How To Start a Personal Training Business



Steps For Starting A Personal Training Business That Will Be Insanely Successful

You have finally taken the plunge.

You’ve been thinking about starting your personal training business for a long time. And now, you’re ready to turn that dream into a reality.



Pretty exciting, right?

But you’re not the only one. It seems like everyone wants to become a personal trainer nowadays, doesn’t it? The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that fitness training will grow by at least 8 percent by 2024, so it’s not just your imagination.

That means there’s more competition than ever before. How are you going succeed where many others have failed? How are you going to stand out from the crowd?

These questions can be terrifying to those who are starting a personal training business.


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But hey, as a fitness guru, you’re no stranger to competition, right? All you need to do in order to break away from the pack is to know where to begin.

In this post, you will learn some helpful tips that will help you get your personal training business started the right way.

Read on…

Steps for Starting a Personal Training Business

Personal Training Business



How to Start a Personal Training Business Sumary

Key Steps/ConsiderationsDescription/Details
Get Certified- Ensure certification based on the type of training
- Get First Aid, CPR, and Automatic Defibrillator certificates.
Understand Your Clients- Comprehend client motivations and fitness goals
- Ask questions about routines, lifestyle, and preferred training styles.
Think About Specializing- Consider focusing on a specific niche (e.g., senior citizens, bodybuilders, etc.) to stand out from competitors.
Get Insured- Protect yourself with the right professional liability insurance.
Do Your Online Marketing Right!- Develop a strong online presence with a website, quality content, and social media.
- Consider using marketing services.
Importance of Continuous Learning- Stay updated with fitness trends, expand knowledge base, and enhance credibility.
- Engage in workshops, webinars, and networking opportunities.
Concluding Remarks- Business acumen can be learned. Standing out requires understanding both fitness and business operations.

Get Certified

First thing first: if you want to start a personal training business, you need to get certified. Depending on the type of training you intend to do, you have to be certified in order to start taking on clients.

Being certified gives your clients confidence in your services. It shows them that you have the knowledge that you need in order to get results.

Here’s what you need to know:

Choose the Right Certifications

Embarking on a career as a personal trainer requires selecting the right certifications, a decision that’s pivotal for your success and credibility. Whether your focus is on strength training, yoga, or cardiovascular conditioning, it’s essential to acquire certifications that align with your chosen niche.



These credentials not only establish your credibility but also showcase your commitment to professional excellence. Moreover, certifications in First Aid, CPR, and Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are indispensable.

They underscore your dedication to client safety and preparedness for any emergencies that may arise during training sessions.

Establish Credibility

In the personal training business, establishing credibility is crucial for attracting and retaining clients. Holding the right certifications is a tangible demonstration of your commitment to excellence in the field.

These credentials not only validate your skills and knowledge but also instill confidence in your clients, assuring them that they’re receiving professional and effective training. Moreover, being certified by recognized institutions enhances your reputation and can significantly impact your marketability and the trust potential clients place in your services.



Safety Certifications

For a personal trainer, obtaining certifications in First Aid, CPR, and the use of Automatic Defibrillators is non-negotiable. These qualifications are essential in ensuring the safety and well-being of your clients during training sessions.

They prepare you to respond effectively to any medical emergencies that might occur, providing a secure environment for your clients to focus on their fitness goals.

In addition, having these safety certifications showcases your dedication to a comprehensive approach to health and fitness, emphasizing the importance of preparedness and client care in all aspects of training.

Compliance and Legal Protection

Adhere to fitness industry regulations and requirements.



Avoid potential lawsuits by having the necessary certifications.

By staying knowledgeable and prepared, you can train clients with confidence and safeguard your venture from liabilities. It’s the key to building a successful, reputable, and enduring personal training enterprise.

Understand Your Clients

Personal Training Business

If you’re going to earn and retain clients, you need to understand where they’re coming from. Remember, your clients come to you because you’re the expert. They are not you, so they don’t think like you do.



When it comes to physical fitness, most of your clients won’t be as driven as you are. If they were, they wouldn’t be hiring you, right? What comes naturally to you won’t come naturally to them.

