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How to Grow Your Personal Training Business

how to grow your personal training business

Learning how to grow your personal training business boils down to two major factors, marketing and selling. Without perfecting these techniques you will likely remain stagnant in your current position, working with the same amount of clients and earning the same wage.

To help you grow professionally, this article will cover:

Part of this development can include getting a Level 4 Personal Trainer Qualification and choosing to specialise in a particular area of fitness. 

Download our FREE course prospectus to learn more about these different qualifications!

How To Conduct A SWOT Analysis Of Your Business

Before implementing any kind of marketing or sales strategy, those looking to grow a personal training business should conduct a SWOT analysis. 

This is achieved by looking at your business’ Strengths and Weaknesses before determining Opportunities and Threats that can arise from external factors.

For example, a SWOT analysis of your personal training business could identify the following:

  • Strength- You have strong customer retention rates, thanks to strong interpersonal skills that allow you to develop a good rapport with clients. This provides a blueprint to achieve the same results if you want to introduce new services.
  • Weakness- You only offer personal training sessions, with no additional services being available to clients. 
  • Opportunity- You’ve carried out research for new services you could provide and found that there is an increase in demand for sports massage therapists. You could then invest in earning this qualification to make more money. 
  • Threat - A competitor is offering similar services to yours at a cheaper price, a factor which could prompt clients to look elsewhere. 

Through conducting a SWOT analysis you can invest in areas of your business that are underperforming to improve them. Additionally, you can maintain the strategies that are finding you success, using your current approach as a blueprint. 

If you’d like to explore this topic in greater detail, check out our article and learn 'How to Conduct a Personal Trainer SWOT Analysis'.

The Marketing Strategies That Can Help Your Personal Training Business Grow

As stated in the introduction of this article, to understand how to grow a personal training business, you will need to implement various marketing strategies as a form of ‘promotion’. 

This section will teach you to incorporate 7 of these marketing techniques, before discussing how exactly they can help to grow your business. 

#1 Create a Website and Optimise SEO

A strong online presence benefits personal trainers by building brand awareness and their business's credibility, helping them attract more clients.

Typically, PTs establish their online presence by creating social media accounts on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Whilst this is a perfectly valid form of marketing that has proven to bring in clients, you should also consider building a professional website.

If you’ve never designed a website prior, you can use builders such as:

  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • GoDaddy

These sites offer custom templates, pre-built layouts and user-friendly interfaces suitable for both desktop and mobile interfaces.

 

To ensure your website reflects your personal training brand, you should make sure to incorporate:

  • Logos 
  • Promotional photos
  • Contact details
  • Client testimonials

But how exactly will creating a website help to grow your personal training business? 

Well, you can customise the content of the site to help increase your business’s visibility across search engines such as Google - This process is referred to as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

To optimise your site for Google you can begin to feature a ‘keyword’ in your content that potential clients frequently search. Once they input this into the search engine, your site will begin to rank for this specific phrase. 

For example, if you ran a personal training business from Birmingham you could frequently dot the phrase ‘Personal Trainer in Birmingham’ throughout your site.

When looking to grow your personal training business, there are several other ways you can implement SEO to reach a wider audience. For instance, you could: 

Create and Link a Google Business Profile 

This profile is completely free to create and is often the first thing people see when they search for a specific keyword. Take a look at the results we found for the term, ‘London Personal Trainers’:

You can even link your website to make inquiring about your services that much easier for clients.

Create Useful Content

Writing informative content on fitness can improve your website's SEO rankings and engage the audience that visits your website. This will cement you as an authoritative voice and a credible source in the fitness industry that can help lead you to gain new clients who enquire about your services.

As you can see there are many ways to ensure that you rank favourably across search engines. For more expert advice and tips, check out our guide on using SEO as a PT.

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If you’re a PT looking for more business-related advice check out these other OriGym articles:

 

Advanced Your Personal Trainer Career!

Enquire about our Level 4 Advanced Nutrition Course and grow your PT business today!

#2 Utilise Social Media to Social Proof Your Business

Social media is one of the easiest and most effective tools a PT can use to grow their business. However, keep in mind that you should take time to plan the content you post, to establish your credibility as a trainer.

‘Credibility’ is the optimum word here, you should be posting content that highlights your effectiveness as a PT, to turn casual followers into paying clients.

For example, you could post:

  • Client testimonials- So followers can hear first-hand how you have helped others achieve their fitness goals. 
  • Progress pictures - Here you can visually display the effectiveness of your training, showing a client’s body before they started their training programme and their current progress.
  • Videos of sessions - Think of this as offering a peak behind the curtain, allowing followers to see a snippet of you working alongside a client.

