personal training

How to Get Personal Training Clients: 5 Ways that Work!

A personal trainer helping with an exercise

Being a personal trainer is a dream job for many fitness enthusiasts. All the hard work and determination that you’ve put in to train yourself and get that certification is something to be proud of. 

But being your own boss isn’t as simple as it sounds. Personal trainers have to take care of a number of things, from maintaining their social relationships to keeping up a good shape. And in between all that, there is a question that is always lingering in the back of your mind…

How to get personal training clients? 

The answer to that question is fairly simple but don’t confuse simplicity with ease. 

You just have to market your product well!

What is this product, you ask? 🙂

Well, you wouldn’t have to think too long, because that product you have to market is YOU.

Yeah, you read that right. 

The secret of selling personal training: People buy trainers, not training!

That’s what ‘Personal’ training is all about. In a job like this, you just have to know the golden rule- “Be the best, and make sure everyone knows it.” 

Given below are more tactics, tricks, and realistic ideas which would help you to get more personal training clients, sooner rather than later. 

  1. Build your network 
  2. Understand the power of social media and leverage it
  3. Don’t go overboard with discounting
  4. Ask for client referrals – the RIGHT way
  5. Switch to a smarter way of scheduling

Let’s get right into it.

1. Build your network

This goes without saying but, in a profession like personal training, a good attitude will take you a long way, and a good network will take you even further.

When you’re effectively selling ‘yourself’ alongside your skillset, the ability to build a rapport is priceless. Be present and visible in community-hosted lunches/ dinners and all events so people know who you are and remember you the next time someone asks them for a personal trainer.

From a business perspective, you should keep in mind the professionals who can directly benefit you in the form of referrals. 

Some of these professionals are:  

Spa owners and massage therapists

Spas and massage clinics are a haven to find people who care for their bodies. The way to go is to check out almost all the popular spas and massage clinics in the neighborhood and offer to add value to their services. 

Offer a two-way trade where they can send the clients looking for a personal trainer your way and make sure you send your clients to them if they’re in need of a massage. 

Medical professionals

Doctors are professionally obligated to tell their overweight patients to work out and lose that extra weight. An average American has a BMI just north of 31, which makes this a go-to solution. 

Instead of handing their patients a dietary instructions list, the doctors can send them your way to get fit for good.

Maintaining a good relationship is a given but offer something more to sweeten the deal. 

Offer a gift certificate good for $500 worth of personal training and it’ll definitely get you more personal training clients than ever. (We’ll get to why not call them FREE sessions instead of doing this in detail, later).

Real estate agents

When people come to live in a new area and they don’t know the place well, who do they ask which park to go to, which plumber to call, and yeah yeah, you guessed it right, which gym to join? 

Their real estate agents!

These are the people who have a direct influence on the people who just moved in, in the neighborhood. They can set a good first impression and recommend you to their clients which can definitely land you clients in an instant. 

Offering gift cards is a great way to get in their good books and get that inflow of clients without having to go through the trouble of, “Hey, I am a personal trainer who can help you in X ways.”

2. Understand the power of social media and leverage it

Social media marketing sounds intimidating, even more so after there are marketing professionals doing it for big corporations. But this is the answer to – where and how to find clients for your personal training business.

If your business isn’t on social media already, you need to get it up and running asap.

If you’re wondering how to find personal training clients on Facebook, then you’ll be surprised to know that customers who like a business on Facebook are 79% more likely to make a purchase.

Create dedicated business accounts on Facebook and Instagram for a traditional social media approach. If you can include videos, then due to its insane reach, Tiktok is a great way to advertise as well.

While you’re at it, join groups and take part in conversations. Posting regularly and being helpful on a forum will also build your rapport and will eventually land you clients.

After this, it all comes down to the basics of managing a social media business account. Let’s get down to business:

Schedule your posts

“Randomly posting on social media will get a good amount of online traffic and followers on your page.” 

No one ever

If you’re irregular with your social media posts then people wouldn’t be able to connect with your brand. Posting regularly and effectively on your account keeps your followers engaged and connected. 

Scheduled posts also ensure that you reach your target audience at a time when they’re online and this maximizes user engagement.

The more the number of people who interact with your posts, the more are the chances of you getting a personal training client because of the overall publicity from social media. 

Interact with your audience

Audience interaction is really important for your social media account to flourish and work the way you want it to.

It can be a simple workout tip of the day or a post about dietary nutrition followed up with a soft CTA (call to action) asking people about their health, workout, and dietary questions. 

You might be an expert on a certain subject matter, but portraying that to your audience is important when it comes to getting more personal training clients.

Nothing creates an image of an expert in the minds of people better than answering their questions. And that’s what you aim to be. An expert, in the minds of people.

Because the golden rule says, “make sure everyone knows it.” 

