Running Start Chapter 18 | Let’s make some money!

The final chapter of the Running Start series talks about the sales, marketing, and business aspects of personal training.

You can’t afford to miss out on it if you want your practice to be successful financially.

Let's make some money

Let’s plunge headlong into it!

I’m sure that’s music to your ears!

As a personal trainer, while you will be driven by the need to help people, you also have to pay the bills and pay for further studies, right?

The great thing about the world of fitness is that it’s filled with opportunity.

For the personal trainer that’s prepared to work hard and with their focus centered on their clients, success is just around the corner.

But there are ways to get there, that’s for sure.

And that’s what I want to cover in this chapter. 

We are going to take a brief look into sales, marketing and the business aspect of personal training.

It’s something that I have a full course on as well, so if you like what you see, you certainly can find out more in that. 

We will also briefly touch on how to upsell to existing clients, as well as small group personal training and a relatively new fitness phenomena, the hybrid trainer. 

The thing is, although being a personal trainer revolves around training clients, there are so many other criteria that to really excel, you need to get right. 

Sales, marketing, and the business side of personal training 

If you think about it, a personal trainer has to have many other skills when it comes to having a successful career.  

Over and above the obvious aspect of training, a few other key aspects are involved including the sales, marketing and business side of things.

Neglect these and you might struggle to kick-start your career, especially if you are looking to go it on your own and become your own boss at some point down the line.  

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In fact, for most personal trainers who end up going it alone, either by starting their own gym or working as a freelance trainer, not nailing marketing and sales is one of the prime reasons why they end up failing.  

When it comes to sales, marketing and business, they are not concepts that can be grasped in an instant.

That’s because they are just all so involved with many components that you will need to get your head around. 

That’s why I have devised a separate course that’s going to cover those essential aspects of all three of those.

And it’s going to be something that you as a personal trainer can learn plenty from. 

So what does my marketing, sales and business guide cover? 

Key marketing concepts

Mastering marketing is something that you are going to need to accomplish during your career.

If you work for a corporate gym chain when you start out, the chances are that you will be given most of your clients.  

However, if you are working as a freelance trainer, or perhaps at a fitness studio or boutique gym, for the most part, you are going to have to be able to generate your own clients if you want to make a success of your career.  

Some of the marketing concepts that will be covered include: 

  • How to define your brand (both your personal brand and the products you offer)
  • How to ensure a solid reputation as a personal trainer
  • How to become a marketing guru
  • How to create a buzz about yourself and your services
  • How to handle social media and use it to your advantage
  • How to create marketing content that benefits you
  • The importance of client conversion
  • Referrals and how to use them to your advantage
  • A look at referral strategies

These are just some of the wide range of subjects that will be covered in the marketing section of the course.

All of them are critical for you to grasp as a personal trainer, not only to make a success of what you do but also to grow your business over time. 

Key sales concepts

There is no doubt about it, as a personal trainer, if you don’t have a handle on sales, just where your clients are coming from.

It’s a part of your job that you simply cannot overlook.  

But it’s also something that can be difficult to master and often a topic I get asked plenty of questions about.

It’s for that reason that I have covered sales and all the ins and outs of this topic in great detail.  

But what can you expect to learn about?

Well, some of the topics covered include the following: 

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  • Types of selling personalities
  • Identifying your distinct selling personality
  • Selling yourself and your services as a personal trainer
  • Engaging with potential clients
  • The importance of pricing
  • Why clients won’t buy into what you are selling
  • How to create the perfect sales engagement
  • The benefit of opt-in strategies
  • How to sign-up more clients
  • Various other successful sales strategies you can employ

Key business concepts

The last but certainly not the least concept that I will cover in this course is that of business.

It’s the third important cog that you as a personal trainer will need to master during your career and one that often falls behind marketing and sales.

It’s not less important, however.  

And for that reason, I will cover business concepts that you need to know about.

These include:  

  • How to grow your personal training business
  • Strategies for making it as a personal trainer
  • Upselling
  • Small group training and its benefits
  • The Hybrid trainer

The last three points here are something that I would like to go into a bit more detail in.

They will be extensively covered in my marketing, sales, and business guide but I just want to provide you with a little bit of a background, because I believe these are three of the most important concepts that you need to understand as a personal trainer. 


Learning to upsell as a personal trainer is a skill that you must learn as a way to advance your career as well as your income streams. 

And with personal training, the perfect way to upsell is to combine it with nutrition counseling.

If you are looking for two aspects of fitness and health that go hand in hand, it’s nutrition and personal training. 

Undertaking a nutrition certification is certainly a niche option chosen by many personal trainers.

And both provide the chance to sell your other skills to clients to improve your income.  

For example, let’s say a client comes to you and they are looking to improve their health but are carrying a few extra pounds.

For one, you can help them through your personal training expertise, raising their fitness and helping them to lose weight.

But you can also improve their chances of losing those extra pounds by upselling your nutritional expertise should you hold a relevant certification.  

Small group training

If you are looking for a win-win situation for both your clients and yourself, then look into the concept of small group training.

It’s becoming more and more popular and it’s easy to see why.

Let me explain. 

Small group training is something that sees a personal trainer not train a single client at a time but a group, anything from three to ten people.

The major benefit of this type of training is that while you charge clients less, you earn more.

But how does that work?

Well, let’s say you train a single client for a session and that’s priced at $60.

Now with a small group of five people, you can lower the price for your services but because you train more people, you take home more. 

Let’s say you charge those five people $25 per hour session.

That means you earn $125. That’s more than double you would from a single client.

Do you see how small group training can be a real benefit? 

The Hybrid trainer

Lastly, let’s look at the hybrid trainer concept.

For the hybrid trainer, it’s not only about reaching a client in a gym and taking them through their paces.

There are more training avenues open to them that they have explored and taken advantage of. 

One of the major areas a hybrid trainer has branched out into is the ability to make use of other methods to teach their clients.

The most important in this regard is taking their lessons online. 

Online training is becoming big business and personal trainers are making their mark by using technology to help others, even those in geographical locations far away.

But a hybrid trainer needs more than training savvy to pull this off. 

For the hybrid trainer to succeed, having the perfect online portal and providing online clients with the ability to train using a variety of tools like training videos and others, is critical for success.

That’s because you cannot physically be with the person to help them through their training session.

So the tools you provide need to be top-notch to help ensure success. 

Of course, marketing yourself online is also of critical importance as well.

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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