As a personal trainer, selling yourself is almost as important as your knowledge and qualifications. It’s a crowded market where differentiating yourself from competitors is essential. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of tips you can implement in your personal training business or career to stand out.
Establish your niche
Identify an area of fitness you’re passionate about or a specific part of the population you’d like to work with. A PT focusing on Kettlebell training or who only delivers services to older adults might have a smaller target market, but they differentiate themselves and stand out as an expert.
Create a powerful brand identity
Gone are the days when developing a brand meant spending the GDP of a small country with a design agency. It’s now possible to create a fantastic logo using only AI (artificial intelligence) tools such as Midjourney, and plenty of great fonts are available free for typography. Use consistent colours, fonts, and imagery – create a consistent style for your business across all platforms – online, print, and uniform.
Develop a robust online presence
Emphasize your unique selling proposition
What makes you different from other trainers? Spend time thinking about what makes you unique and emphasise it. Find something if you don’t have anything that makes you unique.
Establish yourself as THE expert in your domain
Read the latest research, attend conferences, and take CPD courses. You don’t need to jump on every fad, but in the fitness industry, being up to date-with the latest information and trends pays off.
Focus on building client relationships
Personal training is a people business. Listen to your clients, tailor programmes to their needs, and check in on them regularly to help keep them on track.
Showcase your success stories
Testimonials, before and afters, and case studies are all fantastic tools to showcase the results you can deliver. Text is good, photos are better, and video is better still. You should always get permission from clients before using their pictures or videos; however, the better results you deliver, the more you will have clients willing to scream their stories from the rooftops.
Remember the fundamentals.
While staying updated with industry trends is essential, the general fundamentals don’t change. Having a consistent basis for your training plans will allow you to spend less time creating workout plans and more time building relationships with your clients and marketing your business.
Offer free content to potential clients
Sharing content on your website or social media shows your expertise and personality. Do what works best for you. Whether it’s written content, video, or a combination, find a process that works for you and start putting your ideas out there.
Create a welcoming and inclusive environment
Make sure your training space is welcoming and inclusive for all clients, regardless of age, gender, fitness level, or body type. Clients are likelier to stick with you and get great results if they feel comfortable.
Show your personality in your marketing materials
People buy from people. Let your personality shine through in your marketing materials and social media content.
Be transparent about your qualifications and certifications
As a personal trainer, you should have completed a relevant PT course for your services – be clear about them on your website to build trust with potential clients.
Have a transparent pricing structure
Clearly outline your pricing structure and what is (and isn’t) included in your services. Hidden fees are a massive turnoff to customers and can damage even the best working relationship, so lay everything out upfront. Your cancellation policy is one area to pay particular attention to as a PT. This should be clearly outlined before you start working with a client.
Offer flexible payment options
Payment plans, package deals, and flexible payment options are attractive to potential clients and fantastic for cash flow.
Develop a referral program
Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing, and some clients will do it naturally; however, you can encourage more to do so by offering discounts on future sessions for every successful referral.
Attend networking events and industry conferences
Local networking events can be a superb way to meet new clients. Focus on networking opportunities that allow you to have 1-1 time with other visitors and avoid any that require long-term membership or push you to constantly take referrals for other members.
Collaborate with other fitness professionals
Connecting with professionals who focus on a different part of the population to you or offer related but distinct services (like physiotherapy or massage) can be an excellent source of client referrals for both parties.
Use social media to your advantage
Many businesses create social media channels and abandon them after a burst of initial activity. Create content you can share across all platforms and post at least once a week.
Use high-quality photographs and videos
Smartphones have removed the need in many cases for professional photography, but there’s still a level of skill involved. Take introductory photo and video tutorials on YouTube, learn how to frame and light images, and do simple video and photo editing. Consider buying a gimble and lapel mic if you’re creating regular video content.
Offer online coaching and training services
Covid saw the rise of online training – with other companies finally starting to catch on to online personal trainer courses in the UK. There was also a massive jump in online personal training – many people have realised that they don’t need to be face-to-face to get coached. Have workout programmes that you can tailor to the equipment the client has at home so that you can effectively deliver your services online.
Use email marketing to keep in touch with clients and potential clients
An active email list is a potent tool for a business. Keep clients updated with case studies, recipes, and exercise tips – and remind them of your referral programme!
Create a blog on your website. Again, an excellent way to showcase your knowledge and case studies. Creating content can help get your expertise across if you’re in a specific niche.
Consider offering small group training sessions
Small group training sessions have many of the same benefits of 1-1 PT but cost less money for the clients and make more money for the trainer. Win-win.
Create a positive and uplifting atmosphere in your sessions
No matter your mood, strive to be constantly positive around clients. Play upbeat music, celebrate their wins, and keep the energy high.
Offer personalised nutrition coaching
Consider gaining a qualification in nutrition to deliver added value to your clients.
Be passionate about what you do and show it
Passion is contagious. Be passionate about your business and your client’s goals.
Encourage clients to share their progress on social media
The benefits of clients sharing their results and progress on social media are threefold. Firstly, they will get praise from friends and family, encouraging them to keep going. Secondly, it gives them additional accountability to keep working towards their goals. Thirdly, it exposes your services to potential new clients.
Always strive to exceed client expectations
Always go above and beyond. An attitude of consistently delivering the absolute best service will pay off in client results and financially for your business.