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Starting A Personal Training Business The Right Way

Pat Rigsby


3 Steps To Success When Starting A Personal Training Business


Starting a personal training business or growing an existing one can be a pretty overwhelming task.

You’ve got to think about dozens of different things and when you’re searching around for direction and advice it can be easy to get pulled in a million different directions with all the blogs, newsletters and products offering tips and suggestions.

I’m going to do my best to simplify this for you.

I’m going to provide you with a very straightforward formula for starting a personal training business or growing an existing one from launch to what you could consider business adolescence.

So here’s a good barometer for you to determine whether you need to follow this plan to a ‘T’:

If you have or aspire to have a group training based business, don’t deviate from this plan until you have a minimum of 75 active paying clients enrolled in your Core Programs.

If you have or aspire to have a personal training or semi-private training based business, don’t deviate from this plan until you have a minimum of 40 active paying clients enrolled in your Core Programs.

One you reach those thresholds, then you can start thinking about multiple streams of income, diversifying your offerings, etc.

But until that point, starting a personal training business is about this 3 Step Formula:


Starting a Personal Training Business


Starting A Personal Training Business Step One:

Optimize Your Position

When you are starting a personal training business you need to bring something of value to the market. There is no shortage of fitness providers available to people today and if you’re going to have any degree of success you need to be able to be the best option for some segment of the population.

Now don’t mistake this for having some unique niche market that no one else serves. You don’t need to only train moms or basketball players or some other niche market.

You can do that, but you can also define yourself by offering a unique service or style that attracts some people and repels others. CrossFit and Zumba are perfect examples.


You may hate those businesses or you may love them, but they both strongly appeal to some people and they both repel others.

So once you’ve decided to stand out in your market then you should ask yourself the following questions to gain some clarity about what your unique position in the market will be:

  • What about training are you passionate about?

  • How does / will your business serve your clients in a way that others don’t?

  • What value do you really bring that benefits your market in ways that your competitors wouldn’t dream of proposing?

  • What does an ideal client look like?

  • What is the simple 15-word BIG IDEA or core message that explains your business and excites prospects about it?

  • How will your market become aware of your business?

  • How will your market come to trust that you are the best solution?

  • Can you describe the perfect client experience someone will have when working with you?

  • What do you need to overcome to achieve your strategy?

  • What would the ideal result of using this strategy to run your business look like?

So that’s Step One in starting a personal training business – getting clear on who you are and what you’re bringing to the table that will cause people to choose you over all the other options available to them.

Starting a Personal Training Business


Starting A Personal Training Business Step Two:

Optimize Your Core Offering

If you’re starting a personal training business or improving one, the service you offer has to be at the center of your efforts.

It always bewilders me when other people that talk about business or marketing ignore this or gloss over it. They’ll often try to brush that under the run by saying ‘we assume you’re delivering a good service’ but that’s BS. If you were running a restaurant don’t you think that whether the food sucks or not would play a part in the restaurant’s success?

So before you start selling, you have to have something good to sell.

But really, Step Two has 2 separate parts:

Part One: Focus. At this stage of your business you don’t need to have a dozen different offerings or work about selling a foam roller or some supplements.

You need to dial in on one single thing and be really, really good at it.

Perhaps you want to eventually offer semi-private training, group training with adults, programs for kids and so on.

Don’t offer them all today.

Get great at one and meet the minimum number levels I identified above… then you can add others.

Be Awesome

Part Two: Be Awesome. Once you’ve picked what your primary Core Offering is, be awesome at it.

So what’s that mean… here’s a start:

  • Your Core Offering needs to help your ideal client get to their goal efficiently. Sounds obvious, but often fitness pros design the programs they want to design rather than the programs their clients need.

  • Your Core Offerings need to be engaging. Things people want to do rather than tolerate doing. Not everything can be ‘fun’ but if people hate something they wont’ do it for too long.

  • The Experience is HUGE. People NEED to feel connected. Make them feel important. Recognize small wins. Give people personal attention. Be attentive to the details… all the details from the cleanliness of the venue to the use of greeting people by name.


Deliver a GREAT Core Offering and now you’ve got something truly valuable to offer to the public when you’re starting your personal training business and it’s something that those clients that you get will be eager to help you spread the word about… if it’s GREAT.


Starting a Personal Training Business

Starting A Personal Training Business Step Three:

Optimize Your Selling Strategy

Once you know who you are and what you’re actually going to deliver to the clients that you serve… Step Three is where you need to place your focus.

You need to optimize your selling strategy.

Basically this means that you need to:

  • Figure out how you’re going to get qualified leads.

  • Convert those qualified leads into long-term clients in your Core Offerings.


When it comes to getting qualified leads when you’re starting a personal training business, my suggestion is to focus on finding a couple go to strategies that you can be good at and will offer you a direct path to your ideal prospects.

Things like:

  • Face-to-face Networking

  • Public Speaking

  • Joint Ventures

  • Pay-Per-Click Ads


Obviously, if you have clients, then referrals move to the top of the list, but if you’re just starting a personal training business then you don’t have too many people who will be referring yet.

So select a couple strategies that you think you will be willing to consistently do and that will be able to connect you with your ideal prospects.

Starting a personal training business

As a guide, you’ll likely need at least 30 leads each month if you’re going to run a group based Core Offering or 20 per month if you’re going to run a 1 on 1 or semi-private based Core Offering. You MUST track the number of leads that you are getting.

Once you have a plan to get the leads then you need to convert them into Core Offering clients.

Ideally you should be using some sort of way for the prospect to get to know you and for you to build value in what you have to offer. It can be:

  • A Consultation and Assessment

  • A Success Session

  • A Free Trial or Jump Start Program

  • A Paid Short Term Program like a 21 day offer or a Transformation Content


Or any number of other ways that you can get to connect with someone and help them understand why you’re the best option for them.

Then, you must have a systematic way of moving that prospect into your long-term program. Basically this is asking for the sale. Ideally this will be in a one-on-one, face to face setting where you spend time with the prospect and then help them choose the best version of your program for them.

Again, this is something that you need to be tracking.

But that’s really it. If you are starting a personal training business or growing one and you want to progress as quickly as possible – this is your blueprint. Focus on these 3 Steps and put the rest on the backburner and you’ll be in good shape.

Dedicated to Your Success,




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