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Virtual personal training session

Growing Your Personal Training Business: A Step-by-step Playbook

By Lauren McAlister

November 2, 2023

Your personal training business provides the individualised attention and accountability clients are looking for. Whether they’re just getting started with fitness, navigating an injury, or simply looking to take their workouts (and results) to the next level, it’s your job to help them reach their goals—whatever they may be.

In this new normal, though, in-person personal training sessions may not be an option for certain clients. Virtual services are quickly becoming an essential part of what consumers expect—and your business model needs to incorporate remote offerings like live streaming and recorded video to stay relevant.

You can continue to grow your customer base and your personal training business regardless of your (or your client’s) location. To do that, you'll need to:  

  • Streamline your processes
  • Create a personalised experience (even when it’s virtual)
  • Stay connected and retain your client base long-term

Here’s a step-by-step plan to do just that.

Step 1: Streamline bookings and communication

If you offer online booking and have an optimised Mindbody app listing, you’ve taken two steps in the right direction. A seamless booking process is key to converting prospective customers and keeping existing clients coming back to your training business.

Simplifying communication is important, too. With Messenger[ai]'s messaging features, you can easily text clients (That way, clients won’t forget about a session—protecting you, or your team of personal trainers, from getting ghosted) and staff, manage your conversations, and automatically respond to missed calls 24/7. You can even receive and respond to Facebook messages or customers on your website (prospective clients, anyone?) through the chat portal.

Have an update you want to send to your clients or staff about (e.g., a new process, or a very limited time promotion)? Use Messenger[ai] to get the word out efficiently. The broadcasting feature lets you quickly and easily send a text to multiple clients (or staff) when you have something important to share. 

Step 2: Go virtual

In this new world of social distancing, virtual training sessions enable client and trainer to conduct their sessions apart. (If you aren’t offering virtual 1:1 sessions yet, here’s how to start.)

With video in Mindbody, you can live stream classes and small group sessions. The best part? Everything’s integrated within your software, meaning no new passwords or training for your staff.

Keep your clients moving in between sessions, too. Give them access to your Mindbody on-demand library filled with pre-recorded training content like foam-rolling how-tos, guided stretches, and additional at-home workouts.

Download our step-by-step guide to bringing video into your fitness business.

Mindbody on-demand video library

Step 3: Provide a personal experience that keeps clients motivated

More than ever, clients are seeking connection. Providing personalized experiences, even virtually, is the key to developing a long-term, client-trainer relationship.

With an advanced tool like FitMetrix Trainer portal, personal trainers can connect with clients before, during, and after sessions. Here’s how.

Before sessions, trainers can:

  • Store client intake information and data—and easily reference when programming their next session(s)
  • View and schedule client sessions

During sessions:

  • Review client notes and progress, including those from previous sessions
  • Track important client data and health stats like measurements, BMI, heart rate, calories burned, and more
  • Assign goals and challenges to be completed during and/or in between sessions
FitMetrix Trainer Portal

After sessions:

  • Generate, print, and/or email custom fitness reports to clients
  • Send clients texts or emails to check in and keep them on track

Step 4: Retain clients long-term

The most important part of personal training is fostering a connection between trainer and client. Staying in touch is key to doing so—and keeping motivation and retention high, too.

Now more than ever, you and/or your team of personal trainers can, and should lean, on tech to engage with your clientele regularly. And with tools like Marketing Suite, you won’t forego the personal touch clients love. The Sweat Box in Kitchener, Ontario, used Marketing Suite to stay in touch with its customers, helping them maintain more than 40% of their recurring revenue.

Marketing Suite’s variety of email and retention marketing tools keep clients in the know, without ongoing work on your end, including:

  • Segmented contact lists (which update instantly based on a client’s visit/purchase history, interaction with your messages, etc.) to send helpful content like healthy recipes and movements of the day.
  • Automations to instantly welcome new virtual or in-personal clients, win-back those who’ve dropped off, and encourage your most loyal clientele to leave reviews on your behalf.
  • Brand-new templates to keep clients up to date on your reopening protocols and timing, virtual offerings, and any promotions you’re running.
Move of the Day template

Download our Marketing Suite Playbook for Fitness Businesses.

These are just a few of the strategies and tools you can use to streamline your operations, connect with your clients, and grow your personal training business. Of course, you understand it’s most important to recognise each client’s unique needs and provide the personalised experience they deserve.

Get more great tips on growing your business

Explore the Software

About the author:

Lauren McAlister

Lauren McAlister

Senior Marketing Content Specialist


Lauren is the co-owner of a fitness studio and a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). Born and raised in California, Lauren has a heart for fitness, travel, and baking. She's also passionate about crafting meaningful content for others in the wellness space, which makes her role at Mindbody a perfect fit.


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