9 Powerful Personal Training (PT) Membership Promotions To Get New Clients

Apr 9, 2024 - 12 min read
A smiling personal trainer in a red t-shirt holding a clipboard in a gym with exercise equipment in the background. (PT Membership Promotions)

Many personal trainers believe that the most challenging part of their career is getting certified and that once they achieve this milestone, clients will automatically start coming to them. However, this is far from the truth.

Becoming a personal trainer is just the beginning; it’s equally important to adopt the role of a marketer and find creative ways to promote yourself.

This is particularly crucial for those who aspire to be independent personal trainers, managing their own fitness business without being affiliated with a gym and limited to training gym members.

Lucky for you, in this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most effective PT membership promotions that can help you begin attracting clients on your own.

1. Write For Fitness Blogs as an Expert

A man with headphones on smiling while working on a laptop in a café setting, with a cup of coffee and a smartphone beside him.

For this approach, you need to think and act like a writer. This means reaching out to other blogs to tackle specific questions that people are searching for online.

Your main goal here is to become recognized as an expert among fitness professionals in the fitness world.

But, before you start reaching out, it’s important to have a base, which is your own website filled with articles on different fitness topics.

This step is crucial because when you offer to write a guest post for a fitness blog, the blog owners will likely want to know about your experience and expertise.

They might check your LinkedIn or your social media profiles, but having articles on your own site is a big plus.

It gives them a chance to see your writing style, how well you research, and your knowledge of the subjects you’ve written about.

Here’s how you can do it: If your interest lies in the area of home workouts, your first move is to search for “home workouts” on Google.

The blogs that show up in those search results are seen by Google as top authorities in that niche.

Your next step is to visit these websites, contact them one by one, and suggest a topic that you think would fit well on their blog.

Offer to write this content for them for free, but in exchange, ask them to include an author bio for you on their website.

This strategy not only helps you promote yourself but also builds your credibility in the fitness industry.

2. Run Targeted Facebook Ads

The words "AD CAMPAIGN" displayed on a paper with an upward-trending graph, lying on a desk with a keyboard and stationery.

Did you know Facebook has more than 3 billion active users? Just think about the number of these people who:

  • Are actively looking for a personal trainer.
  • Think they might need a personal trainer but haven’t started searching.
  • Don’t know that a personal trainer could help them.

Using Facebook’s targeted ads can help you reach these groups. The way Facebook ads work is pretty cool because you can choose to show your ads to people from a certain country, who are interested in specific things, and even select by gender or age.

Facebook has an AI based algorithm that tracks what users do, like which health and fitness pages they follow or the posts they like and comment on.

It remembers this and shows them more stuff it thinks they will like, keeping them on Facebook as long as possible.

You can use this to your advantage to promote your services. Here’s how:

Start by making a catchy image that stands out. Something like this:

A promotional fitness club ad with text "STAY FIT NOT STILL" offering a 50% off deal, featuring an image of a woman working out.

Then, create a special page on your website called a landing page. This is where people will go when they click on your ad.

You could offer a bunch of things here, like a free chat with you, a 30-day fitness challenge they can sign up for, or direct offers for your personal training services with different time options and membership fees for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or a year.

When someone sees your ad on Facebook and clicks on the “learn more” button, they should be taken straight to your landing page.

With targeted ads, Facebook will show your ad to people who are interested in health and fitness. This makes it really likely that they will click on it and reach out to you.

3. Create a Youtube Channel

A woman positioned in a squat with hands in a prayer position, facing a smartphone on a tripod, possibly recording a workout session.

YouTube might look like it’s tough to get noticed on, but the trick is to just show off what you do best.

For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you can make videos that help your viewers. These could be:

  • A 45-minute workout session you can do at home without needing any weights
  • A 30-minute cycling workout that gets your heart pumping
  • Sharing your daily eating routine as a personal trainer

To start making these videos, all you need is a camera and your home as a backdrop.

