You passed your test, obtained your certification and you’re confident in your skills as a Personal Trainer, but in order to succeed, you’ll first need a few personal training clients.
Especially when you’re just starting out, figuring out how to get personal training clients can seem incredibly daunting, but a proactive approach along with some good business and marketing strategies can do wonders to generate a steady stream of clients.
Here are the top strategies to help you get clients now:
- Determine a good price point: Expecting to be paid like a celebrity trainer when you’re just a newbie will leave you wondering why so few clients are rushing to sign up. Do a bit of research to determine the market rate of training sessions in your area. If you find that experienced personal trainers are offering their services for $80 per hour, then pricing your services at $100 per hour is probably not a winning strategy. Once you’ve built up an initial set of clients, word of mouth and referrals will bring you more business, and that will be the time to consider adjusting your price. On the other hand, pricing your services too low can imply lesser value and will eat into your long-term profits.
- Get recognized as an expert: No matter how skilled you are, clients will pay you based on how skilled they think you are. To build your authority in the fitness arena, you will have to continuously learn and through ongoing education. This means staying up-to-date with the latest trends in fitness. Start learning and writing about your expertise and experience as a personal trainer. Publishing a blog post or sending out a weekly email newsletter are easy ways for potential clients to find you, and they can help to further establish you as an expert. These types of marketing efforts will allow your clients do the marketing for you.
- Seek out the networkers: A well-known real estate agent, a respected doctor in your neighborhood, a sociable mother of three, the barista at your local Starbucks, and the manager of your apartment condo are all excellent sources of client leads. Let them know what that you’re looking to grow your client list, and be sure to ask for referrals. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Especially when starting out, these types of well-networked clients who come in contact with many other people as part of their jobs or lifestyle, are excellent referral generators as their opinions are already trusted by these connections. Let your clients do the talking for you. Their raving remarks and praises will always win you new business.
- Get social: These days, a clean and informative website outlining your services, pricing, special offers, and contact information is an absolute must. Having a strong presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is a ever-growing marketing strategy. You can use these channels to celebrate the successes of your clients by tagging them (with their permission), allowing you to effectively advertise yourself to their entire social network. Engage with clients and get them involved in promotions and competitive challenges. Additionally, many of your clients will enjoy showing off to their friends that they are leading a healthy lifestyle, and may mention or tag you on their social media accounts, further increasing your visibility.
- Find your niche: Personal training is a highly competitive industry. To be successful, you must offer incredible value to your clients while standing out from the crowd. Your niche, whether it be athletes, prenatal moms-to-be, high-profile corporate executives, or the elderly, allows you to target a very specific market that can solidify your reputation and expertise. Offering any sort of competitive edge will make you much more attractive to clients.
- Offer low-cost, short-term programs: Most of your clients are going to find it intimidating and costly to commit to a “lifetime” of fitness. Offer shorter, 2-3 week programs with specific goals. The mere act of attracting these clients for an introductory program is likely to convert to them to ongoing customers when they see the positive results.
- Follow up with lost clients: Clients will come and clients will go. It’s inevitable. People lead busy lives and fitness is often put on the back burner. Often times, a gentle reminder or check-in with a phone call to a past client can be enough to convince them to rejoin your client roster.
- Target corporate clients: With skyrocketing healthcare costs, corporations are becoming increasingly aware that people are their biggest assets. Many corporations are implementing company-wide initiatives to promote a healthy lifestyle for their employees, offering discounts on gym memberships, creating weight-loss challenges and providing healthier snacks in break rooms. Contact the Human Resources department offer to give a presentation about fitness specifically focusing on how personal training can benefit busy employees and executives. A single 45 minute presentation can expose you to hundreds of potential clients.
- Partner up: Sometimes you can find other businesses and consultants that would love to exchange referrals. Potential partners include hair and nail salons, day spas, chiropractors, physical therapists, and community centers. Give them a copy of your business card or flyer and ask them to share it with anyone they might feel could benefit from your services. One idea of a strong partnership is to invite your clients on a health food grocery store field trip as a way to bring customers to the store, but also to entice the owner to help generate leads for your business. These types of businesses have a constant stream of potential clients coming in and there is a lot of potential to create a mutually-beneficial partnership.
- Keep current clients happy: Your clients are paying you for results. The lack of progress is the number one reason that clients lose interest in personal training. Push your clients hard to keep them motivated and on track with their fitness goals. Set goals and maintain a sense of commitment. It’s your job to train your clients in a way that will yield them the best results while keeping them coming back for more. High client turnover and low retention means you’re wasting all the effort you put into signing up the client in the first place. You may also consider giving your top clients a gift to show your appreciation for their business.
- Show clients you value their referrals: A happy client who brings you more business is one of your biggest assets and deserves to be rewarded. Show your appreciation for the referrals with a small gift or by offering a free training session for every few referrals. This type of loyalty program pays for itself over time. Giving away a free training session to win a new client who will stay with you for years is a no brainer.
In the end, there is no magic formula on how to get personal training clients. Success does not come overnight and it will take a bit of hard work and networking from you. A passionate, enthusiastic, and energetic approach, combined with a little business savvy will go a long way in your success as a personal trainer.