How to Get Clients as a Personal Trainer

How to Get Clients as a Personal Trainer

Wondering how to get personal training clients in 2020? Unfortunately, today it’s not enough to simply begin a personal training business and leave it at that. You need to work harder than ever before to succeed.

We live in a time of tremendous competition and overwhelming complexity. In order to get clients, we can’t just sit back and wait for them to come to us; we have to actively pursue them, and offer value the whole way through. Fortunately for us, Google, social media, and the Web makes it a little easier.

Here are 6 effective steps that show you how to get clients as a personal trainer.

1. Give Free Trials

If you’re severely lacking in patients, the best way to kickstart your personal training business is by giving free trials to people that are interested.

Make sure you don’t deliver sub-standard work just because you’re not getting paid. Your free trial clients should all have a stellar experience — this is what’s going to win you business and referrals down the line.

You can give a one-week, one-session, or one-day trial. All have worked for my clients in the past — it’s up to you.

2. Get A Google Profile (Yes, Personal Trainers Should Do It Too!)

Almost every personal trainer I’ve talked to thinks that a Google My Business profile is a waste of time. They couldn’t be more wrong!

Having a fully filled out Google profile with reviews doesn’t just help people find you — it also helps your website rank higher on Google, and lets you take advantage of the thousands of searches for “personal training near me” that are happening in your area. And the best part is: it’s free!

Some of my clients get all of their business completely from Google. Their schedules fill up months in advance, and the calls keep coming. That could be you.

The steps are simple (there’s really only two):

  1. Visit and enter the name of your personal training business.
  2. Follow the instructions to create your profile and verify your account.

Make sure to post often and fill out all of the information Google lets you.

Voila! Over the course of the coming weeks and months, you’ll steadily increase in rankings and start getting inquiries for your services. It’s that simple.

3. Collect All Potential Client Emails

Rarely do I see a personal trainer already have an email marketing strategy in-place when I meet them. Which is unfortunate, because email marketing is one of the best ways to reach prospects where they live — in their email inbox.

Make sure you’re collecting the email of every one of your potential clients. If they call in, ask them for their email address to send them a discount code. If they write you, make sure there’s a spot on the form for them to fill in their email. And if you meet them in person, let them know you have an email-only savings program that you’ll happily send them to help save them a bit of money.

And then, you know… do those things. Have a 10% discount code, or a monthly savings program. It takes a few hours to set up, but can be the difference between having just ten clients and having fifty. I recommend ActiveCampaign to my clients to manage this.

4. Have Monthly Or Quarterly Bootcamps

You have clients, sure, but you know what’s better than one-on-one training? A fitness bootcamp.

Fitness bootcamps foster a sense of community with your clients, and is the best way I’ve found to generate strong referral traffic. Think about it — if you sign up for a fitness bootcamp, you can’t help but tell every single one of your close friends and family members about it. And as the weeks drag on, those friends and family members will naturally take advantage of your word of mouth marketing.

Make sure to put a hard cap on your attendees, though. Something like “No more than x people”. This will actually help you book more people rather than fewer, since the sense of scarcity and exclusivity will drive your clients to push their friends and family to join.

5. Cultivate Relationships With Health Workers In Your Area

The backbone of any thriving business is a strong referral strategy. One that works exceptionally well for personal trainers is to cultivate long-term professional relationships with the health workers in your area, like doctors, physiotherapists, and chiropractors.

This allows you to refer clients that need a doctor, physio, or chiro to them — and your doctors, physios, and chiros will begin referring patients to you. It’s a win-win.

If you don’t have any connections, a good place to start is with your own doctor, physiotherapist, or chiropractor. If they do good work, refer a handful of patients to them over the course of a few months and casually let them know next time you’re in session. They’ll appreciate it, and this is often how strong referral connections start.

6. Get On The ‘Gram

Personal training is often highly visual in nature. Know what else is highly visual in nature? Instagram.

Post client progress pictures and short videos explaining form and technique. They don’t need to be long — ten or twenty seconds will do, once or twice per week. And make sure to include a few short clips of you casually flexing.

Yes, flexing. A big reason why you’ll succeed as a personal trainer is because your clients want to achieve a similar level of fitness to you (though most of them will never come right out and say it). Take advantage of this and showcase your aesthetics — your body is the best marketing tool your business will ever have.

Starting a personal training business is anything but easy. You have to work long hours on your feet, stay in constant communication with your clients, and spend extra hours maintaining your own physical fitness every week.

But it’s also incredibly rewarding. You get to see your clients improve day-by-day. You see them get leaner, stronger, faster. You help them achieve their fitness goals and, sometimes, transcend their own limitations to become the person they’ve always wanted to be.

So help as many people as you can! Learn to market your business, and you’ll soar to new heights in personal training you never thought possible. Run the extra metaphorical mile — your clients will thank you.

Liked this article? I help personal trainers, physios, and chiropractors market themselves and get more business. Ask anything you’d like — always happy to help the health community :-)