5 Steps The Most Successful Personal Trainers Follow

We’re not here to give you some flimsy business tips on how to get a few extra personal training clients. Instead, we’re about to hand over the steps to go from one-on-one training to making over 7-figures in revenue. But just like a workout routine, you have to do the work to see results. 

After reading this article, you’ll be armed with the information to stop trading your time for money. Your business will be primed to help more people, make more money, and you might just be able to take an occasional vacation (imagine that). Let’s get into the 5-steps to grow your personal training business…

Step 1: Target people with money and a problem.

Before you can start stacking Benjamins (cash, cheddar, moolah, green, paper, loot, smackers, or whatever you want to call it), you’ll need to find a small group of people willing to pay for what you sell. How do you get people to pay for what you sell? Solve a problem they have. 

The more people you help, the more money you’ll make. However, you can’t help everyone. Trying to be the personal trainer for everyone is the quickest way to being a broke personal trainer.

You need to focus your efforts on being “the solution” for a small group of people instead of “an option” for everyone.

We’ve all heard the phrase “The customer is always right,” which hints at this theme. A better alternative phrase is “The customer always has a problem.” 

If your personal training business is to succeed and grow, it must solve a specific problem for a specific group of people. By narrowing your focus on a small group, you’ll be able to identify and vocalize exactly why you’re the best option for their needs.

To grow your personal training business, you’ll want to target clients that can support your business financially so that you can continue to share your unique and valuable skills, talents, and knowledge. Said more bluntly, target people with money who are willing to pay for their problems to be solved. It’s hard to squeeze money out of a broke client. 

Being generous is honorable. And, in fact, we recommend displaying a generous heart and intention with your clients. But being generous is not mutually exclusive with knowing the value of your services – in fact, they go hand in hand.

Step 2: Create an army of sales people.

Client satisfaction and results are the foundation for a healthy personal training business.

A whopping 82% of Americans rely on recommendations when purchasing a product or service. 

So prioritize your existing clients over prospective clients. Focus on giving them something to brag about to friends. Turn these happy clients into sales people preaching how wonderful you are. 

Imagine having 10, 20, 50, or 500 sales people walking around selling your services.

Getting a recommendation from an existing client is like the head honcho of a company putting in a good word for you before an interview. It’s an in that can put you far ahead of the other candidates who might look impressive on paper. The same goes for gaining clients as a personal trainer. You’ll be much more likely to land new clients if your current clients are putting in a good word for you.

People trust their friends. So make sure you’re providing your existing clients with services so amazing that they can’t help but credit you next time they get a compliment on their figure.


Step 3: Clarify your message. 

You may be wondering by this point, ‘How can I stand out in a market as common as personal training?’ The fact is, there are thousands of personal trainers out there who, you might argue, offer the same services you do. Yes, there are a lot of personal trainers in the world, but there aren’t a lot of personal trainers who have laser focus on a niche audience.

Most of your competition is trying to be all things to all people. 

You just need to vocalize who you help and how you help them. Do this and you’ll clearly stand out from the crowd to the right people.

Simply answer these two questions. 

Who do you help? What do you help them do?

Now put the two answers together. Let’s pretend we’re going after busy executives. Our message might look something like this…

I help busy executives live a healthier life with the right nutrition and fitness program.

Now plant this seed everywhere potential clients look. Put your message front and center on your website, make it your Instagram profile, add it to your email signature, and print it on your business cards. 

Remember, you want to be “The Solution” for your small group of people (In our example, that’s busy executives looking for a trainer). Don’t leave any question who you help, or how you help them. 

This message won’t win over stay at home moms, but it will absolutely sing to busy executives. You’ll stand out from all of those other trainers trying to speak to anyone and everyone who needs a trainer.

Step 4: Build an audience. 


I’m about to give you the key to business world domination. 

People buy from people they trust. Boom. You’re all set. Go dominate the personal training world.

Just kidding… I know you’ll need a little more to work than that little nugget. Seriously though, you need to build an audience of people who trust you. The first step in earning someone’s trust is sharing your expertise. I want you to give away all of your hard-earned knowledge. Share everything you know, all of it. 

I can hear you now, “Why would anyone pay me if they can get my knowledge for free?”

Some people will steal your information and never reach out to say thanks or hire you, but most people won’t. 

The majority of people struggling with fitness or nutrition want to work with an expert. All of that free information is showing them you’re that expert who can solve their problems. When they’re ready for a personal trainer, guess who they’ll call? They’re going to reach out to that person who has been feeding them free advice and tips. In case you missed it, that’s you. 

The more people you have in that audience listening to what you have to say, the more people you’ll have reaching out to work with you. 

Your audience becomes the lifeblood of your business. 

That’s why you should build an audience. Now we need to talk about how to build an audience. It’s a two-part process… 

Part 1: Focus On One Awareness Channel 

People must be aware you exist before they can join your audience. We attract the attention of our ideal customers by focusing our efforts on the channel where they spend the most time. 

This awareness channel must have the audience you want already there consuming content. If the audience you want is already there on the platform, it’s just a matter of getting their attention on you. 

Most attempts at building an audience turn into a raging dumpster fire because we try to be on too many awareness channels. We try to be on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and every other hot social site. Not even mega corporations with thousands of people trying to cover these channels can pull off quality content everywhere.

The secret is to pick the one channel where your customers spend the most time and be excellent in that one spot. Consistently deliver badass content just for them. That’s how you get the attention of the right people. 


Part 2: Get Them On Your Email List 

Once you’ve grabbed their attention on an awareness platform like Instagram, get them on your email list. Social media is wonderful for reaching new people, but email rules for converting people into paying clients. 

Social media sites can also change the rules at any time. You may wake up tomorrow and realize they’ve decided to shut down your account. There goes your audience.

On the flip side, nobody can take your email list away. You own it and you make the rules.

We’ll dive deeper into email marketing with a guide dedicated solely to email marketing. It’s a deep subject that deserves more than a couple of paragraphs. Jump on our SPRNG Training weekly email and you’ll be the first to know when we release this guide. 

Step 5: Stop trading time for money.


I’ll bet you work with clients one-on-one. That’s where everyone starts, but it’s not where you should stay.

At this point, you might be trying to run your personal training business solo. The responsibilities and duties of booking places in local gyms, marketing and advertising your business, training each client one-on-one, and managing your accounting might be yours and yours alone. 

I’m stressed just reading all of that because I feel you. I’ve been there and so have most business owners. Unfortunately, the one-on-one business model has a low ceiling. There are only 24 hours in a day. We can’t magically make a day 30 hours long (although that would be cool). 

And with Coronavirus flexing its nasty muscle, anyone who has a traditional training business is suffering.

Here’s the step that’ll catapult your personal training business forward. Once you’ve proven you can solve your clients’ specific problem, scale to group training. There’s no ceiling on what you can do with a group program. What you were once doing for one person, you can do for 10 or 10,000 people. Your work stays the same, but your bank account rises. 

Jump on our list and we’ll get you headed down the road to group training. 

In these next few months, we’ll be dropping knowledge right here on the blog and our email list (here’s that link again in case you missed it). 

Just like finding the perfect nutrition and fitness program, we’ll nurture and strengthen your business, and train you on how to maximize your impact and scale your company to its full potential. You might just be the next big name in personal training. 

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