Personal training marketing strategies


dom lever at the gym personal training

Never underestimate the importance of marketing for personal trainers. You might assume that just because you’ve passed all of your personal trainer courses, you’re about to be swamped with clients eager to get fit and healthy. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy.

Knowing how to promote your personal training business will be extremely important if you want to grow your PT business. You’re going to need to focus on how to get personal training clients, and the solution is marketing. So if you’re struggling to find new clients, here are the personal training marketing strategies that will boost your audience and your potential profits.

The Basic Personal Training Marketing Strategies

Before we look at some of the more out-of-the-box personal trainer marketing strategies, let’s make sure that you’ve got the bases covered first. Well-planned marketing is one of the best ways to grow your personal training business, but your marketing for personal trainers will not get very far without these basics.

A Website

You simply can’t afford not to have a website in the days of digital marketing. Not only that, your website needs to look as professional as possible. After all, not many people are going to want to use a personal trainer if they don’t come across as professional. Make all the information clear and concise, use clear images that you’ve taken yourself and be transparent about your services and prices.

Social Media

A personal trainer without Instagram is like a politician without a bribe. Social media, in general, is a must-have, but you don’t need to have a dedicated business page on every social media platform. Instagram and Facebook are certainly a priority, but Twitter also has a lot of value in terms of connecting with like-minded PTs and thought leaders in the health and fitness sector. 

Even TikTok is fast becoming an exercise resource. So set up your business accounts on the platforms you want to use, and don’t just publish posts and forget about them. Engage with everyone that comments, and start building your social media community.

The Email List and Newsletter

It used to be that email marketing fell out of favour, but it’s back with a vengeance and a higher ROI than ever. If you take the time to build an email list of present, past and potential clients, then you have direct access to their inbox, and that’s extremely high-value marketing real estate. Email lists can be a challenge to build from scratch, but plenty of very useful guides are available. Once you have your list, start sending out regular emails, promoting special offers, new blog posts or new services.

Google My Business

A great resource to take advantage of is your Google My Business (GMB) account and listing. This is free to set up, and it can be a fantastic tool for attracting more local clients. When you optimise your GMB listing, anybody who searches for local personal trainers will see you and your business, along with a map to showcase where you are.

It’s very convenient and simple to set up. Make sure all of the details on your listing are correct, especially your contact details and your website’s URL. Use images to help your listing stand out, and don’t overlook the importance of defining which business categories to tag yourself in.

The Importance of Having a Blog

Your website is only part of your online presence. On your website, you will need to have a dedicated blog. The internet is all about content, and personal trainers who create content will always be more visible than those who don’t. Learn some basics of SEO and keyword research, and start writing the blog posts that will get potential clients to your web pages. Without blogging, your website is going to be sparse and will lack the value that a blog provides.

woman training arms with kettlebells

Intermediate Marketing for Personal Trainers

Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to look at the next level of marketing for personal training. This is when you’re going to start getting down to the nitty-gritty, and it’s likely that these aspects of marketing for personal trainers will require a little more learning and some dedicated time, but they can help boost your earnings.

Getting and Using Reviews

Getting testimonials from happy clients is very satisfying, but they can be a lot more than that. Referrals and positive testimonials can quickly become one of your most valuable marketing resources. It’s a two-pronged strategy because, first, you have to convince your clients to leave a review or testimonial, and then you have to know how to use them to promote yourself. 

Offering some kind of incentive in exchange for a review is very effective, as is partnering with other businesses to advertise and promote each other (think your local gym or a local health food shop). Once you’ve got your reviews and testimonials, use them everywhere you have a real-world and online presence. Add them to your website and social pages, as well as to your brochures and leaflets.

Offline Marketing for Personal Trainers

It’s easy to get swept up in digital marketing because it’s so effective. However, PT marketing strategies that focus on the offline world are also extremely useful. If you’re offering in-person training sessions to your clients, then chances are those clients are local to you. They will be your bread-and-butter clients, so offline marketing can be targeted to those without solely relying on digital marketing.

Consider getting press coverage in your local newspaper or local radio. You can even work to position yourself as the expert on all things health and fitness-related, so when those media outlets need an expert, you’re the one they contact. Brochures left in health food shops or sportswear outlets can also help, as can flyers or business cards left in your gym or a GP’s surgery. Always ask permission, of course, but these can lead to a valuable stream of new clients.

