Transitioning from Employee to Freelance Personal Trainer

The personal training industry is highly competitive, but demand for freelance personal trainers remains high with people who may want to exercise at home when it’s convenient, be self-conscious about working out in a gym, or need specialist training to accommodate a disability.

There are many benefits to working as a freelance personal trainer. As well as having the freedom to choose when, how and with whom you work, you’ll also earn a considerably higher hourly rate, compared to being employed through a gym. However, making the decision to go self-employed should not be taken lightly. Freelance success depends on your personality, how you handle clients and build a reputation, previous experience, and ability to manage a business.Personal Trainer with Client in the gym

When transitioning from employee to freelancer, there are five key areas to consider:

Business and Finance

Establish a business structure to suit your needs, for example, a sole trader, and register your business name. Going self-employed means you’re personally responsible for managing your own paperwork. You can either do this yourself or employ an accountant, but make sure you’re on top of tax returns and your budget, especially considering the seasonal peaks of the fitness industry. You should also be aware of upfront capital costs, such as transport, equipment and marketing expenses.


If you’ve already been working as a personal trainer in a gym, you should be fully qualified. However, just be sure that your qualifications are universally recognised so you can make the transition to freelancer without having to re-train. If you’re interested in a specific area, make sure you have the right qualifications to achieve this. The more experience you have, the more professional you will seem and this makes it much easier to attract customers.


You will be held personally accountable for any injuries sustained by your clients and as such, it is essential that you have comprehensive personal trainer insurance. Look for cover that includes personal accident, sports equipment, professional indemnity and public liability to ensure you and your business are fully protected. Our policy does just that – you can get an instant quote by clicking here.


One of the best ways to stand out from the myriad of other freelance personal trainers is to specialise. You could choose anything, from antenatal women, to rehabilitation, to a particular sporting event. Rather than trying to please everyone, establishing yourself as an expert in your chosen field means you can target specific customers and deliver a more bespoke service.


Now that you don’t have a pool of prospective customers readily available to you, you’ll need to go out and promote your business. Word of mouth can be incredibly powerful, so spread the word about your new venture through family, friends and online. Utilise social media as much as you can and build a website to set up a professional online base for customers to visit and find out about you. Think about offering a free consultation or introductory session to attract customers into getting started.

Being fully prepared for making the transition from employee to a freelancer is the key to success. Protectivity can help by providing instant online insurance cover.


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