You need to know what motivates each client. Each one will be different. Take the time to fully understand where each client is coming from. Before beginning your training regimen, get to know them better.

Ask them questions about their routine, goals and lifestyle. What kinds of physical activities do they like best? Are they the kind of person who likes to work out solo? Or do they enjoy a little friendly chit-chat while they do their exercises?

Asking these types of questions will help you put yourself in your client’s shoes. Not only will this enable you to train them more effectively, it will also enable you to form a deeper connection.



People like to know that you’re truly interested in their goals. They want to know you can get them the results they want.

Think About Specializing

This part might sound a little scary. The idea of focusing on a specific niche may sound counterintuitive at first. But if you’re able to do this effectively, you will eliminate most of your competition and earn more clients.

If you truly want to have a devoted customer base, consider specializing in one type of client. The reason business owners are afraid to do this is because they believe they will have to exclude customers. Nobody wants to turn away business, right?

But here’s the thing: if you’re able to focus on one type of customer, it makes you more attractive to the people who fit the type of customer you’re targeting. For example, if a prospective customer sees that you are the expert in marathon training, they’re far more likely to choose you over someone who is more generalized.



Here are some examples of specialization:

  • Senior citizens
  • Young athletes
  • Bodybuilders
  • The physically impaired
  • People who only want to lose weight
  • Cross trainers
  • Professionals who are too busy to work out

Of course, there are many other ways you can specialize. It’s just a matter of figuring out which niche works best for you.

Get Insured

Personal Training Business

This is something many business owners forget. It’s easy to do, isn’t it? You get so caught up in the idea of getting clients that you forget to protect yourself.



Don’t make the mistake of operating uninsured. It’s like driving a car without collision insurance. Sure, you don’t expect anything bad to happen. But you never know. When you invest in the right professional liability insurance, you can ensure that you will be protected.

Do Your Online Marketing Right!

Let me be Captain Obvious for a second. If you’re going to have a personal training business, you need clients.

Duh.

But the real question is this: how do you get clients?

It’s a question that has vexed many business owners. Regardless of your business experience, earning clients can be a huge challenge, especially when you’re busy running the day-to-day operations of your company

Contrary to what many new business owners think, online marketing isn’t just about having a website. Sure, that’s the first step, but there’s more work involved.

An effective online marketing strategy can grow your business long-term, and get your messaging out to a broad range of potential clients. And it’s more than just having a website. You need to get traffic to your website, as well.

Here are some areas to consider:

Focus On High-Quality Content

Let me be blunt…if you’re not going to create great content, there’s no point in having a website. A website without quality content is like a gun without ammo. It’s not good for anything.

Your content is what’s going to get your visitors interested in what you have to offer. It helps you build credibility and provide value to your audience.

Not only that, great content helps you rank higher in search engines. This is incredibly important. The best way to earn more traffic is to make your website easier to find.

Adding a blog to your website gives you the chance to produce engaging content—and tell the story of your brand. Blogging is one of the most effective content marketing tools you can use. It’s a powerful way to connect with your audience.

Use Social Media To Attract More Traffic

Of course, there’s more to building a brand than a website and blog. You also need to promote your website and blog through social media. Build a following on social media, and you’ll increase your chances of earning more clients. It’s one of the most effective methods for connecting with people who need your services.

Here are some helpful social media tips:

  • Don’t use social media to sell. Use it to answer questions and provide value.
  • Be consistent. Don’t do your social media sporadically.
  • Automate your social media. This helps you save time There are plenty of tools to help you do this.
  • Make sure you’re using the right platforms. Get familiar with the channels that your audience is using.

Social media is a great tool for promoting your brand. If you use it the right way, you can connect with more prospective clients.

Consider Using Marketing Services

As you can see, online marketing is a full-time job. You need to commit to providing high quality content, both your own original blog posts and social media material, as well. That’s a lot to add to your (already full) plate.

A personal trainer marketing service with a built-in client base can help you get your name out there and do all the dirty work of seeking out contacts and promoting your personal trainer services. All you have to do is make an online profile, sit back and watch the appointments roll in, while focusing on what you do best: training!

