Starting a personal training business – The Essential Guide!

These days, as people are becoming more and more aware of their health, and want to look great at any age, personal trainers are in high demand.

However, the bar to becoming a personal trainer is not that high – resulting in a glut of personal trainers on the market.

So, if you are thinking of starting your own PT business, then how can you make sure you stand out from the crowd?

Apart from offering great classes, MARKETING is what makes the difference between success and failure.

After all – do you think McDonald’s have the best hamburgers in the world?

Probably not. In fact, for a company that sells billions of dollars of hamburgers every year, their hamburgers are pretty bad!

What makes McDonald’s great is their marketing.

And the same thing goes for your personal training business.

And the good news? With easy access to the internet and social media, this can be done by almost anyone!

If you’re thinking of starting a personal training business, then apart from doing a relevant course, which I hope you’ve already done, this guide will help you get off the ground!



The first thing you need to do before starting any business is develop a business plan. This doesn’t have to be some detailed 50 page document, with competitor analysis and your marketing budget for the next 12 months mapped out, but it does have to be a good roadmap of where you want to go and how you plan to get there.

Imagine you’re going off on a roadtrip with your family. Before setting off, would you just briefly glance at a map and then start driving? No, you’d look up the route and make your vacation plans ahead of time so you can make the most of your holiday.

Similarly, it’s good to plan ahead before you open your personal training business. Your personal training business plan will act as your reference to successfully growing and promoting your business!

Developing your personal training business plan:

Know your target market: Who is it that you’re going to be marketing to? Are you targeting young professionals? An older clientele? People with money? People without much? Men? Women? Both? Create a profile of what your average client might look like. This will help you decide everything else in your business plan – from your location, to your branding, to your pricing, to your marketing.

Know your competitors: The best way to create a successful business is to work out what else is happening in your industry. Are you going to create a business that’s similar to one that’s already successful but in a different location? Or are you going to fill a niche in the market? Whatever you do – make sure you study what’s working and what’s not, and where you might fit in.

What’s Your Offer? Although this may seem obvious (you’re offering personal training), you need to think carefully about WHY your customers want personal training. Do they want to lose weight? Do they want to look amazing? Do they want to stay fit?

Your answers to the questions above will help you decide this – and this will form part of your essential marketing plan. Coming up with a USP (unique selling point) is what will set you apart from your competition and help you speak directly to your target audience and their needs.

What are your terms? How much are you going to charge? What format will the classes take? Are you offering group classes or private classes or both? How does your pricing compare to your competitors? Do they have to pay up front or do you offer subscription or split payments? Based on your target audience, this will need to be right for your business to be successful.

With the answers to these questions in mind, you’ll be ready to start setting up your personal training business!




#1: Find a Place to Give your Classes

Renting or buying a studio

If you’re thinking of giving personal training classes, the obvious first step is to find a place to give your classes.

You might dream of having your own studio – but this is definitely not the best way to start.

As with any business, it’s best to start small. As your business grows you can think about a dedicated space, but to start with you just want to start testing out your idea (which will almost certainly need to be modified – however good you think it is) and getting some experience and cashflow.

Hiring a space by the hour or using public space

If you can find a public space – such as a park or beach or local community center – then this is a MUCH better way to start. 

This will keep your costs right down, and enable you to run your business for longer without running out of money. At these early stages, you’ll need all the money you’ve got to focus on marketing and on surviving (you have to live on something while your business grows!)

This is where your initial research will be important: who is your target market? Where are they located and what type of venue would appeal to them? What is the competition like in the area?

Starting small like this gives you a chance to experiment with various locations. If one doesn’t work, you can always try another one and see how that goes.

If you’re targeting an upmarket clientele, who might not be comfortable in a public gym, then think creatively. Maybe there’s a nice gym in the area where you can do your training. Or maybe you can rent an apartment in a nice building which has a gym and pool (most modern residential buildings do) and run your classes from there. Or alternatively, try high end hotels. You may be able to run your classes from there (or just rent a room for the night!)

If you’re targeting the lower end of the market, then a public park or beach is probably the perfect place to start! Make sure you get a permit though – as some local authorities require this these days.


