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How to Become a Personal Trainer or Private Coach

The new year brings with it the excitement of new beginnings and potential for change. If you have considered coaching as a side gig or have felt drawn to giving back to the sport you love, CoachUp is the place for you! While the first question in any new beginning is always “how,” CoachUp is designed to take the challenge of becoming a personal trainer or private coach out of the process of getting started. With a personalized profile, marketing tools to reach new clients, client management tools for facilitating communication and payments, and $1,000,000 in liability insurance for every lesson booked provided to coaches, CoachUp is truly the most accessible platform in the industry to new and existing coaches.

If you’d like to try and get the ball rolling on your own, however, there are a number of ways to answer the “how” in becoming a personal trainer or private coach, and we still want to be a resource to you.

Five steps to become a private coach

Step One: Build a brand

Most coaches have little to no interest in marketing themselves, and are in the business of serving athletes rather than promoting their own success. Building a brand is a crucial aspect to finding success as a private coach, though, and you’ll have to put yourself out there—preferably in a number of ways. The accessibility of social media makes marketing yourself and the service you provide pretty simple and it offers the potential to develop a network with minimal effort. Creating a website along with improving your social presence is another great avenue to pursue. A space to share your coaching philosophy, availability, and rates is an excellent way to begin your journey into coaching.

Step Two: Form LLC

Now, of course, you could start your business as a private coach by stapling flyers to telephone poles in your neighborhood and get right to work. However, if you want to be fully legit and set up insurance protections to cover yourself in the instance of any injuries or customer payment issues, you’ll have to follow the book and take care of these steps on your own. Here is an excellent resource sharing the steps to obtain your business license and start your LLC. 

Step Three: Establish your rates and availability


One of the greatest benefits of CoachUp is that we allow our coaches to set their own rates, but organically offer a pool of other coaches to compare rates with to help find the sweet spot. On your own, you may struggle to find some footing with this, but it’s nothing you can’t figure out. More importantly than the rate, however, is mapping out your availability. Just how much time do you plan to give to being private coach? Is this a legitimate side gig? Is it something you’d like to give more time to in order to make more money? Establishing your availability in your own schedule, weighing the time this new business will require in order to be successful, and considering the other elements of your life that you’ll need to keep buttoned up until it gets off the ground, is key. The last thing you want to do is bite off more than you can chew, or to make yourself frustrated by becoming disorganized. 

Step Four: Decide upon payment method

There are a number of available platforms for payments outside of cash and checks these days. Most of which you are likely familiar with, but Venmo and Zelle are two of the most popular electronic transfer services. This portion is totally up to you, but there are some differentiations in how taxes taxes are processed and how much each platform takes. It’s something worth looking into to retain as much of your rate as possible while also remaining flexible and accessible to your clients. 

Step Five: Build up a network

personal trainer / private coach signup

It’s assumed that most everyone who has an interest in becoming a private coach has a past as an athlete, or experience around athletic programs. Your former teammates, coaches, or mentors are a great place to look for leads on new clients when taking the solo route to this business. It is imperative, however, to remain steadfast and consistent in your coaching efforts, because word-of-mouth will become your greatest proponent for new and repeated clients. 

Keep your expectations in check early on. You may start out hot with a number of clients, and then taper off, you may struggle to gain new business, or you may be a rockstar right out of the gate. Either way, Tempering expectations for how quickly your new venture will truly take off will benefit your mentality and willingness to stay persistent over time. 

While anyone can follow these steps to start an independent business as a private coach, CoachUp is designed to help integrate this process for you, and allows coaches to spend more time focused on their athletes. Anyone with the drive to start coaching can get on their own two feet alone, but CoachUp is here to help in any step of the process.

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    1. We do not work specifically with facilities, but coaches who work at one are welcome to join our platform and use their facility as long as our terms of service are followed (booking, payment, etc.). If you have further questions or would like to speak more about what we can do for you, please reach out at

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