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Marketing Funnels for Personal Trainers: A Complete Guide

What the heck are marketing funnels for personal trainers?? Well, I can tell ya’ one thing, it’s not something you just throw your money at and hope for the best. That’s a good way to waste all of your money.

Instead, lets do the opposite. Let’s take a calculated approach and make some money, shall we?

Admittedly, there can be a learning curve. Not in learning what a marketing funnel is, but more so learning common methods and tools.

But, lucky for you, here I am writing this blog and simultaneously googling “marketing funnels”.

Just kidding, I’m not doing that. Everyone knows Bing is better.

Okay, enough with the jokes, lets take a deep dive down a funnel of our own. One made of knowledge. What say you?

First, What is a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a method of defining a would-be customers journey in discovering your brand and eventually becoming a customer of your personal training business. This includes from the point they first discover your business to purchasing your product or service – or not purchasing anything.

Marketing funnels are commonly broken down into 4 main phases:

  • Awareness: The prospective customer is aware they have a problem/need they want to solve. During this phase your goal is simply to get discovered as a brand that can solve issues/needs for consumers.
  • Interest: Our prospective customer has stumbled upon some content which has tipped his/her attention towards your business and has converted into a lead. Now it’s time for you to develop a relationship with the customer. Converting into a lead simply means they signed up for a newsletter or tool some action that gave you access to their contact info.
  • Desire: The prospective customer is now considering your business as an option. However, they still have not purchased anything and are evaluating all options – including yours. At this point you have introduced a “soft sell”. Meaning you informed them of something you offer in a passive manner (i.e. not “BUY NOW”).
  • Action: They bite and purchase something from you! or not. Yes, sometimes work goes into leading a customer down a marketing funnel just so they can decide not to purchase your product. Fear not, there are other fish in the sea. However, this stage is critical and is where you want to make sure your site is designed perfectly. Your messaging is fine tuned. And everything is optimized towards guiding those strangers who have made the pilgrimage across the internet to your site to make a purchase.

Different Marketing Methods Used in Marketing Funnels

Often times marketing funnels are made up of different types of marketing strategies. The main ones you’ll see are:

  • Content Marketing: This consists of putting out content such as blogs, social media posts, videos, eBooks, guides, white papers, etc… in an attempt to solve problems for people and create awareness for your business. Content marketing is typically in the awareness phase of the marketing funnel.
  • Paid Ads: Paid ads can occupy many different phases of the marketing funnel. You can run ads to people who may not have ever heard of your business or you can run adds to people who have been to your website. Popular tools for running paid ads are Facebook ads and Google Ads.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketing is a great way to keep people up to speed with the products/services you offer, discounts you’re running, announcements, top blog articles, and much more.

Marketing Funnels for Personal Trainers

In this section, we will outline what actions are typically taken in each phase of a marketing funnel.

Phase 1: Creating Awareness

When it comes to marketing funnels for personal trainers, creating awareness is often times the most underrated aspect. Creating awareness is considered a Top of the Funnel (ToFu) phase.

Without this phase, you don’t really have much of a funnel. This phase is where people identify they have a need they want a solution for and are actively searching for this solution.

The goal is for them to discover your brand while they are searching for a solution. Here, you want to make your business as discoverable as possible.

Social Media

A good place to start is social media. This is an obvious one but there are some nuances that often get ignored.

When it comes to leveraging social media as a branch of your content marketing strategy, it’s important to follow a couple practices:

  1. Do your best to post content that’s valuable. Content that’s valuable is usually informative, visually appealing, triggers emotions, is relevant, and is interactive. Interactive usually means running polls on your stories, creating regular opportunity for shout outs, and even just asking general questions to the community. Making sure you are actively conversing with your followers is a great way to create engagement on your profile. This is great because it shows your followers you care which means they are more likely to interact with your posts. Additionally, the platform you are on will recognize this and promote your posts to more people.
  2. Use hashtags. Hashtags can help your posts get discovered. You can create different combinations of hashtags for different types of content that you post. This helps you test which hashtags yield the best results just makes sure that it’s relevant to those who are discovering it.

