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How to do Personal Training Advertising in 2020

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Feel free to watch the video or if you prefer, read the text based article below:

In this post we will show you where it’s best to start advertising your personal training business whether you’re new to the industry or a trainer with years of experience. Find out how you can grow your PT business literally right now through advertising through the most impactful ways.

Let's jump straight in....

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Many trainers struggle with personal training advertising and marketing, but if you’re serious about growing and scaling your business you need to get familiar.....and fast!

What is personal trainer advertising? Does it differ from marketing?

Yes!

Advertising and marketing are NOT the same thing and often are incorrectly used interchangeably! Many trainers think they need help with their marketing, when in fact it’s their advertising personal training strategy that really needs the work.

Here’s the difference….

Personal Training Advertising is where you make prospective clients aware of your services. Personal trainer marketing is how you communicate the message of your services to the client.

Let’s look at an example….

If you decide to use personal training advertising on Facebook like the one here for our Personal Training Diploma:

Personal training advertising Facebook Image

The advertisement is Facebook e.g. this is where we have spent money. The marketing is what goes on the personal training advert, such as the text, the image, colour schemes and the call to action (the action we want the end user to take).

The reason why advertising for personal training is more important than your marketing is that this is your underling strategy of getting in front of your target demographic and creating awareness.

This does not mean the marketing message you portray is not important, it most certainly is!

But, it does mean that even if you have the most aesthetically pleasing, eye catching and creative messaging and artwork, if you’re not sharing them through the right mediums with enough people you won’t hit the six figure fitness salaries that some trainers earn.

Best Personal Training Advertising: Where is Best?

Now we have clarified the difference, let’s look at some of the best personal training advertising strategies you can implement:

1. Advertise Personal Training for FREE via Google my Business 

Google my business for fitness image

One of the first things you should do as form of advertising your personal training business is to set-up your Google my business page. This is an untapped marketing resource for personal trainers trying to get more visible online and the best part?

.....Its FREE!

Google my business or google snap map as it’s also referred, is the local business’ that show up on the map when a Google user is searching for a particular service in their area. 

Below is an example for when I type in “Personal Trainer Leeds” into Google. These business' show below the paid ads at the top, but above all the organic results, making it a great way to get to advertise your personal trainer business right at the top of the Google rankings.

  Personal training advert Screenshot

When you create your Google my business page, you will get a blank Google profile.

You will need to populate this profile, like this one from Ladies Fitness Studio in Gateshead:

Personal trainer advert image

As you can see it will display your business address, opening hours, contact details, showcase your reviews as well as allowing customers to click on your photos, website and get directions to your location. 

This not just helps people find your brand directly, but it will even show when people are not directly looking for your specific brand. 

Let me explain…...

For example, the Ladies fitness studio’s profile showed on its own down the right-hand side of the page without the Google snap map when I typed in “Personal Training studio Gateshead”:

Fitness Instructor Advertising Image

This is because there are no other personal trainers advertising through Google my business in Gateshead. Thus, Google showed the Ladies fitness studio in isolation from the normal snap map and as an option to me as the end user looking for a PT studio.

Therefore, Ladies fitness studio will be getting hundreds of views of their profile and clicks through to their website from people looking in their area for a personal trainer or studio.

Google my business pages can produce thousands of views.....

Take a look at our analytics for OriGym’s Google my business page in Liverpool for its performance over the last 28 days:

Fitness advertising image

As you can see we got close to 10 and half thousand views from people using search terms in Google like “personal trainer courses”, "gym courses", “fitness qualifications” and hundreds of others, as well as those searching for our direct brand name and landing on our Google my business profile.

This leads to more people asking for directions to our business, more calls and more visits to our website:

Personal training business advertising image

PERSONAL TRAINING ADVERTISING TIP: When you get your Google my business page approved, ensure you complete 100% of the profile and fill in your companies logo, images, contact information and links to your services. 

Combining this with getting clients to leave you reviews will increase your trustworthiness with Google and therefore how frequently you feature in the Google snap map.

Additionally, you can use Google my business to post articles. Put up personal training adverts and blog posts like this one below, which we posted to drive more traffic to our new  blog post on sports massage salary:

how to advertise personal training image

Google wants you posting frequently about events, content and your PT services, which will actually help how often your business gets viewed. Google my business is all about trust and Google ONLY wants to show companies that they know are really present at that location. By posting frequently from your profile you are telling Google "This is a real, active business, show it to more people please".


