Knowing your target market for personal training is vital for your success. It makes sales and marketing 100x easier, while helping you to maximise revenue too. 

In this article – we explain how to identify your target market as a personal trainer with practical examples for your PT business.

Why define a target market?

When it comes to promoting your personal training services, you have lots of different options. Social media, advertising, flyers, events – the list can be overwhelming. But WHO you target is just as important as HOW you market to them.

Identifying your ideal client is the first step of any successful marketing strategy. The more precise you can be, the easier it is to develop tailored messaging an appeal to specific niches.

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So, why is it so important to identify your target audience or ideal client? Here are some key reasons…


Firstly, it helps you better understand them. This enables you to develop more effective products, services, marketing messages, and sales pitches, that actually appeal to THEIR specific needs. Understanding your ideal client informs all aspects of PT marketing, from which social media platform you should use to the best place to advertise.


It also allows you to target your promotional efforts at specific types of people instead of the mass audiences. Talking directly to people who are ideally suited for your services, makes your sales and marketing efforts MUCH more effective. This means you’ll get a much better return on your time and money.


It also enables you to focus your time, money, and effort on attracting clients that YOU want to work with. Instead of being reactive, and trying to sell to anyone who might be interested, you can be much more selective about who YOU want to spend time training. And then be proactive about attracting those types of client.


And lastly, it shortens and simplifies the sales process, which saves you time and effort. Because ultimately, it’s much easier to sell to someone who wants and can afford your services.

But gyms and personal trainers typically neglect this crucial step and just go after everyone, often because they aren’t sure who to target…

How to find your personal training target market

So, let’s take the guesswork out of it. Here are the steps to finding your target market for personal training services…

  1. Define your training interests
  2. Identify your ideal client
  3. Find and appeal to them

These steps are slightly different for defining the target market for a gym. So, if you plan on opening a PT studio you might want to read both articles so you can cover everything.

1 – Define your training interests

Step one is to define which types of training you’re interested in. Do you enjoy delivering a specific type of session, such as HIIT or plyometrics? Or is there a specialist training area that you’re particularly interested in, like post-natal or martial arts?

Here are some training interests to spark your own ideas…

You don’t need to choose just one area – you could select 2-3 if you have varied interests. Some areas are more niche or limited than others, so will therefore have a smaller target market that are interested. It therefore makes sense to combine a couple if you’re going after these.

2 – Identify your ideal client

Your ideal clients are the people you REALLY want to work with… They’re the people who are ideally suited to your products or services. The ones who’ll truly appreciate and value what you have to offer, and have the money to pay for it.

Ideal clients are also known as your target audience, customer avatar, or client persona – they’re all essentially the same thing. The reason we like ‘ideal client’ is because it refers to the buyer as a person, instead of an abstract concept. But it doesn’t really matter, the important thing is to know who you want to work with. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself that’ll help with identifying your personal training target market…

  • Which types of people do I get most satisfaction from training?
  • Who would benefit most from my personal training services?
  • Who will value my training offering?
  • Which people have the disposable income to pay for personal training?

You can go a step further by thinking about demographics. This can be helpful if you’re planning on advertising to your target market. Social media platforms will ask you for demographic info about the audience you’re trying to target with ads, so your advertising efforts will be more effective if you can define this.  

Demographics info includes considerations like…

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Education 
  • Income
  • Location

Some marketing companies go all-out on defining a detailed customer avatar but in our experience, this is overkill for personal trainers. It’s easy to spend a lot of time researching this but what matters is the actionable insights that you can actually use.

3 – Find and appeal to them

Now you know the type of person you’d like to target, you need to find and appeal to them. Think about where they’re likely to hang out, either online or in person. Where can you get in front of them?

  • Which social media platforms do they use?
  • Which blogs, websites, or magazines do they read?
  • Where do they eat, drink or shop in your local area?

By identifying where they are, you can devise a marketing approach that targets them. It might be a social media campaign, influencer partnership, or in-store workshop. There are lots of different marketing methods you can choose from once you know where they are.

You can also tailor your message to appeal to them. Now you know who they are and how they’ll benefit from your training, shout about it! Create marketing materials, such as social media posts or in-club posters, that address their specific needs.  

Personal Trainer Target Market Example

Let’s look at a specific example – a good target market for personal trainers is amateur sports hobbyists. These are people who have sport-related hobbies that they take quite seriously such as triathletes, cyclists, and golfers. They don’t participate at a professional level but do compete in events on a regular basis.

Why Target Them?

There are several reasons to target amateur hobbyists – dedication, value, and investment.

  1. Dedication – These people are incredibly passionate about their chosen sport and really want to be the best they can be. This means that they have a level of dedication that you won’t find in other types of clients so they’ll rarely miss or cancel scheduled sessions, because training is a high priority for them.
  2. Value – Amateur hobbyists will value what you offer. If you can package up a training program that’ll increase their speed, endurance, or technique, then they will see that as highly valuable. This reduces the amount of ‘selling’ that’s needed as you generally don’t need to convince or persuade them of the value, because they see it straight away.
  3. Investment – sports enthusiasts are used to investing in their chosen pastime whether it’s spending money on equipment, clothing, or travel to events. So it’s not a stretch for them to invest in personal training if it’ll make them better at their chosen activity. This makes it much easier to sell to them (as long as you have a truly beneficial offering).
Personal Trainer Target Market Example Infographic

Case Study Example – Ironman® Participants

Ironman participants are a classic example of a great target market for personal trainers. The average household income of an Ironman participant is $174,000. These are people who are very passionate about participating – they invest a lot of time in training and money in the right gear.

Since they have relatively high household incomes, you can assume that they have the disposable funds to invest in premium personal training services if they’re properly tailored to their Ironman goal. So it’s definitely worth thinking about which types of amateur sports enthusiasts or hobbyists you could help.

Targeting amateur hobbyists is a super-smart business move for PTs. They’re usually dedicated clients who will value what you offer, and won’t be afraid to pay what it’s worth. The key is to develop a tailored package that’ll help them reach their goals.

If you’re interested in learning how to target ideal clients, then check out our online course – How To Sell Personal Training. It’ll teach you how to identify the best clients for your offering, and then how to target them effectively.

Learn How To Find & Sell To Your Ideal PT Client

Whether you’re a newly qualified PT or veteran trainer, ‘selling’ can be the most daunting and confusing aspect of the job. Our online course breaks it down into simple, actionable steps, and removes the ‘hard sell’ aspect.

How To Sell PT Online Course

Personal Training Sales Success [Online Course]

Learn the exact steps to finding profitable, long-term clients (minus the old-school, sleazy sales tactics).

This online course condenses 15+ years of fitness sales and marketing knowledge into 8 easy modules. It contains all the info we wish we’d known when first starting out, including…

  • Why You ARE Cut Out For Selling (Even If You Think You Aren’t)
  • Essential Selling Skills For The Ethical Fitness Pro
  • Profitable Pricing Strategies
  • Identifying Your Ideal Client
  • Establishing A Client Base
  • Networking & How To Approach People In The Gym
  • Creating Effective Testimonials
  • Closing The Sale & Handling Objections

You’ll receive 30 bite-size videos plus downloadable worksheets and templates. Preview the content for FREE or enroll today and learn how to get new PT clients immediately!

Target Market Personal Training Pinterest

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.