All of these posts will help to ‘social proof’ your business, proving that you’re not just inflating your success to sell, and that training is legitimate and effective. 

This is fairly self-explanatory, but you should never post the content of your clients without their permission. For more information about the legality behind this rule, check out our breakdown of GDPR for Personal Trainers.

#3 Set up a Client Referral Scheme

Some of you may have begun questioning ‘how to grow my personal training’ believing that you have to do all the heavy lifting. In actuality, your clients can help with this process through the creation of a referral scheme. 

This process will see your existing clients recommend your services to family & friends, in exchange for an incentive. Should this recommendation prove successful, you will gain a new paying customer and the existing client will be rewarded, everyone wins. 

Some of the incentives you could offer include: 

  • Free training sessions
  • Free meal plans 
  • Gift cards 
  • Branded goods 

But how exactly can referrals help to grow your business? Well, research has found consumers are more likely to invest in a product if they’ve been recommended it by someone in their inner circle. 

This process is essentially more effective than self-advertising, so if you’d like further insight into how to implement this scheme check out our guide on ‘How to Get PT Referrals’. 

#4 Establish Client Retention Strategies

Learning how to grow a personal training business will also require you to retain your existing clients. After all, if you’re continuously losing your base you’ll have nothing to build yourself on! 

There are various client retention strategies that you can implement as a personal trainer looking to grow your business. For example:

  • Sign Clients to Monthly Recurring Packages- Clients are less likely to cancel recurring payments, so get them to set up a direct debit to avoid the hassle of resigning them at the end of the month.
  • Get Them to Sign a Personal Training Contract- In doing so a client will enter a legally binding agreement for a predetermined amount of time and will have to pay for the service you provide.
  • Build Strong Rapport- This is fairly straightforward, but if you have a strong bond with your clients they are going to want to continue training with you. So, be sure to always be friendly and engaged with those you’re training. 

These are just a few examples of retention strategies you can implement in your own personal training business. For more information check out our article on How To Retain Clients As A PT.

#5 Develop and Promote a Niche

If you're looking to learn ‘how to grow your personal training business’ one answer is to develop a niche that compliments your existing services.

Not only can this expand your reach, attracting clients that otherwise wouldn’t have found your business, but you can also cross-refer existing clients between services. 

Here are some niche services you could specialise in to expand your PT business:

  • Nutrition & Meal Plans- By completing a Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition Course you can begin offering meal plans that support a client’s workout programme, helping them to reach their goals at a faster rate.
  • Sports Massage Therapy- A Level 3 SMT qualification can help you expand your services by treating clients who require massages to assist with injury recovery or improve their fitness performance. 
  • Yoga Trainer- With a Level 3 Yoga qualification you can begin to incorporate yoga teachings into a client’s bespoke workout programme. Apart from being enjoyable in its own right, yoga can help to improve mobility and balance! 

You can learn more about providing specialist services by reading ‘How To Find Your Personal Trainer Niche'.

#6 Utilise Content Marketing

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to grow your online personal training business, you should start content marketing.

This involves generating content that attracts a target audience who will find the information you’re sharing valuable. When users see you as an authoritative source of fitness information, they’ll be naturally inclined to inquire about your services.

There are many ways you can generate valuable marketing content online, including: 

  • Answering Journalist Enquiries - You can use free resources like HARO to answer fitness queries from journalists and media resources, which are typically sent to your email address like this:         

        

    This can help get your PT business to appear in the media with popular publications.

  • Create a Blog- By creating a blog and filling it with your content, you can show readers just how knowledgeable you are. This can help to establish you as an expert in the industry, proving that you are worth investing in. 
  • Create YouTube Videos- Similarly, you can create YouTube videos discussing a topic of interest.

Essentially, content marketing is a valuable resource for trainers looking to grow their business, as it helps to get your name out there without having to spend a single penny! 

If you’re on a budget and looking for similar tips, check out our article on ‘Starting a PT Business with No Money’.

#7 Network with Other Industry Professionals

Networking with other fitness professionals can provide you with great opportunities to grow your personal training business, which would otherwise be unavailable if you worked alone.

For instance, you could receive client referrals from other fitness professionals who don’t offer personal training. Take a sports massage therapist as an example, they could refer their clients who are looking for workout routines that support their injury rehabilitation programme. 

However, this won’t always come ‘free of charge’ and you may have to agree upon a mutually beneficial agreement. For example, you could cross-refer your clients to their SMT practice for treatment. 

Networking also provides you with the chance to share resources and knowledge, all in the name of bettering your approach to training.

If you want to improve your networking skills, you can build your network with other PTs by following these useful tips

This concludes our coverage of marketing tips that you can implement to learn how to grow your online personal training business! With this in mind, let’s shift our focus to discussing sales tactics. 