#2: Chose a Name/Domain Name and Get An Awesome Personal Training Website

One of the most important things you need to make your personal training business successful is an awesome website and booking system. Your website is your first point of contact for most of your customers, and as such needs to be attractive, easy to navigate, and entice people to either sign up for your classes or at the very least sign up for your mailing list so you can continue to market to them.

Choosing a Domain Name:

Choosing a domain name and a business name should go together, as you want your domain name to reflect your business name.

A great tool to use is Godaddy’s bulk domain name search, where you can search for multiple domains at once. 

There are lots of options for your business name, including of course your own name, but whatever you choose will have to suit your target audience. Try to choose something catchy, easy to remember and to spell.

That way when they search for you in Google they won’t have any trouble!

How will your website help your yoga business?

Your customers will visit your website to:

  • Learn more about personal training
  • Find out information about your services/products (and buy them!)
  • Learn about your classes/instructors/techniques
  • Look up your business’s contact information
  • Book slots in personal training classes and events
  • Read reviews and testimonials

Creating a website doesn’t need to be complicated. There are lots of platforms online to help you create your very own website, like our own platform – Bookible.

Bookible can help you to instantly set up a professional website that’s clean, simple and easy to use, and has a booking system and marketing system built in.

Just choose from one of our beautiful, pre-designed templates and start customizing it as you please. (Click here to find out more about how we can help you get your website and booking system set up.)


#3: Create A Mailing List

Once you’ve got a website for yourself, the next step in starting a personal training business is to create a mailing list.

It doesn’t have to be complicated to start with – just a way for people to sign up to your list so that you can send them marketing materials, special offers, and keep them up to date on everything you’re doing.

Why Start a Mailing list?

It’s very unlikely that someone will sign up to your classes on their first visit to your website, which means you need to make sure that they come back (probably a few times).

One of the best ways to do this is by capturing their email address and sending them an automated series of marketing emails.

Opening a Yoga Studio - Email Marketing

Here’s how you can build a mailing list quickly:

Create some valuable content for people – such as a short video course or an ebook on personal training (or on some topic that your target audience will be very interested in – such as losing weight or tightening abs).

Then, set up a sign up form on your website offering this content to people FOR FREE in return for their email address!

Voila! People who come to your website will start giving you their email address – allowing you to market to them for weeks or even years into the future.

With a system like Bookible, this can be easily automated.

You simply customize your sign up form, write a few emails with links to your free content, set the times that you want them to be delivered (eg. 1 week after they sign up to your list, 2 weeks after they sign up to your list, etc.) and that’s it!

Whenever someone signs up to your list, they’ll receive these automated emails.

TIP: Try signing up to your competitors’ email lists and see what they send out to subscribers. This is a great way to see what works and get fresh content ideas.

We have created a FREE course on how to create a mailing list and get people to sign up to it.

CLICK HERE to find out more and take the course!


#4: Be Active On Social Media

The next thing you need to do to make your personal training business a hit is to be active on social media.

Try to find out which social media platforms your target market is most likely to use, and focus on those. At the very least you should be on Facebook, and probably also on either Instagram, Pinterest, or Linkedin (or maybe all three).

Personal training businesses can work well on social media, as you can post articles about keeping fit or losing weight or nutrition that will be widely read and shared.

How to open a yoga studio - social networking


Facebook is so important, we’ve created a FREE course on Facebook Marketing, so check that out! It’ll show you how to run your first ad campaign as well as really successful tactics such as remarketing (showing ads to people who have visited your website).


Twitter relies on hashtags, so make sure you find out which hashtags are working best for your business and your content. Twitter only allows 140 characters to it’s best to use it to link to blog posts or other content on your website.


If you’ve got great photos of your business, your classes or your workshops, or even yourself, then this is the place to put them. Again, use hashtags so that people will find them. And you can create your own hashtag and ask everyone that posts photos of you or your business to include it! #yourbusiness


Like Instagram, Pinterest is a great place to include photos or other images from your business.


Youtube is a fantastic place to upload videos of workout routines. You can then display these videos on your website and also in your other social media channels. Youtube videos also rank highly in Google, so it’s worth creating a few just for that reason.

Give them a title like “Personal training Your City” so that when people type that into Google, you have a chance of being found!

