How to Start a Personal Training Business




Deciding how to start a personal training business in 2022 and pursuing the dream is one of the best decisions you can make as people are trying to go back to their usual lives after COVID. Also, they still have the same New Year’s resolutions: getting healthier.

In the past, gyms and personal trainers had a hard time promoting their services and how they could get more clients, and when it comes to the latter, they were also limited in terms of space and budget.

However, getting fit and healthy is popular. All it takes to start a business in the niche today is resolution and dealing with regular steps like regulations and laws according to the niche.

Still, they are much simpler to meet and follow than before.

That being said, the first step will always be to learn about the business and be well informed and a professional in it.

You want to know what you are getting into and what you need to make sure you are seen (and actually are) as a professional personal trainer.

Of course, starting involves much more, as mentioned earlier. So, to guide you, we decided to add some steps that include the crucial parts you cannot miss and some extra ones to ensure you can make it a success.

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Are You Properly Trained & Knowledgeable?

We’re assuming you are a personal trainer already. If not, let’s stop here for a bit and tell you: yes, you need a certification.

It is important to get properly trained before you decide to get into this business, and we are not referring to your experience receiving personal training.

You must know information, techniques to learn, and many people study for more than a certification. Many nutritionists, for instance, decide to take this path and even study their careers for it alone.

Now, if you’ve been in the business of training people for a while since your first certification and you are all done with your training, make sure you are up to date with all new methods and exercises.

You don’t need to continue studying or going over courses. However, as in every niche, it is important to know what’s new.

Next, asking if you’re knowledgeable doesn’t involve the training part only.

You need to internalize that it’s not the same to work as a personal trainer somewhere else as starting a business of your own.

You must know what a business entails and remember that you will need to have the right resources and time to start a personal training business.

It’s not a sprint to build a successful business. To start it and make it grow properly, you need to work hard, have a steady pace, and be committed.

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Take the Time to Find Your Niche

Nobody said starting a personal training business would be easy, and we are sure you’re aware of that by now.

After you have gone over all the information, training, and the essentials of being a business owner, start focusing on how you can choose your niche, or more like sub-niche.

In this industry and as a personal trainer, you will notice your clientele can include more than people trying to lose weight.

Some want to gain it, others are aiming to be fit, and others just want to be healthier.

You better than no one knows there are many types of clients, and you need to adapt yourself to their needs.

What if you focus on serving a specific number of people according to a common need? For example, gaining muscular mass.

Choosing a niche can help you because you narrow your competitors, and unlike what you think, specializing can bring more clients.

Now, how do you pick your niche? We have some considerations for you:

  • Always think about what works best for you. If you don’t know it, learn it.

Look for the elements of training that will set you apart from your competition.

Consider, for example, that you are a muscular mass specialist.

Your experience will have you familiarized with clients who are the opposite to those trying to lose weight (most of the time), and they need the right training routine to achieve the result.

In addition, these clients need someone to motivate them to live a healthy lifestyle and learn what they should eat to boost their efforts.

Do you think you can work with this type of client? Or maybe you are up for those trying to lose weight and need lots of motivation?

You need to determine what you are best at, and if you aren’t sure, give everything a try BEFORE you start your business.

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  • Focus on what you are passionate about.

Maybe you aren’t too good at it, but you LOVE it.

Go beyond your professional expertise and seek out personal things for you.

Once you have identified your expertise and area of interest, you can narrow your niche. You could be a trainer who:

  • Trains lazy clients because you like motivating people.
  • Work with people trying to become more fit.
  • Can work with old adults.

The list just keeps going.

You can provide the service or experience they desire by breaking down large audiences into smaller groups.

The service feels personalized to your targeted audience. Your clients will be more inclined to choose you over other competitors since you show how passionate you’re about it.

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It’s Time to Conduct Market Research

Market research is an essential part of any business strategy. You can use it to determine the viability of personal training services in your area by gathering information about potential customers and competitors.

Every business should know what the customer wants before they start selling or offering a service. You need to know what your customer needs before you start trying to offer your training services.

To get a better understanding of the market, answer the following questions:

  • Which area are you most comfortable focusing on?
  • What are the needs and wants of your potential clients?
  • Are they TRULY in need of your services?
  • How much do they earn?
  • What is their spending power?
  • What are the other options available? (Your competitors)
  • What percentage of them would prefer to have online sessions instead of face-to-face meetings?
  • Are there any particular people who are more interested in trendy ideas for fitness?
  • Data on population, wealth, and other relevant information for your business.

