How to start a successful personal training business

It takes more than hope and hard work to grow a successful personal training business. As you work with each client to help them achieve their fitness goals, you can benefit by keeping an eye on how you are tracking with your own goals as a small business owner.

In this comprehensive guide to growing your personal training business, we’ll cover the key things to know as a personal trainer, including:

  • setting up as a personal trainer;
  • business growth tips;
  • fitness trends;
  • marketing for personal trainers; and
  • creating your fitness brand.

Tips for starting a personal training business

Here are 18 steps for personal trainers opening a training studio, including tips for growing your business in the long term.

1. Define the goalposts for success

Planning and setting goals are key to making your dreams for your fitness business a reality. Consider where your business will be in six months, two years and five years. You might want to have a team of personal trainers, own your own studio, or open branches in other cities. Be clear about your goals and plan the steps you will take to achieve them.

2. Invest in quality equipment

Quality equipment helps clients work out more efficiently; they’re the tools that will help you retain clients and attract new clients. Clients will stay with you if they have a great experience, and this includes the equipment you provide them with.

3. Ask for testimonials

Happy, healthier, and fitter clients are your best advertisement. Customer testimonials can be incredibly helpful for attracting new customers. You can capture their stories in words, images and videos, and then ask for their permission to use them on your website as well as all in other marketing collateral such as brochures and signage, social media, and email marketing.

4. Become a specialist

You might consider specialising in one area of personal training, or you may expand your reach by enrolling in more than one PT business course and acquiring several types of fitness certifications.

Your branding should clearly communicate your specialty. Your niche will help you attract clients who are more likely to be drawn to your work, which will also increase your chances of securing loyal customers.

5. Incentivise to win new customers

Incentives can be used to attract new clients – offer free fitness assessments or bring-a-friend bonus classes. Or you could run training specials, such as buy 10 sessions and get the 11th free. This can be a great way to reward your clients, build loyalty, and keep engagement high. It also creates excitement and buzz around your business.

6. Hire staff

Is your business too large for you to manage all on you own? Sometimes, growth requires additional staff. You can reap the benefits of having a team member with complementary skills join your business. Hire someone who has different skills to you. You might hire someone with strong administrative skills if business administration isn’t your favourite part of the job.

7. Learn how to implement fitness trends in your gym

Because clients can do a lot in a shorter amount of time these days, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is still very popular. This is a great way to make your clients feel challenged, workout after workout. Make sure your clients are well-conditioned and are able to handle the demands of interval training.

Some of the most intense and thrilling HIIT activities are:

  • mountain climbing (on a mountain or on a climbing wall);
  • time-under tension strength exercises;
  • sprints;
  • powerlifting;
  • airbike; and
  • CrossFit.

These activities can be incorporated into almost any fitness program.

8. Introduce recovery zones

While exercise is important for strength and bulk, it is also necessary to allow time for your clients’ muscles to adapt. As such, many modern training facilities now have ‘recovery zones’ that allow clients to access specific recovery equipment, whether it’s mobility sticks to aid in stretching or beds with high-pressure water massaging. While not essential, these are certainly ‘nice to haves’ for clients.

9. Wearable tech

Wearable tech such as fitness trackers and smart watches are only getting more popular and more powerful. Wearable tech lets your clients track their progress and create personalised workouts. Clients can also avoid burnout by wearing a fitness tracker when using your gym.

10. Trainer-client relationships

People who are passionate about their working out regime more often enjoy one-on-one sessions from experts in the personal trainer industry. Many gym-goers enjoy the personal touch of a personal trainer, which helps them stay motivated and engaged in expertly curated, personalised workouts. Offering such services will help to build brand loyalty for your personal training and provide a personal touch for your clients.

11. Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, helps make your website easier to find for your target audience – i.e., individuals in your area who are looking for a personal trainer. When SEO is done right search engines such as Google will define you and your business as a trusted source for personal training.

