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How to Get Personal Training Clients (6 Steps)

How to Get Personal Training Clients (6 Steps)

For personal trainers, learning how to get personal training clients is imperative to success. By using a combination of personal training marketing techniques, you should be able to get more personal training clients in just a few months.

How to Get Personal Training Clients

In fact, getting more fitness clients can be simple for knowledgeable trainers who genuinely care about the success of their clients. Learning how to get personal training clients can help great personal trainers make more money with fitness. Read our six steps to finding more personal training clients now.

Fitness Income Ideas

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Founder, Core Online

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Start Getting More Personal Training Clients

  • Set yourself apart from other trainers by getting credentialed with specialized certifications to find more personal training clients with specific goals.
  • Personal training marketing in person, online, and through networking can help build a larger personal training clientele.
  • Using personal training referrals and testimonials can help boost your visibility so you can find more personal training clients.

Learning how to get personal training clients is an integral part of becoming a trainer. Let’s face it, the personal training industry is full of options with a variety of credentials, backgrounds, and settings. Since so many trainers rely on commission, you’ll need to learn how to get personal training clients and how to keep them. 

Whether you’re a personal trainer at a standard gym, fitness studio, or a personal studio, you’ll need to build a reliable clientele to establish a healthy business and pay the bills. Thankfully, the Exercise.com fitness business management software platform is designed to help you find and retain clients without much hassle. Learn more about our platform’s features by booking a demo with our team today.

6 Ways to Get Personal Training Clients

There’s a lot of money to be made for personal trainers, but without a strong client base, even the best trainers won’t be able to survive. We’ll take a look at a few ways to get more personal training clients so that your business is as lucrative as it is rewarding.

#1 – Find Your Personal Training Niche

If you’re just starting as a personal trainer, it can help to find what you’re most passionate and knowledgable about so that you can market accordingly. There are many personal trainers out there that can write a generic workout plan, but being a specialist in a specific field is less common and ultimately more valuable. This is just as important for a gym to find their target market.

All of your major accredited personal training organizations have additional certifications for specializations that could direct you into various rehabilitative, performance, or special-population certifications and credentials. Take a look at some examples of specializations from leading personal training organizations below.

Each certifying body has its own niche and can help personal trainers find theirs. Finding your niche can help you market to a special group of individuals that need your help rather than a generic workout program. Interested in working with older adults? A Senior Fitness Specialization might be a good option for you to improve your credentials and secure the clients you want and need.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal training is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Setting yourself apart should help you even more in a growing industry.

So, now that you’ve found your specialty and you’ve upgraded your credentials, you’ll still need to figure out how to get clients as a personal trainer with your improved value. This can be done by being visible.

#2 – Be Visible in the Gym

Novice personal trainers likely ask, “how do I get my first personal training client?” on a daily basis. After all, in the beginning, getting personal training clients can seem like a long and hard journey.

Many trainers start off in a gym or fitness studio owned by another industry professional. This is a good thing. When you start under someone else, you’re often given a decent volume of prospective clients just by working there.

What does it mean to “be visible”? This means finding ways to showcase your knowledge and skills. One way you can do this is by simply working out during relatively popular gym hours. Typically, these are the hours when the working class isn’t at work.

Because of the standard nine-to-five, the working class tends to train before or after their workdays; between five and seven in the morning and five and seven at night. If you’re looking to work with older adults, mid-morning is appropriate since they’re retired.

During your workouts, you’ll want to do some of the things you’d have your clients do, based on your specialization(s). If you are looking to get performance clients, it might be good to showcase your Olympic lifting or plyometric skills. If you’re looking to work with older adults, a variety of banded exercises might be more appropriate since weights can often be intimidating.

Another way to “be visible” is to offer complimentary sessions to friends, staff, and members to practice and continue sampling your value as a trainer. As other members see you working with clients, you’ll pique their curiosity and could get more clients just by putting yourself out there. Nobody likes to work for free but consider your time and investment for your future.

And, of course, being visible online is part of being visible! Read on below for more personal training online marketing tips.

Read More:

#3 – Market Your Personal Training Services

After you start getting experience, there always comes a time when you’ll start wondering how to get more personal training clients. In the beginning, your work schedule might become a little sporadic as you adjust your schedule to match your clients’ schedules. This might mean training a client at six in the morning and having a two-hour break until your next client.

How do I promote my personal training business?

The downtime between clients is an excellent time to market yourself. If you’re working at a gym or studio, being visible is one of the easiest ways to market yourself. (Learn how to “pick up” personal training clients while at the gym by watching the above video.)

