If you want to make money as a fitness trainer – more money – there’s more to it than more clients!
After long hours training clients, you go home to try and figure out how to break out from the crowd. It’s a saturated market where the only people who know a good trainer from a bad one are the trainers themselves.
That’s why it can be hard to make more money – but it also means smart thinking and innovation really help you make more money. We’re going to look at a few of the common strategies and principles you can employ from today that can make more money and improve your brand.
Ways To Make Money As A Fitness Trainer
There are two ways to make more money as a fitness trainer: make more money per hour with clients, or open up new revenue streams. These might take more time, but we’re focusing on the things that let you raise your rate and expand into new and lucrative fields.
These aren’t the only options – and they might not all work for you – but they’re a great place to start – and you can probably find something here that you haven’t tried yet!
The first and most important thing to work on is having a niche and specialty that you can sell. For instance, you can choose to only take up clients that want to lose weight, or maybe just gain weight.
You’re selling your time, but also your expertise, and fitness trainers with specific skills can sell at a premium. Improving your pay per session is an important part of the continuous professional development arc.
Getting the right personal trainer is about matching needs to services – and the better your service offerings, the more effectively you can pitch yourself.
It’s a way of both offering more value to clients and being able to set your own price point with more confidence and to a less-competitive niche.
Here is a short video to know more about what it is like to become a fitness trainer…
You want to get paid more for the same time – and you can do that with courses in corrective exercise, injury prevention, and more. Getting specialised is also a great chance to start developing other avenues for income like consultation, and makes you a great person to connect with special need clients.
Get yourself trained up to the max and become an expert in something. It’s a huge way to grow your business, reputation, and your passion for the field!
If you’re properly qualified and effective, you can work in cover for various different markets.
Group fitness training will often require cover, which can be an easy way to build a portfolio early on in your career and develop a better understanding of the different demands of different groups. If you’re on-hand and have the spare time, talk to your studio or gym about offering cover duties.
These typically include a higher rate of pay if you’re smart about negotiating, and can really get your name out there. They’re not always common jobs – and some gyms will have a quid pro quo culture among trainers – but if you can do it, you’ll help others and yourself at the same time.
Freelance Personal Training
More and more people are looking at how to build a home gym.
But this opens up a new income stream for many personal trainers.
Freelance PT jobs are more common than you might think – and online bulletins like UpWork and Fiverr offer a range of clients. These are people who are actively looking for someone – so you don’t even need to market yourself.
You’ll need to deal with the logistics of these set-ups, but they provide fertile ground for references, testimonials, and filling those quieter days/weeks. The point is that you’re doing something that improves your value offering and gets you paid.
Get Involved With Local Groups
Many local groups – from young people to old people, and sports teams to corporate environments – are interested in fitness and wellbeing. Getting involved as a consultant, as a group-trainer, or as a connect for these groups can really help.
This not only has opportunities for direct income benefits, but also a way to make connections with prospective clients. You don’t need everyone to become a client, but if you’re good at your job, then all it’s going to take is a foot in the door.
Help as many people as possible hit a personal record at the gym and you’ll meet more and more potential clients.
Look out for different groups and organisations looking for corporate wellbeing, for fitness consultants, or just pitch your services directly.
Referral Marketing (For Specialists And Others)
Referrals to specialists and other personal trainers can be a fantastic way to leverage your reputation and connections without ever adding more hours to your diary. If your diary is packed, you can start referring out to fellow trainers with a ‘finder’s fee’.
This is perfect if you’re in a transitional period and want more semi-passive income: all you have to do is be well known and dependable. This goes double if you’re an expert or the person you’re referring to is a specialist.
Affiliation And Partnership Schemes
Many trainers have mixed feelings about affiliate marketing and other forms of sales. It’s understandable: nobody wants to sell poor quality products to people who rely on their trustworthy and expert opinion.
However, through multi-manufacturer affiliate programs – even those like Amazon – you can get yourself a small percentage when referring clients or others to products that are actually worth their time.
For example, AppetiteMax is a premium weight gain supplement that offers 40% commissions to all its affiliates.
This kind of affiliation prevents the need to commit to a single product or brand, which can be really damaging if you’re promoting things you don’t wholeheartedly support. Seek out affiliation opportunities for products and services you genuinely believe in – and be open about the relationship you have – and why you’re promoting them!