Creating engaging content on social media is the most important part. It increases the likely hood of people liking, commenting, and eventually sharing your content.

Which makes it more likely that people who are searching for solutions to their needs will discover your social media profile and brand. This in turn makes it more likely that people visit your blog or site.


Another fantastic content marketing strategy is starting a blog. Blogging is easily one of the most powerful marketing strategies out there.

However, much like social media, there are best practices to follow to ensure you get the best results:

  1. Post blogs with value. Do you see a trend here? When it comes to content marketing, providing relevant value to your audience is the most important aspect.
  2. Make sure you go into enough depth in the topic you’re posting about.
  3. A good blog solves problems for readers and search engines. Meaning, you should spend time on making sure your blog is search engine optimized (SEO). A good way to do this is using the Yoast SEO plugin for your blog if it’s a WordPress blog. Yoast helps you optimize your blog while you are writing it.
  4. Posting a blog once a week is always a good place to start. Although, there are loads of studies that show posting more often is better.
  5. Never post the same blog twice. In-fact, this can have a negative impact on your SEO. Instead, regularly update old blogs. This has shown to have positive impacts on your SEO.
  6. In each blog, link to an external website and link to at least 2 other blogs of your own (internal links).

SEO is really important for blogging as many people turn to google when searching for solutions to their needs.

If your blogs aren’t optimized for search engines then that greatly reduces the chance of people finding your blog when doing research.

Inevitably, it’s important to make it easy for people to sign up for a newsletter which gives them access to your content. This also gives you a channel to nurture this lead into a customer in later phases of the funnel.

Sponsored Brand Awareness Ads

Here’s another reason to make sure you are posting content that’s valuable on your social media accounts.

You can run paid ads on Facebook and Instagram that drive traffic to your site, blog, and your social media profiles. When running these ads, you run them towards “audiences” you have created in your ad account.

These audiences are made up of people whom you think have a higher likelihood of taking interest in the services you offer. Through your ad platform you can simply create audiences who have an affinity towards athletic clothes, technology, or pretty much any common interest you can think of.

When running brand awareness ads, the goal in mind isn’t necessarily to drive sales immediately. The goal is to create engagement with people who see your ads.

Engagement can mean they click through to your site or they visit your social media profile from the ad. This is why it’s important to consistently post valuable content to your social media profiles as it increases the likely hood of them following you.

Often times, giving them a little bit of information about your business in the ad is enough to peak their interest and prompt the esteemed click/tap on that “learn more” button of your ad. Effectively driving them to your site and giving you “ammo” for the later stages of your marketing funnel(s).

Summing up phase 1

Phase 1 is all about creating awareness of your brand and showing site visitors that you are serious about helping them out.

When it comes to marketing funnels for personal trainers, phase 1 can really help build a good reputation as a knowledgeable resource.

If visitors to your blog are able to pull actionable information away from the content you publish, they will be more likely to subscribe to a newsletter or even schedule a consultation with you.

Phase 2: Interest

This phase is where customers provide contact information so they can continue to get an endless stream of your lovely content.

Prospective customers haven’t decided on a product yet, but your brand is on their radar of products/services they are comparing.

Call-to-Actions (CTA’s)

Marketing Funnels for Personal Trainers: CTA example image.
Call to Action Examples: Can you identify all of the CTA’s on the FitSW homepage?

Calls to action are just as they sound. They are simple features on your site or app that drive customers to provide contact information in exchange for something that will benefit them.

Examples include signing up for a newsletter, signing up for a free consultation, or providing an email address in exchange for downloading a guide.

When incorporating CTA’s in your site, it’s important to keep the CTA somewhere where it’s relevant.

For example, it doesn’t make sense to call site visitors to sign up for your newsletter on your contact or services page. However, a good call to action for your services page could be a “Get Your Free Consultation Today” CTA. For the contact page you can incorporate a “Have Questions? We are happy help” field people can fill out.

In this phase, the calls to action shouldn’t be too much of a commitment for prospective customers. You don’t want to come off as pushy with “BUY NOW!!!” calls to action everywhere, especially this early on in the funnel.

