3 Social Media Tactics to Skyrocket Your PT Business

As a personal trainer, it's vital that you break through all the noise in the fitness world. The market is growing, there are more people in the gym than ever before, so it's a prime time for you to claim new clients for your business.

The issue most PT’s have is their tunnel vision. Their vision doesn’t go beyond traditional marketing channels, with many trainers thinking making a Facebook page is enough.

By the end of this mini guide to effective social media tactics you will be able to take immediate action to enhance your personal brand and attract more clients.

3 Social Media Tactics to Skyrocket Your PT Business

One more thing...

Before I get into this guide. I need you to set a monthly marketing budget. It doesn't have to be much, but it’s important to set a monthly marketing budget so you can see the ROI (return on investment) of your new marketing efforts.

It's Time to Think Bigger

A big problem I see when I speak to my friends who are PT’s is that they think too small.

They think of only the town or city they live at.

This may seem logical but it goes against everything you need to do in this day and age to win over clients.

Imagine if Steve Cook, Matt Ogus, Shaun Stafford or Paige Hathaway decided to set up their own Personal Training business in the city they live at.

They would be FLOODED with new clients.


They have been building their brand GLOBALLY.

They have been providing free content on the web for years.

They have been on top of social media interacting with fans across the world.

They have set up websites to drive traffic and build their brand.

I’m not saying you need to become the next Steve Cook to get this benefit, but what you need to do is to see yourself as a global brand. You need to create amazing free content for the world to see, use, and interact with.

A strong national or global brand can easily dominate a small geographic market. Go big, then small.

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This way you build a global following, become known as an authority, and you can become a lot more than just a local personal trainer.

So, how can you do this? What will make you stand out ahead of your local rivals? There are 5 key elements for your branding success:

1. A large social following

2. Writing blog posts on other related websites (to prove your authority)

3. Have a website with lots of free and great content

4. Interacting with your followers

5. Videos/guides on relevant topics

Give It Away...For Free!

Don’t be scared to give away all you know for free. Many people think that if they give away all their knowledge nobody will use them or want help. In fact, the opposite happens. The more you give, the more you receive back.

Giving away free content is great value. You build trust, a following, and authority. Don’t make the fatal mistake of thinking your knowledge is supreme and only paying clients should know it.

Your clients don’t come to you just for your knowledge, they want your guidance and some people just need a helping hand.

3 Social Media Tactics to Quickly Build Your Personal Brand

Now it's time to examine where and how to give away your content in a way that will attract the biggest (and most targeted) audience for your business.​

1. Snapchat

Snapchat is huge. Six billion hours of snapchat video is consumed DAILY. The platform has come a long way since its start as a mere sexting app.

How can Snapchat help you grow?

Firstly, people consume snapchat videos with a lot more focus than they do scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. The attention span on snapchat is far greater, people pay attention to what they are actually consuming.

Snapchat isn't just for teens and sexting anymore. Your ideal clients are there, or will be soon.

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Consuming video is native to Snapchat while it isn’t for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though Facebook video is doing great, some people just switch off and expect standard timeline posts/images/links.

Secondly, Snapchat is an amazing way to show off snippets of your workouts, give quick tips on dieting and training, but also a perfect way for quick Q+A's with clients and potential clients.

Snapchat is currently where Twitter was many years ago. Everyone is excited about it. Marketers are starting to flood to the platform and it’s peak time to grow your brand on Snapchat.

It gets better: Say hello to Snapchat geofilters.

This is something I’m REALLY excited about. Snapchat geofilters are a brand new social media tacit - they look like the image below (i.e. the logo or image overlays that are added to each picture on Snapchat).

Snapchat geofilters

If you’re in a certain city or location there is usually a corresponding geofilter and people LOVE using these.

You simply take a photo or video and swipe right. You can add the temperature of where you are, how fast you’re going, speed up or slow down video and recently a cool illustration to show off where you’re at.

The most popular ones are location based. For example, if you were in London you can add the following filter to your videos or photos.


How does this benefit you?

You can now create your very own geofilter on Snapchat!

This is the perfect way to promote your new bootcamp, barbell class, abs class, kettlebells, zumba, yoga and more.

All you need to do is head over to snapchat, sign in, upload your illustration, drag an area you want to cover and set the length of time you wish it to run for.

It works out roughly $3-6 per hour.

Once the filter is sent to snapchat, they will approve it within 1 business day.

Now you simply ask your clients and class members to post a snapchat photo or video with your custom filter and see your reach grow.

Remember, all your class members will be showing this to their snapchat friends, who will usually be local friends.

If you have a class of 20 and they have 50 friends on average each on Snapchat. That means you will be promoting your class to a potential of 1000 people. All for less than $10. The promotion is also much better and raw compared to a poster, text ad or Facebook post!

Here’s an example of a custom geofilter at the Pitch Perfect 2 Premiere.


Bonus tip:

You don’t have to be at the location to set up the filter. You can also “hack” events that aren't even ones your own or ones you operate.

What I mean by this is, say you know of an event that is local or related to your business. Let’s take Bodypower for example.

Bodypower will have nearly 100,000 fitness fanatics walk through the gates in May.

Think of a funny or creative filter for the expo and subtly add your logo/branding.

It's likely that a large number of these 100,000 attendees will see your filter even if they don’t use it.

This is a huge chance for brand exposure. Even though they may not be potential clients in your local gym, they may end up checking out your website/social media, and they may share it, or refer someone who is in your geographical area.

Every impression you make on a potential client has value. Think long-term, not just about immediate sales.

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You can also be there yourself, documenting the expo with your custom filter. You can then save your entire story and upload to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.