If you’ve exhausted those members and are looking for more personal training clients, you’ll want to start finding ways to reach outside sources. To be successful, you have to sell yourself as a personal trainer.

The way you should approach marketing will depend on your specialization. For example, if you’re looking to work with high school athletes, social media marketing can be an effective method of marketing since teenagers and young adults tend to actively use social media. The same can’t be said of seniors.

Marketing to seniors might require a different approach. but it isn’t impossible. Partnering with a physical therapist or other rehabilitation specialists might be beneficial. At some point, health insurance companies won’t cover physical therapy anymore. Those patients often need a place to go that’s more reasonable. A personal trainer who specializes in older populations, and who is recommended by their physical therapist, is an ideal post-physical therapy solution.

Again, this is where improving your credentials and becoming a specialist could become essential. How likely is a physical therapist to recommend someone with no experience in training seniors?

For other populations, like weekend warriors and the general population, taking advantage of online resources can be helpful.

Where can I find personal training clients online?

Marketing yourself online can take a good bit of time once you determine your perfect client. Thankfully, fitness business management software exists, partly, for this reason. The Exercise.com software platform, for example, provides you with a custom branded fitness app and you’ll be given access to other promising marketing tools like:

  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile App Integrations
  • Analytics Software

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In short, anyone searching for a service that you offer will be able to find you easily. From there, you can track all prospects so that you can follow up on every lead and you can send weekly emails and automate services to maintain contact and close sales with those prospective clients.

Additionally, social media marketing is one of the many ways to promote your skills as a personal trainer. If you’re looking to get more personal training clients, all of your social media accounts can be linked to your website to make it easy for potential clients to find you and what you offer.

Check out our guide on how to grow a fitness business online to learn more about marketing yourself as a personal trainer on one of the most popular social media platforms.

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#4 – Use Referrals to Get More Personal Training Clients

With any business, positive reviews can be the best form of advertisement. Personal training is no exception. Once you establish a few clients, it’s good to use referrals to continue building a greater clientele. There are a number of ways to handle client referrals depending on your situation. Here we’ll break down a few business tips for personal trainers through referrals.

One of the easiest ways to find more personal training clients through referrals is to offer your current clients rewards. For example, you could give your current clients a free week of training if they refer someone who ends up purchasing a personal training package with you. If you’re confident in your ability to retain your new client, this should be worthwhile.

Another way to get referrals is to provide your clients with free passes for their family and friends. These passes could be a week, a day, a few sessions, or whatever you’re comfortable with. More exposure could mean more clients and a better paycheck in the long run.

Don’t forget, your clients provide referrals based on good experiences. This means they’ll need to be seeing progress. For you, this means keeping your clients accountable, listening to their goals, and keeping accurate records of their assessments and workouts. The more data you can use to suggest an improvement, the better. This is where workout software and fitness assessment software come into play.

These Exercise.com platform features help you stay efficient by providing various automated services like assessments, workout plans, appointment reminders, and more. You’ll spend less time preparing a schedule and more time working with your clients. And part of that work is compiling client testimonials.

If you’re trying to figure out how to find more personal training clients, think about your portfolio. Have your clients been successful? Who knows that your clients have been successful? Positive testimonials can help you use your clients for referrals.

Together, you and your client can promote their success by taking before and after photos, comparing metrics such as circumferences or body-fat percentage, and comparing performance measures like running distance or time. Your client should be proud and so should you. Promote their success and be sure they know that you would appreciate a recommendation in their testimonial.

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#5 – Be Genuine and Care About Your Clients’ Successes (and Failures)

One of the biggest mistakes personal trainers make is trying to be something they aren’t. Let’s face it, it’s extremely difficult to be a specialist in every major category. It’s also not realistic to expect every client to treat you exactly the same. The moral of the story is: be yourself if you want to create loyal clients.

Almost every gym hires an assortment of male and female trainers for just that reason. Some people specifically want a male trainer whereas others strongly prefer a female. This could be due to body image concerns, demeanor, or other reasons that may or may not be warranted. That preference alone is without the consideration of your personality.

Whether you’re on the training floor, at the customer service desk, or even on social media, be yourself. Personal training can be a somewhat intimate job where you and your clients share various personal details. Some of your clients might become great friends over time. If your client doesn’t enjoy being around you, the relationship and sale might not last.