See below our statistics compared to our competitors on Google my business. We get more loads more photo views than the industry norm and this is mainly due to posting frequently and using high resolution imagery on our profile: 

fitness advert image

Setting up a Google my business account is a must for advertising as a personal trainer and takes less than 5 minutes to apply.  As long as you’re working out of a physical location you can create a profile page, whether that being you have your own training facility or your personal training at a studio or National gym chain.

Start using Google my business today by claiming your profile here.

2. Personal Trainer Advertising on Facebook & Instagram

personal training advertising on Instagram image


One of the go to places for personal trainer business advertising is to use Facebook and Instagram ads. I’ve decided to put together these two ad platforms as they are now controlled via one source.....Facebook’s ad manager.

As most of you are probably aware, Facebook owns Instagram and therefore to set-up Instagram ads you need a Facebook business profile, see Hootsuite's guide to get started.

Facebook and Instagram’s organic reach has declined over the years due to updates in their algorithms, as they want you to pay for the privilege of reaching more people via their ad platform.

One of the best reasons that personal training advertising on Facebook is so useful, is that with the improvements they have made to the platform in recent years, anyone can now set-up Facebook ads. You don’t need to be a marketing whizz and you can get high quality ads up and running in under 20 minutes!

With Facebook and Instagram fitness advertising you can set-up ads for every purpose, whether you want to:

  1. Get more engagement such as likes, shares and comments on a post
  2. Drive more targeted visitors to your website
  3. Get more Direct Messages from prospective clients
  4. Get more enquiries on Facebook or Instagram itself.

See below a full list of objectives for advertising through Facebook and Instagram:

best place to advertise as a personal trainer image

Facebook has more data on us as individuals than any other website in the world and with over 1 billion users, your target market is on this platform guaranteed.

Facebook knows:

  • Where we live
  • What we like
  • What we watch
  • How we interact
  • How we buy

And much more.....

This is great news for all business and why it’s a must use platform for where to advertise online personal training and face-to-face services.

Through setting up Facebook and Instagram ads you can take advantage of this data to get your Personal trainer adverts in front of your exact target audience.

For example, let’s say I’m a personal trainer in Leicester and I just want to target people in my area who are interested in weight loss, are female and aged between 30-60...….You can do that:

personal trainer business advertising image

advertising personal training image

You can literally set your audience to whatever suits you, allowing you to start advertising your personal training business directly to your specific target market.

See here an advert by Primal Training club who are targeting me as I am based within 10 minutes of their studio:

Online personal trainer advertising image

With this form of online personal training advertising they are trying to push me to their website by clicking on the "learn more" button. 

This is a very effective method of advertisement and something we here at OriGym deploy ourselves that can lead to big exposure and great results. This is the performance of the Facebook ad campaign we have running for January so far:

How to advertise as an online personal trainer image

The aim is to divert individuals to our sales pages and them to submit an enquiry. This has resulted in 23 course sign ups and a healthy profit of £24,022.75.

If you don't have a website, don't rule Facebook and Instagram out just yet as a form of online personal training advertising. 

Unlike Google ads, where really you must have a website or landing page to send people to find out more information. With Facebook and Instagram advertising, you can capture enquiries on the platform itself by having a Personal trainer advert that when people click, it asks them to submit their details right there and then:

fitness trainer advert image

Better yet, as Facebook and Instagram want to keep users on their platforms for as long as possible, they will even give you a better rate per impression for doing so. 

You can get leads without the need for a website and adjust the budget to whatever level of spend you have available.

Facebook has made massive strides in recent years to make their platform as simple and easy to use that even those with little marketing skills can make aesthetically pleasing ads that perform well.

You can set-up a ad camapign in under 10 minutes, so what are you waiting for, give it a go!

3. Start Blogging as form of Personal Trainer Advertising to boost your income

fitness trainer advertising image

Blogging is a personal trainer advertising strategy used by very few trainers, as firstly you do need a website that you host for this to work, so no Weebly or Wix websites. 

If you don’t have a website right now, stick around as you might really want one by the time I’ve showed you how blogging can massively benefit you for getting tons more PT clients.

There are billions of companies, brands and independent bloggers that all have blogs and they all have the same objective…..To get people interested in topics similar to their services to land on their website!

This is achieved by optimising articles around topics that people are searching on Google and Bing for. 

See here how Personal Trainer Beth Trueman, owner of BethTrueman.com has created a blog around nutrition:

PT advertising image

Her expertise and services are around PT and nutrition, thus writing posts like her “guide to carbohydrates” is a good way for her to get in front of people looking for advice on carbohydrates on Google. 

