How to Earn Clients With a Fitness Gift Guide

On a white background, a Santa hat, a scale, a measuring tape and gold dumbbells.

Every home gym needs a set of parallettes and a vibrating foam roller.


Probably not, but it’s the season of holiday gift guides for fitness freaks, and the internet is full of goofy gimmicks, pointless products and bad advice.

If you offer some real insight in your media, you might earn a new client.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

Here’s an example of the kind of “fitness advice” people see at the time of year when retailers push hardest to sell stuff:

“10 Highly-Reviewed Fitness Products That You’ll Want to Treat Yourself To”

Let’s be clear: This “article” is an ad. But it’s found in the “Health & Fitness” section of, and most people won’t see the fine print, which reads: “The Shopping Trends team is independent of the journalists at CTV News. We may earn a commission when you use our links to shop.”

You could delete “may” from that sentence. This is product placement made to look like fitness advice. So people are going to look at the list of mostly useless products and consider adding them to their home gym or gifting them to others.

As gym owners, you and I both know most of the products on the list aren’t essential or even particularly effective. And it’s not clear how buying a folding mat or pink resistance band will improve fitness.

That’s where you come in.

Why not create a short list of effective fitness products people can buy or gift? The key: Your list will show off your expertise, and you can use it to start conversations with potential clients.

The Plan

Here are the simple steps you can take today:

1. Make a List

Pick five locally available products that a new or even experienced exerciser might use to get fit. Describe each product and explain why it’s on your list. Set yourself apart by passing on the Shake Weight and explaining how a 35-lb. kettlebell is an incredibly versatile, relatively inexpensive piece of gear that can help people with strength and conditioning.

You can even get creative with your list. For example, you could break it up like this: top products under $50, under $100, over $500, etc.

Bonus points: Include something you sell and link to it.

2. Contact Local Businesses

Connect to other local businesses whose products you’re featuring and tell them when your article is coming out. At the very least, you’ll start a conversation with another local entrepreneur. But you might even get a special discount code, a back link from the other website, a mention on social media or even client referrals.

3. Promote Yourself

Include your gym’s intro package or PT sessions on your list.

4. Create a Guide

Pick one of the items on your list—the most popular one­—and write a short guide for it. For example: “Top 5 At-Home Kettlebell Workouts” or “How Much Protein Powder Do I Need to Take?” Offer that guide to readers for free if they send you a message. When they do, send the guide but continue the conversation naturally: “What are your fitness goals for 2024?”

You can also use a website to automate delivery of your “lead magnets.” Just be sure that your system collects email addresses and feeds them into a nurturing sequence.

5. Publish!

Post your article to your blog and share the link everywhere.

You can also publish a truncated version of the blog right to social media if you’re prepared to monitor messages and prefer that platform to your website.

Help First

The principle here is simple, and Chris Cooper has written about it many times:

People need help getting fit. Don’t let them get led astray and buy dumb products they’ll never use. Help them find good products from reputable retailers. Then offer to tell them how to use the products properly to accomplish their goals.

Some of the people you connect with are going to become clients because they’ll recognize your expertise and appreciate your assistance.

Is that “selling”? Not in the traditional sense. It’s helping. But if you help people and establish yourself as a kind local expert, you’re going to make sales, too.

“Help First” by Chris Cooper’s is available here.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.