How to Succeed as a Beginner Personal Trainer

Well, you did it. You spent the last couple of weeks studying and working hard, but you finally got your personal trainer certification. You love fitness, and you’re now a true expert at it. To you, it might even be the most obvious career choice.

You’re confident in your skills and abilities, and you’re ready to start changing lives and getting paid for it. 

Now what?

How do you begin signing clients, creating content, building your network, and making a name for yourself?

How do you start applying what you learned and helping people reach their desired body goals? 

Well, Angels and Alphas, that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about today!

I’m writing this as your introduction to the personal training industry, and hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll have no doubts as to what you have to do next to start your career as a certified PT online.

Let’s begin with the first (and probably most important) tip for those of you who want to start landing clients for their training service, growing their online audience, and expanding their network.

Personal Trainer Tip #1 – Brand Yourself Online

Now, it’s no secret to anyone – fitness coaches excel online. Thanks to the Internet and social media, you no longer have to stay at the gym all day training people.

That’s not to say you can’t do that, but for most coaches who newly enter the industry, the Internet is a big opportunity.

An opportunity to get recognized, bring awareness to what you do, and start helping people reach their body goals even if they’re on the other side of the planet.

Here’s the crux. Your branding is essentially your online image — the collection of thoughts and emotions people have about you and your service. 

Coaches with great branding have clients lining up on waiting lists to work with them, while coaches that don’t really pay attention to branding struggle to gain traction. 

Your branding compiles everything from your website content to your Instagram bio.

From your Facebook posts’ comments to your online advertising. 

You can look at it this way. Marketing yourself means getting the word out about you and your service, while branding determines what that word is. 

Will you brand yourself as a blood, sweat, and tears hardcore trainer, or a fitness coach that emphasizes diet, yoga, and meditation? Will you brand yourself as someone who helps thousands of clients, or someone who works with a select few? 

You have to enter the scene with at least an idea of the branding you want to establish for yourself. If you don’t, you risk becoming soulless and having other people determine your branding. Keep in mind; this isn’t something you should have a fully clear idea of.

You should think about your branding long-term and grow into that branding as time passes.

Bringing us to our next point…

Personal Trainer Tip #2 – Specialize

People love working with experts. We can’t help it. Ever since that time you first stepped into a doctor’s office, you know what a specialist looks like. They are like a beacon of authority in what they do, and people always reach out to them for help.

Even though this relates to branding, it deserves a different approach. Your specialization will determine what kind of people ask for your help. It’s your “thing,” your secret sauce.

For example, if you position yourself as a powerlifting coach and you specialize in that niche, it’s only natural that you’ll be contacted by people who want to get better at powerlifting. Same with wellness coaches, running coaches, fitness coaches, calisthenics coaches, you get the idea.

Find your “thing” and specialize in it. You’ll have a lot more success when you can target a specific problem and help people solve it, instead of running about trying to solve everyone’s problems. If you’re everywhere, you’re nowhere. Remember that.

Personal Trainer Tip #3 – Promote Yourself Online

As a personal trainer, you’re a service provider. As a service provider, you must create an offer for your services that essentially turns a problem’s solution into a product.

This could be your coaching sessions, your online programs, your meal plans, anything that you’re expecting to get paid for as a coach. 

Once you have that offer figured out based on your branding and specializations, it’s time to get the word out there – marketing time!

