Congratulations! You just made a conscious decision to start your very own personal training business. You have the certifications, the experience, and proven track record of helping clients achieve their goals. After working at the big box gym for a few years, you are now ready to cut the cord and go at it on your own. Starting an independent personal training business can be exciting and rewarding, but I’d be remiss to say it won’t come without challenges. While the gym may have been taking the lion’s share of the personal training revenue, you never really had to concern yourself with working hard to get clients. Since you no longer have access to the lead funnel that was the gym, now is the time to get to work on building your business. Below are a few strategies that can help you acquire clients:
Tap into your natural network
What is the easiest way to spread awareness about your new venture? Tell everyone you know! Send an email to friends and family announcing your big decision to start your personal training business. Your natural network will be your biggest support group, so make sure to take advantage of that.
Create a website
Nearly 90% of consumers go to the internet before making a purchase, and finding a personal trainer is no exception. The good news? It won’t cost you an arm and a leg to create your own website. Platforms like Wordpress and Squarespace are available for non-techies to create beautiful and functional websites.
Get active on social media
We may be inundated with tweets, statuses, and stories, but maintaining an active social media presence as a small business owner is a necessary evil. Moreso, having the capability to show progress (your own or clients) through images and videos is imperative as a fitness professional.
Advertise through digital platforms… WISELY
This can most definitely become a slippery slope, so proceed with caution before spending any advertising dollars. Whether you spend on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or anything else, your costs can get out of hand if you don’t know what you are doing. I strongly consider learning a bit about digital marketing, and you should 100% consult a professional. I have had success finding quality digital marketers through freelancing websites such as Upwork, but it is important to educate yourself at least on the basics of digital marketing before making a hire.
Partner with local businesses
Walk around your neighborhood and establish relationships with as many small business owners as possible. You can establish strategic partnerships by offering a free personal training session to their customers. Additionally, partnering with local health and wellness professionals can do wonders for your business. Nutritionists, chiropractors, and massage therapists all make for great cross referral sources.
Reach out to residential properties
The majority of high rise apartment complexes have beautiful on-site fitness facilities. Establish relationships with as many property managers as possible, and you will give yourself a chance to become a preferred fitness vendor in the building. These properties have hundreds of residents, many of whom might be interested in hiring you as a personal trainer.
List yourself on marketplaces
Google, Yelp, and Facebook all present opportunities for you to create and promote your very own business page. Once you do this, it’s important to get as many customer reviews as possible. Additionally, fitness-based websites like RightFit Personal Training allow you to create a free profile and will help you build a quality base of independent clientele.
As an independent personal trainer, opportunities to build business and generate revenue are plentiful. From online training to the small group, you can expand your horizons as fitness professionals. Before you get there, focus on getting as many dedicated clients as possible. You KNOW that you are a great fitness professional with knowledge and experience to back you up. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and build up that book of business.
This is an original piece written by Matthew Kornblatt; CEO and founder of RightFit Personal Training and NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Matthew lives in Chicago and is passionate about fitness, business, and food.
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