So there you have it, Snapchat is making all kinds of gains!

Make sure you take advantage of the platform and the early development of custom filters.

2. Facebook Ads

Driving traffic and building your audience online is crucial, especially in the health and fitness industry.

Facebook ads are a MUST to increase your reach on the platform. Gone are the days of each of your posts being shown to all your followers - it just doesn’t happen anymore. Organic reach is dying on Facebook for most people.

You will be lucky to reach 20% of your followers with your posts. Boosting your posts is now part of the game on Facebook and it can be very cheap too.

This is where Adespresso comes into play

I always use this platform when creating Facebook and Instagram ads. It makes it super easy to make ads, target your audience, and track the results.

AdEspresso also makes it easy to run split tests, which means creating variations of your ads to see what does better. You could be running 3 ads with the same image but different headlines. Or you could run 3 ads with the same headline but different images.

You could also be comparing different target interests to see which group of people is most attracted to your ads.

Here’s an example: You want to promote your new online diet plan service. You know that people who are interested in health and fitness, bodybuilding, men's physique, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Cook are also interested in diet plans.

To see which interest group performs better, Adespresso puts your ads against each other. It gives each interest the same amount of exposure. Some interests have more of a following than others but may perform horribly. This is a good way to fairly test each interest.

Here’s a screenshot of my latest rugby e-Book facebook ad. Nice and clean interface. Key stats are on the right sidebar.


Running this split test will show you which interest group is worth pursuing in your ad and future ads. This saves you a load of money, time and effort in the future.

The old marketing saying of “I know 50% of my advertising works, but I don’t know which 50%” is obsolete using this system. You can see EXACTLY what works.

You simply pause/delete an ad that isn't performing, take the data and learn from it.

Eventually your tweaking will lead you to having ads that:

1) Have a low cost per click (CPC)

2) Ads that show to your targeted audience

3) Ads that are engaging

4) Ads that grow your following (good ads usually lead to more likes)

Here’s an example of an ad I tweaked recently. The result was an average CPC of roughly $0.05, which is incredibly cheap.

Ad Results

I paused crossfit and strength training interests. Why? At the time they were double the cost per click of the others.

I managed to drive 3,700 visitors to my website for only $170. Out of these, 3,700 people who landed on my page, 880 have signed up to my newsletter via the e-book download.

This works out at $0.20 per new email subscriber. Incredible.

This would have not been possible if I just threw money at boosting posts without looking at what works and cutting what doesn’t. Be careful with your budget, I see so many people throwing their money at paid advertising and losing a huge amount in days.

3. Leverage Instagram Influencers

Instagram is huge for the fitness industry.

Thousands and thousands of insta “famous” fitness celebrities have raised up over the last few years and now make a living from promoting their posts.

You see Instafamous profiles promoting whey protein powders, fat burners, detox supplements and more for huge fees. Jen Selter with a following of 8 million apparently charges $50,000 per post! This is the power of a large Instagram following.

How can you now use Instagram to boost your personal training business?

Firstly, you need to build your following. The higher your follower count the more you’re likely to be seen as an authoritative figure.

The quickest way to do this is to direct message or email Instagram accounts with a similar size (or slightly bigger) following to yours. Ask for a shoutout.

Many will ask for money but only pay for the big accounts that have interaction.

Before you do this though, make sure you have posted at least 20 posts that are interesting, useful, unique and engaging. No new follower will stick if you’re boring!

Instagram now lets you do 60-second videos, this is perfect for you.

Post some 60-second workout tips, nutrition advice, recipes ideas and more. Utilize video content.

Once you have this base of posts and your branding all set, then you need to do the tough work, the hustling.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Successful marketing and branding takes hustle!

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Direct message/email 50+ accounts daily.

Ask for a shoutout, ask what their rates are and build a Google spreadsheet with their follower count, their average likes per picture (add likes from their most recent 10 posts and divide by 10), and then work out their average comment number per post by using the same formula.

From this you can prioritize which ones have the best bang for your buck.

I would also advise building a relationship with up and coming pages with similar following to you.

I grew my rugby business Instagram page from 0 to 18,400 by utilizing influencers in the rugby niche and posting interesting and relevant posts.

I messaged an account called RugbyPicture which now has 207,000 followers!


My most successful post to date was a Christmas giveaway I put through this profile.

It was simple: "Tag your mate and follow @rugbywarfare" - that's all I did.

It drove over 20 sales in 6 hours and nearly 1,000 new followers. See the image below.

Instagram ad

Make sure you leverage giveaways and shoutouts. They are a powerful combination and it’s something I’ve been using for the last 6 months with huge results.

Conclusions: Effectively Using Social Media Tactics to Grow Your PT Biz

The above 3 tips are a quick and easy way to boost your brand online. It takes a lot of work daily. You need to be consistent and patient.

Remember, social media is where everyone goes. Facebook will likely become the tier on top of the internet. In a few years people may go straight to Facebook and consume all their news, updates, messaging, video and more through the Facebook system only.

Make sure you’re doing everything you can to take advantage of these social platforms and be clever with your strategy.

Don’t be the same as everyone else, get the edge you need today by leveraging my tips above.

If you have any questions about driving website traffic or improving your presence online, please comment below. I will reply to all!

About the author

Scott Flear

Scott Flear is the CEO of Rugby Warfare, a rugby clothing brand. He's been the head of SEO and Performance marketing for several UK companies and runs his own marketing agency, Flear Marketing, which specializes in helping you with your entire marketing funnel with easy-to-follow KPIs and a no-nonsense approach to results.