The Five Keys to Creating a Six-Figure Personal Trainer Income in the Fitness Industry

Major changes are happening in the fitness industry, and for some, especially fitness veterans, it is mind-blowing. Here is the reality: Group training is becoming the leading revenue generator. If you are a personal trainer and you lack the skill set to lead groups, you will be left behind.

Club operators are creating new, fee-based training departments. Without the skills to lead groups and to be a personal trainer, you won't be a part of these departments, and you won't be able to compete.

Although the thought of training groups may seem daunting to you, following the five steps below will ensure a simple implementation, a solid foundation and a template to earn six figures in the fitness industry.

1. Create a vision. Creating a vision is an important first step in creating your group training business or department. Your vision is your dream. It is your future business. It also will serve as your inspiration during challenging times. Here is a vision exercise you can use as a tool to begin to see your dream:

  • Find a quiet space and close your eyes.
  • See your dream.
  • Focus on the words of your dream.
  • Move to a picture or pictures of what you want. See your perfect reality. Let your mind go and accept all the images you see.
  • Pay attention to key people who show up, specific locations and clues about how your goal may happen.

As the picture takes shape, begin to explore the emotion around this vision. What are you feeling? What are you seeing, hearing and feeling as the image takes shape? Take a moment to write down any clues or insights that came to mind during this exercise.

2. Become organized. Do you have organization shame? It's OK. You can be honest. Most of us were trained and educated as trainers and fitness professionals, not administrators. However, if you do not master organizational skills, you will struggle for a long time. So, how do you become organized?

  • Know your program and your program setup.
  • Decide what type of group training you want to offer.
  • Pick your demographics and your target market.
  • Decide the frequency and duration of your group training program.
  • Decide your price point. Take time to investigate your demographics and your geographical region so you can create your price point to successfully compete in your marketplace.
  • Get good legal counsel. Although this may be a big expense, it is critical to protect yourself and your customers.
  • Make sure you have all your processes in place to stay organized on an administrative level.

3. Strategically plan your business growth. Sometimes the word "business" is scary. Trainers view themselves as educators and holders of the wellness keys, not CEOs. In reality, trainers are their own business and all are CEOs, whether you claim that title or not. So, how do you do it?

  • Network. You have to have a database. Just because you are a great trainer does not mean business will come and knock down your door. Get out there, tell people about your programs and build your database.
  • Learn to close the deal. Don't be afraid to ask for their business. Many people are trying to become healthy. Why can't you be their solution? You can, but you have to ask.

4. Master your marketing. Although marketing may seem like a daunting task, these simple steps will help you define your perfect customer:

  • Know your target market. Be specific: gender, age, income and other demographics.
  • Create a budget and a plan.
  • Develop strategies. For social media, pick just one social media platform and master it. When you feel confident, pick a second platform and repeat. For local television, become the fitness expert in your area and use your local TV market to spread your message.
  • Determine if your marketing is working. You are successful if you have full trainings in which you hit your limit every session. You are hitting the sweet spot if you have to hire staff because you can't handle it on your own. And you have hit gold if customers are calling you instead of you calling them.

5. Duplicate. Your business is booming, and now you have to make another one of you. How do you do it?

  • Methods and procedures. Document all of your steps and methods, and make sure everything you are doing has a system. If you want more of you, you have to train more of you.
  • Create a plan. Put in place a step-by-step plan to replicate and duplicate all of your group training programs.


Lori Patterson, owner and CEO of VicteliB LLC, is the creator of successful fee-based programs that include Boot Camp Challenge, Kids Kamp Challenge, Baby Boomer Boot Camp Challenge and Break Through Challenge. Patterson served in the U.S. Army and also has served 30 years in the fitness industry. You can reach her at [email protected], 636-734-8594 or at

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