Wondering how to market online fitness coaching or personal training? More and more PTs are moving their businesses online but marketing in the digital world needs a slightly different approach. So, how can you promote your online training services and maximise your income?

In this article – learn how to market online fitness coaching and get more virtual clients.

We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we know first-hand what works (and what doesn’t!). We’ve helped personal trainers, fitness coaches, and content creators to successfully promote their businesses online, so our digital marketing strategies are tried and tested.

Here are 10 of the most effective ways to market online personal training or fitness coaching that are proven to work for our clients…

  1. Pick an under-served fitness niche
  2. Establish a strong online presence
  3. Optimise your fitness website for conversions
  4. Run online fitness challenges
  5. Get creative with your social media
  6. Use content marketing
  7. Run online ads
  8. Use limited-time offers
  9. Guest post on other websites
  10. Network and build partnerships

Let’s explore each of them in more detail…

List of ways to market online fitness coaching

You might also like… How To Make More Money as a Personal Trainer.

1 – Pick an Under-served Fitness Niche

The online fitness market is competitive with influencers, bloggers, and professional trainers all trying to stand out. In a crowded industry, it’s much easier to market something that’s a little bit different. It gives you an edge over your more generic competitors and allows you to really focus on a specific target audience.

(Don’t worry if you’ve already committed to a competitive fitness niche – we’ve got lots of other ways to you to market yourself further down).

As an online personal trainer, it’s important to do your homework and find a niche that’s in demand. This might be one that’s under-served (like training older adults) or a new training method that’s trending in fitness (and others haven’t yet caught on to). By focusing on a specific exercise or audience niche, you’ll have a much better chance of standing out online and getting clients quickly.

Learn more… How To Find The Perfect Target Market For Your PT Business or How To Teach Online Fitness Classes

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2 – Establish a strong online presence

If you want to market your online fitness coaching successfully, you’ll need to establish a solid online presence. Your audience size and engagement will determine how well you can sell your online workout programmes, exercise plans, fitness ebooks, or anything else.

Here are two scenarios:

  1. There’s a regular Instagram user who is quite active on the platform and has amassed lots of followers through engaging in productive conversations. After some time, she launches her online fitness brand and she gets lots of buyers in her first month due to the relationship she’s built before.
  2. A dude opens an Instagram account but he’s hardly online to create content and engage other users. He doesn’t even have 100 followers. One day, he decides to launch an online fitness business and he creates IG posts advertising his services. Sadly, only a handful engage with his post. No one buys from him.
Social Media for Personal Trainers Tile

Whatever you do, be like the first lady. It’s easier to sell products and services when you have an established online presence and engaged following.

You need to build relationships with people and ensure you have a really good online standing. Even if some followers don’t buy from you, they’ll likely refer other people who will.

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Social Media Engagement Guide

A downloadable guide to boosting social media engagement for health and fitness businesses.

3 – Optimise your fitness website for conversions

If you’re selling online fitness coaching or personal training, then it’s vital to set up your website in the right way. A site that’s optimised for lead gen and conversions will dramatically improve your sales.

Some of the most effective tweaks you can make are…

  1. Making it clear what your fitness business does from the outset – your homepage needs to do a great job of clearly and concisely communicating what your product or service is
  2. Including professional photography that reflects the target audience
  3. Setting up an email capture process with a valuable fitness-related lead magnet
  4. Ensuring the site is fully optimised for all device formats so it looks fantastic on mobiles, tablets, and desktops
  5. Focusing on your unique selling point, the fitness market is super-competitive so it’s crucial to highlight what sets you apart
  6. Including a strong money back guarantee – this helps overcome the objection of ‘what if it doesn’t work’
  7. Showcasing success stories that highlight how your product or service has successfully helped people 
  8. FAQs are also important during this stage too, so make sure the FAQ section is easily accessible at point of pre-purchase – this helps address any objections
  9. Include logos from credible clients or famous websites that have reviewed your business
  10. Offer an additional freebie if they purchase within a set time-frame e.g. bonus resources for signing up today.

By optimising your fitness training website for conversions, you’ll generate more sales from your existing visitors.

Learn more… 20 ways to get more sales from your fitness website.

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Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage & Convert More Clients

4 – Host online fitness challenges

People love fitness challenges, especially with the promise of freebies that often accompany them. They motivate people to take action and give them a taster of your online fitness coaching or training style. They’re a great lead generation method for online fitness trainers since they attract prospective clients and warm them up for the sale.

The key to using fitness challenges to market your online coaching is aligning the theme with your end product. That way people will be more likely to progress from the free challenge to a paid PT programme.

So, if you sell a fitness coaching programme for new mums, then you could run a ’10-minute workout challenge’ that teaches people how to find time for exercise around a busy parenting schedule. Ensure you have a follow-up email sequence that encourages people to upgrade to your paid programme afterwards.

