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9 Key Personal Trainer Business Tips

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Working in the fitness industry, you’ll be looking for personal training business tips to help you deliver a premium service to your clients.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some of these tips that will provide customer satisfaction, but also give you a competitive edge over your peers.

If you’re looking to attract new clients to your business, have you considered completing a nutrition course with OriGym?

We also have a great range of additional courses for you to enrol in. You can read about them by downloading our free course prospectus.

 

#1 - Use Software To Revolutionise Your PT Business

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One of the first personal trainer business tips you should incorporate to boost work-related performance is using personal trainer software as part of your business.

This can help you complete tasks associated with your daily routine, including:

  • Managing your schedule
  • Administration duties
  • Monitor the progress of clients’ fitness
  • Design workout programmes
  • Communicating with clients

When it comes to your schedule, your software can help set parameters, allowing you to decide when clients can book a session with you. 

Any clients that have access to your schedule, can select their preferred time slot with you, but also cancel any sessions they can’t make.

This will also help free up your time to complete any pending tasks relating to the daily functioning of your PT business.

Acuity Scheduling is a great piece of software that provides that allows you to manage your schedule based on your preferences: 

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It also gives your customers the power to book and cancel sessions based on the sessions you have made available. 

If you’re looking for an app to help you store client information, then look no further than TruCoach.

This gives you the ability to remain in contact with clients with a directory you can use to save their details. You can also create custom workout plans and monitor their progress with stats you save on their profile.

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If you’re looking to complete administrative tasks efficiently, then ConnectTeam is a great piece of software to consider. 

The app, which you can download to your Android or iOS device, offers products under the following categories: 

  • Operations
  • Communications
  • HR and Skills

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In ‘HR & Skills’ under their products tab, you can create a digital space of all the qualifications and legal paperwork you have completed. 

This would be a useful product to consider, particularly if you’re audited or submitting tax returns and need to provide evidence of your credentials and payments. 

It will also help you visualise what documentation you’re missing, so you can schedule a time frame to obtain these documents for your records.

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Client-focused software will also give you the power to monitor clients’ progressions, utilising data on their calorie intake, along with information on their weight and muscle mass.

When it comes to client-based software, Mindbody is a great option to help your clients achieve the results they are seeking.

Their application assists with client retention, as the data from a client’s session can be monitored weekly and demonstrate that their physical health is improving. 

It will incentivise clients to reach their targets and if they want to push themselves further, they can compete with other clients you train.

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#2 - Updating Your Business Plan Is A Crucial PT Business Tip

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Reviewing and updating your business plan is one of the tips for your personal training business that you should always consider.

Before you explore this tip any further, it’s important to make sure you have a personal trainer business plan to implement our recommendations.

One of the ways you can update your business plan is by reviewing your business’ monthly and yearly performances. 

Let’s pose a hypothetical scenario. Starting with monthly performances, you have discovered a gap in your business plan that you may have not considered before.

Following the success of your face-to-face sessions, some clients believe they would enjoy the benefits of online personal training

At the moment, this is something you currently don’t provide but could implement at a higher rate for private consultations, and slightly cheaper for personal trainer group sessions.

Under the section that indicates the services and products you’re selling, you would amend this part of your business plan to introduce this new service.

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In a yearly review of your business plan, you can update the target markets you believe are likely to acquire services. 

Again, let’s look at a mock example. You could have offered classes to help post-natal women under 30. However, the numbers have been extremely low for this service.

Halfway through the year, as part of a monthly review, you decided to inject extra funds for adverts, but this didn’t increase attendance numbers.

This would give you a licence to remove the service because it is not profitable. The key is to deliver your services where there is demand.

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When it comes to your yearly review, you would also benefit from receiving feedback from your clients.

This would give you an insight into where there is demand for specific class types and where you don’t hold the relevant qualifications, use it as an opportunity to learn a new skill set to deliver this class. 

