How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Personal Training Business
In this article, we’ll explore how you can use social media to grow your business as a personal trainer and gain clients, with top tips from fitness influencer Faya Nilsson, of Fitness on Toast.
Getting started on social media as a PT
The first step is to identify the platforms you want to be active on. If you’re just starting out, we recommend Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a website (you can read our tips about how to start a personal training website here), a personal blog allows you to showcase more about your expertise and training style, and allows prospective PT clients to get to know you.
Pinterest and Youtube are also great places to create fitness content that will attract clients, but we wouldn’t recommend spreading yourself too thinly to start with: focus on two or three primary platforms first.
Be passionate and authentic
Don’t post things for the sake of it. Identify your passion points, where you can showcase your expertise, and it’ll come naturally. For Faya, this is the most important thing:
“I only ever write about topics on my blog that I’m truly passionate about. It’s clear to see when something is inauthentic – but if you’re writing from the heart, it shines through and people connect with that. You can’t please everyone,” she notes, “so don’t just jump on a trend. Stay true to yourself.”
Don’t be tempted to buy followers
In recent years, there has been an explosion of websites offering thousands of Instagram followers for as little as $10 per 1000. But don’t fall for it: this is a vanity metric and will ultimately damage your growth in the long-term.
The social network algorithms will only show your content to your followers if people are engaging with it. If your followers are all bots, no-one will be liking, commenting or sharing your posts: and so they’ll be deprioritised in the algorithms, meaning no-one will see your content.
Identify content themes
OK, so you’ve got the accounts: now to start posting! Faya recommends identifying 3-5 content pillars. Hers are:
- Fitness Fashion
- Nutrition and recipes
- Active travel
“When people land on your Instagram grid, they’ll make a choice about whether to follow you or not. If your grid is a balanced reflection of all your main areas, you’ll start to attract the right followers.”
Worried about getting the perfect shot? Apps like Snapseed or A Colour Story will help you edit your photos and make them look professional. Try and strive for well-lit photos that follow a consistent visual theme.
Think of your Instagram grid as a visual portrayal of you and your services as a PT. If you have tons of photos of your cat, you may get followers – but are they going to be the right followers? Always have your target audience in mind.
That doesn’t mean you can’t post personal content! In fact, personality is what can be the key differentiator between you and other local PTs. Instagram Stories is the perfect place to showcase more relaxed content and give people an insight into who you are as a person.
Create tailored content for each platform
Social networks are all very different: keep this in mind when you’re starting out. As a general rule:
- Twitter - Newsworthy, quick updates related to trending topics
- Instagram Grid - Polished, edited photography or video, fitness tips, guides, inspiration
- Instagram Stories - An informal, fun and creative place to share snippets of your day
- Facebook - Articles, photos, videos…anything goes here, but crucially, it’s the best place to reach niche markets if you’re prepared to pay for advertising
It takes longer, but it’s so much more rewarding when you’ve worked to create an engaged following. Social media is just that: social – think of it as a two-way conversation rather than a platform for you to talk about yourself.
There are many ways to use social media to find personal training clients.
Faya says: “Check in and see what’s going on locally – are there people you could partner up with? Are there relevant courses or activities nearby?”
- Hashtags - Sites like Trendsmap allow you to see trending topics geographically
- Facebook Groups - Most local communities have Facebook Groups dedicated to what’s going on in the area. Join as many as possible and integrate yourself into the community, and listen out for opportunities to promote your business.
- Twitter Advanced Search - Search by keyphrase or keyword geographically to find people talking about topics relevant to your PT business.
“People are so friendly in the fitness community,” says Faya. “If you’re looking to forge relationships, reach out with a DM – most people will be thrilled to make a mutually beneficial connection.”
She also recommends following brands such as Adidas, Asics, Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, who often run events that function as excellent networking opportunities.
Social media doesn’t work unless you stick at it. It can be overwhelming to try and remember to post every day – so use a free scheduling tool to help you stay organised. Buffer is free and lets you ‘queue’ updates that will be spread throughout the week.
Stick at it!
It takes time to grow a loyal and engaged social media following, and patience is key. Much like our industry’s mantra: keep going, and you’ll see results!