5 Super-Effective Ways to Sell Online Personal Training on Social Media

It’s rare to find anyone who’s not on Facebook, Twitter and the like—there are more than 3 billion social media users worldwide—which makes it a valuable platform for building your online personal training business.

While posting regularly is important for driving followers and engagement, you have to take your efforts a step further to sell online personal training on social media.

Use these creative and inexpensive ideas (no, we’re not just telling you to pay for ads) to get your online personal training business off the ground with the help of your favourite social sites.

sell online personal training

Use social media to drive interest in your online personal training programs. Connect with complementary professionals, share exclusive discounts, and don’t be shy about asking for referrals.

Use all the tools at your disposal, and once you find something that works, stick with it.

1. Create a Facebook Group

A branded Facebook group, titled with your name or the name of your business, is a great method for building relationships in a way that’s convenient and still personable.

The two challenges you’ll likely face are attracting people to the group and getting them to engage. The guide How to Get Online Personal Training Clients in 5 Steps shares a few simple ways to overcome this:

Invite friends and family to be a part of this group and advise them to add other members that they think would be interested. Also encourage questions and discussion among the members. This discussion makes what you are doing more real to potential online personal training clients.

Get your friends in on the fun - they are likely your biggest fans

Your biggest fans are your friends and family—they​ would love getting involved and helping you build your business. As a personal trainer, you also likely have your pulse on what’s being published on various health publications, making it easy to find great content to share with the group.

Take it a step further and write your own blog posts to share with the group and others. Not only will the content be valuable to your members, but they’ll be impressed when they see your name on the article, which bodes well for your professional authority.

2. Host a Free Facebook Live Workout—Kind Of

Personal training can be an expensive investment, and before people sign up, you have to show them what you can do. This is especially true in online training, where they won’t be working with you one-on-one, and may have never met you in person.

While testimonials are great for this, and should be used in various marketing materials, take a step into the new world of online marketing and try Facebook Live.

Facebook live

Don’t just make a video about what you do—put your money where your mouth is and host an abbreviated workout. The goal: to show people that you can make them sweat without giving everything away.

To get the most engagement and eyes on your video, promote the live video ahead of time. Share the announcement on your social profiles, your website and via email marketing, if you have a list of subscribers.

Don’t forget to tell everyone in your Facebook group as well. If your Aunt Jane loves the workout, she’ll be talking about it for days, which could lead to a new client.

Finally, don’t forget the CTA, which may be the most important part of your video. After all, you’re doing this to get people to train with you. At the end of the video, give a verbal CTA. For example,

Thanks so much for coming to my workout! I hope you enjoyed it! Please head to JessicaPersonalTraining.com to learn more about my online personal training!”

“Thanks for coming to the workout—you did such a good job! Comment below or message me if you’re interested in online personal training. I’d love to see how I can help you!

Remember to put your CTA in the video caption/description area, where you can include a link to your website or a landing page. Download the video and post it to your Instagram and YouTube pages as well—the more people that see it, the better.

3. Ask Clients to Share for a Referral Bonus

More than 80 percent of consumers seek referrals when making a purchase. Combined with social media, this is a powerful pairing for driving new online personal training clients. If you’ve never had an online personal training client, ask in-person clients to share about their experience.

Note that this isn’t ideal, so it may be worth running a free program for a few people who you know have a large network—if you can get one paying client from each person, the free sessions will be worth it.

To make social media referrals a powerful marketing tool for your business, keep these ideas in mind:

Make the messaging stand out. Ask the client to post a before and after photo (you can even create this for them), rather than just text.

weight-loss results

Ask the client to include numbers, if they’re comfortable sharing those details about their weight loss. Quantity is often more important than quality in the eyes of people who want to lose weight.

Ask them to tag friends who would be interested. When friends comment on the post, you can reply, answer any questions, etc. As their friends interact with the post, it will show in their friends’ news feeds as well—expanding your reach with each interaction.

Ask them to tag your Facebook page, which will hopefully drive new followers.

Reward clients who get friends to sign up for one of your packages with free training sessions or something of equal value. They’re putting their reputation on the line for you—show your appreciation with more than a “Thank you.”

4. Offer Discounts—But Make Them Exclusive

Discounting can be tricky in the service industry. While you don’t want to make your services seem less valuable, promoting discounted rates can be an easy way to drive your first few clients—this, in turn, could lead to referrals, testimonials, reviews and more.

For many trainers who are new to online personal training, this is a viable option that can’t be ignored.

To boost the appeal of your discount, make it exclusive. Rather than offering a deal to anyone and everyone, only share on one social channel, and only offer a limited number of discounted programs. To take it a step further, offer the discounts only to people within your Facebook group and allow them to extend the offer to their friends.

These tactics use exclusivity to your advantage, says Zach Heller, a contributor at Business2Community:

People like things that are exclusive. They want what they can’t have. They want what others covet. They want things that signal to the world that they are one of a select few. It’s in our nature as consumers.

Be clear with the details, reminding your Facebook group that they are the only ones getting this deal, or that they’re the only ones allowed to pass it to a friend, for example.

Finally, drive more interest by creating a specific program based on the seasonality or current trends. Some ideas...

  • The Holiday Fitness Challenge
  • Beach-Ready Booty Program
  • New Year Shape Up 
  • Back to School, Back to Fit

This way, you can create one program for everyone who buys, which means you do less work because you’re getting paid less. Still, the client gets a full, valuable program for a good deal.

5. Cross-Promote With a Complementary Professional

There’s a good chance that you know a lot of people within the health and fitness industry; not just personal trainers, but health coaches, acupuncturists, yoga teachers, etc. Use this network of professionals to facilitate cross-promotion on social media. The idea is simple: you both agree on something to post, or better yet, a series of posts, and then mutually promote one another on your various platforms.

Be specific with your promotion materials. Don’t just promote “online personal training.” Instead, focus on something specific that’s immediately obvious. Here are a few examples:

Limited time only: Get 10 online workouts for just $800—that's 30% discount!

Beach-Ready Booty Program - Just $200!

No time to get to the gym? Work out at home with a program designed just for you!

Make sure your post includes attractive imagery, a link, and your CTA. The CTA can even be on the image, depending on the platform you’re using. If you’ve decided on a series of posts, use a variety of tactics, including one of the ideas above, along with a testimonial, a link to a full workout, etc.

Get More Clients and Sell Online Personal Training Faster

Use social media to drive interest in your online personal training programs. Connect with complementary professionals, share exclusive discounts, and don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Use all the tools at your disposal, and once you find something that works, stick with it.

​Has social media also made a huge impact in your ​personal training service? ​Click these buttons and ​share your experience with us now!​​​

About the author

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a full-time consultant, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and mental health advocate. She’s also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Honest Body Fitness, an online health magazine for women who are fed up with being told how to look and how to get there, yet still don’t feel like enough. She’s written for Shape, Reader’s Digest, AARP, Snap Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness and more. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for free workouts and healthy living tips.