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How to market yourself as a Fitness Trainer or Influencer.

Congratulations on completing your personal training courses and receiving your long anticipated certificate. I’m so proud of you! Now you probably just framed it and found that special place to show it off, but now you’re staring at it wondering what’s the next step. If this is you, then you my friend are in the right place. I’ve been working with athletes and fitness trainers since 2014, building relationships and creating opportunities for business growth through marketing strategies. In this article I’d like to share a few tips to help you, so if you’re interested in building a successful fitness brand for yourself or struggling with your existing brand, I’ve got your back.

1. Online Presence

Social media - It’s no secret that this would be first on this list. There is so much value in having a presence on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn and others, with Facebook and Instagram being my first two choices. I know we all have our personal views on politics, religion, personal health choices and so on, but you would need to separate your personal page from your brand’s page, so that you’re not “offending” anyone because we’re living in a world now that is highly sensitive and loves to “cancel” for the slightest of things, so make sure you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes. Social media is great for letting your audience know what you’re up to; sharing your flyers, workouts, tips and a little of your personal life, which you should try to keep positive and motivational because that’s the business you’re in. You’re here to motivate, inspire and help clients reach their goals and that should be your priority.

Youtube - This is one of the most powerful of the social media platforms and deserves a place separate from other social networks because of its high value. This is because Youtube enables uploading of videos that are long enough to allow for people to listen, learn and follow workouts.The good thing about YouTube is that you can share your videos across all other platforms, even embed them into websites and blogs which we will touch on in a few minutes.

Online Directories - Without a doubt, online directories are powerful marketing tools. Not everyone knows who you are and how to get in contact with you so registering for online directories such as Yellow Pages and Google Business, would help you stand out and improve your visibility to potential clients. You can register for as many directories as you like. This way you would have a greater chance of showing up in Google searches.

Website / Blog - Now this is where I get excited because I love websites. Over the years, websites have been pushed aside with the advent of social media, which I believe is a great mistake if you are building or have a brand. Not taking away any value from social media but I like to think of social media as renting an apartment - you have rules to follow: You can’t post what you want and how you want to; You share a space with other tenants which can become distracting to a potential client; your other tenants are basically your competitors so it may be difficult to get their attention. Also, you are working with a flighty algorithm which changes almost every other week; your page can be flooded by bots; you’re very limited in your photo dimensions and the list goes on.

A website, on the other hand, is your own house, your own digital real estate where you have the freedom to do what you want and customize it as you wish. Social media should be used to attract customers to your website, where you could seal the deal without distractions from other professionals like yourself. There are many online companies like GoDaddy, BlueHost, Host Gator and others, who facilitate the retailing of domains, hosting and etc but my choice for clients is Name Cheap, I find their prices more reasonable and hosting easy to set up.

A huge benefit of a website is having your own domain name which allows you to create your own customized professional looking email address, for example, john@johndoefitness.com. This is important as to how clients perceive you. Your business should not be using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and others. This does not look professional and could hurt your brand and make you look like you’re not serious about what you do. I would go into more detail as to how you can make the best out of your website in a future article.

Mailing list - Ok, so I know a lot of you are probably saying “Kirky, no one sends emails anymore. We have messenger and WhatsApp!” And yes you do but trust me, email marketing is very effective when done right. You start by creating a mailing list adding people you know and add as you grow your network. Mailing lists are a direct hit at your target audience. Be very careful not to send too much emails so you do not end up in the spam folder. Once a week is good enough. Also make sure the content of your emails are of value and not only sales pitches. Offer tips and advice. I would highly recommend using an Email Service Provider (ESP) like Mail Chimp to automate this process and handle all the heavy lifting for you.

2. Branding

Branding - This is one of the most important and first things you should consider and take seriously. It helps customers identify who you are by using useful tools such as a consistent colour palette throughout your advertising along with a with a logo etc.

Logo - This is the symbol you wear on your chest proudly like Superman. This is how the world identifies you. A logo doesn’t need to be over the top. It could be just a simple mark. It could be related to what you do or it doesn’t even have to. I like simple responsive logos that can easily adapt to every application like T-shirts, app icons, brochures, flyers, social media pages and call cards.

Call cards - Another great tool which will always be relevant. It’s easy to hand someone a call card right there on the spot. You can leave them at gyms, events, and even stick them between the windshield of cars at sporting and fitness events. When designed beautifully, people tend to hold on to them for a while. Just make sure your design isn’t too busy and overpowering your info. I like to have one side dedicated to info and the other for the logo or design.

Flyers - These are still relevant and not as expensive as they used to be. You can print a batch of flyers, not too big. I would recommend 5 1/2” x 8 1/2”, that’s half of a letter sized sheet, and put in mailboxes in your community and around your city. You’d be surprised to see the results.

I know what you're thinking... "I'm not a graphic designer or I don't know where to start, but not to worry that's why I'm here. There are a lot of online tools and software you can use like Canva, but if you are too busy and would prefer to let a professional take care of all your design needs, there is always Fiverr to the resuce."


Ok folks, this one is crucial. You can have all the great marketing techniques in the world but get this wrong and you will fail miserably, so pay attention. This may be tough to hear for some and may be a challenge for others, but they’re important.

Your image - You are also your brand! And you should always make sure that you look the part. I don’t mean that you have to be cut and jacked. I mean you can’t look like an unhealthy person. You cannot motivate anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. In this case, your body image is important. Would you hire someone who looks unhealthy to train you to get results that they don’t even have? Would you feel motivated? I don’t think so, unless you are a retired athlete or bodybuilder and no longer in your prime; but you are just getting started so please, look the part.

Be approachable - I see so many trainers trying to get clients by posting their personal hardcore workouts, grunting and growling, beating their chest in their string muscle vest and tights. As good as you may look to yourself and your gym buddies, to potential clients, you look scary, full of yourself and unapproachable. No one is going to take you seriously or feel comfortable to ask you for training services or help if you act this way. Instead, try getting some branded tees or compression tops to have a more professional look. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with your muscle vest, but when making videos for your business, you are in work mode and need to look professional.

Instead of making videos of yourself growling and grunting while training, try showing yourself training someone instead. This will be more effective as potential clients will also be looking for someone with a good personality. Let them see how you interact with clients through your promo videos instead. Make sure to mention in your videos that it’s ok to ask you for help. This also goes for in the gym. Offer to help spot someone who seems like they’re struggling or not sure of what they’re doing. A lot of potential clients are at the gym wanting help but too scared to ask because everyone is walking around looking serious and scary. With this little change you will see a mountain of a difference. A great tip for being or appearing more approachable would be to smile more. It’s proven that smiles are contagious and instantly makes others feel comfortable around you, even enough to approach you and ask for help.

As we’re coming to the end of this article, I would like to close with a couple bonus tips.

Bonus Tips

Collaborate and attend events - Don’t worry too much about competition. Focus on putting yourself out there and collaborating with other trainers, supplement and fitness stores, massage clinics and other professionals. Trade call cards with them, offer each other’s services to people who may need them, trusting that they do the same. There is power and growth in networking. And lastly, attend more health and fitness related events such as bodybuilding competitions, expos, fitness challenges and even outdoor fitness activities. These events will help with meeting other professionals and potential clients. Do this and watch your network grow and also your business. Remember to make sure to wear your brand proudly and professionally at every event that you attend. Have your call cards ready, a big welcoming smile and enjoy the journey. All the best to you my friend, stay motivated!

Kirk Padmore

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