Networking and the Business of Coaching

In the coaching field, fostering relationships is essential. Coach360 values the power of networking and its impact on your business. That’s why we’ve joined forces with ISSA to offer you a complete networking blueprint. Being well-connected not only keeps you updated on industry insights and trends, but also establishes you as a leader in the community. Don’t wait – dive into our expert networking advice today.

Networking is an essential part of building a successful career in the fitness industry. Whether you’re a personal trainer, fitness instructor, or health coach, connecting with other professionals in your field can help you build your business, stay up-to-date on the latest trends and research, and find new clients. 

However, networking can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure where to start or how to make meaningful connections. In this article, we’ll explore the best ways for fitness professionals to network and build their careers in the industry. From attending events to using social media, we’ll provide tips and strategies to help you establish valuable connections and advance your career in health and fitness.

Why is Networking Important for Health and Fitness Professionals?

Whether you’re a new trainer or health coach or you’ve been in your career for a while, networking is vital to creating and sustaining a healthy, successful career. Networking is essential for fitness professionals to build their businesses, expand their knowledge, and establish themselves as credible and trustworthy experts in their field.

  1. Building relationships: Networking allows fitness professionals to build relationships with other professionals in their industry, which can lead to future collaborations, referrals, and business opportunities.
  2. Staying up-to-date: By networking with other professionals, fitness professionals can stay up-to-date on the latest trends and research in the fitness industry. This can help them improve their knowledge and skills, which can ultimately benefit their clients.
  3. Finding new clients: Networking can help fitness professionals find new clients through referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations. By building a strong network of professionals, they can tap into a wider pool of potential clients.
  4. Enhancing credibility: Networking can also enhance a fitness professional’s credibility and reputation within the industry. By being well-connected and respected by other professionals, they can establish themselves as a trusted authority in their field.

The Most Effective Ways to Network as a Health and Fitness Professional

Not sure how to get started? Need fresh ideas on how to meet more clients and other health and fitness pros? Check out these networking tips and suggestions from founders, CEOs, and other business professionals. 

Become a Guest on a Health Podcast

Podcasts are increasingly gaining traction in the health industry. Millions of consumers rely on podcast episodes to stay informed about their health and taboo topics that mainstream professionals may not disclose. But these episodes aren’t directed only at patients—medical professionals also listen in on the insights shared by colleagues in their industry. 

As such, getting featured as a guest on a popular podcast is an excellent way to increase your brand awareness and establish professional relationships. It’s not uncommon for listeners to reach out to podcast guests on social media. If you’re intentional about building relationships, consider inviting your audience to connect with you on your social profiles afterward. You’re likely to land at least a few networking opportunities this way.

Stephan Baldwin, Founder, Assisted Living Center

Join Fitness Groups on Social Media Platforms

A great way to network with other professionals and health and fitness enthusiasts is by joining fitness groups and forums where health and fitness professionals discuss new studies, new findings, ask questions, and share important discoveries together. This can give you the space to get involved in discussions, offer your advice, and get to know others in the field.

John Gardner, Co-Founder and CEO, Kickoff

Build Genuine Relationships

One networking tip for health and fitness professionals, both in person and online, is to focus on building genuine relationships and providing value to others. To build genuine relationships, take the time to get to know other professionals in the industry by attending events, conferences, and networking opportunities. Listen to what they have to say, ask thoughtful questions, and follow up with them after the event. 

In addition, focus on providing value to others by sharing your knowledge and expertise. You can do this by creating and sharing educational content, taking part in online forums and groups, and volunteering your time and services to help others in need.

By building genuine relationships and providing value to others, you can establish a strong reputation as a knowledgeable and trustworthy professional in your industry, which can lead to new opportunities and partnerships in the future.

Isaac Robertson, Fitness Trainer and Co-Founder, Total Shape

Collaborate With Other Professionals in Related Fields

One networking tip for health and fitness professionals is to seek opportunities to collaborate with other professionals in related fields. For example, a personal trainer could collaborate with a nutritionist to offer a comprehensive health and fitness program, or a yoga instructor could partner with a massage therapist to provide a holistic wellness experience.

By collaborating with professionals in related fields, health, and fitness professionals can expand their network, offer more value to their clients, and potentially gain new clients through referrals. 

To find potential collaborators, health and fitness professionals can attend networking events, join online communities in related industries, or even reach out directly to professionals they admire and respect. Building mutually beneficial partnerships can help health and fitness professionals strengthen their position in the industry and create a unique offering for their clients.

Will Gill, Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

Build an Online Persona in Your Field

The first step to making connections within an industry is being recognized as part of it. To do so, it’s important to develop an online persona in your niche. You need to be known as a thought leader in your field, and a lot of that comes down to how you build your personal brand. 