You can find the best affiliate marketing courses out there here if you want to learn more about how to make money with affiliate marketing.
Provide High-Value E-Offerings
As you become more expert and specialised, there’s always the chance to put out high-value, low-maintenance offerings on the internet. While there’s a bit of a deluge of content out there, there’s a huge difference in the value of the best and the worst.
If you are specialised and expert in one area, you can put that knowledge down – either as a guide for normal people, or as a resource for training- and newly-certified-trainers. Remember that everyone has to learn the things you learned to get the best for their clients.
The more you know, the more you can write. Of course, collaborating with a specialist writer-editor can be a huge benefit to the way that you make these kinds of products and the time they take you. The investment in a writer can easily pay back over time and minimise your time-cost, which you could be spending with clients.
Train Trainers: Work As A Mentor
Once you’re sufficiently senior, you can start engaging with PT-training schools and certifiers as a supervisor or other role. These are simple ways to convert your expertise and time in the field into money, as well as adding an incredibly powerful feather to your cap.
The reputation, connections, and potential for extra work is great with this kind of position. Of course, it does require a lot of time in the field and some work to connect with these organisations. However, getting in with this kind of position can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to level up your work and be respected in the field.
Check out this video to have an in-depth look at how you can make money as a fitness trainer:
This is another way to get the best of a few other major benefits – like better connections, improved relationships with your peers and, ultimately, chances to connect with prospects and new opportunities!
Things To Keep In Mind
Making more money as a fitness trainer isn’t just about more revenue streams. Sometimes it’s not about what you do, but how you do it. Let’s look at a few important considerations that I think most new fitness trainers overlook.
Consider The Time-Investment
You’re paid hourly, so put some real time into considering what any given action costs in time-spent. If you’re going to spend 3 hours to make up 1 hour’s worth of client-time, should you just schedule another hour into your diary?
Make sure that the time you’re spending has the returns that are most important to you – either for the future it builds, for the money it makes, or the emotional value of an hour to yourself. There’s no such thing as a free lunch and you’ll never get time back – so treat it with respect.
It’s also a good idea to pay for specialists in things you’re bad at, even if it’s costing you a few bucks for the service. How much time would that sales letter or e-book cost you if you’d spent that time training clients instead? Put it into perspective.
Be Willing To Chase Opportunity
It’s as simple as being open minded and enthusiastic, sometimes. Opportunities don’t present themselves to negative people who shoot them down without taking the time to work through possibilities.
When someone confronts you with an opportunity, your answers should either be “yes!” or “I’ll think about it”. Don’t jump to a negative – take your time and figure out how you can use any opportunity or opening for yourself and your close peers.
Connect And Be Known For Things
Speaking of opportunity, be connected – it will open up tons of doors, referrals, and different ways to make money.
If the money you are paid is a reflection of the value that you add to people’s lives, then make sure that you’re benefiting those people. When you’re connected with peers, they’ll be able to help you or refer people – and likewise, you’ll become more well known and able to refer to them.
The benefits of connection and networking are a bit cliché. Maybe focus on being friendly and well-known among peers, rather than actively networking. Put yourself in the right rooms, but make sure you’re sincere in your dealings – people will know where they stand and trust you faster.
Check out this video to see if you are fit to become a fitness trainer…
Put People On!
This is the opposite of the last one, but it’s the same: refer to people and support them. You don’t need to network for yourself all the time. Sometimes you become better known and open up opportunities just by helping others.
People remember your kindness and want the best for you – and this simple reciprocity will open doors for you that simply knowing someone might not. Become known for supporting others and you’ll set the expectation of referring, supporting, and encouraging in turn!
There are a lot of ways to make money as a fitness trainer and these are just a few ideas. The more you innovate, the more you’re going to get – and the less competition you’ll have in the area. Use these suggestions – or use them as starting points for your own ground-breaking strategies!
The most important thing is to protect the value of your time, be willing to work with people first and foremost, and be sincere and offer value to clients and peers alike. This is a community effort, and the more you’re offering value and educating yourself, the more people will see you in the light of that value!
Stay open minded, pursue opportunities every chance you get, and be willing to do some selfless work – because it builds a better community to thrive in, even if you don’t see immediate return.