As mentioned before, this is to be expected to a point. With any sale-related position, you can’t take those losses personally. Be confident in your product, stick to what you believe in, and give consistent effort. It’s worth mentioning that if you don’t genuinely care about your clients’ successes, personal training might not be the job for you.

You’ll be expected to be up at odd hours, you’ll have to listen to disheartening stories, you and your clients might even get frustrated with one another at times. A wise man once said, “Nobody cares what you know until they know that you care”.

#6 – Master Your Time Management Skills

Time management is already challenging enough when you don’t have to consider other people’s schedules. There are a limited number of hours in a day. If you start to consider the fact that you’ll be working around the typical workday, then your hours become very restricted.

Once you start to get a substantial client base, you’ll eventually get to a point where you want to make more money but don’t have any open time to bring in more clients. How can you continue to build a larger clientele, create more testimonials, and most importantly, make more money? For starters, organizing your personal training clients can help.

Taking advantage of shorter sessions or training multiple clients can both be options to continue getting more personal training clients. Once you’ve had a client for a while, they should know what’s expected while warming up and cooling down. This means you could have your clients do these things on their own while you focus on the bulk of the workout.

Typically, you’ll get paid more per minute with shorter sessions but your client pays less in total. If you can fit in more clients this way, you’ll make more per hour overall. This also helps when clients go on vacation or have personal matters that might restrict them from training.

Finding compatible clients can also be a way to make more money per hour while freeing time for more clients. Again, usually, your clients will pay less while training in pairs or groups, but you’ll get paid more. This is a win-win for everyone.

Get More Personal Training Clients: Breaking it Down

Personal training is a unique job that requires a mixture of programming, customer service, and sales skills. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to be able to find and retain personal training clients. You’ll be able to do this by being genuine, available, and by using your clients as advertisements throughout the process.

Managing your personal training clients can be easy with Exercise.com’s fitness business management software. You’ll spend less time with client management and more time working with your clients to increase your revenue. Book a demo with Exercise.com to see how you can benefit today.

AMPD Golf Performance
“Working with Exercise.com and their team has been an amazing experience and a dream come true in terms of accomplishing a vision! Their workout technology has helped us effectively engage our community, and I highly recommend Exercise.com to grow your business!”
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Co-Founder, AMPD Golf Performance

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How do I get personal training clients in a gym?

To gain clients as a personal trainer in a gym, start by leveraging the gym’s existing membership base. Offer complimentary fitness assessments or introductory training sessions to showcase your expertise and value. Engage with members on the gym floor by providing tips and demonstrating exercises, helping to build rapport and trust. Utilize gym bulletin boards, newsletters, and social media channels to promote your services.

Exercise.com’s software enhances these efforts by allowing you to schedule and manage complimentary sessions, track member progress, and communicate effectively, making it easier to convert gym members into personal training clients.

How do personal trainers get clients without being too salesy?

Personal trainers can get clients by focusing on building relationships and demonstrating value rather than hard selling. Share success stories and client testimonials to highlight your impact. Offer free workshops or health seminars to provide value and showcase your expertise. Engage with your community on social media by sharing helpful content and fitness tips.

Exercise.com supports these strategies with tools for managing and sharing client success stories, scheduling workshops, and integrating with social media, helping you attract clients organically.

How do I get clients for personal training when just starting out?

When just starting out, building clients as a personal trainer can be achieved by leveraging your personal network, offering free trials or discounted sessions, and creating a strong online presence. Partner with local businesses to reach new audiences and consider volunteering your services at community events to gain exposure.

Exercise.com’s platform provides the necessary tools to manage these initial offerings efficiently, from scheduling sessions to promoting your services online, helping you establish a solid client base.

What is the best way to get clients as a personal trainer without spending money?

The best way to get clients as a personal trainer without spending money involves networking and leveraging free marketing channels. Utilize social media to share engaging content and fitness tips. Offer to write guest posts for fitness blogs or local publications. Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients can also be incredibly effective.

With Exercise.com, you can easily manage referrals, track client engagement, and maintain an active online presence, all of which are essential for attracting clients without a marketing budget.

Read More: How to Increase Gym Word of Mouth

How can I build up my client base as a personal trainer?

To build up your client base as a personal trainer, consistently deliver exceptional service to your current clients to encourage personal training referrals. Utilize social media and content marketing to reach a broader audience. Offer varied services, such as group classes or online training, to appeal to different client needs.

Exercise.com helps in this endeavor by providing a versatile platform where you can offer and manage multiple services, engage with clients, and track their progress, making it easier to expand your client base.

