Top 5 personal trainer business tips that will help you succeed

It’s hard to imagine a healthy lifestyle without regularly practicing sport. Training helps you maintain a strong, healthy body and gain a greater life expectancy, in the conditions of a polluted environment and an unhealthy, rushy life-living. More than never, we need to motivate people to practice any kind of sport, as the XXIst century comes with a sedentary lifestyle.

Whether we want to lose weight or we learn from the mistakes of those around us, at one point, sport becomes a fundamental element in our lives.

A recent statistics show that in the United States approximately 340 000 certified personal trainers are working professionally. This number has increased by 21.5% since 2012 when the total number was 267,000. According to the job growth projection, the fitness industry shows a growth rate of around 1% per year. It might sound like nothing, but in business terms, that means a lot. 

1. The 5W 🤔

To be successful as a personal trainer, first of all, you should know how to answer the 5W: who, what, why, where and when. Why do you do that? What are your goals? Where will you train? Who is your target group? How can you do that? When will you have time for everything? Yes, it may seem trivial or you tend to think about more complex issues, but before moving forward to the hard part, I recommend you to start with simple things: the more answers you have for these 5 questions, the easier it will be to solve the most difficult issues in your business.

Who’s your target group?

You have to be more specific to which group you address. There are several groups of specialization: senior citizens, young athletes, professionals who want to get in form after a working day, cross trainers, people who need to lose weight and bodybuilders. Think about this specifically when you set your goals and adapt all your needs to the category you want to work with.

What do you need for doing it?

Of course, to work as a personal trainer you must have a certificate or accreditation. Without it, you may have a lack of essential information. It is fundamental to be well informed in your field regarding both the coaching activity you’ll be doing and the possible risks or first aid competences.


You need to know that it is very important to know exactly what motivates you to do this, what has determined you to become a personal trainer and what you want to tell your clients. Once you find this out, set your SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help you focus and increase the chances of achieving that goal.


There are several possibilities when it comes to where you will be training. Whether you plan to work at the client’s home place, outdoor or gym sessions, you need to set this up in advance, so you’ll know which are the next steps you need to do. Outside? Where? Is it possible to carry out your activity out there permanently? At home? How will you do that? Will it be profitable in the long term? Don’t forget that you have to consider the travel time and the equipment costs if you’re planning to train at home! Gym? Who should you talk to for that? Who will help you at the beginning of your business? Just think about that.

When will you have time for everything?

As a personal trainer, your life can sometimes be crowded and turn into chaos. To avoid the risk of overlapping your appointments, I recommend you to keep track of your appointments. How can you do this? Why not by using Appointfix? We have a special appreciation for small business owners and we’re doing our best to provide services that help small businesses to be more profitable and save time by using our appointment scheduling app. We’re working to improve your business, dear Appointfix users. We focus on delivering excellent app service and we want to help you be more organized and professional so that your clients never miss their appointments again! It has never been easier to schedule than now. 🙂

2. Offer consultation 📝

Show people that you care about them. Find out details about their lifestyle, their daily level of stress, about what they are eating and which is their recovery and sleeping program. A very easy way to differentiate yourself from your competition and to increase your customer retention rate is to build a close relationship with them. Remember, empathy is the key to success when you work with people. Let’s be honest, aren’t you feeling good when someone asks you “Did you sleep well last night?” or “How do you feel today?” Show them you care. Send them a message in the morning wishing them to have a beautiful, healthy day. Or, why not, you could send them monthly newsletters with tips about what they should cook for a full vitamin and protein diet. 

3. Promote yourself 📲

Be present everywhere. Yes, health must be present everywhere and it could present through yourself. So… start promoting! How can you do that?

Use social media platforms

If you’re just started using social media marketing, you should probably begin with one channel. Facebook would be the most obvious, as that’s the place where small businesses can have a voice. Nevertheless though, as a personal trainer, Instagram has become incredibly relevant. You can generate engaging content by sharing daily on your story training testimonials, cooking ideas or online coaching and consulting. Of course, social media marketing requires more research and understanding, but we’re here to help you, so take a look at our blog post about the best times for small businesses to post on Social Media.

Have a professional website

The existence of a good website for your online marketing strategy is fundamental, as every type of communication, content, or advertisement that you share on social media will drive the consumer back to your website. Therefore, your website must express a clear idea of what kind of services you offer. Make sure your website contains information about your location, your training style, a photo gallery, pricing, cancelation policy and, last but not least, information about yourself. 

Create a “recommend a friend” campaign

Let’s be honest, isn’t it more trustable a friend’s recommendation than simply seeing a piece of information on social media? You’ll forget it in the next 5 seconds. The word of mouth is still the most powerful, especially if we think about how much irrelevant information we have around us. You may skip thinking about the word of mouth when building your promoting strategy, but I assure you that it is incredibly important. Simply by being an expert in what you do, having high-quality services and creating a good customer experience, you can motivate them to talk about you spontaneously. Ups, did I mention? It is also the cheapest way to promote yourself: it’s free. 🙂

Get promoted by the gym you’re working in

If you carry out your activity in a gym, you could ask your partner to promote you. There are a lot of people coming for the first time in a gym and they feel really lost when they see what’s in there, so you could be the perfect guide. I’m pretty sure people are ready to pay extra just to avoid going through that awkward situation when they arrive in the paradise of health, so you can be their guardian angel and make their experience more enjoyable. Remember, a personal trainer is the label of the gym, as he/she is the main person who’s in contact with the clients.

4. Cancelation policy ❌

It is very important to think about a cancelation policy for your business. It may happen a lot of times that people cancel their appointments just because they make other plans, they get sick or they simply forget about the appointments. Your time is valuable and you need to account for those open hours that you leave for clients. You’d better explain the policy before you accept a training session and make them sign a form that confirms the fact that they fully understand this policy.

5. Billing and pricing system 💵

During the initial consultation, you need to assure that your clients understand and respect your pricing and billing method. It is more safe and comfortable both for you and your client to charge per month instead of paying every time you have a session. You may not feel comfortable with a prepay system, but it is fair to be just like that.  

The national average cost of personal training is $40 to $70 per hour session with most paying $55. While establishing your price, don’t forget to consider how much your clients are able to pay based on the rates in your city.

The socioeconomic differences within regions are significant and your pricing method needs to be aligned with people’s possibilities. You should check out a few websites of the competitors in your area to see which their prices are. Whether you choose to set an individual pricing system or you will have a fixed cost for any client, make sure you set the right price depending on how much time you invest in aiming your goal.

Ready, set, train hard! 🏋🏼

 After reading this article, I’m pretty sure you have a better idea about how to make your personal trainer business more successful. Keep this in your mind: people need to know what kind of services you offer as a personal trainer and why they should spend their money on you and not on someone else. Good luck with growing both your successful business and your muscles! 🙂 

Diana is Marketing Specialist at Appointfix, an app helping professionals and small businesses easily schedule appointments and reduce client no-shows using automated text reminders. Feel free to drop her an email at