How To Start A Personal Trainer Business + Marketing Tips

Updated August 21, 2019

Have you ever thought about monetizing your love of fitness?

Nowadays more folks are turning to the life of healthy living and getting in shape. It’s either to because of doctor’s orders, to stay healthy, to fit into a favorite pair of jeans or to look good in a selfie.

Whatever the reason is, more people are working out and that’s a good thing for you if you’re a fitness buff!

Lots of fitness buffs like you hit the gym daily simply because of their love of fitness. And for some it might start as a side hustle to make extra money but then turns into a full fledged business.

But before you dive into a professional fitness business of your own, take a moment to make sure it’s what you really want to do.

Do You Really Want It?

First things first, decide if a fitness business is what you really want to do. You might have a passion for it for your own personal health but you might not feel that way when it comes to training clients.

So here is a mini quiz to see if you have what it takes to run your own professional fitness business.

  1. Are you in tip-top physical shape? Not just in appearance. I mean, do you life a healthy lifestyle? Remember you have to talk the talk AND walk the walk.
  2. Do you work out regularly? In other words will friends say they can always find you at the gym?
  3. And do you often help others with work out routines and share tips – and enjoy it?
  4. Are you “in the know” of the latest work out trends?

So how did you do?

If you answered yes to some or all of the questions above you should think about starting your own professional fitness business.

And if you’re ready, read on to find out how to monetize your love of fitness.

How To A Personal Trainer Business

It’s a no-brainer that a fitness buff would make an awesome personal fitness trainer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says personal trainers and instructors in the fitness industry is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022. So now is definitely the time to get the wheels rolling!

A personal fitness trainer does more than just shout orders and tell a client to do a set of crunches or get on the treadmill. Forget about the characters you’ve seen on TV shows. Remember Carlton’s personal trainer on The Fresh Prince?

Anyway, there’s more to it than that.

First of all, a personal fitness trainer will look out for the overall health of their client. They set weight loss goals and implement an exercise routine that is best for the individual.

He or she will also discuss things like proper nutrition and diet programs, be motivating and encouraging especially when the client isn’t.

Oh The Possibilities!

There are so many possibilities to make money as a professional fitness trainer. Here are some examples.

Strength Training

Another way to make money from your love of fitness is by becoming a strength trainer. Think power lifting and vigorous training.

A strength trainer will work with athletes to improve their performance through a personalized training program. A strength trainer shares proper lifting techniques, motivates athletes during work outs and assesses their performance during training and competition.

Circuit Training

Work with people who want to lose weight by creating a high-intensity workout program that’s a mix of cardio and strength training.

Cardio Training

As a cardio trainer, you’ll work with clients who want to target the cardiovascular system for heart and lung health or train athletes preparing for marathons or other events that require endurance.

Think running, swimming, cycling, step class – anything that will get your heart going.

But a real hot trend right now is ‘mobile fitness training’.

Here’s what I mean…

Offer your clients the convenience of meeting where they feel most comfortable working out. Some clients might want to work out at the gym, at home and some might want to meet at a park.

You can also offer one on one training or group sessions. But if you really want to cater to your clients you can train by video. By that I mean create a YouTube channel and post workout routines for your clients who are always on the go and don’t have time to work out.

Marketing Your Professional Fitness Business

First things first, have a website designed to promote yourself, the services you offer and blog about the tips and tricks in your field.

For example, Barbara of Relentless Power Systems keeps her community updated with team events and shares resources for power lifters.

Next, create social media pages for your business. Remember, you don’t have to be on EVERY platform. Do some research to find out what social media platforms your target audience use and start there.

The popular ones are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

How To Grow Your Professional Fitness Business

While you’re in the process of building your client list there are a couple of ways to grow your business.

For starters turn to family and friends. Ask them to hire you for a couple of months. You can also give them a discount on your rate in exchange for a testimonial to build social proof.

If a friend or family member owes you a favor, now would be the time to cash in on that! 

On the other hand you can work at a gym and meet clients that way. To find out which gyms in your area are hiring, check out the Gym Locator. You can search by specialty or city and state.


Here is a list of organizations that can help you with certifications.

American Sports & Fitness Association

American College of Sports Medicine

American Council on Exercise

American Fitness Professionals & Associates

Athletics and Fitness Association of America

International Sports Sciences Association

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Federation of Professional Trainers

National Strength and Conditioning Association

Continuing Education

Last but not least, continuing to learn your trade is crucial.

As a personal trainer you are responsible for continuing education and training. After all, you want to offer your clients the best service.

Check out the website DSWFitness for continued education courses for health and fitness professionals.

Wrapping It Up

So, there you have it. I hope these resources and marketing tips will be helpful.

And before you go, if you know anyone who would make a great professional fitness trainer, share this post with them and on social media!

Good luck!

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