Read More: How to Get More Personal Training Referrals

What are some quick ways to get started building personal training clientele?

Quick ways to build personal training clientele include offering complimentary fitness assessments within your network, leveraging social media to showcase your expertise, and initiating fitness challenges to engage potential clients. Partnering with local businesses for cross-promotion can also quickly increase visibility.

By utilizing Exercise.com, you can manage these initiatives effectively, from scheduling complimentary assessments to launching fitness challenges, ensuring you’re able to gain clients as a personal trainer efficiently.

How do I find clients for online personal training?

To find online personal training clients, establish a strong online presence through a professional website and active social media profiles. Utilize content marketing by blogging or creating videos that address common fitness challenges. Engaging in online fitness communities and forums can also help you connect with potential clients.

Exercise.com’s platform supports these efforts by providing tools for content sharing, client engagement, and service delivery, making it easier to get online personal training clients.

How do I get leads for personal training?

Getting leads for personal training involves both online and offline strategies. Online, optimize your website for search engines and use social media to share valuable content. Offline, network at local events and offer workshops or seminars. Referral programs with current clients can also be a significant lead source.

With Exercise.com, managing these lead generation activities becomes streamlined, enabling you to track lead sources, schedule events, and communicate with potential clients, enhancing your ability to get more fitness clients.

What are some ways to learn how to get your first clients as a personal trainer?

Learning how to get clients as a new personal trainer involves education, networking, and marketing. Gain knowledge through certifications and fitness courses. Network by attending industry events and connecting with other fitness professionals. Market your services by offering special promotions to friends and family and utilizing social media.

Exercise.com’s comprehensive platform can support these efforts, from showcasing your certifications and services to managing promotional offers, helping you get personal trainer clients effectively.

How do I increase personal training sales?

To increase personal training sales, focus on demonstrating the value of your services through client testimonials and success stories. Offer package deals or memberships for long-term commitments. Regularly assess and adapt your sales strategies based on client feedback and industry trends.

Exercise.com’s software facilitates these strategies by enabling easy sharing of success stories, customizable package offerings, and insights into client feedback and sales trends, helping you get more clients for personal training.

How do I get my first client as a PT?

Securing your first client as a personal trainer requires a multi-faceted approach. Start by informing your personal network about your new role and ask them for referrals. Actively advertise your services on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Engage in local fitness groups and participate in community events where you can meet potential clients. A pivotal tool to use in this process is Exercise.com, a leading personal training software. This platform allows you to create and distribute personalized workout plans online, manage client progress effectively, and demonstrate your professional commitment, which can be appealing to prospective clients.

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Why is it hard to get clients as a personal trainer?

Obtaining clients as a personal trainer can be challenging due to factors such as stiff competition, the necessity for trust-building, and potential lack of marketing skills. Fitness training is a deeply personal service, so prospective clients need to have faith in your expertise and your ability to help them reach their goals safely and effectively. Additionally, personal trainers might lack experience or skills in marketing and sales, making it harder to attract and retain clients. Nevertheless, using Exercise.com can greatly assist in managing and tracking client progress, providing personalized workouts, and automating scheduling and billing, all of which demonstrate professionalism and foster client trust.

How do I market myself as a personal trainer?

Marketing yourself as a personal trainer involves establishing a strong online presence, networking, providing unique services, and utilizing client testimonials. Maintain an active profile on social media platforms, post fitness tips, share client progress and personal fitness achievements. Attend networking events, fitness expos, and local gatherings to gain exposure. Providing unique services or classes that differentiate you from others can also be beneficial. Importantly, use Exercise.com to manage client sessions, track progress, and customize workouts. Sharing your professional practices can draw in potential clients.

How do personal trainers get leads?

Personal trainers can obtain leads through various online and offline marketing strategies. These might include running ads on social media, offering free classes or consultations, collaborating with local businesses for cross-promotion, and initiating referral programs for existing clients. Using a personal training software like Exercise.com can also contribute to lead generation. By demonstrating your ability to manage clients, schedule sessions, track client progress, and deliver personalized workouts, you can draw in prospective clients.

Read More: How do personal trainers get new clients?

How many clients do I need as a PT?

The number of clients required by a personal trainer depends on various factors like your income goals, the amount of time you can dedicate to each client, and the nature of the sessions you offer. As a rule of thumb, if you’re training full time (approximately 30 hours per week), you might aim for about 15-20 clients who train 1-2 times a week. The quality of service you provide is crucial, and utilizing a personal training software like Exercise.com can facilitate the effective management of a larger client base.