In your area, you may find demand from clients to learn different exercises using a kettlebell. This would incentivize you to become an expert in this field with a kettlebell CPD qualification.

You would update your business plan after obtaining this qualification to demonstrate that you’re a kettlebell specialist and can deliver the classes your clients expect.

#3 - Develop a Clearly Defined USP For Your PT Business

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The most useful personal trainer business tips help you recognise areas for your business to grow within the fitness industry.

These areas for growth are called a USP (Unique Selling Point), let’s look at a hypothetical example to help you understand.

In the northwest of England, there are high levels of obesity reported. This is a health condition that can lead to diabetes.

A personal trainer who is working in this region could see an opportunity to become an obesity control and weight management specialist to give themselves a competitive edge in the market.

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This would give them a deeper understanding of hormonal and metabolic influences, and psychological conditions that may affect clients' weight.

The skills they would possess would allow them to create a tailored weight-loss program based on the character profile of their client.

The personal trainer will increase their chances of being hired over peers who would implement a generic weight loss program for this client.

Here is an example of how a personal trainer recognised a USP that gave them a competitive edge in the market. 

Ultimate Performance's unique angle was delivering session plans that were well-researched, and methodological, but constantly revised and improved.

They also have a ‘Client Results’ page to demonstrate that their USP has real-life results for their clients.

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When you have decided what your USP is for your business, make sure you have a competitive edge over your competitors.

Search all angles of your business to create a unique selling point, whether that comes from low rates, or operating as a personal trainer class in a niche market.

 

#4 - Hire An Accountant To Manage Your PT Business’ Finances

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We can’t discuss personal training business tips without advising you to hire an accountant. They can take tedious tasks off your hands, but find new ways to generate profits for your business.

Here are some ways they can benefit your business: 

  • They can help reduce your tax bill at the end of the business year, recognising what allowable expenses you can claim. 
  • An accountant will also be experienced with submitting tax returns, which will prevent you from incurring additional charges that will hurt your profit margins.
  • Hiring an accountant will alleviate some usual paperwork, which allows you to focus your attention on delivering premium customer service. 
  • They will be able to help maximise your profits, identifying underperforming areas of your business that can be phased out but also redirect funds to create additional revenue for services that are performing well. 
  • They will also be able to provide you with security when managing your finances. This includes GDPR for personal trainers to protect sensitive information.
  • They can provide you with security when managing your finances. This includes following data protection procedures to protect your financial details.
  • If you’re worried about managing sensitive financial data and losing it to a third party, then you can make it the responsibility of your accountant. 

AccoTax is a great example of an accountant who specialises in helping personal trainers with their finances. 

If you look at the snapshot below, you can see that they help with taxes, bookkeeping and expansion opportunities:

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Remember, hiring an accountant is not only useful for submitting taxes correctly and avoiding penalties, and can also help you generate new revenue streams for your business. 

#5 - PT Business Tip: Harness The Power Of Social Media Ads

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Utilising social media advertising is a great way to promote your business’ brand and increase profits. It could be one of the personal training business tips that helps you.

Investing money in advertising will increase the likelihood of converting leads into new clients for your business. 

It will generate more revenue as you see an increase in demand for your services whilst strengthening your brand awareness online. 

Operating on a budget shouldn’t deter you from marketing on social media channels, as the costs are relatively low if you’re worried about expenditures.

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To make your advertisements a success and generate traffic to your business, you need to make sure you have a clear message, logo, and contact information listed.

These key pieces of information will help direct your advertisements to the correct target audience, which in turn will increase your prospects of generating more profits.

If you look at this advert from Cookridge Hall, you will see that they’ve made sure their advert covers these areas: 

  • We understand the services they provide
  • Their logo is present in the top left corner
  • Their personal trainer’s contact information is visible

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Finally, you will be able to connect with potential prospects that view your advertisement and leave a comment. 

