Yes, you've heard all about the importance of maintaining a strong client base and constantly expanding your reach to build a successful personal training business. But you've also got a business to run, clients to train, and admin to wrangle. So, understandably, your marketing can grow flabby and neglected (or it hasn't even crawled off the couch yet).
But look: it's gotta get done! Word of mouth, friends, and family can be an excellent initial driver for clients. But overtime, you'll want to scale your reach and marketing efforts to uncover new clients beyond your immediate network.
The good news is that fitness marketing doesn't require Mad Men levels of expertise to get up and running. In fact, you could start marketing your business in the next few minutes (or seconds), and probably have a client in the books by the end of the day (or way sooner).
Here are 20 easy, fast, and effective marketing ideas for your personal training or fitness business:
- Build a website: If you haven't done this yet, this is step one! A website will be your primary hub for all things marketing, and is the go-to place to send clients. Not sure where to start? Let AI build your site for you in 30 seconds.
- Offer a Free Consultation: This is an excellent "top of funnel" technique — a way to cast a wide net and get a ton of people interested in your business. Offer a free consultation to potential clients. Use this time to understand their fitness goals and how you can help them achieve them. It's an excellent way to showcase your expertise, and to get someone "in the door" of your business. Once they meet you and better understand your inspirational and motivating approach, the more likely they are to get signed up.
- Social Media Marketing: Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote your business. This might seem super, super obvious — but don't sleep on social for generating big interest in your business. Take some time to figure out what you want to relay on these channels. For personal training, visual and video posts are an excellent approach. Show the gains a client has made (with their permission, of course), give away a handful of free tips for strength training or recovery, give short inspirational pep-talks in video format. Anything! Our advice: don't worry about perfection here. Start creating content, and see what sticks. Oh, and always have a link handy to your website in your bio!
- Partner with Other Businesses, Teams, or Organizations: Partner with other businesses or organizations in your community. These could include health food stores, athletic stores, sports teams, nutritionists, etc. This tactic might take a little more research and execution time, but create a list now of businesses or organizations that you could partner with. Partnerships are a great fitness marketing strategy that can increase your brand's visibility.
- Offer Referral Discounts: Encourage your current clients to refer their friends and family by offering them a referral discount. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective fitness marketing strategies.
- Host an Event (In Person or Online): Host an event or workshop on a specific fitness topic to attract potential clients and provide value to your current clients. This is a great fitness marketing idea that can generate leads and build your brand's authority. Remember: this doesn't have to be a huge, in-depth thing. You could quickly start promoting an online workshop on your social media channels today. Offer a discount for attendees, too!
- Optimize your website for local SEO: SEO is search engine optimization — it's the "thing" that determines where you show up when someone Googles your service in your area. Read our SEO guide to get up and running.
- Create a Blog: Again, this might require a little more ground work. But it's worth it! Start a blog to share your expertise on fitness and wellness-related topics. This is especially powerful if you operate in a specific niche. This will help establish you as an authority in your field and attract potential clients through search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing. If you're stumped and don't know what to write, use ChatGPT to generate a blog post structure for you.
- Offer Online Coaching: Consider offering online coaching services to reach clients outside of your local area. This is a fitness marketing strategy that can help you expand your reach and attract a global audience. Bonus: you can train multiple clients at once using this tactic.
- Attend Community Events: Attend community events and health fairs to network and promote your business. This will help you connect with potential clients and build your brand's reputation. Get involved, and become a "face" in the community. It's an excellent way to boost word of mouth, and to position yourself as a supportive expert in your community.
- Start Email Marketing: Send out regular newsletters or promotional emails to your client base to keep them engaged and informed about your business. You can collect customer emails with a CRM, like the one that's included with Durable.
- Collaborate with Influencers: Collaborate with fitness influencers and bloggers to promote your business. Cast a wide net here! Find like-minded folks on Instagram and TikTok, and don't be afraid to reach out — even if you don't know them. Worst case scenario, they leave you on read.
- Host a Challenge: Host a fitness challenge on social media to attract potential clients and engage with your current clients (an excellent retention and community building tactic). Consider creating a challenge that spans multiple days or weeks, and offer a discount or incentive to drive interest. If you play your cards right, you could create a viral hit.
- Create a YouTube Channel: Create a YouTube channel to share workout videos and tutorials. Again, don't be worried about giving your expertise away for free! A big part of "audience building" is offering outstanding content that your audience can actually use. And don't stress about creating perfect videos. Get scrappy, film something, and improve over time.
- Offer Group Training: Offer group training classes to attract clients who prefer working out in a social setting. You can offer a slight discount, too.
- Run Facebook Ads: Use Facebook Ads to target potential clients who are interested in fitness and wellness. Even a small budget can make a big difference.
- Run Google Ads: Similar to the above, Google Ads are an excellent way to boost visibility in your area.
- Offer Corporate Wellness Programs: Offer corporate wellness programs to businesses in your area to help their employees improve their health and fitness. These might take some time to get off the ground. But if you land a client, the revenue could be huge.
- Post to Craigslist: Yeah, it looks super old school. But Craigslist can be an outstanding and easy to execute marketing tactic for attracting new clients.
- Tell EVERYONE About Your Business: Friends, family, old colleagues, your dog groomer — let everyone know that you're open for business. And don't be shy about it!
Sure, some marketing tactics take longer to get off the ground than others. But getting up and running with marketing isn't that hard. For your first step, pick the easiest and quickest tasks above to get started. Commit to executing them within the next day. Then, start working through the list. If you do, you're pretty much guaranteed to generate clients faster and at a way bigger scale than you are right now.