Celebrate your client’s achievements

Nothing quite says that you’re a great trainer than the results that your clients achieved in the gym. A client’s transformation is a journey that they’re proud of. You need to be a part of that picture, make them feel special (with permission of course), and post their achievements on your business social media accounts. 

What’s in it for you?

The audience, my friend. If you post a story today saying, “Awesome 200-pound deadlift today, John. Broke the previous PR. You bring it every time.” and get a repost from John, then your day is made. 

Not only do John’s friends know that he’s working out and killing it, but they also know that he has a heck of a trainer who’s helping him do all that.

Add a ‘Book Now’ button

What if you could get more personal training clients with just the click of a button?

With a few simple steps, you can create a Book Now button on your Instagram and Facebook account which converts visitors into paying customers right through the door. 

This button contains your booking link connected to your appointment scheduler and makes managing your appointment slots super easy.

Find out how to add a booking button on Facebook and Instagram.

Give paid advertising a try

Every once in a while, when you’ve made some content that you’re specifically proud of and think can do better, you can do paid promotions. These boost visibility and simultaneously credibility of the content that you put out there. 

More are the number of views and likes on your posts, more are the number of people who believe that it must be something right. This helps you find personal training clients as your reach increases multifold.

Hey, we didn’t make the rules, we just know how to use them to our advantage. Link your booking link to that post and see your slots fill up faster than the first show of a Marvel movie 😉

3. Don’t go overboard with discounting

Imagine that you’re booking a hotel room. While comparing prices, you come across a room with great photos and amenities but stupidly low prices. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? 

That’s exactly what your prospects think when they see that you offer your service at a highly discounted price. Simply put, if a client asks for a discount and gets one, then the perceived value of your service automatically goes down. 

It creates an idea that if someone is charging half of their competition, then they might only be half as good. Discounting will only get you clients, who are very difficult to retain because they are not looking for quality service. They’ll go to another competitor if offered a lower price. 

This doesn’t mean that discounting is always bad. It’s a judgment call that you have to take. Giving discounts to your most loyal customers who you’ve been working with for a long time creates a bond that immensely helps in client retention. 

A bonus tip: Don’t hand out FREE trials like candy. It devalues your service. If you need to entice someone with free service, do it in the form of gift certificates instead. Print out gift certificates that are good for 10 hours of training/ $500 worth of training and use those to hand out when needed.

4. Ask for client referrals – the RIGHT way

How do personal trainers get clients? By asking for referrals!

Sometimes you need to hear things from others to solidify their rightness in your mind. This works perfectly fine because we’re here to tell you. 

“Your clients love you.”

“They want you to succeed.” 

“They would not mind if you ask them for referrals!”

Although there is a way to ask for favors, there are things you can do that will up your game. 

Be direct

You shouldn’t beat around the bush when asking about a referral. The conversation should be short and sweet. It can be something like –

“Do you know someone who might be interested in personal training? A few slots have opened up and I wanted to give friends and family the first shot at them before I make it available to new clients.”

This might be awkward at first, but when you tell your clients that referrals help the business, they would jump at the opportunity to help. 

Pick the right time

Wait till the workout is over. Almost when the session is ending and it’s cool-down time, you can ask if they have time for a chat. 

If they agree, you can then tell them that you’ve anticipated gaps in your schedule. If they know someone who can benefit from them, you would like to offer a week’s membership for free to your gym. 

Reminder: A week’s free gym membership, not a week’s worth of free personal training. 

5. Switch to a smarter way of scheduling

Being a personal trainer is a highly demanding job. It is time-consuming and can prove to be a hassle if you don’t have enough time to balance things well. 

In order to do the job that you love efficiently for a long period of time, you have to be particular about managing your time.

Scheduling your clients and knowing when to make your move is what makes ‘Good’ personal trainers ‘Great’!

Don’t wait till the last minute for free slots to open in your calendar. Always keep an eye on the upcoming 2 weeks at least and see if there are any slots likely to open up. Take action now and send out emails to leads. 

If you have a waiting list, then use that to quickly fill up your slots. If not, by now you have a lot of ways to change that. 😉

Don’t worry, because we have just the thing for you. Check out Appointy’s personal training scheduling software which is designed to help fitness businesses grow.  

It can not only take care of all your scheduling needs but also help you in social media and email marketing. 

Final thoughts

Running a business like personal training isn’t the easiest thing to do. But the satisfaction of being your own boss and doing what you love makes it all worth it. 

A last piece of advice before we part ways is to channel your passion into determination. When you put your calculated time and effort into ideas that get things done, you’ll find results around the corner.

Simply put, take inspiration from tactics that worked for others, make them yours by adding your own twist, and if you’re still wondering how to get personal training clients, you can come back and take a look at this article again! 🙂

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!