To answer these questions, you can research existing sources or take the direct approach to ask potential clients yourself.

Usually, you want to aim for clients with a higher monthly salary than the standard since not everyone wants or can spend on a personal trainer.

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Decide Where You Will Train Your Clients

After you have a clear understanding of your market, you can start to think about the best place to personal train.

Although most of the decision is up to the client and their location, it’s important to be able to do a little bit before you start your career as a personal coach.

It is crucial to keep your options open and use a client-centric approach.

If you don’t know where to start, there are a few places you should consider using for training clients:

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Private gyms where you can pay per session

It is possible to tie up with your local gym, which will allow for you to train clients there. You can get a lot done by them, which is a lot easier than if you had to do it yourself.

While equipment is important, other essentials are often forgotten. These include hygiene and sanitation, lockers and showers, as well as a 24-hour water supply and electricity. This option will allow you to focus on training your clients.

At a studio

You can start your own personal training center if you are a Zumba, Yoga, Pilates instructor, or a trainer who wants to host group sessions. It is possible to rent these studios, but it can take time to build such a clientele.

You should have enough money to cover rent for a few more months before you start to get clients that will allow you to run your personal training business.

At a park or public spaces

Training outdoors can bring a sense of calm.

You may need special permits to train clients in certain parks. Make sure you check this before you go. Remember that any equipment you need to use during training will have to be carried to the park from your house or shed.

You can have public spaces that are government-owned or privately owned, such as community centers, schools, or college gyms. Find out who is the owner of the space and ask permission to train clients.

It might be necessary to pay for it. This could be flat rent or a percentage of the income you make from clients.

While it might make sense to pay flat rent if you have many clients, it is better to stick with the portion policy at the beginning.

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At your own home

Personal training at home is the best thing for those with a space for it or who want to stay in their places.

Be aware that many people may visit your home, and it can be difficult to keep track of what they touch. It can be hard to clean up your home if the workplace is not separated from the rest of the house.

Although it is more work than you would expect, it will all pay off in the end since you are saving on rent and other expenses.

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What About an Online Personal Training Business?

One of the options we didn’t want to add before is: you can teach online.

People have begun to adapt to changes after enduring COVID-19. One of these was an increase in online services, and it is normal for personal training services to grow over video calls.

There are two options for training people:

  1. Giving live online classes for a group/individual.
  2. Creating a prerecorded exercise plan that people can subscribe to every month.

We would add a third option to offer a hybrid model that includes both in-person and online training.

The fees for both online and in-person training are likely to rise. You can either use prerecorded videos for online fitness coaching or host live classes online (depending on your clients’ needs) to help with workouts and diet plans.

Clients can then schedule an appointment in person to get advice on their posture and workouts.

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Start Pricing Your Services

Finally, it’s time to move on to the interesting part: how much you are going to charge.

This task can be more difficult than you think since strategizing pricing comes with the challenge of the diversity of the payment options available and the ones you offer.

First, are you going to charge per month, class, training session, weekly, every two weeks, or even offer packages for months or a full year?

If so (for any of them or maybe more than one), how much are you going to charge?

If you ask us, the answer for you should be, “I’m going for all of them.”

Different payment options are available depending on the person’s spending habits and training. This will expand your chances to get more clients and make sure they are open to paying for your services and able to.

More than anything else, money can make or break a deal depending on how it is packaged.

Different payment packages you can consider include:

  • Pay per class: Accept payments based upon a fixed duration.
  • Price range: You can set ranges like $30 to $50 for a 30-minute session, $40 to $70 an hour, $60 to $100 for a 90-minute session, and so on. These are just examples.
  • Monthly memberships: Trainers estimate a total number of classes during 5 to 7 days a week, for four weeks, and based on the per class or per day rates. Then, lower it to make it appealing to hire the monthly membership.
  • Class packages: Discounts for those who pay for multiple classes.
  • Group packages: Discounts can be offered to groups that approach you for your services. These prices can vary depending on how many people are coming at once.
  • Dynamic pricing: This is done by taking into consideration the popularity of certain times, trainers, or classes and determining a price that will be appropriate to meet demand.

A couple of tips we can give you is to set higher fees for classes in the morning, as clients prefer to train at this time.

Strategically, you could also lower the fees for classes during the day to attract clients who are looking for a more affordable option.

In addition, remember that, depending on where the training session is taking place, you can charge more, or maybe less would be better.

The location also applies to your city. For instance, personal training businesses in New York City charge more than those in Sioux Falls, for example.