Re-targeting Social Media Ads

Re-targeting ads are where social media ads really flex their muscles. When you set up your ads account you will more then likely install a tracking code on your site.

A tracking code allows for you to do a variety of things, such as measure page views, how many page viewers click on a CTA, and a lot more.

However, one of the most powerful things it lets you do is create audiences based on what pages site visitors viewed and what pages they didn’t view.

For example, you can tell Facebook to create audiences for people who viewed the “Sign up for our Newsletter” page but didn’t view the “Thanks for signing up for our newsletter!” page.

This means they thought about signing up but didn’t.

Running a re-targeting ad based on the example audience above is a powerful way to draw those users back. Examples include:

  • Running an ad with a blog image and summing up what the blog is about with a “Read More” CTA on the ad. When users click through to the blog, they are eventually prompted to sign up for the newsletter.
  • Or you can run an ad with a creative image suggesting they should sign up for your newsletter and a caption with a message such as “Don’t miss out!” and a details about what’s included in the newsletter. Users who click through are sent directly to the newsletter sign up page.

Effectively running re-targeting ads means you can increase the leads you have, which gives you more leads to nurture later on down the road and provides you with more nurtured leads to convert into paying customers.

Phase 3: Desire

Alright, you have done a lot of work at this point. But, you can’t stop now, no one else is going to nurture those leads for you!

In phase 3, prospective customers have provided contact information. They are interested. It’s time to inform them about your service even more and prepare them for a purchase. This phase is all about developing a relationship with your customer.

Email Marketing

Since you have their email now, you can send marketing emails to them providing helpful information that both benefits them and helps them determine why your services are the option they need.

However, don’t come out to bat swinging with discounts and reasons why they should purchase your service outright.

It’s important to start off slow. Provide information to common problems they might be facing and how they can overcome them. Then include what your services and products do to help over come these issues as well. At this point, don’t make the email all about your services.

Once you have sent a couple of these emails, then you can send an email targeted at getting them to purchase in phase 4 of the funnel.

Here are some email templates that can help you get started. In addition, you can use tools like Mailchimp to help you manage your email marketing campaigns.

Phase 4: Action

Phew! Hang with me here, we are almost there. This is the phase where you go for the purchase. At this point, you customer knows your brand, the services you have to offer, and has been nurtured with some extra content you have sent them.

But “how do you I actually get them to make a purchase?” you ask?

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a fantastic method of converting leads into paying customers.

After you have sent them a couple emails about your business with helpful information, you can send that coveted sales email.

Here, a common practice is to offer a discount code only good for a limited amount of time in the email. Talk about what the discount is good for and how long it is available.

Provide a handy CTA for them to click such as “Claim My Offer Now” or something along those lines where they are guided to your site with discount and a wallet in hand ready to purchase.

However, leads may not always bite the first offer you give them.

If they don’t go for the discount, it’s important to remember it isn’t necessarily so much about getting the purchase but rather developing a relationship with the customer.

That’s why it’s important to repeat the process of sending a couple helpful and informative emails before you go for another discount or product offer. Jumping the gun to early with a product offer immediately after you just sent one is often a red flag for most people.

Re-targeting Ads

Much like the re-targeting section earlier in the blog, this one is all about audiences. Here you can create audiences based on people who have not seen your “Thanks for Your Purchase” page.

What does this mean? It means they have not purchased anything from you yet.

For these types of ads, you can use an image of yourself training or a creative image with a fancy caption and a CTA that says something like “Sign Up” or “Choose My Package”.

Upon clicking the ad customers are brought to your checkout page where they can use a discount code you gave them or simply just check out.

Summing Up Marketing Funnels for Personal Trainers

This was a long one, but it needed to be. This whole process sounds very involved. However, once you dive in you’ll realize most of the work goes into setting the whole process up.

Thanks to technology, once it’s set up, your job is to then optimize your ad campaigns for their best performance.

Once you have a marketing funnel built out, then it’s all about optimizing your ads to perform better. Using tools like Google Analytics can help you monitor your data and see how your marketing efforts are performing.

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