How to Choose Your Personal Training Niche

Dec 14, 2020 | by AIF

If you take a moment to think about the top personal trainers around you, you’ll notice that many of them focus on a niche area of training.

Personal trainers that target a particular market can become the go-to person for a specific demographic or training modality. By doing so they can position themselves as ‘The pregnancy PT’ or ‘The Functional Training Guy’ instead of competing with the many trainers who offer a wide, non-specialist range of services.

How Can You Find Your Niche?

If you can discover your niche area and target your marketing towards it, you could find yourself with a loyal following of clients that you genuinely love to train. Unless you instantly know that what puts a fire in your belly is training clients for endurance events, or helping older adults maintain their mobility, you might struggle to pinpoint your niche.

The following tactics can help you identify your area of specialisation.

#1. See what your clients have in common

Maybe you already have the beginning of a niche client base but haven’t realised it yet. Take a good look at your clients and see what aspects they share. Start with things like their age, gender and occupation, then consider their fitness goals, abilities, favourite sports and personality types. Certain types of clients could already be gravitating towards you.

#2. Do more of what you like

If you have a varied client base, which clients do you most enjoy training? Do you love helping very fit athletes reach their peak, or assisting older clients with chronic health conditions to become stronger and enhance their quality of life? There’s probably a type of client and training method that you prefer.

#3. Find what you’re passionate about

Take a look at your personal life, sporting preferences and exercise habits for a snapshot of what you really love doing. Enjoy pounding the pavement every morning? Maybe target your marketing to marathon runners. Get excited about weight lifting? Aim your marketing towards the bodybuilding crowd. Live for footie? Perhaps some players in your local teams would be interested in some additional sports-specific personal training outside of their regular coaching sessions.

#4. Consider your skills and qualifications

Perhaps you’ve trained in martial arts for years or you’ve recovered from a lot of injuries in your time. You may not realise it, but this can give you a lot of experience in certain areas over other trainers, allowing you to better understand and empathise with your clients.

Did you work in a different job before personal training? Perhaps you were in the corporate sector and understand the challenges of living healthily while working a sedentary desk job. Maybe you used to work with children and have the skills to build good rapport with younger clients or parents. All of your past experiences can contribute some extra skills that set you apart.

You can always gain additional skills, qualifications and certifications that enable you to cater to specific markets. For example, AIF’s Nutrition Coach course equips you with the skills to help clients make better nutrition choices, while The BioMechanics Method Corrective Exercise Trainer course teaches you how to assess clients for musculoskeletal imbalances that cause muscle, joint and movement problems and program the exercises to fix these issues. By making such additional skill sets integral to your marketing, you can attract clients that need these services.

How Can You Target Your Niche?

Once you have identified a niche market that you want to cater to, you can tailor your services and marketing towards it. Consider the following:

  • Highlight your area of specialty in your promotional materials with words and images, e.g. have a picture of your clients doing an outdoor session with kettlebells if that’s what you’re focusing on.
  • Promote in areas where your target market hangs out, e.g. drop flyers off at a sports field if you’re after athletes, or at local restaurants and cafes where the corporate crowd lunch if you’re targeting that demographic.
  • Get as much information about your market as possible and what will help them. Read relevant books, journals, publications and blogs, attend workshops and conferences, and do online short professional development courses.
  • Find out what your niche market really wants and tailor your programs to them. For example, if you’re targeting the corporate crowd, you could offer short group sessions that fit into lunch breaks and concentrate on remedying the adverse physical effects that desk jobs can create.

Successfully targeting your niche is all about giving people the personalised attention and in-depth understanding of their situation that they want. If you figure out what your niche market really wants then you’ll start to develop a name for yourself. That way, when someone says ‘I’d love a trainer who could help me with X’ your name, and experience in that area, will be thrown into the conversation.


Knowing how to be a great personal trainer is not the same as knowing how to run a successful business. Tailored to PTs, the AIF’s Fitness Business Essentials course focuses on the latest digital marketing practices and trends to give you the best chance of sustained business success in the fitness industry.

Click here to find out more about Fitness Business Essentials



The Australian Institute of Fitness
The Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) is the largest and longest established fitness training organisation in Australia, with dynamic training methods and expert course coaches nationwide - spanning fitness, massage and nutrition. The AIF qualifies more fitness professionals than any other provider in Australia, as well as offering a broad range of continuing education courses (CEC), upskilling resources and partnership programs for existing industry.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.