Local SEO can be an effective digital marketing strategy for personal trainers as it helps them to reach and engage with individuals who are interested in personal training classes.

12. Email marketing

Personal trainers can use their customer email lists to send personalised email marketing campaigns to their database to increase their visibility and maintain their connection with customers. Use your email marketing to send customers training tips, promotional codes, and content marketing related to fitness, health, and wellbeing

13. Advertise on social media

You can reach and engage many potential customers through social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, and Twitter with targeted ads. To build professional relationships, you can also follow social media accounts that complement your business, such as nutrition companies or companies that sell activewear.

Facebook and Instagram offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which can be a great way to create image-based digital advertising assets. Upload the ad and choose your target audience (demographics, income, age, location, and so on.

14. Encourage referrals

Referrals can be a great way of getting more clients for your personal training business. You will likely have friends, colleagues, and family members who share similar interests with you already and would be interested working out with your personal training business.

15. Create enticing promotions

Online marketing can be used to grow your business, so long as each promotional campaign bring tangible benefits to your business. A great way to reach more people is to offer them something for free that they would find useful, such as a free eBook offering personal training tips, or a subscription to your fitness program. In doing so, your personal trainer brand can become the preferred choice for clients.

16. Define your core brand values

In order to succeed as the owner of your own personal training business, it is important to develop a business mindset. This means being clear about your fitness-related specialty, focusing on business results, and being flexible. It also requires that you set goals for your business, as well as a mission statement to help you achieve it.

Make your vision is broad and use it to define the long-term goal for your business. For your mission statement to be effective, make it specific and communicate what you are trying to do for your clients. Both statements should be published on your website, social media, and in all of your marketing collateral.

17. Ensure that your company logo is memorable

When setting up a private training company, your company logo is a critical aspect of your brand. It’s not only the name of your fitness business, but it’s also the first thing that potential customers will see when they visit your website or see an ad for your business.

As such, your logo should be simple and memorable; this will help potential customers to remember it. Use simple shapes and limit it to no more than three colours. Make sure that your logo is relevant to fitness, health, and wellbeing and implies that your business offers professional personal training services. This will help ensure that the right audience finds your services.

18. Embrace multimedia

Fitness businesses that emphasise movement and an active lifestyle in their branding and promotional material are more likely to illicit a response from viewers. As such, when promoting your personal training business you may increase your returns by including multimedia such as video and photography. Such multimedia marketing assets are more likely to engage potential customers for your personal training business.

Do I need business insurance to be a personal trainer?

As a personal trainer with your own personal trainer business plan you may benefit from reducing your risk via personal trainer insurance*. Personal trainer insurance is a selection of business insurance products that can help personal trainers reduce their risk. Personal trainer insurance may include the following insurance products:

Professional Indemnity insurance: Protects your business from losses incurred as a result of claims of actual or alleged negligent acts or omissions in the provision of your professional service or advice to your clients.

Public Liability insurance: Provides protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier, or a member of the public is injured or sustains property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.

Business insurance: Provides cover for your business’ premises and contents, against loss, damage or theft, also offering protection against financial loss experienced from an insured interruption to your business.

Personal Accident and Illness insurance: Covers you for loss of income if you were unable to work as a result of an injury or illness. The cover is generally available regardless of whether or not you sustain injury or develop an illness due to your work.

Choose BizCover and make business insurance a breeze

A key facet of succeeding as the owner of your own personal training business is ensuring that your business is built to go the distance. And a key strategy for doing just that is by taking a proactive approach to reducing the risks to your business.

BizCover makes purchasing your personal trainer insurance* quicker and simpler than ever – and without the hassle you may have come to expect from business insurance providers.

Our online platform lets small business owners compare competitive business insurance quotes from leading insurers online and purchase their business insurance in less than 10 minutes – without the paperwork, and without the drama. If you prefer to pick up the phone, you can reach out friendly team on 1300 920 871.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769

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