Where is the highest demand for personal trainers?

The demand for personal trainers tends to be highest in urban areas with a strong focus on health and fitness, such as New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Regions with affluent populations usually have a high demand for personal trainers as well. However, with the advent of online personal training, geographical limitations have lessened. Personal training software like Exercise.com allows trainers to work with clients globally, thereby expanding your potential client base.

How do I find my target market for personal training?

Finding your target market for personal training involves understanding your unique selling points, the demographics you wish to serve, and their fitness goals. Find out where these potential clients are, both online and offline, and tailor your marketing strategies to reach them. Exercise.com allows you to gather data about your clients, helping you identify commonalities and trends that can help refine your target market further.

How many clients do most personal trainers have?

The number of clients most personal trainers have can greatly vary based on factors like their work schedule, type of training sessions, and stage of their career. On average, full-time personal trainers may cater to between 15-25 clients per week. Effective client management tools like Exercise.com can help trainers manage a larger client base without compromising on the quality of service.

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What do clients look for in a personal trainer?

Clients usually seek personal trainers who are professional, knowledgeable, friendly, and motivational. They prefer trainers who can offer personalized workouts based on their individual goals, health conditions, and fitness levels. Clear communication, reliability, and the use of professional tools like Exercise.com, which allows for convenient scheduling, progress tracking, and workout customization, are also highly valued by clients.

How do I get personal training clients with no experience?

To attract personal training clients with no experience, begin by obtaining a reputable certification and expanding your knowledge about fitness and wellness. Consider offering free or discounted sessions to friends, family, or volunteers to gain practical experience and testimonials. Network within local fitness communities and use social media to advertise your services. Offering online training can also be beneficial. Use Exercise.com to design professional and personalized workout plans and monitor client progress, showcasing your seriousness and preparedness to potential clients.

What are the best ways to learn how to retain personal training clients?

The best ways to retain personal training clients involve providing personalized attention, setting and tracking progress towards achievable goals, and maintaining open and consistent communication. Regularly updating training programs to keep them engaging and challenging is also key. Offering exclusive client benefits, such as workshops or nutrition sessions, can enhance the perceived value of your services.

Exercise.com’s platform is designed to support these retention strategies by enabling personalized program creation, progress tracking, and direct communication with clients, ensuring you can effectively keep clients as a personal trainer and maintain a loyal client base.

How do I find where to advertise personal training services?

To find where to advertise personal training services, start by identifying where your target demographic spends their time, both online and offline. Online platforms might include social media, fitness forums, and local community boards. Offline, consider local gyms, community centers, and health food stores. Collaborations with related businesses can also provide advertising opportunities.

Exercise.com can help streamline your advertising efforts by integrating with social media and providing tools to manage partnerships and promotions, helping you gain clients as a personal trainer more efficiently.

How can I find out where to find personal training clients near me?

To find personal training clients near you, engage with your local community through fitness events, local health fairs, and partnerships with nearby businesses. Utilizing local SEO strategies for your website and Google My Business listing can also attract clients searching for personal training services in your area.

Exercise.com’s software can assist in managing local marketing efforts, from scheduling community events to tracking the effectiveness of local SEO strategies, helping you get clients personal trainer in your vicinity.

What is the best personal training software for getting more clients?

The best personal training software for getting more personal training clients is one that offers comprehensive client management, marketing tools, and customizable program creation capabilities. Exercise.com stands out by providing these features, along with custom-branded apps and websites, making it easier to attract and retain clients by offering a professional and personalized service.

How can Exercise.com help me get more personal training clients?

Exercise.com can help you get more personal training clients by offering a range of features tailored to fitness professionals. These include custom-branded websites and apps to enhance your professional image, marketing tools to engage and attract clients, and comprehensive client management features to deliver personalized training experiences. By leveraging Exercise.com, you can streamline your business operations and focus on what you do best—delivering exceptional personal training services.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

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Thomas Barnett is a writer for Exercise.com and a Professor of Exercise Science at Keiser University. He has over eight years of experience working in rehabilitation, personal training, and strength and conditioning. Additionally, Thomas holds a Master's Degree in Human Performance, a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science, is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Certified USA Weightlifting Coach, and holds the ACSM Exercise is Medicine Credential. When he isn't working or training, he enjoys a good game of rugby or can be found fishing and/or exploring the Florida coast.
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