This is the same approach taken by ourselves and led us to getting over 50,000 users per month in the last 28 days:

Online personal training advertising image

...And 365 enquiries about our PT courses from individuals that landed on our blog posts and then submitted an enquiry:

Where to advertise as a personal trainer image

We have been successfully implementing this personal training advertising strategy for several years. In fact, this very article is designed with the intention of ranking for search terms like "personal trainer advertisement", "personal training advertising tips" and "fitness advertising" amongst many others.....By me writing this article, this encourages people like yourself, who are either qualified as a trainer or looking to qualify as a personal trainer to land on our blog and then see the services we provide like below:

 

Become a Level 4 Nutrition Specialist

Become a Master Trainer with OriGym's Level 4 Nutrition for Athletes Qualification

If you take our article on “personal trainer business plan”, which ranks number 1 on Google for that exact term, as well as ranking well for other terms like personal trainer business plan examples, personal training studio business plan as well as pulling traffic in from 73 other search terms:

advertising as a PT image

This one article pulls in tons of traffic and enquiries just like this one:

how to advertise as a personal trainer image

The secret, writing top quality content on topics that you are already very knowledgeable. Use great imagery and engaging wording and you will start ranking well on Google for that term. This will increase your traffic and enquiries ultimately resulting in increasing your PT earnings.

Writing blog posts is time consuming, but ultimately it doesn’t cost you anything and the best part, blog posts last for years. The personal training business plan article that we referred to above was written over 2 years ago and still brings in a healthy amount of traffic and enquiries each month.

Blogging as a personal training marketing strategy has led us to have high rankings on Google on a whole host of search terms that thousands of individuals type into Google each month, in turn creating enquiries and generating sales. 

Blogging should be used as a long-term fitness trainer advertising strategy, alongside the other ones listed in this article. Read here how to start a successful fitness blog here.

Online Personal Training Advertising through Facebook and LinkedIn Groups to get FREE Exposure

LinkedIn personal training advertising image

Back with Facebook, but this time joined by LinkedIn as opposed to Instagram!

Facebook and LinkedIn groups are the easiest ways to advertise your personal training business and generate awareness of your service. You can get in front of thousands of people free of charge with minimal effort.

Some Facebook and LinkedIn groups have hundreds of thousands of members, and especially if you’re looking for how to advertise as an online personal trainer where you’re not bound by location, joining groups is a must!

Before you jump head first, trying to join every group in sight, you need to understand which groups to actually join.

As your looking for clients, not other fitness enthusiasts, you’re better of trying to join groups where your expertise adds value.

I’m in tons of fitness groups.....

Personal training business advertising UK image

but I am trying to target fitness enthusiasts to see if they want to become a personal trainer, as opposed to someone trying to lose a little weight, get fit or tone up.

Therefore, if you join groups such as "Weight Loss Fitness Tips & Solution":

personal trainer advertising UK image

or the LinkedIn group "Weight Loss Exercise Tips", which has over 15,000 members, you will find more of your target demographic that might actually buy Personal Training:

best places to advertise personal training image

How to use Facebook and LinkedIn Groups Properly

Remember, these are groups where people come to interact, share ideas and seek help.

They are not there for you to spam your PT services. You will end up getting indefinitely banned and those people who do see your spammy personal training advert will most likely not interact with it as its clear you have just spammed and nobody likes a spammer!

Best practice is to ensure to read the community guidelines that are posted at the top of each group, contribute in a constructive way and build relations. Here’s a few ways how:

  • You can post a useful blog post that is specific to that group, which will send traffic to your website
  • Post a video clip tailored to the group your posting
  • Reply to comments helping others and then related your reply to your fitness business
  • DM other group members that have asked a community question or put up a post.

Take this example. This was a comment in the Facebook group "Keto Diet, Weight Loss, And Fitness" to somebody called Clarissa’s post on their gym progress:

facebook advertising as a personal trainer image

This would be an opportune moment to reply with a constructive comment and then link into your services.

After you have built up a name for helping people through replying to comments and posting content that adds value to the group you can post more sales focused posts. See below a post I placed in the Facebook Group "All things Health & Fitness". This is a sales post, but I had contributed to this group through useful content and replying to comments before.

Additionally, I stuck to the community guidelines and only posted the sales related post on a Monday to as the group only allowed sales related posts on a Monday. This created engagement through likes, shares and comments and eventually sales:

advertising your PT business image

Reguarly contibuting to both LinkedIn and Facebook groups is an easy win for you to advertise your personal training business, get more subscribers, video views, leads and engagement with your services.

