Paid ads for PTs: yay or nay?

Advertising is essential for Personal Trainers, but paid adverts on social media platforms is probably not the best way to attract new clients to coach in-person. Nikeeta Phagura explains.

What is paid advertising?

‘Paid advertising’ can refer to TV or radio ads, however these days the term is most often used to describe internet-based ads. Also called ‘social media advertising’, paid advertising is the practice of paying to show ads on social media platforms like TikTok or Facebook to a target audience.

Paid advertising is a great tool to maximise reach (i.e., get more eyeballs on your content and your profiles). Equally important to getting those views, are the engagement metrics on your accounts (think: reel views, video views, post likes/reactions/comments, and numbers of subscribers/followers).

The thing is, for PTs who are looking for more clients to coach in-person, thousands of views aren’t necessarily helpful. Instead, to find locally-based prospects who can potentially become long-term clients, focus your advertising efforts on opportunities that help you build and sustain human connections.

The first step to achieving this is to truly understand exactly what you offer, as well as what your prospects need and care most about. Then, clearly communicate that information including the relevant solutions you offer to the demographic that you want to work with. For example:

Create content that talks to your specific audience and explain how you can add value to their life:

Whether it’s weight loss, training for a marathon, or helping clients gain more confidence in the gym, your followers will organically grow from people looking for this content online when they recognise the value you offer.

Your expertise will help to build trust in you and your offerings, and the great news is, if you are creating valuable content then you won’t need to pay money for people to see it.

Remember, things like hashtags, subject choices and captions will help optimise the reach of your posts.

Nurture your existing client relationships and ensure you deliver the best experience possible – every time

Why? Because that one client has many friends, family members and colleagues whom they will talk about their experiences with. If you’re doing your job correctly and they are achieving physical and/or mental results, then it’s likely that someone in your client’s circle will mention or ask about how they achieved their transformation. This is why word-of-mouth is the biggest channel for growth and sales in our industry. Much like a PT is said to be a walking billboard for their own services, every single one of your clients is a potential advocate and living advertisement for your services.

So, whilst paid ads that blast out to the masses do serve a purpose, if you’re looking for clients to coach in-person then it may not be the ideal marketing strategy for you.

Knowing who you want to talk to and what to talk about, as well as strengthening the relationships that you already have, can pay much stronger dividends than paid advertising, by way of new and repeat business, enhanced reputation, and client satisfaction.


Nikeeta Phagura

Nikeeta is a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Holistic Wellness Coach. She also has a successful career in corporate marketing, which sees her leading million-dollar budgets. Follow Nikeeta on Instagram.