Consider YouTubers like Chloe Ting, who at the time of writing this article has 25 million subscribers, and Emi Wong, with 6.6 million for inspiration.

They create workout videos that people can easily follow from their homes.

The huge number of subscribers and views they get shows there’s a big audience out there looking for this kind of content.

As a personal trainer, you have a chance to dive into this market by showing various workouts that people can do with you through your videos, right from their living rooms.

You can also add a link in the description of your videos to a page where people can sign up for more personalized training services with you.

This way, by putting out free content, you build a relationship and trust with your audience.

If they like what they see, they might decide to reach out to you and sign up for personal one-on-one training sessions.

4. Make Reels On Instagram

A woman in fitness attire flexing her arm muscles while taking a selfie with her smartphone, sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat next to a jump rope, water bottle, and exercise ball.

Like YouTube, Instagram is also a great place to share your knowledge and build a group of loyal followers. These followers could become your personal training clients later on.

However, you need to approach Instagram differently than YouTube. On Instagram, short videos called reels are what people love the most.

Research shows that reels get 22.6% more engagement than regular longer videos.

This means you should focus on making quick, 1-minute videos that answer specific questions people might have, like:

  • How many days a week should you exercise?
  • Why is stretching after your workout important?
  • How can you figure out how many calories you should eat?
  • The difference between doing push-pull vs upper-lower workouts

Besides these, you can also post videos of yourself training clients, in both personal training sessions and in group classes, showing them the right way to do exercises.

Or you can share clips of yourself doing a workout or talking about why a certain exercise is good.

The main idea is to showcase your knowledge about personal training and to gather followers who enjoy and find value in what you post.

Once you’ve built up a small group of a few hundred followers, you can start to offer them your training services.

5. Build an Email List

A blue card with the text "JOIN OUR MAILING LIST NOW!" coming out of a red envelope, against a wooden background.

This method is old but still works very well. To start building an email list, you first need a blog or a social media account that gets some visitors.

The first step is to create something valuable that you can offer to your visitors or followers for no charge. This could be a free 7-day workout plan in a PDF or a 1-hour masterclass video on a certain topic in the fitness niche.

For someone to get this free item, they just need to provide their first name and their email address. You can collect these emails using services like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.

Once you have their email address, you have a way to reach out to them directly. So, let’s say you have collected 100 emails.

Now, you decide to offer your personal training services to these people. You can send them an email offering a pacakage on personal training.

Even if only 10 people out of those 100 decide to sign up, you’re still looking at earning a significant amount.

Once someone buys packages from you later on, if you create a digital product or course, you can offer early access to them at a discounted rate.

This is why building an email list is one of the top ways to market yourself as a personal trainer and to make a direct connection with people who enjoy your content.

6. Encourage Referrals By Offering Free Personal Training Sessions For a Week

A conceptual image highlighting a "REFERRAL PROGRAM" with a megaphone and cut-out text, set against a bright blue background.

If you’ve got a few clients, ask them to tell their friends to come train with you. If they do, the new person will get a week of training for free with you, and the person who brought them in will get an extra month of training without paying more.

People really like getting the most out of what they pay for, especially when they get something valuable without paying extra membership dues.

If you have a few clients who have been with you for some time, it means they like your training style and are seeing progress toward achieving their health and fitness goals.

So, if you give them a reason to tell their family and friends about you, like an extra month of training for free, not only do they get more value, but their friend or family member also gets to see what training with a personal trainer is like.

This could be a new experience compared to working out alone. And, if they enjoy your training, they might decide to sign up for more.

Reaching out through your current clients is a smart way to get your name out there. By giving them something extra for referring someone to you, your loyal clients help find new people for you.

You just need to provide a great training experience to the potential new clients they bring to you, and then turn these newcomers into regular clients.

7. List Yourself in Personal Training Directories

A website interface offering a search function for finding certified personal trainers, categorized by various fitness disciplines.

