Looking to make a career in personal training? Then get your online profile pages up to scratch.

If you want to be taken seriously as a fitness professional then you must project professionalism into your public profiles. These could be directory listings, social media pages or fitness websites.

Why Online Profiles Matter

As someone looking to give fitness advice, your profile needs to accurately reflect your expertise and be welcoming so that prospects feel comfortable enough to reach out.

It may be hard for you to comprehend, but some potential clients may feel too intimidated (and insecure) to reach out to you. They worry about whether they are your ‘type of client’ and whether they are ‘worthy’ enough to receive a response. Strange but true.

So your personality needs to shine through. We’re all human, right? Charm and disarm.

8 Tips for an Effective Fitness Profile:

Choose a Great Profile Photo

Use a photo where you are wearing something casual. Smile a little (or a lot). The happier you look, the more approachable you’ll seem.

Add a Profile Cover Image (where possible)

The cover photo is the first thing that catches the eye. Choose a high quality image that clearly shows details. It can be a photo of your fitness studio, latest group classes or just a well-designed graphic showing your logo and promotional text. This should be something that helps you stand out from other trainers.

Hint: Change your cover photo regularly (every few months).

Showcase Your Environment:

When you can upload many images to your gallery (or feed), why are you not doing it? Add photos from your private training sessions, training programs, the outdoor/ indoor facilities etc. and give each photo a meaningful name containing your personal training business name before uploading e.g. “my-personal-training-mycity-myclass.jpg”.

Why? Because images are also indexed by Google and other search engines and can bring you more visitors when someone searches for related keywords.

Hint: Before/After photos have proven results. Everyone likes to know what you’ve done before!

Your Mini-bio

If you’re good at your job and passionate about a fitness career, you’ve probably already accomplished some awesome stuff. You likely have an interesting back-story, most of us do. Highlight different stages of your career. If you started your personal training business when you were 13, decided to lose 20k weight, or have several qualifications – that’s great, so showcase.

Being professional is important, but letting your guard down a little goes a long way.

Show Them What You’re Made Of: Include a Video

Video is one of the most powerful ways to set yourself apart. There is no requirement to be super formal about it – just record something on your laptop and put it on YouTube. Or, if you’ve given a talk in the past, just paste the link and the video will be embedded for you.

Hint: It’s been estimated that those fitness professionals with video on their profiles can get up to 3x the enquiry requests and response rates.

Areas of Expertise – the Intersection of Knowledge and Passion

Focus on what you know best. We all have a wide range of interests, but that doesn’t mean that we’re qualified to consult on each topic. Highlight your interests for sure, but concentrate attention to what really matters.

Reviews – They Say It Best

Unsurprisingly, this is by far the most impactful part of your profile. It’s where your current and past customers can vouch for you. Reviews are the single most important variable affecting how popular personal trainers will be.

Verify Your bona-fides – Create Trust

It’s not mandatory, but one way to show that you’re committed to the profession and to your career qualifications is to link up all your social profiles like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

Show potential clients that you’re a real person with real credentials. Show them you value continual learning and that you regularly undertake additional courses to improve your knowledge and expertise.

Personal trainer supervising female client doing squats with an exercise ball

The Importance of Testimonials

The fitness industry is becoming more saturated every year. New personal trainers are churned out month after month. You need to stand out to get noticed.

What can be more persuading to a potential client than seeing proof of your work in the form of testimonials and before and after pictures?

Testimonials show that you’re experienced, you have trained people – and not just read or talked about it. They illustrate that the service you offer will achieve what you say it will – Results!

It is undeniable that personal trainers need to prove their worth before making a sale. Hiring a personal trainer can be an expensive investment, so it is highly likely that the potential client is going to shop around to find the trainer who offers the ‘best’ service for the financial commitment they are about the make.

There is no better way to showcase what you can deliver than a portfolio of bodies you have transformed and lives you have changed.

How to get client testimonials

Simply asking for a testimonial is sometimes good enough. However, in my experience, these tend to be less specific and of inferior quality. And in many instances the client doesn’t even end up providing it to you, after all. 

Instead, there are some simple questions that you can use to create a form and hand out to your clients.

Firstly, you should always make it clear during your initial consultation with the client that before and after pictures as well as testimonials are terms of doing business with you and make sure you include it in the contract.

Be sure to also include an option (in the form of a checkbox) that requests permission for you to use their testimonials in future marketing material. Have this signed and you now conveniently have before and after shots and client testimonials at your disposal.

When creating the initial document (for the testimonial), ensure that you ask specific questions that will beget specific answers. Specific answers are more useful and provide greater detail than vague responses to ill-considered questions.

Here are some questions you may wish to include:
  1. In three sentences or less, can you describe any barriers you encountered that used to halt your progress in your training?
  2. In three sentences or less, explain how I helped you overcome those barriers
  3. What were your top two goals that you wanted to achieve when you first started training with me?
  4. Can you list your achievements so far in your training
  5. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Do this and you will soon have a presentable portfolio of your work that evidences bodies you have transformed. You will have clients describing your amazing service in their own words.

Post these testimonials and pictures on your website, social media streams and other fitness platforms. You will soon see your business grow.

And if you’d like further inspiration for producing effective customer testimonials, please see here.

Related: Marketing for Personal Trainers