If you consistently post high-quality information and content in your industry (on social media or notable publications), you will develop a brand in that sphere. Once people recognize you as an expert, it will be easier to build partnerships with other people and businesses.

Brian Munce, Managing Director, Gestalt Brand Lab

Give Back to Your Local Community

One way to network as a health and fitness professional is through volunteering. Find a nearby organization with similar values to your own to support. Examples include a YMCA, a local food bank, or a youth sports league. You’ll build connections with the local community and other like-minded professionals. It’s a great way to grow your business and give back at the same time.

Kim Walls, CEO and Co-Founder, Furtuna Skin

Hand Out (or Email) Business Cards and Consult Coupons

Have business cards or even free consultation coupons on hand at all times. Give them out to people, but also be sure to get their information in return. Be proactive and make the first move to build a relationship with them; don’t expect them to follow up with you. 

Email or call your contacts to check in and invite them to get together for lunch. Connecting with your fellow health and fitness professionals can lead to more clients, business opportunities, and insight from other like-minded individuals.

Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer, Pluto

Introduce Yourself to Businesses in Your Area

One of the best ways to network as a health and fitness professional is to get to know the other health businesses in your area. Knowing what the needs are of the people in your local community can help you make connections that bring potential clients and expertise to your brand. 

For example, if you connect with a gym owner, they may connect personal training clients with you. Working with a local school provides opportunities for training football or basketball athletes. Connecting with a health-focused grocery store gives you a place to send your clients. Fitness is a unique industry where it’s possible to share clients based on expertise, so making yourself known as a specialist or expert in a type of training may be all you need to help your brand grow.

Erny Peibst, Founder and CEO, Inside Bodybuilding

Be Judgment-free and Focus on Honest Conversations

Being a health and fitness professional can seem intimidating for many of your potential clients during networking events. When you talk about your profession, you may hear people say they are terrible at eating healthy or that they haven’t worked out in too long. 

Give answers free of judgment and invite people to work with you to have a professional in their corner and see the results they deserve. Health and fitness professions are more than just not being overweight. It’s about connecting to your body and achieving personal goals. Tap into that in conversations instead of discussing the areas of your business that many people may find intimidating

Inbar Madar, Founder and Business Consultant, M.I. Business Consulting

Stay Consistent With Outreach Efforts

One networking tip for health and fitness professionals, both in person and online, is to be consistent with their outreach efforts. Connecting with potential clients or collaborators can be daunting, but establishing a consistent networking routine and sticking to it will ensure they are proactively reaching out and building relationships. 

Make sure to also make the most of any networking opportunities you come across—whether it is attending conferences or online webinars, or engaging in social media.

Amy Lee, Medical Advisor, Nucific

Attend Conferences and Workshops

Networking is a fantastic way to connect with people of similar interests and help to expand your fitness career potential. After being in the fitness industry for over two decades, two of the most beneficial forms of networking for me have been attending national conferences and expanding my certifications with local workshops. 

Attending conferences such as the World IDEA Convention are a great way to network with people worldwide. Not only can you gain continuing education credits for attending the various workshops offered, but they also allow you to meet people from other parts of the world. In addition, I learned what they might do differently to improve my technique while making lasting relationships that helped when I moved to a new state. 

Another excellent networking opportunity is attending local workshops. This allows you to meet other fitness professionals within your community and opens up the potential for referrals and new job opportunities.

Katie Pierson, Group Fitness Instructor and Lead Writer, Girl Bike Love

Don’t Be Afraid to Approach People

For beginner coaches or trainers, it’s hard to put yourself out there and develop relationships. You might feel that your skills aren’t as good or that people just want nothing to do with you. While there are coaches and trainers who are like that, they are an exception. 

In most cases, whether you reach out to someone online or go talk to them in person, giving them a compliment about their work, or saying that you would like to learn from them will spark their interest. Even if you think you can’t provide them with any value, treating them with respect will usually make people want to help you.


This article has been republished with permission. Original article was published as a blog post on ISSA online.

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is the global leader in online fitness and wellness certifications. For more than 35 years, ISSA has been committed to delivering comprehensive, cognitive, and practical education grounded in industry research. Rooted in Certified Personal Training certifications, ISSA offers over 50 fitness and wellness certifications and specializations, including a Yoga Alliance-recognized Yoga 200-Hour Teacher Training Course, Certified Personal Training en Español, Health Coaching, Nutrition, and more. ISSA has educated nearly half a million trainers across 176 countries while driving toward their vision to connect 100 million people to the power of healthy living by 2030.

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