  • Paid Advertising
    Advertising online is both easier and harder than it ever was before. Nowadays, you can literally spend a few dollars and show your offer in front of thousands of people. The tricky part is actually creating advertising that’s persuasive and valuable for your prospects. An ad that speaks to their problem, and positions your product (technically service) as the best solution to that problem is undoubtedly going to bring you results.I’ve seen personal trainers advertise their services and courses on Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, YouTube, SnapChat, LinkedIn, you name it. As far as channels go, you have complete freedom to share your message (as long as you’re compliant with ad guidelines, of course).
  • Free Content
    Don’t worry though, if you aren’t really into paid advertising, or you don’t know exactly how to run and manage ads, you can skip that part for now.Regardless of whether you do ads or not, you’re still going to be posting a lot of content Every piece of content, regardless if it’s a blog post, a social media post, an infographic, a YouTube video, and so on, serves multiple purposes.First, it lets you provide value to your audience for free. Second, it puts you in the shoes of an author, therefore positions you as an authority in your field. Third, it lets you freely express your views on certain topics in the industry. Especially when it comes to fitness, the possibilities for content are endless! I suggest you choose at least one social media platform (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) and use it to share information about fitness completely free.Post videos of workouts, share tips, views, comment on other people’s content, engage with your “colleagues,” etc. This way, you’re helping people while getting the word out about what you do.It’s not only a great way to stand out in your niche, but it’s also a great way to bring awareness to your services and land clients who share your views and want to work with you.
  • Free Assessments
    Offering free assessments is one of the best ways to give value and land clients. To do this, you don’t really need to spend any money on ads or create any extra content. It’s a great way to practice working with people if you don’t have that much experience as a trainer yet. Start letting people know that you’re offering a free, no-obligation, fitness assessment, and take your prospects through it.You can frame this as a consultation or even a short private coaching session. In it, you can essentially bring people results in less than 30 minutes by finding out a problem of theirs and providing them with a step-by-step solution to solve it. It’s a great way to let people get to know you, your method of work, and do that while bringing them real results in a short period. 

Fitness Coach Tip #4 – Have a Perfect Website!

Your website is like your temple — the central social hub of all your other online channels. 

It’s the first place people go to learn more about you. Even if they see you on Facebook or Instagram, they’re going to go to your website if they want solid information.

That’s why investing in a well-designed, well-written website is one of the best things you can do for your online branding and marketing. 

A sloppily designed website will make you look sloppy. A thought-out website will give people all the information they need to decide whether they want to work with you or not.

On your website, you can list your services in full detail; you can share your message, your story, your vision, your mission, and have a section full of free and useful content people can enjoy.

This is the place where you’ll likely be collecting most of your leads. 

A note on e-mail lists…

Building a list of e-mails is vital! 

Regardless of who you are, what you do, and what you’re selling, you need to be collecting an e-mail list. This is not up for debate!

Your e-mail list is your biggest asset, so treat it as such. 

For the most part, all your branding and marketing efforts should be targeted toward building a list, not selling your service directly. This is a topic for another time, that’s why I’m not going to go into much detail here.

But remember – if you’re not growing your e-mail list, you’re not growing your network. 

Fitness Coach Tip #5 – Build Case Studies 

So far, you’ve built your brand identity, you’ve started promoting yourself, and you’ve probably got a couple of clients that are ready and excited to work with you.

At this point, the only thing you should be focused on as far as building your credibility is creating case studies of all your clients, regardless of the results you’ve helped them achieve.

You can take testimonials, they do work, but case studies are such a powerful tool for both marketing yourself and keeping track of your progress as a coach. 

There’s no better credibility than actually delivering excellent results, and people know that. In the online coaching business (regardless if its fitness, dieting, wellness, business, you name it), it’s often the people who build the most trust in their clients that end up getting ahead. 

And that’s completely normal – if you need help with something, you’d obviously trust the person who has done it successfully hundreds of times before! Why wouldn’t you? 

Case studies are the ultimate tool for all coaches. You shouldn’t only be using them; you should be heavily focusing on them. It doesn’t matter if you have a shiny new website or a well-designed ad. That should be the icing on your branding cake. What matters is that you genuinely bring people results, and there’s no better way to show that than building a few great case studies. 

To conclude…

As you can see just from this short post, being a personal trainer in today’s digital age is no easy task.

You not only have to define yourself as an online brand, but you also have to promote yourself and your services.

And you not only have to promote yourself, but you have to make sure you’re building your list, growing your social media following, and expanding your network every single day.

…And you not only have to do that, but you have to turn this list and this network into an asset that continuously brings you clients.

…Moreover, you have to make sure you’re delivering real results to your clients and building great case studies.

But you know what?

If fitness is your passion, and you really want to succeed as a trainer, I promise you… all of this will feel like a walk in the park!


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