How to Grow a Personal Training Business

The personal training industry is booming in the US, clocking in at an estimated $14 billion in 2023. Fitness professionals need to understand that being certified and loving fitness is not enough to grow a business. Competition is intense and consumer tastes continue to change. To thrive, you need to have a clear-cut strategy and offer something unique.

So, how do you carve out a business in this bustling arena? Here are some battle-tested tips on how to grow a personal training business in 2024 and beyond.

14 Proven Tips for Expanding Your Personal Training Business

Building a personal training business goes beyond guiding your clients to fitness. You might need a completely different mindset to be successful in this industry. The following strategies can boost your chances of success. 

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Customer service can make or break your personal training business. To offer the best service, be quick to respond and address client needs. Be reliable, show up on time, and follow up after sessions. Small gestures, like birthday cards or free sessions, can also go a long way. Providing exceptional service can help you earn client trust. If you are a trusted provider, your client is more likely to come back and also spread the word among friends.

Offer Personalized Training Programs

Design custom programs for each client. You can base them on medical history, lifestyle, fitness goals, and personal preferences. A complete assessment can help improve outcomes, and you can adjust the program as you go. If you provide a premium program, you may be able to charge higher rates. Once clients see results from your custom program, they are more likely to stay with you – and talk about you to their friends.  

Utilize Social Media for Promotion and Engagement

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube allow you to publicly show your expertise through fitness insights and client success stories. You can start building your online presence by sharing valuable content like videos or blogs. If you are new to social media, try engaging with accounts that have a larger following, possibly in related industries like food and beverage. 

As you build your online reputation, getting new followers who are engaged can create more leads and referrals. Make sure you also track how you’re doing on social media with platform performance data.  

Collaborate With Local Businesses for Cross-Promotion

Expand your reach to potential clients by partnering with other related businesses, like gyms, nutritionists, or physiotherapists. You can offer joint discounts or packages to add more value for clients. 

First, look for businesses that share your values and cater to your audience. You can then pitch your partnership proposal, emphasizing the mutual benefits such as increased customer base and revenue. Promote the partnership with high-quality marketing materials to highlight the added value for your clients and audience.

Offer Group Training Sessions

Running group sessions can help many clients at once and you can make more money. People also like them because they are cheaper, social, and more fun. To start, come up with how many clients can join, how often, the cost, and the type of program. Mix things up to keep workouts interesting and adapt them as needed. You may have to test different programs and get feedback before you launch too many sessions. 

Create a Referral Program for Clients

A referral program relies on word-of-mouth marketing – people value recommendations from trusted friends. You reward clients when a referral signs up. Common rewards include cash or additional free services.  

Participate in Community Events and Sponsorships

Community activities may connect you with like-minded potential clients and help you build trust locally. Look out for events or sponsors that fit in with your expertise. You can also sponsor events to build your presence. Be sure to stay connected to people you meet after the event. 

Offer Online Training Programs

Offer online training programs through websites, videos, apps, podcasts, or e-books. This way, you can reach more people, especially those who can’t meet you in person. It’s great for people who live far from you and have little time or money. Teaching online allows you to serve more customers, saves money, and helps your clients learn at their own pace. Also, you can make money passively by selling online classes.

Provide Consistent and Valuable Content Through Blogging or Vlogging

Blogging or vlogging involves creating and sharing written or video content on your website, social media, or other platforms. You can discuss fitness tips to let more people know about you and what you’re good at. Blogging also attracts website visitors and helps you build a friendship with your audience. Keep sharing useful and interesting content regularly to keep your audience engaged.

Join Professional Associations and Network With Other Trainers

Professional associations represent and protect the interests of people in the same field. Belonging to a professional association gives you access to resources and a wider network. Some associations may also require certifications that help you stand out. 

Networking with like-minded trainers supports idea exchange and potential referrals, which can boost business growth. Also, being part of reputable associations adds credibility to your profile and can be displayed on various platforms. 

Offer Package Deals and Discounts for Long-Term Commitment

Package deals and discounts encourage your clients to commit to your services for longer. You’ll have a stable client base if clients are willing to sign on. These offers attract clients who want affordability and convenience, but as they use your services, they may become more loyal. They also improve cash flow by securing upfront or recurring payments.    

Provide Incentives for Client Progress and Achievements

Incentives are rewards or recognition you give your clients for reaching or exceeding their goals, milestones, or expectations. For example, you can give your clients a certificate for hitting a target weight. Celebrating their achievements can increase your clients’ engagement, retention, and referrals. Incentives and rewards also create a positive and supportive environment for your clients so they want to come back.

Offer Nutritional Guidance and Meal Planning Services

Nutritional guidance and meal planning services offer a complete package that addresses exercise and nutrition needs to support overall fitness. This addition not only boosts your value and income but also improves client results and satisfaction. Customize plans to suit client needs and preferences, using data collected through questionnaires or assessments. Make sure to offer clear instructions and ongoing support. 

Host Workshops or Seminars on Specific Fitness Topics

You can offer in-person or online sessions with in-depth information or demonstrations on a particular fitness topic. These workshops attract and educate potential clients. Pick relevant topics that consider your audience and current trends. Online webinars should be easy to access, for example through Zoom. Also, consider in-person workshops to make personal connections.

Accelerate Your Personal Training Business Growth with doola

Growing your personal training business demands a strategic approach, combining exceptional services, tailored programs, and savvy marketing. Embrace technology, social media, collaborations, and community engagement to expand your reach.

doola Bookkeeping streamlines financial management, empowering you to focus on business growth. You can efficiently track expenses and plan for success with tailored bookkeeping services. Book a consultation now to support your business’s financial health.


How do I differentiate myself from other personal trainers in the industry?

To differentiate yourself from other personal trainers, focus on your unique training approach, specialized expertise, and personalized client experience. Highlight your success stories and client testimonials to showcase your effectiveness.

How can I retain clients and build long-term relationships with them?

Retaining clients and building long-term relationships involves consistent communication, understanding their goals, providing ongoing support, and delivering results exceeding their expectations.

Should I focus on online or in-person training?

Consider offering a hybrid model that includes both online and in-person training to cater to different client preferences and needs. This flexibility can help you cover a broader audience and provide a more comprehensive training experience.

How can I effectively set prices for my services?

When setting prices for your services, consider your expertise, the value you provide, market rates, client demographics, and the cost of delivering your services. You must strike a balance between competitiveness and the value you offer.

How can I continue to develop my skills as a personal trainer?

To continue developing your skills as a personal trainer, pursue ongoing education, certifications, and specializations in areas of interest. Stay on top of the fitness industry trends, attend workshops, and find mentors.

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