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How to Get Personal Training Clients

how to get personal training clients

In today’s post, we’re going to cover seven different ways to bring in personal training clients.

Some of these methods involve a bit of digital marketing savvy, while others rely on good old face-to-face interaction.

So, whether your strengths lie in computers or conversation, this article will have some client acquisition tips you can implement today.

Alright, let’s get to it.

  1. Nail the initial consultation.
  2. Go the extra mile for current clients.
  3. Ask for client referrals.
  4. Approach your local mavens.
  5. Make a great website.
  6. Run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads.
  7. Create a Facebook Page.

Nail the initial consultation


Much of this article will discuss how to find new clients.

But before you go searching for new business, you need to make sure you have the initial consultation conversation down to a science.

Here’s the thing: you could use all kinds of savvy digital marketing tactics to get 100 potential clients to call you.

However, if you fumble over your words and fail to appear professional when you first talk to those potential clients, there’s a good chance none of them hire you.

If you want your new client consultations to go as smoothly as possible, you can use the following tips.

Discuss their goals

Your clients want to know their goals and concerns are acknowledged. Make the conversation about them by asking what their fitness goals are.

Once you have that information, you can explain to the client exactly how you would help them achieve those goals.

Explain the initial physical assessment

You don’t want to develop a training regimen without understanding your client’s physical limitations.

While you’re talking with a potential client, mention that they would have to perform an initial assessment to gauge how fit they are. Be sure to include that this assessment will be measuring the following things:

  • Basic measurements
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Cardiovascular fitness

If you’re at a gym, you can even run your clients through this assessment before they hire you. This will give them a taste of your physical training capabilities and will make it easier to transition into a sales pitch.

Ask them to hire you

Once you feel a potential client understands what you have to offer, you need to be direct and ask them to hire you.

Ask them to hire you.

Directly asking someone to hire you will feel weird at first. However, it’s an absolute necessity if you want to turn prospects into paying customers.

If you feel awkward about it, don’t worry. People understand you’re running a business and that you don’t work for free. Just be upfront about the training packages you offer and the pricing that goes with each. If someone truly wants to use your services, they’ll happily pay your rates.

Go the extra mile for current clients

People trust their friends and family more than any promotional content you post on the internet.

As such, one of your best sources of new clients will be referrals from your current clients ‒ if they’re happy with your services, of course.

So, before you start running around looking for new clients, you should first zero in on how to improve the experience your current clients are receiving.

Here are a few tips for improving the level of personal training service you provide.

Dress like a pro

Put some thought into how you look while you’re training clients.

People who are willing to spend money on a personal trainer don’t want to be instructed by some schmuck wearing basketball shorts and an old T-shirt.

To show clients you’re serious about your work, invest in some high-quality athletic wear.

I’ll leave the specifics up to you. Just make sure whatever you wear makes you look serious about fitness.

Prepare for each session

If you know your stuff, it’s pretty tempting to walk into a session with zero preparation. After all, you’re just telling your client to perform certain exercises; how much preparation do you need?

Does your social media marketing need a boost?

Well, if you want to impress your clients and increase the odds they send a few referrals your way, you should spend at least 15 minutes preparing for each session.

Think back on how the previous sessions went. Which exercises did the client have the most trouble with? Are there any new techniques you want to incorporate into the next session, or should you continue with the fitness plan?

Provide nutritional advice

While you might not be a nutritionist, many of your clients will look to you as an authoritative source of dietary information.

So, if you feel comfortable giving nutritional advice, you should do so.

Match their goals to certain types of food. Tell them about quick and tasty recipes they can whip up on the fly. If you think a piece of food-related advice will help them, let them know about it.

Arrive early

Nothing looks less professional than arriving late for a training appointment. Make sure that doesn’t happen by arriving early and going over that day’s workout plans while you wait.

Ask for client referrals

If you’ve made an effort to go above and beyond for your current clients, you should feel comfortable asking those clients for referrals.

Ask for client referrals.

If you’re uncomfortable with confrontation, asking for referrals can seem almost as intimidating as asking someone to hire you.

Don’t worry about it. As long as you’ve demonstrated your value to your current clients, most will be happy to recommend you to their friends and family.

How to ask for referrals from personal training clients

Build value before asking

You must show your clients the value of your services before asking them to recommend you to other people.

Ideally, this will come when the client is nearing the fitness goal they set at the beginning of their time with you.

Deciding when to ask is a judgment call. Some clients will be visibly thrilled with your services after a couple of sessions. Others may take a while to warm up to you and will only provide a referral after you’ve helped them achieve their goals.

Waiting until a client has seen significant improvement will also help with the effectiveness of their referral ask. If someone notices a clear difference in the way a client looks, they’re going to want to know what enabled them to make the transformation.

Offer incentives

People are selfish.

I’m not trying to be mean; it’s just human nature to look out for yourself.

So, if you offer clients an incentive to provide you with referrals, many will be more likely to help you out.

The easiest incentive to implement is a discount on future sessions, though you can also offer a cash reward for each new client they send your way.

You should also offer incentives for the people who are referred to you. Give them a free or discounted initial session, and they’ll be more likely to give you a call.

Give them a business card

It’s much easier to recommend a business if you have a card containing their contact information. Whenever you ask a client to make a referral, hand them a business card and ask them to give it to someone they think would benefit from a physical training session.

Approach your local mavens

A “maven” is someone who has connections to many people in a social network.

If you can identify and befriend a maven in your local area, you can ask them to recommend you to people who are looking for a personal trainer.

Identify and befriend a maven in your local area.

