A career in health and fitness can be awesome. Working on something you’re passionate about, whether that’s exercise, nutrition, or wellness in general, is hugely enjoyable. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, so it’s worth being aware of the pitfalls too. 


In this article – we outline five common career mistakes that health and wellness professionals make, so you can sidestep them.


Whether you’re thinking of embarking on a health and fitness career, or are already working in the industry, there’s something here for you. 


#1 – Not Doing Research

We often talk to wellness professionals who are disappointed with the realities of the job. For every person who loves it, there’s another who thinks it doesn’t live up to expectations. The worst part is that they’ve often paid a lot of money to get qualified, only to find out later that it’s not for them.


It’s not that fitness careers aren’t enjoyable, far from it. But it does highlight the importance of doing your research before jumping in to ensure the work will lives up to the reality.


Some ways to to this include…


  • Talking to people already doing similar fitness jobs
  • Reading ‘day in the life‘ articles
  • Participating in Facebook groups for your chosen profession
  • Doing a short internship, work experience, or shadowing 


This will ensure you have a really clear idea of what day-to-day activities the job entails. Sometimes the perception of a career is more glamourous than real life. No-one tells you about the 5am starts or requirement to clean sweaty gym equipment beforehand!


Also be aware that turning your passion into a career can mean your fav hobby starts to feel like work. It can suck the joy out of something you love. Eventually, your passion can diminish.


Doing research will help you understand if you’ll really enjoy something before switching careers or investing in training qualifications.


#2 – Being Seduced by 6-Figure Salary Claims

The fitness industry is really bad for this. There’s an endless number of scammy companies claiming it’s easy to earn a 6-figure salary with their ‘secrets’. And they charge a pretty penny for them too.


But the reality is that most people don’t earn this much. The average personal trainer salary, for example, is less than $50,000 or £40,000. It’s a similar story for nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, and yoga teachers. 


The problem is that lots of people are passionate about fitness and nutrition, so there’s no shortage of people who want to work in the industry. The rules of supply and demand mean employers don’t need to offer high salaries – many people will accept less to do a job that they enjoy. 


According to the Harvard Business Review, 9/10 people are willing earn less money to do more meaningful work


So, don’t be seduced by the promises of ‘6-figure incomes’ often touted online. Yes, it’s absolutely possible to earn a good salary doing what you love, especially if you run your own business and set your own prices. But $100k+ is not typical in the health and wellness industry


You might also like… 50 ways to make more money in the fitness industry.


#3 – Not Learning to Sell

When most people think about becoming a health or wellness professional, they don’t usually consider their sales skills. They focus on getting qualified, whether that’s through a PT course or nutrition certification. But the ability to sell is vital for long-term success


Knowing how to sell your services is fundamental to getting clients and earning money for yourself. Without knowing how to do this, it’ll be almost impossible to last in your role. 


Yet it’s a skill that’s frequently overlooked by people just starting out in their careers. No wonder so many personal trainers quit in their first year. 


It doesn’t need to be daunting or sleazy. There are plenty of books on sales, online courses, and YouTube videos with practical tips. You can also pay attention to how colleagues approach the sales process and engage with potential clients. 


You might also like… This highly effective personal training sales script


#4 – Not using your network

Telling people about what you do is an easy way to generate clients, but is often overlooked. Some people are worried about telling others about their new venture in case they ‘fail’. But telling them can actually increase your chances of success!


If you’re just starting out, let friends and family know about your career plans. Tell them about the areas you’ll specialise in and the services you’ll be offering. This can help you get client referrals from the very beginning.


If you’re switching industries, then why not tell your colleagues too. They might be interested in your coaching services or know someone else who is. The key thing is that you’ll be top of mind if they ever need someone with your skills, so it’s sowing seeds for the future. 


Lastly, use your social network too. Post about your work or client success stories (with their permission) on your personal account. This will get seen by friends, family, and colleagues, further establishing you as the go-to person for your topic. 


You might also like… Social media tips for PTs or dietitians and nutritionists.


#5 – Failing to Establish Demand for Your Offering

This is crucial for both newly qualified professionals and experienced ones looking to strike out on their own. If you’ve got a genius idea about designing a new fitness product, starting your own studio, or simply going self-employed, do some market research first.  


Before you spend time and money on something, make sure it’s a viable idea first. You need to establish that there’s demand for what you’re planning to sell beforehand. 


So many people skip this step, and then wonder why their launch fails. It can be heart-breaking and confidence-destroying when a venture doesn’t work. But with a little research, you can stack the odds in your favour and ensure there are plenty of potential customers out there.


There are lots of ways to establish whether there’s demand for a new business idea…


  • Check Google keyword planner – how many people are searching for your thing?
  • Trawl forums and Facebook groups – go where your customer base hang out and see if there are there any common problems or complaints they’re posting about which your product or service can address? 
  • Pre-sell the thing before you make it – so you have proof that people are willing to handover their hard-earned cash before you dive into doing it.   


By establishing demand, you can be confident that your new move will pay off. 


Health & Fitness Career Mistakes To Avoid

So, there you have five of the most common health and fitness career mistakes to avoid. Whether you’re starting a fitness business, becoming a PT, or studying nutrition, it pays to know the pitfalls in advance. Speaking to an expert in the field for some very top-line advice can help set you on the path for success. 


Fitness Business Templates & More

Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.


Whether you run a gym club, fitness studio, or personal training business, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 40+ templates covering sales, marketing, and business start-up resources.



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Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer & nutritionist with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience.