Master your branding strategy with these top tips from Stella Gianotto.

The idea of creating your own personal brand as an expert personal trainer can be overwhelming.

Where do you start and – more importantly – how do you stand out when, according to IBIS World there are almost 9,000 PTs in Australia? While it will take some time to build, putting effort into creating a consistent personal brand will help propel you towards your business goals more quickly. To get you started, here are the top seven mistakes to avoid when building your brand as a PT.

Mistake No #1: Thinking your logo is your brand 

Your brand is what people refer to, think of and associate with when they think of you, as your brand. Your logo is a visual extension of this, which is why it’s so important to do some serious thinking about your brand before you begin designing. This includes answering questions such as what do you as your brand stand for? What are the personality traits of your brand? How you want your clients to feel every time they interact with your brand? Your logo should visually represent these answers in a way that people understand, recognise instantly and can relate too.

Mistake No #2 – Using another personal trainer to develop your brand

While you might be inspired by another PTs brand, letting it influence your own is dangerous for one very simple reason: it won’t represent what you – as your brand – stand for. Only once you’ve been able to answer the fundamental branding questions above can you even consider how your brand walks, talks and even what it wears. Being different by being you is the key to standing out from the crowd, which brings me to point my next point…

Mistake No #3 – Having a brand that doesn’t reflect you

When it comes to personal brands, people buy people and some of the most successful brands are ones that have had the humblest of beginnings or an unusual start-up story. Think of Michelle Bridges – she went from humble trainer to building a personal empire worth $60 million, according to BRW, based on her personal brand’s core values of fitness, health and perseverance. Make sure that your brand is real by reflecting your own personal values in your offering and training delivery. If your brand appears untrustworthy, looks too fake or is unapproachable, then you’ll struggle to get business.

Mistake No #4 – Not looking like you’re in business

If you are in business, then look like you are in business. Getting the basics right, such as a quality printed business card, a sharp logo, email footer and professionally shot photo of you will give you instant credibility.

Mistake No #5 – Making it all about you

Think about when you meet someone new at a networking event and all they’re interested in is talking about themselves. It’s not much fun. When talking with potential clients, aim to explore their needs and ask engaging questions to help understand where their training or health priorities are. Only then can you subtly weave in examples of the type of training, nutritional advice and value you can bring to them as a personal trainer. This is far more effective than pushing your credentials down their throat by showing them your abs or Instagram account!

Mistake No #6 – You think you need to max your credit card

It’s true, good quality brands do require an investment of both time and money, but you don’t need to max out your credit cards. Stick within your own financial means to develop the best possible personal brand and look to do these basics: hire a graphic designer to design a logo and e-letter head, print business cards, build a one page website, invest in quality photography (be it stock images or bespoke) and, finally, if you can stretch it, invest in an editor to give your copy a boost because content is king.

Mistake No #7 – Letting other people dictate your brand

It’s common to seek the opinion of loved ones and other personal trainers when it comes to your branding, but do not let the unfounded opinion of others dictate what our branded marketing material should look like. Remember: you are your own brand. Think about what marketing platform you feel comfortable using, be it Facebook, Instagram or e-newsletters, and put some effort into using the platform consistently and well.

These common mistakes can be avoided when creating your personal training brand by investing some time exploring what you – as your brand – represent. Discovering this will help you avoid costly mistakes and start you on the pathway to creating a great brand as a personal trainer.

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