How to Market a Personal Training Business When You Have No Money

There’s no denying that launching a new business can be pretty challenging, especially given the current events occurring in the world. Despite that, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs launch start-ups that turn out to be hugely successful each year.

One of the most rewarding yet lucrative industry in the United States is the personal trainer and fitness services. It has a market size worth around $10 billion according to the latest IBISWorld report on the industry and keeps almost three-quarters of a million people employed.

If you’re passionate about fitness and want to share that passion with others, you’ll undoubtedly want to ensure that your personal training business keeps on growing. When you’re low on money or new in the field, you might not be able to invest in adverts and employ other paid marketing options.

Worry not. The good news is that it’s still very much possible to promote your services to others on a shoestring budget (or even for free). Here are 10 tested and tried methods you can employ to find yourself new clients.

1. Online Content Creation

One fact you’ll have noticed about the Internet there are many to publish content. Examples include blogs, news websites and portals, and, of course, social networking sites. But, how can online content creation help your fitness marketing?

Many people gain inspiration for their personal training and fitness goals by looking online. They read articles on fitness-related websites and follow celebrities, athletes, and sports figures on their social media profiles.

You can gain inspiration for content creation by researching topics that interest your target audience, and interviews with those people using Google Trends.

​While publishing valuable content consistently might not bring in cash straight away, building trust with your audience will pay off on the long term.

2. Google My Business

It makes no difference whether you have a fitness studio or operate as a mobile personal trainer who visits clients in their homes or elsewhere. What does is how easily your potential clients can find you via an Internet search.

According to recent statistics, Google takes up almost 92% of the search engine marketmeaning most people use Google for their online searches.

As you know, Google is very innovative when it comes to returning relevant search results. One example is displaying a mini-map containing nearby results or ones in a specific search area. If you want people to find you when they do a local search, you need to create a Google My Business listing.

To set up a Google My Business listing, you’ll need a free Google account. Use that to sign in to Google and visit the Google My Business website to enter and verify your business name, address details, service and contact information.

3. Public Speaking

The problem with conventional marketing methods is they seldom allow your potential clients to see the “real” you. That is, those methods come across as strictly professional and business-like.

One way to remain professional while connecting to your clients on a personal level is through public speaking. Your audience will also feel they are in the presence of an expert, one that understands their pain points and offers ways to overcome them.

You could get free public speaking gigs at local community events or in locations you target and at seminars and other relevant events.

4. Public Relations (PR)

Public relations or “PR” is a broad term that describes promotional methods that don’t rely on conventional paid advertising techniques. A press release is one example of PR, as can pick up the story and discuss it in newspapers and on the radio.

PR often gets cited as a credible marketing method because you aren’t paying to have your story featured somewhere. You’re simply pitching your stories or concepts to professionals who can influence many readers, listeners, and followers.

Writing and distributing press releases is something you can do for free or relatively cheaply, as it is turning negative events or stories to your advantage. For example, “stuck in another COVID lockdown? Check out these ten free ways to stay in shape at home.”

5. Guest Posting

In a nutshell, guest posting involves writing blog content that gets published on other people’s or business’ blog and online portal. It’s a win-win situation because you get to write relevant content that promotes your services, and the blogs you work with get fresh new content.

The easiest way to find guest posting opportunities is by doing some Google searches, such as:

  • Personal trainer “guest post”;
  • Fitness trainer “guest post by”;
  • Fitness coach “accepting guest posts.”

Keep in mind that some bloggers may demand a fee before publishing content, whereas others are happy to offer a free service. You can also build a rapport with other industries within health services, like physiotherapists, osteopaths or coaches and offer them to write an article about the benefits of exercise while you invite them to write something on the benefits of their services for fitness results.

6. Facebook Groups

Much of your target audience likely use Facebook regularly. It’s one of the world’s leading social, and it’s the perfect way for people to catch up with friends, family members, and influential networks in their lives at times that are convenient to them.

One of the best free ways of fitness marketing on social media is by taking advantage of relevant Facebook groups. These are groups set up by individuals that have an interest in fitness and wellness.

Simply join relevant groups and work towards being an authoritative figure in them. Get actively involved in new discussions, and make sure you introduce yourself to everyone in your first post. A key aspect of commenting and helping out in other people’s groups is to follow their guidelines of interacting with group members, otherwise you might find yourself easily booted for spamming.

Another way of making use of Facebook groups for your marketing efforts is to create your own, post engaging content and keep inviting your own social circle and encourage those who have already joined to invite others in their circles who might be interested in what you have to say.

7. Email Marketing

Email marketing is still a reliable tool you should use in your arsenal. When you promote your website, you can offer visitors a free subscription to your mailing list, where you can offer hints, tips, and even freebies or discounts that are relevant to them.

Consider setting up your email marketing list with MailChimp or other email marketing software you find suitable; it’s easy to do, and you can set it up with your website in no time. Some ways to get new subscribers include cross-promoting on social media and through your guest posting endeavors. Creating an lead magnet and offering that in exchange of your visitors’ email address is also a great way to get new subscribers.

8. Video Marketing

YouTube is the perfect place to attract your target audience with carefully crafted videos that you can embed in your blog and across your social media profiles. You can use your smartphone to record videos and YouTube’s free video editing software to publish them.

One idea to get people viewing your videos is by creating content that helps solve specific problems, such as how to correctly warm-up and cool down after an exercise session.

​Another way to use videos is to add an introduction to your website’s Home page or ask your clients to record video testimonials you can use on your website and on social media.

9. Infographics

Infographics are brilliant ways to turn lots of uninteresting text, facts, and data into something that grabs people’s attention. Use a website like Google Trends to get ideas for infographics to create, and use an inexpensive platform like Canva to create stunning infographics easily.

You can then share your infographics on your website, blog posts, Facebook and Instagram and also as lead magnet.
fitness infographic

10. Brand Partnerships

Working with another brand that offers mutually beneficial services can be a real boon to your marketing efforts. For instance, you could work with a wellness or diet brand to provide packaged services or work together at local and national events.

When researching potential brands to approach, make sure you avoid anyone that competes with what you do or may offer your services to their clients themselves in the future. Also, when working on your pitch to the other brand, know each other’s objectives in the deal.

​Another key aspect to keep in mind is to only partner with bands that you think will be genuinely beneficial to your current and future clients. Finally, determine how you will both measure the success of your collaborations..


The above is a list of the most common free and cheap methods of personal trainer marketing. When you start using some of them, you’ll soon discover how it’s possible to market your services without spending a fortune on your marketing.


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