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12 Steps To A Great Personal Training Career

If you want to enjoy a successful and lucrative personal training career then you need to do some work.  There’s a lot of competition (which I think is a good thing as it weeds out the pretenders) and a number of factors that play into your success (or lack thereof.)

Here’s a list of 12 Steps that – if you adhere to them – will lay the foundation for a great personal training career:

Step #1 – Be A Great Coach: Being great at your craft should be the foundation that any successful business is built on.  If you deliver a poor quality of service, marketing and sales ability can temporarily keep you going, but eventually people will figure you out.

Step #2 – Create Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Your USP answers the question, “why should choose you over any and all of your competitors?” This is the foundation of all your marketing efforts during your personal training career.

Step #3 – Develop Systems For Everything: Every aspect of your business should be systemized.  You need to have systems in place for how you acquire prospects, how you convert them to clients, how you deliver your service, how you ask for referrals, how you collect payments and more.  Any task you perform in your business should be turned into a system if you want to enjoy any freedom in your career as a personal trainer.

Step #4 – Leverage Your Network: Your personal network holds the keys to your business success. Your friends, family members, neighbors, past clients, current clients and anyone else you have a relationship with can literally provide you with anything you need to achieve fitness business success. Whether you need to find a new location, are looking for more clients, want to do more public speaking or anything else – someone in your network can open any door you need opened.

Step #5 – Maximize Your Client Value: As a fitness business owner, your goal should be to maximize the total profit produced by each of your clients over the lifespan of them working with you. You do this by getting your clients to refer more often, improving retention and up-selling &cross-selling.

Step #6 – Eliminate Risk: If you’re like most trainers and coaches that we work with, you’re great at what you do (or aspire to be)  – so make sure people get a chance to experience it.  Offer free or low cost trials to eliminate the up front risk of someone working with you.  Once they’ve experienced what you have to offer, they’re almost a lock to become a client.

Step #7 – Embrace Selling: If you really do have the ability to help people achieve their goals faster and more safely than the competition then you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t sell them into your programs.  Selling really is simple though – connect with someone, learn about what they need and show how you can provide it.  It’s not much tougher than that and will make you’re personal training career much, much more successful.

Step #8 – Understand That Everything Is Marketing: The way you dress.  The cleanliness of your gym.  Your energy and enthusiasm.  How you answer the phone.  It’s all marketing and you need to be putting your best foot forward all the time.

Step #9 – Every Day Is Your Best Day: Assume that each and every day is the day that someone decides whether they want to continue working with you or find some other program.  Assume it’s the day that someone decides whether to bring a friend or upgrade their program.  Every day you have to ‘be on’ because every day is the day that decides your business success.

Step #10 – Referrals Should Be A Big Driver In Your Personal Training Career: If you’re great at what you do and you’re providing an extraordinary experience to your clients, then referrals should be a big part of your business.  You should be holding referral events, asking often – and in different ways – and rewarding generously.  Get testimonials, post on your clients Facebook Wall, create a Wall of Fame in your facility… the key is to make the clients happy and then get them to share their experience with their network.

Step #11 – Be Somebody: Becoming the go to fitness professional in your community may take some work – but it will be worth it.  Attend events, have a presence in the Chamber of Commerce, write articles, send press releases and start speaking.  There’s nothing wrong (and a lot right) with working hard to be seen at the only true answer to your community’s fitness needs.

Step #12 – Manage Your Time: Each evening, map out your following day.  Prioritize your tasks and schedule everything you need to do.  Anything worth doing is worth scheduling.

There are dozens of other things I could tell you if you want to have a successful personal training career – but these 12 steps are enough to get you started and set you on the path to success.


Well – let me add one more, just for fun: You Get Paid For Done! All of these steps are great in theory, but if you don’t actually execute – none of it matters at all so focus on what you finish.


Dedicated to your success,



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