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Take Care of The Legalities

Compliance with the law will not only keep your clients safe, but it can also help you avoid costly fines or the possibility of losing your personal trainer license.

These are the legal requirements that you must meet before starting your personal training business:

  • Register your business.

The US has three main business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership with limited liability, corporation.

If you intend to operate as a sole proprietorship, there is no legal distinction between you (the owner) and your business.

Therefore, you should register your company as a limited liability company (LLC) or any other official entity that is not a sole proprietor. If you are sued, this will protect your personal assets and business assets.

  • Liability Insurance.

You will need your own insurance if you are not an employee.

General liability insurance covers you in case your client is hurt in an accident. However, you will not be covered if your client is injured by accident, such as slipping and falling in the gym.

  • CPR Certification

CPR certification is required for most personal trainer certification programs. A certified first aid authority can help you become CPR certified.

For any additional knowledge beyond CPR, check with a fitness certification agency for first aid training or how to use an AED.

  • Open up a business bank account.

A business bank account can limit your personal liability, keep you credible with clients, and organize your business records, which will help you in tax preparation in the end.

If you have all the paperwork and registrations required, it is possible to do this without a lot of effort.

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Start Building Your Clientele

Although research is a great way to make your job easier, it takes time to get clients. Once you have a client base, you won’t have to worry about it as much.

Marketing is not something you started within your fitness journey. However, to make it a success, market your business well with some of these strategies (or more like all of them):

Approach prospective clients around you first.

Look into the academic programs offered at community colleges, technical institutions, and/or universities near you or in your locality.

To get multiple clients from one place, approach them first. Talk to local authorities to set up a stall and offer clients a free class.

Network in various industries

You should first build your network by referring clients to other personal trainers before you consider starting your own business.

Let’s say you reach out to someone in the healthcare sector. You may be able to work as an independent personal coach at hospitals, physical therapy offices, and chiropractic clinics.

You can also network with other corporate offices to get clients.

Create a cross-referral system

It’s time to reap the benefits of your competitor research. In return for your referral, connect with specialists in your area.

These specialists could include nutritionists, active-release techniques specialists, weight loss specialists, and muscle activation specialists. It would be a great way to help both you and your clients simultaneously.

The above methods are the traditional ways to get your initial clients. But they’re not enough. People look out for everything in one place – the Internet. You need to make sure that your online game is strong, so you don’t miss out on those potential leads.

Someone searching online for personal trainers may find you. You can attract them with your niche, discounts, and offers. These are some of the things you can do to increase your online visibility and engagement.

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Get to the ground with the right tools

Personal trainers panic when their client base grows because they don’t have a way to keep track of all the daily activities.

Although people tend to use Google Sheets and Drive, it will eventually become more difficult.

You will most likely have all these issues:

  • It takes a lot of time and effort to learn how to do common tasks as a personal trainer.
  • Choosing meeting times and places via phone calls can take up a lot of time as you must confirm and send reminders. You might forget to send reminders, which can cause you to lose an hour with your client.
  • It can be difficult to keep track of all appointments you have scheduled and let others know your availability by text messages and phone calls.
  • Personal training is a business that trains many clients, such as businessmen, from large corporate houses. They sometimes don’t have time to answer all calls and miss important changes in your meeting because they only have no other means than calling them.

It’s not an easy task to manage a business. To build a successful business, trainers must prepare for the difficulties when starting a personal training business.

Therefore, automate as much as you can with options for marketing. You can find incredible tools for task management, contacting clients, and saving info.

The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Personal Training Business

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All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?

The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).

Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:

The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.

Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”

You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.

The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.

The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.

To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.

Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.

To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.

By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.

An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor

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You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.

HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.

They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.

If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.

HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.

Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services.  They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).

Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?

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They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.

However, you need to remember two facts:

  1. Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
  2. They don’t generate “natural” leads.

Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.

Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.

What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.

When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.

What Is Local SEO?

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Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.

What does this mean?

Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.

To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.

If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.

Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.

“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.

Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.

Can My Personal Training Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?

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If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.

Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.

Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.

How Powerful Are Organic Personal Training Leads from Google?

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For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.

This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.

I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.

However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.

On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.

You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.

What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?

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Here it goes: you can work from home.

The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.

We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high.  Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.

You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.

Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.

So, let’s summarize this:

  • You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
  • You can bet on passive income.
  •  There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
  • You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.

How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?

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Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.

Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?

You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.

You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.

Learn more about local lead generation below.

Take a sneak peek into our proven strategies to build a passive income by building a local lead generation business from your laptop...