ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How to Build Credibility in the Fitness Industry

Training Tips

How to Build Credibility in the Fitness Industry

Reading Time: 5 minutes 6 seconds


Date: 2021-10-22T00:00:00-04:00

You’ve decided to start a personal training business. Or maybe you want to open a fitness studio or gym. Either way, it’s likely that you’re putting a lot of time into your marketing efforts. One other factor to consider is your level of credibility.

Why Credibility is Important as a Fitness Professional

Business Management Daily calls credibility a business leader’s “most important asset.” This is because it is tied heavily to trust.

In the fitness industry, trust is critical. A new client won’t want to work with you if they think you don’t know what you’re doing. An existing client won’t stick around if trust starts to decline. They also won’t be making any referrals.

There are also benefits of establishing credibility with other exercise professionals. If you are knowledgeable in a certain area, they may come to you for advice. Become the go-to trainer for professionals and clients will follow. It provides social proof that you are the real deal.

How to Build Credibility in the Fitness Industry

What can you do to prove that you have the knowledge and skills required to take clients on a successful fitness journey? Here are eight options to consider.

#1: Get Certified

Consumers today are savvy, and they have options. They are unlikely to settle for an uncertified trainer if they can work with someone who has put in the time and the training to get certified. Word of mouth and good reviews from clients will help, but for many, a lack of certification may be a deal-breaker.

#2. Live a Fitness Lifestyle

Have you ever gone to a doctor who stressed the importance of health only to see them standing outside smoking after the appointment? When professionals don’t follow their own advice, they lose credibility. Their words become meaningless. And you’re more likely to want to go to someone else.

Keep this from happening to your fitness business by living a lifestyle that is consistent with what you teach. Get regular exercise and eat a balanced diet. Use the same training strategies that you recommend. As a personal trainer, you are a walking business card. Make sure your appearance matches your advice.

#3. Believe in Yourself as a Fitness Entrepreneur

If you don’t believe in yourself as a fitness professional, it’s going to be hard for others to believe in you either. Sure, everyone has self-doubts now and again. But if you are constantly second-guessing yourself, clients and other professionals will do the same.

Have faith in your personal training abilities. Trust in your education and experience to guide you as you work to help clients reach their goals. You don’t have to know everything about fitness to offer them weight loss or muscle building success. As long as you know the basics and follow good safety guidelines, you can begin to create a growing client base.

#4. Develop a Strong Fitness Brand

Imagine that you are a personal training client. Who would you rather work with: someone whose name you’ve heard a hundred times or someone you’ve never heard of at all? If you said the former, then you already know the power of strong branding.

Get your name out there so personal training clients know you exist. Take any opportunity you can to promote your brand. Hand out flyers. Sponsor fitness events. Volunteer at a local charity. The greater your exposure, the stronger your brand.

Also, use the same logo and colors on all of your marketing material. This makes it easy for a potential client to recognize you whether they see your social media ads or they visit your website.

#5. Offer Proof of Your Ability to Get Results

Another way to boost your credibility is to show proof of what you can do. As a personal trainer, you are only as successful as your clients. The more you are able to help them reach their goals, the more trust you’ll gain as a fitness professional.

One of the best ways to show proof is with before and after photos. This helps potential clients see the transformations you can provide. For clients who are camera shy, ask them to write a testimonial for your website and social media pages. Words can be just as powerful as photos.

Encouraging existing clients to submit an online review is also a good marketing strategy. Brightlocal’s 2020 Consumer Review Survey found that 87% of consumers read reviews before selecting a business. Let your current training clients give prospective clients something positive to read, increasing the likelihood that they will choose you.

#6. Write an Information-Packed Fitness Blog

Some fitness pros write a book to highlight their knowledge or promote their unique workout or training method. If this sounds a bit too overwhelming, you can gain the same benefit from keeping a blog.

A well-developed content marketing strategy enables you to share what you know about fitness, exercise, and health. It also gives your audience the ability to read the content that interests them most. They begin to trust your advice because you can back it up with science. Your credibility improves with each informational blog post.

#7. Achieve Social Media Influencer Status

A fitness influencer has instant credibility. Even if you’ve never heard of this person, if they have a high number of social media followers, you are more likely to listen to what they have to say. Their large following suggests that they can be trusted; that they offer helpful advice.

Admittedly, this strategy takes time. Most fitness pros don’t become an influencer overnight. You have to regularly and consistently post on your platforms. Engaging with your followers is a must. The more you interact with them, the more they’ll want to interact with you—both online and in person.

If you don’t yet have this type of following, reach out to someone who does. Influencer marketing involves working with someone who has this status and asking them to promote your brand. They already have a level of trust with their followers. That trust is passed on to you simply by receiving their endorsement.

#8. Continuously Pursue New Fitness Training

The fitness industry is constantly changing. New training methods are being created daily. Research studies provide better insight into what works and what doesn’t. Staying on top of what is happening shows that you’re willing to put in the effort to give clients access to the best personal training program possible.

Continuing education courses are one way to stay updated on current fitness trends and research. They’re also a good way to expand your fitness knowledge into other areas. Maybe you already have a good base of knowledge as a strength coach. You could expand upon this by furthering your education in corrective exercise or nutrition.

The benefit of taking this approach to increase your credibility is that it also offers additional business opportunities. You can expand your current service offerings. Plus, when you can help clients achieve success in multiple areas, you provide greater value as a personal trainer. The greater your value, the larger your client base.

Not Yet Certified But Ready To Hit The Ground Running?

Get started with ISSA’s Elite Trainer Certification, a bundle of ISSA’s Personal Trainer Certification, Nutritionist course, and one additional advanced specialization of your choice.

Expand your knowledge and expertise from general population and be able to support those in special populations that often need the most help. Plus, you can make more money by adding credentials that lead to higher hourly rates or open you up for a higher position. Wins all the way around. Sign up today!

Featured Course

Certified Personal Trainer

Start your dream career completely online! Take the course, pass the certification final exam, and be guaranteed a job - or your money back!

Sign up to Stay connected to all the ways ISSA can help you grow your career

I consent to being contacted by ISSA.
Learn More
ISSA — 11201 N. Tatum Blvd Ste 300 PMB 28058 — Phoenix AZ 85028-6039 — USA