The 7 biggest marketing mistakes we see personal trainers making

June 7, 2017     /    Personal Trainer Marketing    /    Liam Thompson

Personal Trainer Marketing Fails:

The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Personal Trainers are making right now when it comes to marketing and growing their business.

It can be a hard and lonely existence as a personal trainer. You get into the profession because you love the gym or because you have a passion for helping people. However no one tells you how to go out and get clients.  You end up winging it or copying what other personal trainers are doing.


Relying on Word of Mouth To Build A Personal Training Business

Word of mouth can be a great way to get some bonus clients through the door of your fitness business, especially if you offer an amazing service, and you have a referral scheme in place. It’ can be a dangerous game to play though, because you are putting the success of your business in the hands of someone else and not taking control of your own destiny.

It’s hard to track people who find you through word of mouth and also its hard to control the speed of recommendation so you never know how fast you are going to grow your business.

In addition to that, it’s just takes one unsatisfied client to potentially bring disastrous consequences.

They have no idea what they are selling

Most personal trainers think that they are selling personal training or boot camp / fitness classes and although that’s true at a basic level, people who buy these are really buying something else.

The vast majority of people who buy personal training are really looking for a result, for example weight loss or muscle building or freedom from pain (like back or knee pain).

What does this mean for you as a personal trainer?

Well number one it means that you are really selling the result. You are selling the after or the change that you can help someone with. You are also selling accountability, because lets face it most people already know what they should be doing at a basic level and they need a bit of a push to get results and that where the accountability comes in. People will pay, and pay handsomly for accountability and for change.


They don’t invest in paid advertising or when they do they get it wrong.

Paid ads such as using Google or Facebook are hot right now if you are a fitness professional. If they are done correctly they can be a really great way to grow your fitness business in a predictable and scalable manner. The problem is that a lot of personal trainers try them and conclude that they don't work. Common mistakes are that they don't have a proper offer in place, they are trying to sell people on to personal training packages on the 1st contact and that they have no real target market.


Not Knowing Their Numbers

Once you understand how much a client is worth to you as a personal trainer it opens up a whole new world of opportunity for growing your fitness business and bringing in new clients.

Imagine you are a 1-1 personal trainer and you know that each client stays with you on average 6 months and spends $600 per month with you. This means that your client lifetime value is $3600 which is pretty neat, when you think about it.

SO now that you know this would you invest $600 in getting a new client? Of course, you would because you are going to make $3000 profit from every $600 you invest in ads.

That my friend is how you win at advertising and what all most successful personal trainers understand. Advertising is not a cost, it's an investment and knowing your numbers is the key to this.

Want to grow your business as fast as possible. Invest in paid traffic that is predictable with predictable outcomes.

They are scared to niche down and be a specialist

The easiest way to stand out from all the other trainers in your town is to be a specialist and have a niche.

There might be 40 or 50 other personal trainers in your town, but if you are the guy or girl who only helps women in their 30’s lose weight after having kids then you are going to have little or no competition.

Most trainers are too scared to do this because they think that they will lose out on everyone else.  The thing is though that it will be much easier to attract the people you do want to work with because you can speak directly to them. As opposed to trying to be generic personal trainer and not speaking to anyone at all.

Imagine what your elevator pitch would be like if you had a niche like the one above. You have one don't you?

I firmly believe that not matter what you do you should have an elevator pitch prepared. Here is an example of one we use at IFP
Here is an example “We help Personal Trainers to Rapidly Grow Their Fitness Business and put their
Lead Generation on Autopilot”

Here is a template you can use for this taken from my book The Clarity Project.

[Your Solution Name] “Enables”[Your Target Audience] “To Experience” [Describe Their Ideal Before To After Transition]

Here is on that you could use if you have the niche above

“I help overweight women in their 30's drop up to 2 dress sizes and throw away their baggy jumpers forever after having kids”

Off you go what's yours?

They charge too little

Being the cheapest personal trainer in your town might seem like the fastest way to the cash and growing your fitness business but this can very often be a huge mistake.


Well for starters you will end up attracting cheap clients who are shopping on price and these are never the best way to build loyalty. They are unlikely to be great long-term clients because they are price sensitive which means as soon as a better offer comes along they will be off.

In addition to this, you should consider the mindset of someone looking for your services. Imagine you needed lifesaving brain surgery? Would you shop for the cheapest brain surgeon you could find?

What would you think if one surgeon was a lot cheaper than the rest?

Wouldn’t it make you a little bit suspicious?

Would you question of they were any good or not?

Personally, I would feel more confident in paying more for a trainer.  I would feel that I’m going to get a better service .  My point is that being the cheapest can have a negative effect on client attraction. Potentially driving people into your more expensive competitors.

They scare potential clients off with fancy trainer speak

Want to attract more personal training clients?

Then you need to learn to use language that your potential clinets understand.  Talk to them in their language instead of trying to impress other personal trainers on your website and in your social media.

Consider this:

The average personal training clients have no idea what conditioning is. They also don’t understand what a strength and conditioning coach is either.

The average person has never heard of Charles Poliquin or biosignature for that matter.

They don’t understand why they would need a biomechanics screening or kinetic chain assessment or even what they are.

No One has any idea what your level 3 or level 4 qualifications mean and they certainly do not care or know what an animal flow specialist is.

When someone who just wants to lose weight, or get healthy comes across stuff  they don’t understand like the above, then you have probably lost them as a client before they have even started working with you.

All they want to know is that you can help them get to here they want to be.

Equally they don't care about you, they just care about what you can do for them.

It’s simple but effective and doesn’t need to be complicated.


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