Importance of Continuous Learning for Personal Trainers

As a personal trainer, your journey does not end with obtaining certifications and starting your business. To thrive in the competitive fitness industry and provide the best possible service to your clients, continuous learning is essential. Staying updated on the latest trends, techniques, and research will not only enhance your skills but also boost your credibility as a fitness professional. Here are some compelling reasons why continuous learning is crucial for personal trainers:

  1. Stay Current with Fitness Trends:
  • Fitness trends are constantly evolving, and clients often seek trainers who incorporate the latest methods into their programs.
  • Continuous learning allows you to adapt to emerging trends and offer innovative workout routines and training approaches.
  1. Expand Your Knowledge Base:
  • Continuously learning expands your knowledge beyond basic certifications, enabling you to specialize in various fitness areas.
  • You can explore topics like nutrition, injury prevention, sports-specific training, or niche markets like pre- and post-natal fitness.
  1. Offer Tailored and Effective Training Programs:
  • The fitness needs and goals of clients are diverse and individualized.
  • Continuous learning equips you with diverse tools and techniques to create personalized training programs that deliver optimal results.
  1. Provide Up-to-Date Advice:
  • As a trusted fitness authority, clients look to you for advice on exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Ongoing education keeps you informed about the latest research and best practices, allowing you to provide accurate and up-to-date information.
  1. Build Trust and Credibility:
  • Continuous learning demonstrates your commitment to excellence and professionalism, earning the trust of your clients.
  • Clients are more likely to trust a trainer who invests in their own development and stays informed about industry advancements.
  1. Network and Connect with Peers:
  • Engaging in continuous learning often involves attending workshops, conferences, and webinars where you can connect with other fitness professionals.
  • Networking with peers provides valuable insights, ideas, and collaboration opportunities.
  1. Increase Client Retention and Referrals:
  • Satisfied clients are more likely to remain loyal and refer others to your services.
  • Implementing cutting-edge techniques gained from continuous learning can lead to improved client results, boosting retention rates and referrals.
  1. Boost Your Personal Motivation:
  • Continuous learning keeps your passion for fitness alive and fuels your personal growth as a trainer.
  • Staying curious and updated can prevent burnout and keep you excited about helping clients achieve their fitness goals.
  1. Meet Continuing Education Requirements:
  • Some fitness certifications require trainers to complete continuing education credits to maintain their credentials.
  • Ongoing learning ensures you meet these requirements, keeping your certifications valid and relevant.
  1. Enhance Business Growth:
  • By investing in your professional development, you invest in the growth of your business.
  • As you become a more knowledgeable and skilled trainer, your reputation will grow, attracting more clients and opportunities.
Key Benefits of Continuous LearningDescription
Stay Current with Fitness Trends- Fitness trends are constantly evolving, and clients often seek trainers who incorporate the latest methods into their programs.
Expand Your Knowledge Base- Continuous learning expands your knowledge beyond basic certifications, enabling you to specialize in various fitness areas.
Offer Tailored and Effective Training Programs- The fitness needs and goals of clients are diverse and individualized.
Provide Up-to-Date Advice- As a trusted fitness authority, clients look to you for advice on exercise, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices.
Build Trust and Credibility- Continuous learning demonstrates your commitment to excellence and professionalism, earning the trust of your clients.
Network and Connect with Peers- Engaging in continuous learning often involves attending workshops, conferences, and webinars where you can connect with other fitness professionals.
Increase Client Retention and Referrals- Satisfied clients are more likely to remain loyal and refer others to your services.
Boost Your Personal Motivation- Continuous learning keeps your passion for fitness alive and fuels your personal growth as a trainer.
Meet Continuing Education Requirements- Some fitness certifications require trainers to complete continuing education credits to maintain their credentials.
Enhance Business Growth- By investing in your professional development, you invest in the growth of your business.

In conclusion, continuous learning is not just an option but a necessity for personal trainers who aspire to excel in their careers. Embracing lifelong learning will empower you to adapt to the ever-changing fitness landscape, offer exceptional service to your clients, and solidify your position as a trusted fitness professional.

Summing It All Up: How to Start a Personal Training Business

Personal Training Business

Starting a personal training business isn’t easy. You have a lot of competition out there. It’s not just about your knowledge of fitness; it’s about your business acumen.