This allows you to answer any questions that they have and help establish trust and connection with prospects.

If you look at the snapshot below, you can see how PureGym attracted 1,000 new subscribers, which in turn generated £29,000 in revenue using Facebook’s ads tools.

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Approaching social media adverts with a systematic approach can have real results for your business.

Whilst PureGym is a huge business, these methods can be adjusted to help you as a personal trainer, regardless of the budget you’re working with.

So remember to make your adverts clear and precise, understand who your target audience is and how to use social media tools to your advantage.

If you’re enjoying this article, why not give these a try?

#6 - Incentivising New Clients Is A Crucial Tip For PT Businesses

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Incentivising clients is not only a great way to motivate clients, but one of those tips a personal training business like yours would benefit from.

Personal trainer challenges for your clients are a great way to incentivise fitness enthusiasts. You’ll be able to attract new and existing clients to improve their fitness but also get them to commit for the duration of the challenge. 

You can centre this around clients completing several weekly sessions with you, which, as the weeks progress, becomes increasingly difficult.

The more sessions clients attend, the more points they will accrue, and those with the highest points will be eligible to receive some prizes.

 

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The prizes, depending on the size of your budget, can range from free or discounted classes to more tangible prizes like branded sports goods or cash rewards. 

These types of challenges will encourage clients to show up for as many sessions as possible, which will also have a positive impact on their physical health. 

Back in 2018, Anytime Fitness ran a time-framed fitness challenge, called the Spartan Challenge.

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The challenge required participants to complete 27 sessions over 8 weeks, with participants required to complete 3 different types of timed sessions. 

The great thing about this challenge is that the sessions were broken into small but achievable tasks. This would have motivated and inspired their clients to commit to the challenge.

When you create a challenge for new and existing clients, make sure the challenge is not too difficult. This will help with client retention, keep fitness fun and most importantly, inspire them to improve their physical fitness.

#7 Running A Referral Scheme Is A Simple Yet Effective PT Business Tip

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A referral scheme is one of the best personal training business tips to help you save money. It will save you money because new clients will be familiar with the premium service you’ve delivered to their friends and family.

No referral scheme can be a success without solid foundations, so it is important to make sure you are delivering results for the clients you currently have. 

These clients will be a great way to attract new clients, as they will be able to describe the services you’ve provided and the standard you’ve delivered them at.

You can promote referral schemes through different channels, including: 

  • Email
  • Text
  • Social media
  • Business website

Here is a referral scheme that Anytime Fitness promoted, as you can see from the snapshot below, they have provided a referral code for signups to receive benefits from:

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It is a great promotion scheme to help multiple sign-ups because, if more than one person signs up, then both members will get one month's worth of free membership.

When you’re creating a referral scheme to attract new members, if you create a friend-based referral scheme, you’ll increase the number of clients you will receive.

Once you have decided on the main channels to promote your referral scheme, you will need to decide what offers you will provide to new sign-ups and current clients that help with your referral campaign. This could include:

  • Discount off current membership
  • Free classes
  • Free branded products
  • Cash prizes

For example, Hussle provided a discounted scheme for all members and their referrals that signed up for their gym:

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This is a fantastic selling technique to get more clients through your door without putting too much effort in.

Alternatively, you can offer free classes, like Fitribe provided, to members that can bring a friend, which is a great way for a prospect to get a taste of the training you’re able to provide. 

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Finally, if you’ve got disposable cash in your budget, you can offer vouchers to entice members to sign up with you. 

This is a scheme that was run by 24/7 Fitness and for any clients that signed up, it feels as though they’re being financially rewarded for improving their health.

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Before you launch your referral campaign, you will need to create a closing date. This will help keep your budgets on target for the year.

This is something that MonLife listed in their terms and conditions in the event prospects decide to claim they’re eligible for the offer after the deadline.

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Remember!

