This personal trainer now profits $3M+ annually

ABOUT THIS ARTICLE

Gym World comes from Kilo co-founder John Franklin, who shares lessons about making money in the fitness industry.

Grow your gym with his playbook…

What’s up Gym World?

Jon Goodman started as a broke personal trainer and grinded his way to profiting over $3M every year.

He went from:

  • Personal trainer
  • Online trainer
  • Writer
  • Running a MASSIVE blog for personal trainers
  • Starting the first certification for online trainers
  • Building software for online trainers

And achieved it all using the same playbook.

Jon Goodman personal trainer playbook

Here it is:

Content marketing

Few gym owners make content marketing their main growth strategy.

💡 The most successful gym owners we highlight often grow through great servicelow-barrier offers, or paid ads.

Creating content while running a business is time-consuming, so having a good strategy is important.

💡 Niching down to online trainers and building trust were key factors in Jon’s success in growing his following. He uses a framework called the Human Optimized Marketing System (HOMS), which answers 5 questions to target his audience:

1. What key benefit does my product/service provide?
2. Who are my customers?
3. What do they want?
4. Where am I going to find them?
5. How can I talk to them today?

But according to Jon, many gym owners misuse Instagram because:

  • They’re obsessed with getting likes—which don’t align with their goals and desired outcomes.
  • They forget the purpose of their content.
  • They focus on superficial metrics instead of conversions.
💡 This causes exhaustion, frustration, and confusion when there are no leads or clients.

To get results, Jon suggests focusing on converting attention into business. The best approach is to structure your Instagram like a sales page:

onlinetrainermentorship uses instagram as a sales app
OTM is Jon’s mentorship business.

This is the exact 3-step process Jon uses:

  1. Create 2-3 pieces of content each week that address your audience’s biggest questions/concerns.
  2. Show social proof with case studies and testimonials from real clients.
  3. Include a clear call to action on how to buy from you in the caption.

💡 Most people will search for you before talking to you. These three steps are proven to boost your conversion rate; posting prettier pictures won’t.

Referral marketing

Gym owners who use referrals get a ton of leads who are:

  • Higher quality because they’re the right type of client
  • Easier to convert because they’re more ready to buy
  • Part of a stronger network

And while there’s a strong push for owners to use social media, the best way to build awareness and grow your business is by talking to people.

💡 Word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing strategy, with 89% of people trusting recommendations from those they know.

Jon lives in a Toronto suburb called Etobicoke and finds most local businesses through recommendations.

I asked him how he’d grow a gym if he opened one. He shared a strategy that could get his business promoted thousands of times for free within weeks.

This is it: 👇

Step 1: Launch a podcast

Jon would start The Best of Etobicoke Podcast (TBE), featuring:

  • Community business leaders, or
  • Local establishment owners

Each episode would highlight their contributions to the community and how they got there.

💡 People enjoy sharing their stories. They’re more likely to agree to a face-to-face chat than a phone call. It helps build trust, and if they’re interested in your product or service, they might become customers or refer others.

He’d then ask guests to refer two more people to come on the show.

💡 Even with a tiny audience, this strategy helps build a strong network of the most well-connected individuals in the community.

Step 2: Get noticed

To grow any business, you need locals to notice you.

So, if Jon interviewed a Turkish coffee shop owner, he’d leverage the podcast by printing 100 business cards featuring the owner’s face and the episode title.

Jon printed 100 business cards with this design
He’d call it, “How the heck did such a wonderful Turkish cafe end up in Etobicoke (of all places)?”

Each card would include a QR code that leads to the episode via the gym’s website.

💡 Driving traffic to your gym website boosts visibility and improves search rankings.

Then, Jon would suggest the owner to attach the cards to customers’ orders so others in the community can hear their story.

💡 It’s a win-win: the business gets free promotion, and Jon spends a few dollars on printing. Plus, listeners are more likely to buy a product featured on a podcast.

Step 3: Grow

Jon would repeat the process with 10-15 other local businesses like:

  • Restaurants
  • Physiotherapists
  • Ice cream shops
  • Cafes
💡 These high-traffic places see lots of people every day, providing plenty of chances to get leads.

Within weeks, thousands of people would hear about Jon’s gym and he’d build strong relationships with key community members.


Imagine how your gym could grow if you talked to three new people every day…

TL;DR: takeaway for gym owners

Jon’s coaching empire is built on:

  • Content marketing
  • Referrals

There’s nothing complex—he stuck to the same strategy for every business and became a multi-millionaire.

For deeper insights, be sure to watch or listen to Jon’s full interview on Gym World.

until next week,

j

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