Fortunately, business acumen can be learned. It’s not some innate ability that only a select few have. The key to standing out from your competition is knowing how to run your business the right way. Follow the tips in this article, and you’ll hit the ground running.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is getting certified important for a personal trainer?

Being certified demonstrates your knowledge and qualifications to clients, instilling confidence in your services. It is also necessary for legally taking on clients and avoiding potential legal issues.

How can understanding clients’ needs benefit a personal training business?

Understanding clients’ needs allows you to tailor training programs, provide personalized support and achieve better results. Building a deeper connection with clients enhances their overall experience.

Why should a personal trainer consider specialization?

Specialization allows personal trainers to become experts in a niche, attracting clients seeking specialized services and standing out from competitors.

Is it necessary for personal trainers to have insurance?

Yes, getting insured protects personal trainers from potential lawsuits and financial risks in case of accidents or injuries during training sessions.

How can online marketing benefit a personal training business?

Online marketing helps attract clients and grow the business by establishing credibility, engaging with the audience, and increasing visibility.

What are some tips for effective online marketing for personal trainers?

Personal trainers can enhance online marketing efforts by focusing on high-quality content, using social media to interact with followers, and ensuring a consistent online presence.

How can personal trainers benefit from marketing services with a built-in client base?

Marketing services with a built-in client base help personal trainers reach a broader audience, attract more clients, and save time on marketing efforts.

What skills are essential for a personal training business to succeed?

Personal trainers need fitness knowledge, effective marketing skills, understanding of client needs, excellent customer service, and a commitment to continuous improvement for business success.

Trainer Photo via Shutterstock


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Jeff Charles Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, an Austin-based content marketing agency that specializes in helping professional service firms increase their influence and earn more clients.

11 Reactions
  1. This is definitely a path for people who have a passion in fitness. It is a great way to inspire people to manage their weight and feel good about themselves.

    • Hello Aira,

      Whenever possible, a person should start a business that relates to something they’re passionate about. A personal training business is great for people who are passionate about fitness. They can make money doing something they love.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I am seeing a shift on how people are doing business. It used to be just about the money. But today, people are now making businesses out of their passion and a personal training business is a type of business that does that.

    • Hello BizEpic,

      You’re absolutely right. Sure, money is important, but having a sense of purpose is more important. Doing something you love is more important. What use is making tons of money if you’re unhappy?

      Personal trainers have a great opportunity to do what they love while making a living. It may not always be possible, but if someone is looking to start a business, they should try making money from doing what they already enjoy.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. I am excited on how the small business industry will evolve. I have always enjoyed seeing businesses blossom out of passion. It is nice to do what you want and make money at the same time. It is now possible to do that.

    • Hello Ivan,

      You’re right. It’s an exciting time because more people are able to figure out how to make money for doing something that they would be doing anyway. What’s sad is that everyone has a passion, but not everyone is able to figure out how to turn that passion into their livelihood.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. Get paid for making people’s lives better, doesn’t get much better than this. It’s a very rewarding business and will continue to be as the general public becomes much more aware of what it means to be healthy and promote longevity.

  5. Just like every business out there, there will always be competition but your strategies will always stand you out of the lots. Just like you said, having the knowledge of the business is never enough, but the acumen to keep it running and outrun your competition.

    Thanks for sharing, this is quite insightful.

  6. “Don’t use social media to sell. Use it to answer questions and provide value”. I love this line. It’s an eye opener and perhaps one of the things I am getting wrong. Thank you for this post.

  7. I just need to get certified and insured to be insanely successful? Awesome! What a great field to work in! I’m sure nobody else is even thinking about doing it and I will be the first in line. A website and a blog? Never thought about that. I’m sure to be 1% influencer in not time if I just post a ton of youtube videos with my shirt off talking about my insane fitness nation props! Thanks for the post I’m in!

    • Yes – everything he says is correct. I’m 25, with 4 trainers underneath me in my full time training company. I cleared just under 300 last year (285K), and am going to blow that out the water this year. It’s the naysayers that let young business owners like us succeed.

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