There will come a point in everyone's pursuit of fitness where they look to others for help and guidance. Google, YouTube and Men's Health can get you so far with technique, programming and motivation but the fine tuning, the real work, can only be done with the help of someone who not only knows what they are doing but who knows how to apply it to you and your goals.
Finding a coach or trainer is easy: the local leisure centre and Instagram are full of people who will gladly offer their services to you. Finding the right coach, now that's a harder mission. Finding the person you are going to trust with your physical improvement is a dauting task, or at least it should be. You are about to invest a lot in this person: time, effort and money. You want to know it's a good investment.
Where do you start?
You need to find yourself a leader. I use the word leader not as an expression of elitism or for a 'better than everyone else' effect, I use it because you want someone who is going to lead you on this path with the right plan, the right attitude and the right ethics.
A good leader leads by example. If a coach cannot lead themselves down a journey of sound physical development they will not be in a good position to do the same for others. Knowledge minus action equals zero so the coach who claims to know what they are doing but doesn't apply it to themselves might not be as dedicated to your journey as you might need them to be, they can't even commit to their own.
It is also true that action minus knowledge leads to time wasted and increased risk. The ability to 'do' but a lack of understanding the how's or why's is just as undesirable in a trainer as the poor leader.
A good coach, someone you can begin to invest in, can walk the walk and talk the talk. They live the life they expect you to because they understand the reasons for it and the impacts it will have. This is what you need to find.
That perfect combination of a person who has taken the time to learn their trade and then applied it to and tested it on themselves is where your time, effort and money will be best invested. Start there.