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By Josh Elsesser

Running a fitness business is a unique venture. Whether it’s a personal training company, a fitness studio, boot camp or a full-service gym, there are aspects to running a business in the fitness industry that is specific to the fitness industry. Some things, however, are universal in business. Having a well-crafted Customer Persona is one of those things.


A customer persona is a detailed description of exactly WHO your customer is. This is crucial because, without it, you are shooting in the dark to get clients and customers.

Whether you call it a customer persona or an avatar, it impacts virtually every aspect of your client-generating activities.

  • Copywriting – how to craft a message specifically for your customer that can be used in all areas of your marketing
  • Website – how the look of your site should be
  • Content marketing – blog posts, seminars, webinars, videos, podcasts or lead magnets
  • Type of products – e-books, programs, or other products that can solve a specific problem your customers face

Every part of your lead generation strategy that “touches” your potential customer, and that’s pretty much all of them, will improve when you develop an ultra-clear picture of exactly who your customer is.

After all, you are trying to connect with a real person. Spending time developing your customer persona, in the beginning, helps you to find customers and allows for a greater opportunity to move them to action.


Almost all business development agencies or coaches recommend creating a customer persona and depending on who you ask, they run from really simple, to extremely complicated. I have identified 5 areas that I have found crucial to the creation of a customer persona. The 5 areas provide a very clear picture of who your potential customer is, but also doesn’t require a marketing degree to create. As I describe each area, look at the sample customer persona.

Part 1: WHO – Demographics are useful when writing copy for blogs, emails, or your website. Age, gender, and marital status are just a few of the questions to answer. Again, the more specific you get, the more specific your marketing message can be.

Chris Client

  • Age: 45
  • Occupation: Sales Manager
  • Gender: Male
  • Income: $125,000
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Education Level: Master’s degree
  • Children: 2
  • Ages: 6 & 8
  • Location: Orange County, CA

Part 2: WHY – Knowing what they want to achieve, and what values they hold dear allows you to create more relevant programs and products. What are their specific goals, and what values do they hold dear?


Wants to…

  • lose 15-20 lbs
  • increase lower body strength
  • have more energy throughout the day


Holds dear…

  • time with family
  • cannot interfere with a job
  • wants to see results quickly

Part 3: WHERE – This will help you identify where to market. Knowing what books and magazines they read, the websites they frequent, or social media accounts they use can direct you to the kinds of places that your message can get in front of them.

  • Books: Think and Grow Rich, Good to Great
  • Magazines: Success, Men’s Health
  • Websites:  CNN, Netflix
  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Fitness Information: Facebook, Magazines, YouTube

Part 4: HOW – What challenges do they face? What are their specific pain points? If you can anticipate the answers to these questions, you can continue to fine-tune your message to address them.


  • hectic work schedule
  • family obligations
  • tried and failed multiple times

Pain Points:

  • fear of failing, again
  • fear of losing money

Part 5: WHAT – What are their possible objections? Anticipating the potential reasons that they may not take advantage of your product or service will allow you to continue to craft your message in a way that alleviates these objections.


  • how is this different than programs they have done before


Don’t stop at just one. Build multiple customer personas for your business. Especially if you offer multiple services, such as 1:1 personal training or boot camp. Each program appeals to different segments of the market.

Want to learn more about accelerating your business success? Check out the NASM Business Accelerator Program