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Hannah Tyldesley

Interview With Zanna Van Dijk

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Hannah Tyldesley


General Group Exercise, Personal Training

Posted On

25 July 2015

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Interview With Zanna Van Dijk

  1. So first things first, why become a personal trainer? Why did you choose to go down this path?
  2. I had completed my undergraduate degree in speech science and did not want to go down that path. Instead I went travelling and I hate to sound cliché but I "found myself" so to speak. I decided to pursue my love of all things health and become a PT! It was the best decision I have ever made.

  3. What advice can you give those unsure whether or not to pursue it?
  4. Think. Think long and hard. Weigh up the positives and negatives. As with any job, there are highs are lows. For example there are long unsociable hours but you can often be in control of your own timetable. It is a competitive industry so you have to be ready to give it your all.

  5. What would be your top 3 tips to starting out as a PT?
  6. Fake it until you make it. I don’t mean your skills, I mean your confidence. It can be scary approaching clients and facing challenges but take them head on.

    Never stop learning. Keep on educating yourself. There is always more to find out.

    Personality, personality, personality. If a client gets on with you they won't leave you. Be friendly.

  7. What would you say is the most effective form of building a good client base?
  8. There’s two main ways - the first is to approach people. This is usually in the gym, but you can do this in everyday life too. Just mention that you're a PT and can give them a discounted first session. Boom, new client. The second way is word of mouth - once you have a few clients they can tell their friends. Recommendations are key.

  9. What would you say is the most effective way of marketing yourself?
  10. Personally, social media has been amazing. I would say that 70% of my clients are from my Instagram which is crazy! Building a good social media following is never a bad thing and can really open doors.

  11. How do you make sure you stand out from other personal trainers?
  12. It is tough, as there are a lot of PTs!  I just try and make sure that as hard as a session is, I want every single client to laugh at least once. My sessions are both fun and challenging. It makes the pain more bearable ;)

  13. Has training clients improved or changed your own training?
  14. Yes, definitely. As I get faced with new clients with new goals and new abilities I have to rethink, learn and educate myself. I want every session to be new and interested and to teach them something that they don't know. So I have to constantly keep learning myself!

  15. How do you find balancing training yourself alongside training your clients?
  16. It can be a challenge. I am not only a PT but a brand consultant, a fitness blogger and a fitness model. So juggling 4 jobs with training myself is tough. I usually try and squeeze in a cheeky 45 minute session between clients which is convenient when you work in a gym!

  17. Are you considering any other further qualifications (ideally with FIE!)
  18. Yes of course. As I said, never stop learning. I would love to do Olympic lifting, neurolinguistic programming and kettlebell courses.

  19. Finally what’s your favourite aspect of your job?
  20. The people. My clients become my friends. So every session is like hanging out with a friend - jobs don’t get much better than that.

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