  • To receive a referral from a current client, there is no perfect time to ask them. However, you can ask to increase your success by asking a client once you have given them positive feedback.
  • You can also use photos on your referral campaigns, showing the clients you have worked with and showing their transformation. This will be great to demonstrate you’re capable of getting results.

 

#8 - Running Freelance Classes Is A Powerful Yet Overlooked Business Tip For PTs

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Running freelance classes as a PT might be one of the most overlooked personal training business tips to help your business.

Not only is this a great way to attract large numbers of clients to a single class, but if you develop a strong rapport with attendees, you will be able to book single sessions with them.  

One of the ways you can generate interest in your freelance classes is through adverts on social media. It is important to remember that these adverts need to hold all the relevant details.    

A great demonstration of this can be found in the Pilates classes that are run by Blueprint Fitness in London.

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As you can see from this advertisement, we have a clear understanding of the services they are providing, which include: 

  • Type of class
  • The offer that comes with it and the price
  • Dates and times these classes run
  • Address and contact details

Prospects for this class are more likely to attend as they have a clear understanding of the classes they’re attending, along with the days and times they can attend.

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Another way you can boost your PT business is to deliver specialised classes, delivering one that doesn’t run frequently in your area.

You may carry out research in your area and ask for feedback from your current client base on any specialist classes they would attend.

Classes that include Kettlebells, for example, might be underrepresented in your area but is something your client base is interested in attending. In this instance, you would need to undergo further training and acquire a CPD Kettlebell qualification, to ensure you're adequately prepared to integrate the equipment into your training programmes.

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This would teach you different circuit training styles to target different muscle groups, but also how to warm up your clients and deliver an effective session and cool down too.

Whilst speaking to your clients, you could ask them when they would attend a circuits class if you were to run one.

From the feedback you receive, you may find that most people would attend this class on a Wednesday, after 6 pm, once they’ve finished work

This information could then be used to attract people you currently don’t train. Remember, it is important to include: 

  • The class type
  • The day the class will run
  • The time it will be held
  • Price
  • Contact info

The University of Winchester identified Monday at 1 pm to be the best time to deliver this class, mainly because they would be working with students who might not have any classes to attend.

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When you are ready to promote your new classes online, remember that step 6 in this guide will help your adverts reach the right audience.

#9 - Tip For Your PT Business: Gather Client Testimonials

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Any list of tips on personal training business should include obtaining testimonials from clients. You can use this tool to gain new clients and receive feedback on your performance.

After helping clients achieve their results, you can ask them to provide a testimonial based on the services you’ve provided.

Once a client has agreed to write a testimonial, make sure they keep the task simple for themselves by following these steps: 

  • Keep it short
  • Authentic
  • Straight to the point
  • References your name/company

Here is a great example of how a testimonial should look following these steps. This is for Personal Training 1 to 1, taken from Trustpilot.

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When testimonials appear on your website and social media platforms, it will demonstrate to other prospective clients that you can deliver the services you promise.

Another way you could sell testimonials is by showing your current clients’ transformation through photographic evidence, along with a supporting statement. 

Not only will clients see the work you’re able to carry out with clients, but the supporting statements will highlight the great experience clients had.

A great example of this can be found on the Aristos Body Transformation website:

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Another great thing about testimonials is that they offer you the opportunity to learn from the feedback you have received. 

For instance, clients may praise you for getting tailored programs to deliver on clients’ individual needs. 

This is a part of your services that you would like to build and continue delivering to new prospects. 

If clients believe you could present a warmer personality and this critique appears frequently in the testimonials, then this is an aspect of the service you deliver that needs to be adjusted to make your interactions positive. 

 

Before You Go!

We hope you’ve learnt some useful tips to help you improve your personal training career.

Don’t forget, you can improve your career prospects by completing a level 4 nutrition course with us.

If you’re interested in the additional courses we provide, you can read about them with Origym’s downloadable course prospectus.

 

It's time to become an advanced level 4 PT!

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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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