employees had to turn up to one of my boot camp sessions compulsory. This was a benefit for their fitness, the first session was free, they get the opportunity to bond with others and network. From there, a percentage liked my boot camps and decided to come on a regular basis which I was pleased about”
Referrals, as noted above, should be encouraged. Don’t be worried about hurting the relationship you have with your client. If they have chosen you as their personal trainer, chances are they actually really like you and want to support you too.
New clients may take pleasure in the opportunity to speak to their friends about their personal training programs they have with you. Clients may also enjoy the opportunity to show off that they have hired you as their personal trainer!
It’s also easy to focus too much on your status as an “outsider.” If, like Alexander, you’re personal training in Australia, culturally there are few differences between you and your new clients.
Having said that, one thing in particular that may work in your favour as a travelling personal trainer is the degree of mystery regarding your background. People are intrigued by nature. When Alexander first started personal training in Australia, new clients were curious about Alexander’s accent and his background. The clients that refer him to their friends described him as a “British trainer.”
Of course, locals will have many Australian personal trainers that people may have used before, but there will be a relatively small number of personal trainers that are British.
Alexander’s marketing skills grew through the use of social media and word of mouth. He now regularly uses Facebook and Instagram, updating his followers daily with a mixture of his personal activities and what group bootcamps he is running. As he started marketing through social media, the number of clients grew for each of his Sunday bootcamps.
Considering most travellers are on a tight budget there are a few things to take into consideration:
- Normally, you may host group activities in a rented space, perhaps a gym or local fitness centre. Instead, hold them in an outdoors area which is easy for all clients to commute to.
- Reconsider your pricing strategy for the clients you are targeting. Most fellow travellers will struggle to afford a full package personal training program. Be flexible.
- Conversely, if you’re only targeting settled full time workers, then operate under your normal pricing strategies.
- Take into consideration how you can fit your schedule around your clients. If you are intending to work another job as well as personal training, you’re going to have to keep on top of your conflicting timetables.
Alexander went over and beyond the call of duty to ensure that his clients were having a good time, even after his personal training and bootcamp sessions had ended. Following a session, he would invite his clients out for lunch, for example. This built a community and a connection outside of the personal training environment.
“My vision wasn’t just to do a session and go, it was about building a community where all backgrounds come together networking and sharing a common interest.”
Learning how to become a personal trainer in Australia didn’t hinder Alexander, it allowed him to improve his communication, networking, and sales skills. Like OriGym, he preaches being focused on his goals and was persistent in putting in the effort to get where he wanted to be.
Although he found it difficult in the beginning, with patience he built a large clientele, primarily by hosting bootcamps on Sunday. While training a new group of people from a variety of backgrounds, he was exposed to new training techniques from other cultures that he took on board and has since learned from.
Alexander now lives in London and continues his personal training with a larger group of clients, improving their fitness with the skills he learned while travelling.
Still thinking about personaltraining in Australia or further afield? Steps to take now…
If you take on board the tips we have provided and follow an example like Alexander, then you too can find yourself with a large client base in any country you desire to travel to. If you enjoyed this blog then please check out our other posts and share them with your friends.
Equally, if you want to avoid some of the mistakes other personal trainers make, particularly in terms of failing to make an impact on their clients, then check out one of our earlier posts here
If you can see yourself becoming a personal trainer and working out with a group of like-minded people on sun-kissed beaches around the globe, then be sure to fill out our quick form below.
WAIT! Do you have any friends who are thinking about travelling? This article might be really helpful for them. Keep them in the know and share this with your friends on social media. We’re sure they’ll thank you for it.