Asking participants to post about their progress can also generate buzz online. Get them to post photos and videos of themselves engaging in specific workout sessions. Ask them to tag your profile or use branded fitness hashtags that relate to your programme. This can make even more people aware of what you do and be great publicity for your online fitness business.

Fitness Challenge Ideas List

5 – Get creative with your social media

The average person’s attention span these days is about 8 seconds. This means you only have 8 seconds to convince people that your content is read-worthy. The best way to hook your reader’s attention is through engaging and creative personal training posts.

People are tired of seeing regular stuff. To stand out, you’ll need to up your game and do it consistently.

It’s not enough to post workout videos and gym selfies. They might be fun but they aren’t going to persuade people to hand over their hard-earned money for your coaching programme.

The most effective social media strategies for online coaches combine education, inspiration, and interaction. You need to tell followers about your training programmes and why they’re awesome, help them see that they can achieve results, and get them to act (even if it’s just commenting at first).

Fitness Themed Social Media Content

So, create social media content with these three pillars in mind. Taking this strategic approach will ensure that your fitness posts, Reels, and Stories actually generate leads and clients for your business.

Learn more… by reading our articles on Instagram ideas for fitness trainers, Facebook marketing for PTs, or TikTok for fit pros.

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Fitness Instagram Growth Roadmap

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6 – Use fitness content marketing

Content marketing is a powerful promo strategy for online fitness coaches and trainers. Writing blog posts and creating videos can help you get found by search engines and convince more people to sign up for your services.

We recommend that fit pros approach content creation by thinking about these questions…

  • What is it you offer and what are the benefits?
  • Who would benefit from your offering and why?
  • What types of fitness goals can your coaching help achieve?
  • What are the most common questions that people have about training?
  • What are typical barriers for clients or objections to purchasing?

You can probably come up with several answers for each of these questions. Each of these can then form the basis of several pieces of content. You can come at each one from different angles and use different formats, so that one idea becomes 5+ blogs, videos, or social posts.

Learn more… a simple guide to content marketing for fitness brands.

Personal Trainer Marketing Tile

7 – Run online adverts

A quick and effective way to market online fitness coaching is using online ads. We recommend pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to most of our fitness clients since it’s highly targeted and generates quality leads. For most trainers, running a Google Ads campaign will deliver strong immediate results.

Another option is to use ads on social media. Most platforms offer advertising options for businesses that want to promote their products and services. Social ads can be highly targeted but the leads aren’t as warm as ones from Google Ads, so you’ll need to do a bit more work to nurture them.

If you opt for social media advertising, then you’ll need to define your target market precisely before setting up your ad. Targeting options include age, gender, interests, etc. so you’ll need to know the types of client you want before diving in.

Or you can choose to boost your existing social media posts so that they reach more people. This way you don’t need to create ads but just reuse your previous content. There are options to suit all budgets – the key to generating a strong return on investment is having a lead capture and nurture sequence (such as an email series) in place.

8 – Use limited-time offers

You can also use limited-time offers to encourage more people to sign up. Without a deadline, many people will put off their purchasing decision for another day. They might forget and end up not buying at all.

But you can use special offers to drive more people to take action immediately. If they don’t, then they risk missing out on whatever juicy offering you’ve got lined up.

Some online businesses use discounts to incentivise purchases – ‘get 20% off if you sign up by Friday!’. Others offer upgrades or extras to drive action – ‘get a free meal plan with your coaching if you sign up by Friday!’.

You might also like… Fitness promos & special offer ideas to boost sales quickly.

9 – Guest post on other websites

Chances are you know a blog that boasts of massive readership. You can opt to write for the blog for free. The catch is that your details will be added as the author of the post.

You can also include a link that’ll redirect readers to your website or blog. Does that tell you that you need a website and blog for your online personal training business? It definitely should.

10 – Network & build partnerships

Network with other fitness industry professionals or businesses that serve your target market. Create partnerships with others, whether they’re in the same niche as you or different ones. You’ll be able to share insights, get new ideas, and also learn from others mistakes.

You can also collaborate on lead generation efforts, online events, or social media takeovers. It’s a great way to get in front of new audiences who might be interested in your coaching. Broadening your networks can also lead to more recommendations and referrals, helping you become the ‘go-to’ trainer for your niche.

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Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage & Convert More Clients

Get The Fitness Marketing Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage, and Convert More Clients – Tailored Specifically for Fitness Businesses Like Yours!

The Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap is a comprehensive resource designed for gyms, personal trainers, and online fitness businesses. It’s packed with video workshops, marketing templates, step-by-step guides, cheat sheets, and more. We cover:

  • Fitness Marketing Strategy: Build a solid foundation and plan for success.
  • Lead Generation: Attract more clients with effective tactics.
  • Social Media: Boost your online presence and engagement.
  • Email Marketing: Nurture leads and convert them into loyal customers.
  • Advertising & Promotion: Get your message out there efficiently.
  • Content Marketing: Create compelling content that resonates with your audience.
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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.