"Hey, Is This Bench Free?": Choosing a Profitable Fitness Niche for Dummies

Finding a profitable niche is the most important part of creating your fitness business so that it can grow for years to come. Often, however, it can feel like a lot of guesswork. If you've ever felt that way, this article was written for you!

Picture this. 

You’re you. You’ve been working shifts in your local gym for the last two years. You’re fresh out of whichever PT training course you paid for with your hard-earned cash. You’re young, excited, eager to enter the world of fitness on your own terms and managing your own clients. You’re sick and tired of being asked to hoover the gym floor for the third time that day and put the dumbbells back on the racks for the three-hundredth. 

But where the heck do you start? Do you design a rough-and-ready logo by cobbling together the smattering of freely-available graphics and fonts on Canva? Do you blunder your way through creating a whole website from scratch with your (least?) favourite drag-’n’-drop web editor? Or set up social media to advertise your services to yourself, your mum and three of your friends? 

There are a million and one things to do - trust us, we’ve been there. The first, though, should always be the same… 

Find your niche! 

A ‘niche’, from an old French word for ‘nest’, is the specialised segment of the business world that you call home. Your niche is the subsection of your industry’s market that you and your business are particularly targeting. Without a niche, you’re a standard ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ and every single potential client is going to be more interested in working with specialists in their area.

Let’s say - to pluck an example out of thin air - that you are setting up a digital marketing and media agency. That market is huge: every company needs digital marketing and media in this day and age. So you need to narrow down and build your nest in just one area of that market. What about fitness? Why don’t we call it, I dunno, FitMedia? 

It’s certainly got a ring to it.

Okay, admittedly far more thought needs to go into it than that. In this article, we’re going to look at how you, as a personal trainer, gym owner, sports therapist, nutritionist, or coach can find your specific niche in the fitness industry. 

Step One: Identify your interests and passions

We’re only going to say this once. If you are bored by what you do, you will come to hate it. If you hate what you do, you will do it badly. If you do it badly, nobody is going to buy your services. 

So, for goodness’ sake, pick a niche that interests you and that you are passionate about! 

We marketeers over at FitMedia work in the fitness industry because, as individuals, we love fitness. The founder is an ex-bodybuilder. The copywriter is an ultramarathoner. Other members of the team have been gymming for years. We don’t market stuff we don’t care about, simply put. 

And in your fitness business, you shouldn’t do things you don’t care about either. Passionate about bodybuilding? Coach bodybuilders! Big on golf? Then work with golfers! Had somebody in your family suffer from a particular lifestyle-related medical condition? Then learn about that and work with people who are concerned about the same issues! 

Doing this will mean that not only are you more interested in what you do, but your innate expertise will mean that clients are interested in you as well. Having that small pool of clients to whom you are the leading specialist in your niche will serve you so much better than having a giant roster of potential clients, none of whom view you as anything special at all. 

Step Two: What problems can you solve? 

Oftentimes, having this list of passions and interests is still not enough. Let’s say you become a bodybuilding coach… well, now you’re still one among thousands of bodybuilding coaches in your country alone. 

So you need a problem within your area of interest that you - preferably, only you - can solve with your level of expertise and energy. 

Do you know how to help bodybuilders recover from joint injuries? Or cut down to competition-ready body fat percentages you could count on one hand? Or are you an expert at helping bodybuilders adopt vegan lifestyles (or, for that matter, getting vegans to adopt the bodybuilding way)? 

Some useful questions when considering this can be: 

  1. What are my competitors doing - and what aren’t they doing? 
  2. Do I want to stay local or go (inter)national? 
  3. What are common problems faced by my clients or friends in this area? 
  4. Do I have specific knowledge (or can I get specific knowledge) in this area? 
  5. Do I have a network of prospects already with whom I can build up a portfolio of case studies and success stories in this area? 

Step Three: Corporate espionage.

Okay, it’s not really espionage. But do make sure you know who your competitors are and what they’re up to. 

Your first rule of thumb is this: if you have too many competitors doing just what you do, then your niche is too broad and you may need to find a different problem to solve or a less saturated angle of attack. 

You may also want to see how well-established your competitors are within your chosen niche. Have the top dogs got thousands of Instagram followers, or just a few hundred? Are they running slick, well-oiled, hard-to-say-no-to marketing machines, or are they not much further on than you are? If it’s the former, you might be banging your head against a wall sooner than you’d like (unless there are particular weaknesses in their offer that you’ve identified, leaving a gap in the market for you to exploit). If it’s the latter, you don’t have too much work to do to catch up and, eventually, dominate. 

If you get stuck, confused or would just like to check if your evaluation of the competition is correct, don’t be afraid to reach out to us! As a fitness marketing agency, we can quickly and easily complete some keyword and content research - something that we advise that you should do every three to six months - to find out where those gaps in the market exist.

Step Four: Profitability or Profit Liability?

Choosing a niche and building on it to become a subject matter expert is a marathon, not a sprint. And, like a marathon, you need to cover a lot of ground before you can really claim to have ‘made it’ in terms of long-term profitability. 

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a profitable niche will be free, accessible and problem-riddled. Let’s expand on this: 


Imagine you’re at the gym and you’re unsure if somebody’s using a piece of equipment. Solution? “Hey, is that bench free?”. We hope you aren’t the sort of person to just go and dump your stuff in somebody else’s workout station, or you’re not going to get very far through your set before you get thrown out again. 

The same applies to profitable niches. If your niche is already occupied by a number of similar businesses offering exactly the same thing you are, you aren’t going to get very much out of it unless your offer, marketing and sales are really on point. 


Being accessible is not necessarily a characteristic of the niche itself, but rather the target audience that your niche attracts. Each individual is not just a potential client; they are also husbands, fathers, mothers, wives, grandparents, children, grandchildren, carers, students, employees, lovers, volunteers, hobbyists and friends. 

As a result, not everybody has the time and (particularly) the disposable income for fitness coaching. Your audience, whoever they are, need to be geared in, clued up and motivated as to the reasons they want your services - and they need to be living the sort of lifestyle that makes fitness coaching a reasonable investment of their own time and money. Bear this in mind when choosing who you will be working with and how. 


A weird word to use when describing how to set up a business, for sure. But hear us out…

You need your potential clients to have problems, and problems they care enough about to hire somebody else to solve them. 

Maybe they are significantly overweight and this is impacting their self-confidence. Maybe they are starting out in bodybuilding but are struggling to put on muscle mass. Maybe they are coming back from injury and don’t know where to start. Or maybe they have signed up for a charity marathon next year but have only ever jogged casually and they’re now regretting their decision and need your help to ensure they’ll make it to the finish line. 

Pleasing an entire market is impossible, but pleasing individuals with problems that they need solving is not only doable but should be what you’re there for in the first place! 

Finding a profitable niche will future-proof your business for years to come.

At FitMedia, we work with fitness professionals - whether personal trainers, nutritionists, coaches or even entire gym brands - to find their niche. That’s our niche. We’ve been doing it for a long time and we’re unashamedly experts at what we do, as any of our current or former clients will tell you! 

You see, this is how you get customers. You find one thing - just one - and you do it really well. Clients will come to you and pay you to do your thing and work with them to find the solutions to their problems. 

And, just like that, your business is thriving from a solid marketing campaign directed at just the right leads, and you’re resilient against whatever the future has to throw at you. 

Here at FitMedia, we are already future-proofed. 

Are you?

Book a call today over at www.fitmedia.net/apply

Are you a FitPro in a bind? Need industry-leading marketing tips but nothing springs to mind? 

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