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How to Grow Your Business as a Fitness Professional

a fitness trainer working with a client in a gym

Whether you’re a personal fitness trainer or a certified group fitness instructor, you may feel like there’s more that can be done to grow your brand.

Today, the fitness industry is extremely competitive. Even if you’ve made it to the top, the bar is continually raised. As a fitness professional, you can always aim higher and reach the next rung of the ladder.

At W.I.T.S. Education, we believe every fitness professional should have a razor-sharp focus on elevating their career. You’ll become one of the most trusted names in your local fitness industry as you increase your reach, get more clients, and improve your reputation.

In this blog, we’ll help you get there. Our experts have rounded up fitness professionals’ most pivotal business expansion tips. If you have any questions, feel free to comment towards the end of the blog. Let’s begin!

1. Become Certified

Personal trainer certification isn’t just important; it’s imperative. Today, people want to work with certified trainers with the experience, expertise, skills, and determination required to help them achieve their goals. You’ll struggle to grow your clientele if you’re not a certified trainer.

First things first, get certified. Our hybrid certified personal trainer program is perfect for fitness professionals who want to take the next step in their careers. Certification will go a long way in helping you stand out in your local fitness industry. You’ll get more clients and referrals.

2. Leverage Social Media

social media apps on a smartphone

Social media is a powerful tool. According to research, there are 240,000,000 active Facebook users in the US. Instagram and Twitter are also immensely popular in the fitness industry. If you want to grow your brand, turn to social media stat.

If you haven’t set up your social media pages yet, check that box off the list. Create engaging pages that are updated with accurate, relevant information. Avoid exaggerations. While your social media content should be compelling, it shouldn’t be incorrect. Provide a realistic description of yourself, your services, and your approach.

We recommend kicking things off with Facebook and Instagram—the most popular social media platforms in the fitness industry. Over time, consider branching out into Twitter and YouTube. YouTube is particularly excellent for fitness professionals as it allows them to film and upload their training sessions. As people get an idea of your training style and approach, they’ll be more inclined to sign up for your services.

Once you’ve set up your social media pages and taken care of the basic information, it’s time to roll out the posts. In 2022, the top social media platforms allow users to share two main types of content: posts and stories. You should leverage both.

Share well-written, engaging, and value-added posts that resonate with your target audience. We also recommend optimizing your posts. Use keywords with high search volume (preferably as hashtags).

Supplement your posts and stories with high-quality, eye-catching, professional photos. There’s no harm in using copyright-free stock images. However, taking your own photos is ideal. If your budget doesn’t allow it, you don’t have to hire a professional photographer. Take the reins yourself!

Use a high-quality smartphone and capture your training sessions in action. As you post rich images and videos on social media, you’ll draw more attention to your brand. Here are some great examples:

Certified personal trainer


Personal trainer

Personal trainer

See what we mean? As you create more buzz around your brand on social media, you’ll become a trusted personal trainer in your local industry. Take things slow. If you don’t have a social media presence at all, start with Facebook. Spend 1–2 months gaining traction on Facebook, and slowly add more platforms to the mix.

When done right, social media marketing helps fitness trainers increase their reach and revenue. Over time, you can also look into paid advertising, specifically Facebook advertising, Instagram advertising, and YouTube advertising. You’ll get a chance to further popularize your brand and reach the right demographic by releasing paid ads.

This is a great approach for up-and-coming fitness trainers who lack traction and fitness trainers with low follower counts despite their social media experience.

Recommended Read: 6 Ways to Make Additional Income with Your Fitness Business

3. Request Online Reviews From Clients

Many fitness trainers fail to ask their clients for reviews. You may feel that you’re overstepping your bounds. In reality, you’re presenting a very basic and valid request. Online reviews have a make-it-or-break-it effect in the fitness industry. If a fitness trainer gets a bad review, their reputation will take a hit, and if a trainer gets many positive reviews, people flock to them.

Simply put, reviews matter. According to research, 93% of web users read reviews before buying a product/signing up for a service. That’s not all. 94% of web users actively avoid partnering with professionals who have negative reviews online. If your business isn’t backed up by excellent reviews, you’re doing something wrong. Undo the damage ASAP.

For starters, request loyal clients for reviews. Simply drop them a text or email. You can also ask them in person. There’s nothing embarrassing or inappropriate about this. As a trainer, you have provided quality services to the client. While they’re not obligated to offer a review, there’s a high chance they will if you politely ask for one!

Spend 1–2 weeks collecting reviews from clients who are happy with your services. These should be current and previous clients. We recommend requesting Google reviews to improve your Google star rating. Here’s an example of what we mean:

Google reviews

This is the Google My Business profile for a personal training business called Got Muscle. They have a nice 4.4 rating. How and why? Because of their stellar client reviews. Here’s an example of what the reviews look like on Google:

Google reviews

When you request Google reviews from current and previous clients, they’ll show up every time someone searches for your business/name on Google. This is why you should always request Google reviews, not generic reviews. If they email you their review, you can’t add it to Google. Direct Google reviews are always the biggest win!

