Personal Trainers | How To Build Your Business

Written by Jamie Bantleman

Personal Trainers

The state of the fitness industry report showed the fitness industry to have grown by 5.3% in the last 12 months.  This means that now for the first time ever there are over 9 million gym members in the UK.  There has never been a more prosperous time to be in the fitness industry. So why, in such prosperous times, are many personal trainers not earning to their true potential? With all these new gym members, why do PT’s still struggle to pick up clients and fill their diaries?


I feel personal trainers are sold a dream on many of their courses. They are told their diaries will be full and they will be loving the job in less than 6 weeks. Is this possible? Yes! However, knowing the strategies necessary for success is the fitness industry is a must to getting a truly full diary.  I have collaborated with Personal Trainer and Motivational Speaker Tom Melody, to provide personal trainers with our top 5 success principles for making it in the fitness industry.

gym mistakes

#1 Set Goals


As personal trainers we are perfectly capable of setting goals for our clients. We also give them action steps to take and probably go nuts if they do not follow them! What I have found is that personal trainers aren’t quite so good at setting goals for themselves and taking accountability for the success of their businesses. It is crucially important that if you want a full diary, you know what that number means to be full.  Write goals down in positive, present tense statements beginning with the words “I am…”  Most of us focus on what we don’t want rather than what we do want.

#2 Rule Of 5


Once you have set goals for your business, it is important to provide yourself with goal accelerating techniques. The Rule of 5 is probably my most effective goal accelerating technique that helped me build my business fast. In a nutshell, the rule of 5 is 5 things you can do each day to get you closer to your goal.  An example of which would be getting 5 people booked into your diary each day for a free taster or consultation.

shoulder workout

#3 Science Of Reciprocation


The science of reciprocation whilst sounding complicated is incredibly simple and incredibly effective in a sales setting. Essentially, when you give someone something for free, they feel they have to reciprocate this gesture by agreeing with what you are asking for. In a PT’s scenario this is often agreeing to booking in for that free session.  Utilising the science of reciprocation correctly with the following sentence will swiftly make gym floor walking a breeze and give an almost 100% booking rate when interacting with members on the gym floor.  “Hi how’s it going? I don’t know if you know, the gym are giving away free PT sessions all next week, when are you free?” This requires neither a yes or no answer.  You are giving the member a free session so they automatically want to agree and say yes!

#4 Learn More To Earn More


People like an expert. This doesn’t mean you have to know everything. From my experience of working with Personal Trainers on a 1-2-1 basis, they do not make their packages clear enough.  Be clear on what makes you valuable to the prospective client in front of you.  You have a lot to offer, and honestly, when it comes to exercise prescription and nutrition planning; compared to your client, you are the expert.  Show it! If however, there is something to expand on in terms of your knowledge, do not wait to do so.  Your value and therefore earning capacity will rise with your knowledge.

muscle contraction

#5 Nudges


I am all too aware of the potential egotistical nature of some of our colleagues in the fitness industry. Remember this, if nothing else you’ve read today. You are in the service industry, there to deliver a valuable service to your clients and exceed expectations! Be the most liked person in your gym with nudges.  Nudges are a sales approach that the prospective client would never know about.  My best ever client, income, results and relationship wise came from simple nudges and being the person they preferred in the gym. All because I said “hello”.


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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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