How and When to Raise Your Hourly Personal Training Rates

Trinity Perkins | 20 May 2019

When was the last time you raised your hourly personal training rates? How would raising your rates impact your business?

All businesses progress through a series of changes where a rate increase is necessary. But raising your rates can be a scary task; maybe one you’ve been avoiding for a while. Did you set your rates too low from the beginning? Are you constantly turning clients away with no other way to increase your income? Is your time worth more now that you’ve earned additional training experience and credentials? Whatever your reason, there are many things to consider before making this inevitable adjustment.

Reasons to Raise Your Hourly Rates

More Demand for Your Services

You are constantly turning down clients and/or overextending yourself with limited options to increase your revenue. Raising your rates can help you work smarter and not harder. A price increase can help weed out clients who are not ready to commit and create strong leads with those who want to invest in their fitness.

More Training Experience

You have a proven track record of results, clients singing your praises and you are mastering your craft with continuing education. Increase your rates to match your experience.

Your Prices Have Been the Same for Years

Your rates have been the same for two or more years. Along with a rate increase, you might review your sales projections and training package structure to get a more accurate financial picture of your business.

Your Rates Were Too Low from the Beginning

Based on your income and what others in your area are charging, you realize that you set your rates too low from the beginning. The most common reasons for initially setting rates too low are fear of not getting enough clients and not doing research on competitive rates for your area. Now that you know your worth, it’s time to set your prices accordingly.

You Have Expanded Your Offerings

You are offering more services, hosting events and workshops, publishing more content, partnering with experts to provide more value to your clients and more! Providing more value justifies a rate increase. You may be surprised by how many of your clients support your price increase when they see the additional value of your services.

You Are Training in a New Facility

This one is easier for clients to understand because they can see the tangible costs of maintaining a new facility. If you moved from a shared space or large gym to your own facility, or if you’re sharing space with fewer trainers, raise your rates to cover the costs and to market yourself as offering “private training.”

How to Set Your New Rates

Start small with a $5 increase per hour. If you increase your prices by $5 per hour and train 50 sessions per month, that’s an additional $250 per month or an additional $3,000 per year. If you train 150 sessions per month, that’s an additional $750 per month or $9,000 per year.

What happens if you raise your rates and some of your clients leave? Consider this equation to ease your fears.

If you increase your rates by 10% per hour and 10% of your clients leave, you are not getting paid just as much for only 90% of the work. Even if you lose a few clients, you are better off working smarter and not harder.

How to Inform Your Clients of the Rate Increase

Pick a Date

Pick a date at least one month out to allow your clients a chance to make any necessary financial adjustments. Before the rate increase takes effect, you might allow all current clients to purchase another package at their current rate. Doing so lets them know you are looking out for their best interest and not just trying to make money off them. You might also reach out to your list to let them know of the change in advance. This creates some urgency for those “thinking about” working with you while generating a few quick sales.

Send a message to all clients

Avoid conversations during their training sessions. Instead, craft a detailed and personalized letter like the one below. Follow up each email with a phone call and offer to schedule time to sit and discuss the changes in person.

Disclose the Value-Adds

Give as much detail as possible about what they can expect with the price increase. You do not need to over-explain your reason for the increase, but it’s important to detail what your clients will get by paying more. You can mention some new things and remind them of services you currently offer.

Example Client Letter

Dear Christine,
Thank you for your commitment to ongoing personal training. It has been a sincere pleasure watching your progress these past 7 months; I am so proud of you! Thinking back to the knee pain and low energy that brought you to training and now seeing you complete your interval circuits with ease (and keep the younger ladies encouraged!) is so motivating! The best has yet to come.

As a valued client, I am writing to let you know of some changes taking place with my business effective May 15, 2019. Due to an increase in demand and service over the past 24 months, effective May 15th, my hourly rate for personal training services will increase from $65 to $75 per hour for all new clients. Your rate will remain $65 per hour until August 15th.

Here are some other changes to look forward to along with the price increase -

  • TrainIt Software - all clients will receive a free account to keep track of their nutrition and fitness information to access 24/7. You will get real-time feedback for all of your efforts outside your training sessions.
  • Discounted monthly Yoga Meetups at the studio with local Yoga Instructors, Dak and Amelia Swanson. Scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.
  • Studio YouTube page with a new do-anywhere circuits uploaded weekly
  • New referral points program. More details to come.

If you have any questions about these changes or need to make a payment plan in light of this increase, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Yours in health,
Trinity Perkins

Closing Notes

While you see your pay in terms of your hourly rate or package price, your clients view your rate as a reflection of the value and results you provide. Getting into the mindset that you deserve a raise is more important than picking the actual rate. Reflect on your experience, excitement for the future of your business, results you’ve delivered and time you’ve invested - you are worth it. Sometimes we project our fears on others when they are actually standing alongside us cheering us on to be successful. The future of your business is ready for this next step!

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Trinity Perkins

About the author: Trinity Perkins

Trinity Perkins is an AFAA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, ISSA Performance Nutrition Specialist and ISSA Specialist of Exercise Therapy. After working in a corporate gym part time for 1 year (while holding a full time job by day), Trinity began her own personal training and performance nutrition coaching business at a private studio in northern Virginia in 2012. The full-time owner of Fitness All Ways, LLC, formerly Train with Trin, LLC, her life’s mission is to motivate and inspire people to, “Live every day to the fittest.” Trinity incorporates principles of performance nutrition with strength training and aerobic exercises to create a training experience for each of her clients. Her client lists includes all levels of fitness from competitive athletes to people just beginning their fitness journey. Trinity holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Old Dominion University and a Master of Science in Health Education from Kaplan University.

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