Define Your Target Audience

You should always have a business plan in place for your personal training business. That business plan is a useful guide that you can update as your business evolves. And a big part of any personal trainer’s business plan is the target market research. You need to define who your target audience is, including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Their levels of fitness
  • Their goals
  • Hobbies, interests and how they spend their time
  • Income and status.

Build an ideal client profile, and use that information to target your marketing messages and special offers. A good example would be if your ideal client is a professional with a family, you may need to prioritise shorter workout sessions in the evenings rather than the afternoons.

group of people sat around the table working on a fitness course

Advanced Personal Training Marketing Strategies

These are the PT marketing strategies that will take time and work to put into place. They may be harder work, but they can be the defining factor that distances you from competitors and earns you new clients.

Branding

It’s easy to overlook branding as a small business. Most people assume that branding is only for big corporations, but the fact is that branding is a necessity for businesses of all sizes. It’s a way to immediately communicate your unique selling proposition (USP) and let people know if your services are right for them. 

Your branding should reflect your personality and teaching style, which will make it much easier for those potential clients to connect with you and what you want to achieve. Branding means thinking about your business name, the colour schemes you use, logo designs and even the type of font you use on your website and in emails. Branding helps you stand out and stay memorable, so it’s always worth spending some time on.

Industry Blogs

One of the most effective personal training marketing strategies is to get yourself a presence on leading industry blogs. Finding reputable health and fitness websites and media outlets that accept guest posts can be a struggle but well worth the time and effort. So sit down and make a list of all of the health and fitness-related publications you can find. Once you’ve got those, reach out to editors and start pitching articles and blog post ideas.

What this does is establish you as an authority in your sector. Anyone considering using you as a personal trainer will see that you’ve got an established name in the field, which can dramatically boost trust in your ability to help them reach their fitness goals. Of course, you’ll need to start by creating some great content on your website to show those publications that you a) can write and b) know what you’re talking about. Get this right, and it can elevate your business to a whole new level.

Using Video

Video content is vital in marketing, and for those looking for ways to promote your personal training business, video is hard to beat. It’s extremely popular, and YouTube alone is the second biggest search engine in the world, with more search queries a day than Bing, Yahoo and AOL combined. 

It can be extremely challenging to start creating video content, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Most people have quality video cameras on their phones, and plenty of editing resources are available online, many of which are free to use. So think about the kinds of videos your clients might need, and start writing some scripts. You might even fall in love with the process, let alone the results.

Personal Training Courses

Paid Ads

From Facebook and Instagram to Google, paid ads are a great way to get yourself in front of more potential clients. Paid ads are different from a more organic approach to marketing for personal trainers. You will pay for traffic to your social media pages and your website, so you need to be careful with your spending.

However, paid ads often cost much less than traditional advertising in newspapers or on local TV stations. It’s also immediate and measurable, so you can see quickly what’s working for you and what isn’t. The real challenge is making sure that your paid ads are attention-grabbing enough to get people to stop scrolling down their screens.

To achieve that, you will have to design visually appealing ads, highlight your unique selling points and have a call to action telling potential customers what they need to do next. If you’re tempted to use paid ads and PPC (pay per click) advertising, make sure that you do your research first. If you approach this in the wrong way, you could spend money without any returns on your investment.

Marketing for Personal Trainers

The problem with marketing as a subject is that it’s so vast and ever-changing. You could have a great understanding of search engine optimisation and use what you know to create a great website. But when Google changes its algorithms, you can take a hit that’s hard to recover from. 

So as well as the above PT marketing strategies, you should also do some research on the following so that you always have marketing options:

  • Develop a PT niche such as kettlebell training that you can use to distance yourself from your competitors
  • Request to be added to every personal training directory you can find
  • Offer some form of package pricing with discounts, such as ‘pay for five sessions and get two free’
  • Incorporate fitness technology such as smartwatches and calorie counting apps into your training and highlight them in your marketing materials
  • Offer to teach free classes in your local gym
  • Invest in yourself and take more personal training courses to offer more variety to more clients.

Marketing for personal trainers is all about creating the right strategy and making changes as you see what’s working and what isn’t. The more you can teach yourself about content marketing, using video, finding industry blogs to contribute to and how better to brand yourself, the stronger your PT business will be. The more you know how to promote your personal training business, the more opportunities you will earn. And that’s only good news for you, your clients and your potential to grow.

All of The Fitness Group students get access to our business skills training modules, including our popular Business Skills Workshops. These skills help our graduates turn their passion for fitness into a successful business. If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help you take the next steps on your career journey to becoming a personal trainer, contact the team today. Find out just why we’re the leading provider of PT courses in the UK.

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