Would you like to know how to make more money as a personal trainer? Perhaps you’ve got a few clients but want to boost your income. Or you’ve just got certified but aren’t sure where to start.
Whatever stage you’re at, understanding the business element of PT is crucial to your success. Getting to grips with finance and pricing strategies will help you generate strong and consistent revenue. Whether you’re a freelance personal trainer, run a PT studio, or train people online, this guide is for you.
In this article – we explain how to increase your personal training income and make good money in this competitive niche.
How Much Money Do Personal Trainers Make?
The average personal trainer’s income is $31,250 per year or $30.50 per hour. This is almost 30% below the average annual salary in the US of $44,148. But it’s not quite as depressing as it might first seem…
Because when you look at the hourly rate, PTs are actually earning almost $10 more than the national average. But since they tend to work fewer hours per week (around 20 instead of the usual 40) their total income overall isn’t as high.
So how can you increase your personal trainer income? Let’s take a look at the options…
How To Make More Money As a Personal Trainer
It might surprise you to know that there are only four ways to increase your personal trainer income.
These four variables dictate how much (or how little) you earn. By focusing on each of these elements you can dramatically increase your revenue…
- Clients – Increase the number of people who buy from you (e.g. increasing client base from 25 to 30)
- Frequency – Increase how often people buy from you (e.g. training 3x per week instead of 2x)
- Pricing – Increase how much people pay (e.g. raising hourly rate from $50 to $60)
- Upsell – Increase the average transaction value by selling extra add-ons (e.g. adding meal plans for $10 p/m)
Let’s explore how to make more money as a personal trainer in more detail…
#1 – Get More Clients
When PTs want to increase their income, getting more clients is usually top of the list. The slide below is taken from our online training course and outlines the revenue impact that getting more clients can make…
In this example, selling just 10 more sessions per week (at $30.50 per hour), equates to $915 per week. Assuming you take the standard 2 weeks holiday per year and work the remaining 50, then you’d earn over $45,000. That’s 45% more than the average PT salary.
Note ⇒ These are intentionally conservative figures, because we don’t like to exaggerate numbers. We think it’s important to practice what we preach when it comes to integrity… So we use examples that are realistic and achievable for newly qualified PTs, as well as experienced professionals.
The nice thing about this is that it gives you plenty of flexibility. You can fit 30 client hours into 4x 8 hour days, which would allow you to enjoy 3 days weekends! And isn’t that the dream for most of us?!
Getting more clients is all about improving your sales and marketing skills. So actively promote your PT services, and have a process for converting inquiries into sign-ups.
#2 – Increase The Frequency Of Sales
You can also increase your income by selling to existing clients more often. Getting them to buy more frequently, will increase your revenue substantially.
If we take the previous example, those 10 extra sessions could also be from existing clients. Whether they’re from new or current clients, the outcome is still an increase in revenue.
The benefit of this approach is that it can be easier than getting new clients. It takes time for new people to get to know, like, and trust you. Finding new clients and persuading them to buy is a lot more effort than approaching existing ones.
So how do you increase how often people purchase? One way is to divide your packages by training frequency. Give clients the option to train once, twice, or three times per week with you.
As we’ve seen in previous pricing articles, people tend to choose the middle option. So this could help increase purchase frequency from once to twice per week.
Another option is to immediately resign clients at the end of their contract. This ensures you don’t lose 2-4 weeks between their initial package ending, and a new one starting.
Over the course of a year, those extra weeks can add up to several months of training revenue. Automating the process will ensure that no-one slips between the cracks.
Marketing to your existing clients will also increase the frequency of their purchases. Being consistent with your email newsletters, blog articles, and social media posts provides those extra prompts for people to buy.
#3 – Charge Higher Prices
Raising your prices is a quick way to increase your personal trainer income. Here’s the difference that just $10 per hour can make…
By charging just $10 more per session, you’d end up with an annual income of $60,000. Now that’s more like it! Charging higher prices gives you the flexibility to work fewer hours or take more holidays, without reducing your income.
And as you build your experience and skills, you can increase your rates accordingly. Charging $50 – $100 per hour can put your annual salary into the 6-figure bracket.
How To Sell Personal Training ⇒ Our online course includes an entire module on profitable pricing strategies. Instead of charging the bare minimum, you’ll learn how to package your offering in a way that increases your average hourly rate. And you’ll learn how to deal with objections around pricing, so that you convert more inquiries into sales, and give fewer discounts. Learn more here.
The key is to start by identifying the right clients who both need and can afford your services. Then offer a training experience that’s truly valuable to them, and present it in a way that’s appealing and persuasive.
If you’re employed by a gym then you probably have less control over pricing. The gym dictates the rate paid by the client and gives you a proportion.
But you can influence the price that the gym pays you… So ask for a pay rise! This is a great guide on how to approach salary negotiations.
#4 – Upsell More With Every Transaction
Upselling is an excellent way to make more money as a personal trainer. This means getting clients to purchase additional extras on top of their training package. It’s the classic approach that’s used throughout retail, from coffee shops to e-commerce.
In order to make this successful, the upsell needs to align with the client’s goal. So if they want to bulk up, then protein powder would be the ideal upsell. If they’d like to lose weight, then meal plans might be more suitable. Here are a few ideas that you could try…
- Nutrition or training seminars
- Meal plans and shopping lists
- Healthy recipe books
- Supplements and cleanses
- Small group PT sessions
Don’t over-complicate it by offering too many options. People can become paralysed by indecision, and end up buying nothing. So keep it simple by offering just one upsell per client.
Increase Your Personal Trainer Income
Now you know four ways to make more money as a personal trainer. You can increase your number of clients, the frequency they purchase at, the price they pay, or the average transaction value. The next step is to decide which you’ll try first…
Want to learn more about increasing your revenue? Then check out our online course or download the ebook.