19 personal training marketing ideas to help promote your business

19 personal training marketing ideas to help promote your business

Eddie Lester
By Eddie Lester
Apr 19, 2024
5 min read

It’s no secret that the fitness industry is a competitive one. With countless personal trainers vying for clients’ attention, effective marketing strategies can help you stand out, attract new clients and build a strong reputation.

By showcasing your expertise, highlighting unique offerings and reaching your target audience, you can establish a thriving business and create lasting relationships with clients who are eager to achieve their fitness goals under your guidance.

Jump ahead:

Figuring out your niche

Before you can effectively market yourself and your business, you need to figure out what differentiates you from your competitors. Identifying your niche helps you target your marketing efforts effectively. By focusing on a specific area, you can position yourself as an expert and provide specialized services that meet the unique needs of your personal training clients.

To figure out your niche:

  • Reflect on personal passions and expertise. Consider the areas of fitness that you are most knowledgeable and passionate about. Identify your unique skills, experiences and certifications.
  • Analyze target demographics. Determine the specific demographics you want to work with, such as age groups, gender, fitness levels or specific populations like athletes, seniors or postnatal women.
  • Assess market demand. Conduct market research to identify the demand for specific fitness services in your area. Look for gaps in the market or underserved segments that align with your expertise.
  • Consider personal preferences. Reflect on the type of clients you enjoy working with the most. Think about their personalities and motivations. This will help you identify your ideal client profile.
  • Evaluate competition. Analyze other personal trainers in your area. What are their niches? Look for opportunities to differentiate yourself by offering a unique approach or targeting an underserved market.
  • Test and refine. Start working with clients within your identified niche and gather feedback. Assess their satisfaction, results and overall enjoyment. Refine your niche based on these insights.
  • Seek client feedback: Regularly collect feedback from your clients to understand what they value most about your services.

Personal training marketing ideas

When you start your own personal training business, you quickly realize the need for a steady client base. It’s different from working for a gym, as the gym will bring you clients. In return, however, you’ll have to pay them a hefty amount of money, which may or may not be a percentage of what you charge.

Whether you work for a gym or not, it’s a good idea to explore different training marketing strategies to help you build a client base. While not all of these personal training marketing ideas will be for you, it’s often worth trying different things until you find the right combination.

Online presence and content creation

Effective personal trainer marketing must include an online presence to help create a personal brand. You don’t have to be the next fitness influencer, but maintaining an active presence online helps clients find you.

1. Develop a professional website

You can create a website if you like, but it’s not 100% mandatory. If you do create a website, make sure it has many pictures of yourself, your customers, the activities you offer, and the results achieved. In this industry, pictures speak more than words.

Ensure your site is user-friendly and includes your services, client testimonials, success stories and contact information.

2. Utilize local SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means making changes to a website to help it appear higher in search results when people look for something on the internet. You can optimize your website for local search results with targeted keywords, location-specific content, and creating a Google Business Profile.

3. Create engaging content

Produce informative blog posts, videos or podcasts that address common fitness concerns, provide workout tips and showcase your expertise.

4. Leverage social media

Creating a social media account helps people find you. The type of account you create depends on your customers and the content you create. You can share workout videos, client success stories and fitness-related content.

For instance, if you create video content, TikTok or Instagram may be your best bet. But if you host a lot of in-person events, Facebook might perform better for you. Or if you want to focus on bringing services to corporate clients, try LinkedIn.

Just remember to keep your account active with updates, and always respond to comments and messages.

5. Run targeted social media ads

Promote your personal training services and unique selling points using paid advertising on social media platforms to reach a specific demographic or location.

6. Provide personalized email newsletters

Email marketing is still an effective and valuable marketing tool. Build an email list of interested prospects and send regular newsletters with fitness tips, success stories and promotional offers.

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Networking and partnerships

Networking and partnerships expand your personal training business’s visibility. Meeting and collaborating with more people can lead to more potential clients and referrals.

7. Offer a free consultation or class

Provide potential clients with a complimentary training session to assess their fitness goals and demonstrate your expertise.