The easiest way to find a maven is by looking for people who hold jobs that place them in constant communication with many members of the community. Here are a few examples of maven-friendly jobs.

  • Doctors
  • Baristas
  • Bartenders
  • Hairdressers

Just because someone holds one of these jobs doesn’t mean they’re a maven. Many doctors or baristas are on the quieter side and prefer to do their jobs without forming meaningful interactions with the people they’re serving.

If you’ve been living in the same place for longer than a few months, there’s a good chance you already use the services of at least one maven.

Prioritize building a solid relationship with them. Once you feel you’re on relatively good terms, you can ask if it’s okay for you to place some business cards in their place of work.

Many will say yes, and some will even go out of their way to recommend you to people who they think would benefit from a personal trainer.

Make a great website

If you don’t have a well-designed website that loads quickly and is optimized for SEO, every single client acquisition strategy you employ will be less effective.

Choose a domain name

The very first thing you’ll need to do is choose a domain name for your site. I recommend using Namecheap to register your domain, as it’s the cheapest domain registrar I’ve found.

Use WordPress and Bluehost

If you don’t have a website, I recommend starting by installing WordPress on a Bluehost server.

WordPress is a website framework. It’s free to use, is highly customizable, and has hundreds of thousands of themes and plugins to help you build the perfect site.

Bluehost is one of the best hosting services out there. You need a server to host your website, and Bluehost is the best combination of power and affordability out there.

To get started, you can read this WordPress guide from Bluehost.

Physical trainer website themes

Once your website is online, you’ll need to install a theme to give it some structure.

You can choose to go with a free theme. However, I recommend putting up some money for a premium theme. Premium themes typically come with more features and look more professional overall. Many also come with demo content, which makes it easy to structure your website.

Here are some of the most popular personal trainer themes available.

Once you’ve got your theme downloaded, you’ll need to upload it to your WordPress site. You can use this guide from WPBeginner to do so: Beginner’s Guide: How to Install a WordPress Theme.

How to optimize your personal trainer website for SEO

Although choosing and setting up a professional WordPress theme is a great start, you’ll need to go a bit farther to turn your website into a client acquisition machine.

The “bit farther” I’m referring to is search engine optimization (SEO). If you can get your website to rank in the search results on Google and Bing, you’re going to find yourself landing more clients than you know what to do with.

Optimize your personal trainer.

Here are a few rank-boosting SEO tips that you can implement today.

Target the right keywords in titles and headlines

The search engines want to be sure they’re sending people to websites that match their search queries. Help the search engines out by clearly defining what each page on your website is about.

In particular, you want to add your job title, business name, and location to the titles of your homepage and any sales pages you’ve created. If you run Joe Smith’s Personal Training in Denver, Colorado, your homepage title should say “Joe Smith: Personal Trainer in Denver, CO” or something similar.

Speed up your site

Google and Bing don’t like sending people to websites that load slowly. To check the speed of your website, and receive tips on how to improve it, head to the Google PageSpeed Insights tool and input your website URL. It will spit out a speed score and offer some specific tips on how to decrease load times.

Make sure your website is responsive

More than half of all web traffic comes from a mobile device.

Want to learn how Dr. Moss was able to increase patient revenue?

If your website isn’t responsive ‒ meaning it changes in size depending on the screen size ‒ then Google and Bing won’t show your website to mobile users.

You’d be losing out on a ton of traffic without a responsive website. And you know what less traffic means? Fewer new clients.

Set up Google Analytics

While it won’t directly improve your SEO, setting up a Google Analytics account and linking it to your website will help you fine-tune your website.

Google Analytics will give you some essential insights into how people are finding and interacting with your website.

You’ll see what your main sources of traffic are, how many people come to your site, how long they spend reading specific pages, and a whole lot more.

To set up your Google Analytics account, head to analytics.google.com, and sign in to your Google account.

If you use WordPress, you can use this guide to link your website to your Google Analytics account: How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress for Beginners

Run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

Optimizing your site for SEO is essential, as it allows you to get clients for free through the organic search results.

Ranking organically isn’t the only way to get your website in front of people who use search engines, though. You can also run a PPC ad campaign to rank above the organic results and send potential clients to your website.

Run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads.

Most PPC campaigns are run using Google Ads, as Google is the most popular search engine by a large margin. However, you can also use Microsoft Ads to show PPC ads on the Bing search engine.

Running a PPC ad campaign is a complex topic; I can’t do it justice in this small section. To get a thorough run-through of how to use Google Ads to attract personal training clients, I recommend reading The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads from Hubspot.

Get on Facebook

With more than 2.4 billion monthly active users, Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world.

Despite its size, it’s incredibly easy to find and interact with people who live in your area.

Here are a few ways you can use Facebook to attract personal training clients.

  • Create a business page. Making a business page gives your personal training service a permanent presence on Facebook. Go to com/business and click “Create a page” to get started.
  • Post interesting content. Once you make a Facebook business page, you’ll want to start cultivating a loyal following. Keep followers interested in your page posting content related to fitness and training. If you need some help coming up with post ideas, this article should help: 6 Painless Ways to Make Awesome Facebook Posts.
  • Join local groups. Almost every town has a few local pages dedicated to discussing the events in the area. Join these groups and interact with the people who post regularly. Once you’ve established yourself as a member of the group, feel free to make a few posts promoting your personal training service.

Additional resources

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Shawn Manaher
Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of Ignite Marketing. He's one part local business growth specialist, one part campaign strategizing ninja, and two parts leader of an awesome nerd pack. He won't eat pancakes unless you call them flat waffles.
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