The Best Personal Training Advertising: Google Ads

advertising online personal training image

Want to find anything online, what do you do?

Google it!

And guess what so do your prospective clients!

Google is the source of almost 75% of the world’s traffic and considering there are over 7 billion websites, that’s pretty impressive!! 

If you’re not currently personal trainer advertising via Google ads you’re missing out and missing out big time! 

Google ads should be your first major priority for where to start advertising as a personal trainer to generating leads, enquiries and most importantly sales!!

If you’re not familiar with how Google ads operate, here is break down for you.

  • You pay Google to rank at the top of Google on a CPC model. CPC stands for cost per click.
  • Therefore, every time someone clicks on your personal trainer advert and goes through to either your website, landing page or wherever you’re trying to divert the end user to, you will pay Google. This how Google makes money!
  • For each search term Google allows for 4 adverts to be displayed at the top of the page and 3 to be displayed at the bottom. The position your PT advert will be displayed depends on the amount you bid per click. For example, for the search term “Personal trainer courses” which is our main term for how people find our service, we are positioned in the first position of Google. This is because we have set our bidding price higher than the companies below:

personal training advert example image

For major Personal Training related search terms that potential clients are typing in like, Personal Trainer (followed by location), fitness training (followed by location), gym trainers (followed by location), fitness trainers (followed by location), online personal training and hundreds of others, the bid amounts can be really low. 

This is due to not enough trainers using this personal training advertising strategy.

See here for example how for the term “Personal trainer Cornwall” which has 100 people a month searching that EXACT term there is just one Personal Trainer advert being shown:

advertising your personal training business image

This advert will be getting around 50% of those people searching for that search term to their website for a frighteningly low bidding price as they’re not bidding against anyone.

Or here for people looking for a personal trainer in Dartmouth, there are no ads being displayed at all!

where to advertise personal training image

You could put a low bid if you’re a PT in Dartmouth in or an online PT where location is not an issue and get loads of targeted traffic to your website for barely anything.

Not just will you get lots of targeted traffic to your website, but it’s the best kind of traffic too. People who are actively searching for what you sell!

Here’s what I mean, let’s say you’re in PT in Manchester and you decide to run some Google ads on terms like:

  • Manchester PT
  • Fitness trainer Manchester
  • Physical trainer Manchester
  • Personal training Manchester
  • Personal Trainer Manchester

Anyone searching for those terms will see your personal training advert. These are all sales related search terms that directly relate to what you sell. That means, someone in order to come across your advert has stopped what they’re doing to actively try and find someone that offers personal training in Manchester. Therefore, the enquiries you will get will be off individuals at the buying stage.

This massively increases not just the number of enquiries, but the amount that actual convert to be a client.

Compare this to Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn ads, where it’s you’re presenting the idea of PT down their news feeds or side bars, not them actively looking to find your PT service. The conversion to them signing up as a PT client dramatically drops as the amount of people in the buying phase is far less.

This is why this this personal trainer advertising strategy can be such a potential gold mine for getting more personal training clients

Additionally, Google ads come with other benefits….

  • They increase your brands awareness by constantly showing at the top of Google
  • You can setup and advertise to thousands of potential clients at the top of Google in less than 24 hours
  • Google ads take minimal maintenance

The best part is that unlike other forms of personal trainer marketing is that once you have taken the time to get them set-up, you can you can leave them running month in month out and just checking on their performance from week to week to ensure you’re still getting the enquiry volumes and cost per enquiry that suits your PT business.

Start off trialling with them and then start scaling and experimenting with more search terms as you get more familiar with the platform. Here’s our Google ad account for the whole year of 2016:

personal training advertising tips image

See here our Google ads account from 2019 and you notice the massive increase in scale from the amount we spent and how our cost per lead massively reduced. This is just from improving the quality of our ads and generally getting better over time:

gym advertising image

Google ads can be switched on and switched off through a few clicks of a button through managing them via Google ads Manager.

It is the number one personal training advertising tip on this list as you can see through this method alone you can scale your PT business onto new heights.

That raps it up for this post on how to advertise as a personal trainer. Whether you're looking at advertising online personal training, face to face or you have just set-up a studio or gym, using these methods you will be able to truly scale your business and have a constant flow of new enquiries.

Expand your reach as a trainer by finding out more about OriGym's Level 4 speciality courses or enhance your client demographic through our new sports massage course.

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Written by Luke Hughes

CEO and Co-Founder

Join Luke on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

Luke is the CEO and Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.

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