Make sure you cross promote your content between your website and all your social media channels.

With a Bookible website, you can easily share your content from your site to your social media channels with our built in share buttons (like the ones you see on the right!)


#5: Start A Personal Training Blog

Next on our list of things to do when opening a personal traning business is: blogging!

Blogging is an excellent way to start getting your message out to potential customers. You can include Youtube videos in your blog posts for even more impact, and you can then share them to your social media.

Long, well written blog posts (like this one) are highly favored by Google and other search engines, so take them time to write valuable content and you’ll be rewarded with high positions and free traffic flowing into your website!

How to start blogging

  • Find out what topics your audience likes to read about.
  • Create interesting, shareable content on a weekly basis
  • Invite people to share your content on social media, or get them to engage directly with your content there on your blog.



#6: Share testimonials/reviews and success stories

This is one of the most under-rated tasks when opening a personal training business, and it is often overlooked.

People almost always look at reviews when making an online buying decision, and so it’s essential to build trust with your potential customers by making sure that you have some.

If you don’t have any – think about offering some free classes and then asking those people to give you some reviews in return.

Or, you can “fake-it-til-you-make-it” as they say, and write some reviews of your own. This is not the best tactic, but if you’re just starting out you might not have much choice!



#7: Host a free boot camp

Hosting a free boot camp or training session can help you start getting your name out there. If people like what you do, they might even be prepared to pay you for it in the future. And by offering something for free, you’re building good will.

Remember, you’re not just doing this to make money – you’re doing it to help people and add value to your community as well. Focus on that and things will start flowing for you!


#8: Start spending some money on advertising

Once you’ve got all of the above in place, it’s time to start spending some money on advertising!

Don’t do this before you do all of the above, though, as all you’re going to do is waste your money.

#1 Google Adwords

Google adwords is probably one of the best places to start advertising, as it’ll mean your business will appear at the top of the Google search results right at the time people are searching for personal training in your local area.

For example, you can advertise on the following keywords:

Personal training your city

Personal trainer your city

Personal trainer your suburb

Personal training your suburb

Best personal trainer your city

etc. etc.

Obviously these people are looking for your service, so the probability of them signing up is quite high!

Google Adwords campaigns are super easy to set up, and can be created in just minutes. We’ve created a few short videos to show you how to do just that!

CLICK HERE to take our free course on Google Adwords advertising.

#2 Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are another great way to advertise your new yoga business, and we’ve created a whole course on Facebook advertising here as well (also free!)

#3 Posters or flyers in your local areas

Depending who your target market is, simply going around your local area with some posters or flyers can be a great way to get some local people to your classes.

These days people often want something within a short distance of their house, so this is a great way to target those people that you won’t get through Google or Facebook.


Starting a personal training business – Final tips:

Get on Google Business Pages.

Another very important thing to do is get your free listing on Google Places and Maps. Often these business listings show up at the top of Google’s search results when people type in a search for a business in their local area, so make sure you get listed there.

The more complete you make your profile there, the higher in the rank Google will put it, so try to get some reviews and also makes sure you add photos and as much information as possible.

Build links to your website.

Link building is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization, which basically means getting your website listed at the top of Google’s search results. There are plenty of articles on search engine optimization in general, but one of the most important strategies is to build links to your website from other websites.

How can you do this?

If there are directories or authority sites (such as personal training associations in your country) then try to get listed on them, and even other studios in other cities might link to you if you ask them.

Another great way to do this is offer to write guest blog posts for them, and put a link in your post. The more links you can get to your site from relevant websites (not just any website) the better rank you’ll get in Google!

Get listed in local directories.

Make it easy for people to find you online by getting your business listed in Yelp and other local online directories.

Marketing courses

If you haven’t done so already, check out our range of free marketing courses by CLICKING HERE.


In Conclusion:

Best of luck in opening your personal training business!

If you don’t already have a website, then we highly recommend creating a free site on Bookible and taking it for a test drive.

All of the marketing tactics above are built into the Bookible platform, making in incredibly easy to manage.

The booking system that we use is incredibly flexible as well as attractive and user friendly for your customers, so will help you get as many booking as possible.

Check out our demo HERE or sign up HERE for a free trial!


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