Sales Strategies to Grow Your Personal Training Business 

You could have the best marketing resources in the world, but if you can’t close a sale you’re never going to grow professionally. 

This is why we’re going to offer 3 expert pieces of sales advice that all trainers should implement into their business! 

#1 -  Offer Monthly Packages and Memberships:

One of the most effective sales tips we can provide is to create monthly payment packages for your clients. This promotes long-term growth and keeps people invested in your business, as they do not come with a predetermined end date.

Now, one mistake many trainers make is offering clients too many options. Packages should be straightforward, and if you overwhelm your clients with choices odds are they aren’t going to invest in your business.  

Instead, they should present a client with a few options to choose from like the following example below:

Once clients have invested in a package, they will be able to commit to a direct debit payment and treat it like any other recurring bill, budgeting for it every month. 

To get a better understanding of how you can create these packages, check out our YouTube video discussing this topic in greater detail:

#2 Prepare a Price Presentation

Even a well-crafted pricing package needs to be sold to clients, which is why those looking to grow a personal training business should perfect their sales presentation - This term refers to the process of getting clients to invest in your business. 

A clear price presentation plan is vital to helping your PT business grow, as it makes it transparent to potential clients what services they’ll be receiving for their money. 

This makes clients feel more confident in their commitment to your services, as they know what they’re receiving for their money. When hosting a presentation of your own we’d recommend:

Only Offering High-Value Packages - As per our previous example, you should only ever have 3 different pricing packages. However, during the presentation, you should only advertise the two ‘top-end’ options:

price chart plan for pts 

These packages offer the most sessions per week and are therefore more financially valuable to you. In addition to this, it gives clients a 50/50 choice, making it easier for them to decide whether they want to invest in your services.

Should the client reject both offers, you could then offer them a ‘discount’ which is the bronze package. 

You should also NEVER advertise the full price of the package! Saying ‘this package cost £288 per month’ sounds a lot more intimidating than ‘£27 per session’. 

How you word things during a price presentation can make the difference between a sale and rejection, for this reason, you have to adjust your terminology when talking to clients!  

For example, rather than saying one package is more expensive than another, you could frame it as so:

“The gold package is only £20 more, but you will receive tons of additional benefits such as…”

Framing it in a positive light will distract clients from the increased price tag, and places the focus on how it can directly benefit them!

To make your price presentation effective, you can follow these quick useful tips when speaking directly to potential clients:

  1. Have confidence in the PT packages you’re selling to people
  2. Never sell your services lower than their market value
  3. Speak in a calm and clear voice to convey information
  4. Highlight the main package you want them to choose
  5. Mention limited-time offers that come with the packages

To learn more tips and more information about price presentation, you can read our article on ‘How To Give The Ultimate Personal Presentation’.

 

Advanced Your Personal Trainer Career!

Enquire about our Level 4 Advanced Nutrition Course and grow your PT business today!

#3 Incentivise New Customers

When researching ‘how to grow my personal training business’ you should consider offering incentives to new customers. 

This is done by some of the most popular PTs in the industry today, for example, Personal Best UK, is offering free shirts and bottles when they sign up for group classes:

These ‘incentives’ don’t need to be expensive either, you could simply offer a free meal plan that compliments a client’s existing fitness goals. 

But be aware, that you should never devalue your existing services when attempting to incentivise new clients. Many new trainers fall into the trap of offering a ‘discounted’ first month of training.

This immediately paints a negative picture in the minds of your clients, that your training is only worth a fraction of the price you intend on charging. As a consequence, they likely won’t continue with your service following the initial month, as no one is going to start paying more for something they’ve had at a cheaper rate. 

Sales Strategies are important to the future growth of your business as they help potential clients see the value in your services as they see the benefits they can receive from your training, which when done effectively, can drive business growth.

Before You Go!

Now that you have a better understanding of how to grow your personal training business, you can implement some of our recommended strategies yourself. One of the easiest examples you can follow is to earn additional qualifications.

For example, with a Level 4 Advanced Sports Nutrition certification you could attract more clients to your business, by offering the incentive of a free meal plan that compliments their workout programme. 

More information about our specialist qualifications can be found by downloading our FREE course prospectus.

Written by Liam Donohoe

Content Writer and Fitness Enthusiast

Liam graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing. He has also co-written a short film that has been featured in several film festivals. In October 2023, he ran and completed his first half marathon and for 2024, he's now training to complete his first metric marathon.

In his spare time, Liam likes to teach himself German, read books, lift weights and listen to metal music that only passionate fans of the genre will understand.

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