Or instead of offering one-to-one classes, which can become costly and time-consuming, you may also consider offering a free group fitness class now and then to attract new business. You could do something like set up a free intro session in the park. Make sure to have forms with you so you can at least get the names and emails of people who stop by.

8. Host workshops or seminars

Similar to offering a group session, you can organize educational events where you can share your knowledge and expertise with potential clients. These could range from proper techniques to establishing routines. These types of events can help showcase your value and build trust.

9. Collaborate with local businesses

Partner with complementary businesses like nutritionists, physical therapists or sports stores to cross-promote each other’s services.

10. Participate in community events

Participate in local health fairs, charity runs, or fitness expos to interact with potential clients, distribute promotional material and offer mini-consultations.

Volunteer work is also a great way to give back to your community, and meet people along the way. For example, if your market is senior fitness, you can volunteer to give a class in a retirement community. If you prefer not to give away your services, volunteer to help out during art hour. Either way gives you an opportunity to show your presence, meet people, and discuss what you do.

11. Incentivize word-of-mouth referrals

One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective forms of personal training promotion is via word of mouth. Many people choose their trainer based on a recommendation from a friend or family member.

The key is to keep customers satisfied. Be punctual, professional and polite. And, of course, always thank people when they make a lasting recommendation.

Better yet, you can set up some sort of word-of-mouth promo. For example, give current clients a free session when their referral buys a package of sessions from you.

12. Create an incentive program

While you certainly don’t want to undersell yourself, consider offering new customers an introductory package with 25% off their first few sessions. You can also sell 10-session passes with the 11th session free or at a discount.

13. Create a referral network

Word of mouth doesn’t have to come from clients—it can also come from peers. Connect with other fitness professionals, such as yoga instructors or physical therapists and refer clients to each other when appropriate.

Besides having another referral source, this is a network from which you can source information, grow skills, obtain mentorship and occasionally commiserate.

14. Develop partnerships with influencers

Collaborate with fitness influencers or local celebrities who align with your brand values to promote your services through their social media channels.

Expanding reach and services

Expanding their reach and services allows personal trainers to connect with a wider audience, tap into new markets, and provide additional value to their clients, leading to increased growth and success in their fitness business.

15. Brand yourself

As a personal trainer, you are a walking advertisement for your services. You can be living proof of the benefits of an active lifestyle. Your physical appearance and attitude can reflect what you do. Show people how energetic, enthusiastic and compassionate you are.

It can also help to dress the part. Maybe this means running errands in your yoga pants, or even with a branded t-shirt. Wear those trendy running shoes, show off those biceps and give off that overall fitness vibe to help people find you.

16. Offer online training programs

Expand your reach by creating online fitness training programs or virtual classes. This will allow you to attract clients beyond your local area.

17. Collect and showcase client testimonials

Request feedback from satisfied, long-term clients and display their testimonials on your website, social media or marketing materials to build credibility and social proof.

Don’t be afraid to ask for these testimonials as they can really help boost your business. Offer to keep identities private online by not revealing last names or not using/cropping their photos. You might also ask certain clients if they are willing to provide a reference for your business or leave you a kind review on public sites such as Yelp or Google.

18. Offer corporate wellness programs

Approach local businesses and offer to conduct fitness workshops or provide on-site training programs for their employees.

19. Consider seasonality

A good place to look for customers is when and where people want to get in shape. Think of people getting married, beach season or even class reunions.

You can advertise accordingly in local school newsletters, reach out to venue contacts or through flyers. Or, if possible, partner with other vendors like event planners, local sports stores, bathing suit stores or even a family physician; they can help with your personal trainer marketing.

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Eddie Lester
About the author

Eddie Lester is a personal trainer from Los Angeles and the founder and CEO of Fitness Mentors. With over 20 years experience, 10 different certifications and specializations, and multiple years teaching personal training at the university level, Eddie loves sharing his personal training knowledge and PT exam strategies.

Eddie is the author of Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer.

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