Don’t stop here. Add a testimonial page to your website. This should display all your reviews. Additionally, add a “Please Leave a Review” section to your website. If clients are happy with your services, they should be automatically reminded to drop a review.

Manual requests can get very overwhelming, especially as your practice picks up. You can also set up auto texts and emails to send routine review requests. Make sure you avoid going overboard. One request every two months is acceptable. But if you plan to send ten requests a month, you’re entering spam territory.

Be careful and strategic. When executed correctly, this strategy will help you earn plenty of positive Google reviews. When people look up your business, they’ll notice that you have an impressive Google rating and flattering reviews. This will encourage them to sign up for your services. Make full use of the power of reviews to grow your business in the long run!

4. Set Up a Blog Page

a fitness trainer setting up a blog page

According to research, 77% of web users read blogs. If your website doesn’t feature a blog page, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon! Fitness content is in demand. You’ll reel in a wide audience as you release quality blogs on a range of fitness topics.

Start by finding a reputable content writing and marketing company that can produce specialized fitness content for you. This isn’t required; you can definitely take the reins yourself. However, only do so if you have a knack for writing great content.

Hiring experts is a great way to equip your site with top-notch content that reflects industry expertise. Professional content writers also optimize the content to ensure that it stands out in the crowd.

They use title tags, meta descriptions, image filenames, image alt text, and other tags to increase blog visibility. Additionally, they use relevant internal links and high-DA (domain authority) external links to improve user experience and improve the blog’s link building capabilities. Most importantly, they incorporate high-ranking keywords into the blog to give it a generous boost on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Whether you hire experts or tackle things yourself, make sure your blogs inform readers. At the same time, they should be enjoyable! Avoid writing a boring, dense blog that turns readers away. The right balance will help you build a wide audience and grow your business.

Over time, consider adding more content to the mix: articles, guest blogs, press releases, infographics, etc. Your content should be carefully researched, written/designed, optimized, proofread, edited, and marketed on social media.

5. Offer Special Deals

Do you want people to flock to your site? Help them save money! Everyone loves a good deal. As you offer $$$ off your services, people will arrive at your site in hordes. Offer a special deal, offer, promotion, discount, coupon code, or free trial. If you want to go the extra mile, plan a giveaway. This will help you improve your social media following and get more clients.

6. Launch a Mobile-Friendly Website

a woman finding a personal fitness trainer on her smartphone

Can you guess how many people use smartphones in the US? An astounding 97%! If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re inadvertently turning a lot of web users away. Undo the damage by launching a mobile-friendly, user-friendly, interactive, aesthetically appealing, and fast-loading website. You’ll reduce your site’s bounce rate and overall customer attrition (loss) as you rework web design and development. Your site should also be unique, not cookie-cutter.

Opt for an exciting, compelling design that grabs attention. At the same time, it shouldn’t be overdone. Work with a web design company to find the sweet balance that maximizes conversions. All done? Turn to web development. Choose the right hosting platform, use a content delivery network (CDN), optimize image size, reduce the number of HTTP requests, clean up excess plugins, reduce excessive flash content, and run routine check-ups to ensure everything is on track.

7. Provide Free 10-Minute Consultations

Nobody likes signing up for a service without a consultation, especially when the service is as personal as fitness training. People want to get to know the trainer and see if they’re friendly, likable, and encouraging.

If you want to grow your practice, consider providing a free 10-minute consultation. Now, this may sound like a lot. Why should you give your time to someone for free? What if they have no plans for signing up? First off, that’s not true. Anyone willing to sit through a 10-minute consultation is definitely considering signing up!

If you’re a confident, affable, experienced, and empowering fitness coach, you’ll manage to turn at least 70% of those consultations into sign-ups. Free consultations are a big buzzword in the fitness community. People actively try to find personal fitness trainers and certified group exercise instructors who are willing to sit and talk to them before the plan is finalized…for free.

It’s a small price to pay for long-term clients. Don’t hesitate to politely cut the call short if you feel someone’s taking advantage of the free consultation and wasting your time. However, 97% of the consultation requests will be genuine.

Recommended Read: 4 Ways Giving Something Away for Free (Greatly) Benefits Your Business

Are you interested in becoming a personal trainer? At W.I.T.S. Education, we’re committed to helping people turn their passion for personal training into a successful, rewarding, and fulfilling career.

Find out more about our fitness trainer certification program to get started! If you’re a fitness enthusiast, coach, college student in the field, massage therapist, or any individual looking for an exciting career in the health and fitness industry, you’re a great fit for our program. You’ll also receive access to bonus recorded video lectures and practical lab video demonstrations.

We’re the only organization to receive NCCA accreditation in practical skills and theoretical knowledge for personal health trainer programs. For more information, explore our locations and schedules. It’s time to start your personal fitness trainer certification journey. Let’s begin!

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