Think of the internet as a big city and online directories are like billboards. The more billboards you have with your name on them, the more likely people are to see you and give you a call.

Thats why it is important that you list yourself as a personal trainer in as many directories as possible especially if you are just starting out.

Here is how you can do it:

  • Step 1: Search for websites that list personal trainers. These can be general fitness directories or specific ones related to your area or type of training, like yoga or bodybuilding.
  • Step 2: Sign up and fill out your profile on each site. Make sure to include what makes you a great trainer, your certifications, and how you’ve helped others.

If you specialize in HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), list yourself in directories that focus on HIIT workouts.

You could be on a website like FindYourTrainer.com and also on local business directories like Yelp.

8. Team Up with Health-Based Businesses

A woman in a gym, flexing her bicep while holding a green supplement bottle, with shelves of fitness products in the background.

Think about a local organic cafe that’s popular among young people. You approach the cafe owner with a proposal: for every customer from the cafe who signs up for a personal training session, you offer a free initial consultation plus a 10% discount on their first package purchase.

In return, the cafe could offer a 20% discount voucher on their next purchase to everyone who completes a month of training with you.

Additionally, you could organize a monthly “Healthy Start Workshop” together, combining a short fitness session led by you and a nutritious breakfast provided by the cafe.

The idea is to create a network of local businesses that support each other. This network is built on the understanding that when one business thrives, it can positively impact all others within the network.

This strategy uses the existing customer base of each business to introduce new products or services, like your personal training, to a wider audience.

Here is how you can implement this:

  • Identify Potential Partners: Look for businesses that share a similar client base but are not direct competitors. These could include health food stores, cafes that focus on healthy eating, local gyms without personal training services, sports equipment stores, and wellness centers.
  • Create a Proposal: Your proposal should clearly outline the benefits of the partnership for both parties. This could be a simple verbal agreement or a more formal written proposal. The key is to make the partnership as beneficial for them as it is for you.
  • Promotion Ideas: Besides cross-referring clients, you could co-host events or nutrition focused workshops, sponsor a health challenge together, or even create joint advertising campaigns. The goal is to generate interest and engagement among both customer bases.

9. Make Your Training Style Special

Two women high-fiving in a gym, one holding a towel and water bottle, the other holding a clipboard, celebrating a workout session.

Create something that is unique and is only offered by you. For this, you have to get creative.

For example, you can create a unique training program called “ZenRun,” which combines the mindfulness of yoga with the cardio benefits of running.

The program is designed to help clients reduce stress while improving their fitness through methods including strength training. To promote ZenRun, you could:

  • Create a Series of Introductory Videos: Share these on Instagram and YouTube, explaining the concept of ZenRun and demonstrating some beginner exercises.
  • Use Client Testimonials: For instance, “John, a 35-year-old software developer, felt burnt out and struggled with weight gain. After joining ZenRun, he lost 20 pounds, feels more energetic, and has found a new way to manage stress. John’s story could be shared in your marketing materials and social media, providing a relatable success story for potential clients.
  • Host a Free ZenRun Workshop: Partner with a local park or community center to offer a free introductory session. This not only allows people to experience ZenRun firsthand but also serves as a live advertisement for your program.

After adequate promotion, there will be enough buzz about this training program on social media channels to start getting inquiries from people that you can turn into long-term clients.


As an independent personal trainer, you’re also an entrepreneur, which means wearing different hats to promote your business. At times, you’ll need to be a writer, at others a social media personality, and sometimes a smooth salesperson.

With the timeless strategies mentioned previously, you can begin to effectively promote your business. We suggest implementing one idea at a time.

For instance, you could start by creating a blog and writing a few articles, then move on to Instagram, and afterward, perhaps YouTube.

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Carmen Blanco Moreno

Marketing ES

Carmen is part of Virtuagym's marketing team, where her dedication to fitness and her passion for marketing allow her to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. Her commitment to wellness and her creativity aim to inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.