12 Tips for Growing Your Personal Training Client List



Establishing a thriving personal training business requires a consistent flow of both new and ongoing clients. If you’re a new personal trainer or don’t have as many clients as you’d like, focusing on getting more clients is likely a top priority.

Well, thanks to the interconnected world we now live in, landing clients for your personal training business is easier now than ever before. Here are our top 12 tips for growing your personal training client list.

1. Use Social Media To Its Fullest

Social media is fantastic for attracting more clients to your personal training business. But there’s a right and wrong way to approach online social media marketing. Many people assume that posting a picture of their physique every once in a while will help them gain more traction with their online presence.

Leveraging social media correctly will help establish your brand as an expert personal trainer as well as building trust with future prospects. Here are a few of the most effective strategies you can implement to skyrocket your social media efforts:

  • Provide value. Make it a habit to show your followers you’re highly educated. This can be done by giving them daily tips or tidbits of information in your caption under pictures, as a status update, or an instructional video.
  • Post regularly. Frequency is crucial on social media. If you want to grow a loyal fan base, you must stay top of mind by consistently posting informational, conversational, or entertaining content every day.
  • Have strong opinions. People resonate with others who are willing to stand for what they believe in. If you don’t agree with a specific fitness ideology, talk about why your methods are better and back it up with science or proof.

Stick to One or Two Platforms at a Time

Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you may feel like there’s never enough time to publish regularly on social media.

Instead of spreading your efforts thin by posting on all social media platforms, sticking to just one or two at a time will help you grow a larger following of people who know, trust, and like what you say and post.

As a personal trainer, Facebook and Instagram are a great place to start.  Find the one or two platforms that resonate with your audience most, publish frequently, and ignore the rest until you’ve successfully built a community on that platform.

2. Gather an Email List and Write to Them Regularly

Many personal trainers tend to neglect one of their most valuable assets, their email list. Many successful business owners no matter what industry, will tell you the money is in the list.

Email is known as one of the most personal mediums that acts as a one-to-one conversation with your client or prospect.

If you aren’t yet building an email list, the best time to start is now. A great way to start is by creating a free download in exchange for their email. For example, you can give them a free one-week meal plan or workout regimen in a PDF format.

Once you have their email, start sending regular broadcast emails and when done correctly, you can promote your services in each email as long as they are receiving some form of value or entertainment in each email.

Using an email software like Aweber, MailChimp, or Active Campaign will allow you to send out emails to your entire list at once.

3. Publish Blog Posts and Helpful Articles

Every person who reads an article written by you is a potential client. The more value people get out of your articles, the more they see you as an authority in the health and fitness space.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise to potential clients is by regularly publishing helpful articles on your own blog. Having a content marketing plan set in place for your own brand and posting frequently will prove to potential clients that you’re an expert in the industry.

4. Submit Guest Posts to Other Blogs in Your Industry

If your website doesn’t have any traffic yet, consider reaching out to other authorities in your specific niche and requesting to do a guest post. Having your article published on someone else’s blog allows you to tap into their audience which leads to more traffic to your own website.

Spend some time researching other personal trainers with an online presence in your niche and establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

Many personal training bloggers are more than happy to publish your article on their website because they benefit from showing their audience new content that they didn’t have to spend time writing themselves or money hiring a writer.

5. Use Video

Video is now the most engaging type of medium on the internet. When people see you providing value through video, it’s much easier to gain their trust over any other kind of post.

If you’re focusing your marketing efforts on Facebook, regularly streaming a live video of yourself answering questions is a great way to provide valuable information to your potential clients. Eventually, people will start recommending your page and you’ll have a steady stream of prospects tuning into your live streams where you can promote your services at the end.

Uploading videos of exercises and instructional videos on Youtube is also a great idea.

When you’re talking to a potential client, referring them to your Youtube videos will not only educate them on proper movements, but it also shows you care about getting them results, which could make them want to hire you as a trainer.

6. Brand Your Personal Training Approach

If you have a unique approach to fitness, consider packaging it up, naming it, and marketing it in a way that resonates with your target audience.

The most successful personal trainers have a unique twist and have branded their exercise strategies. For example, instead of telling your busy office worker clients that you’re putting them on a full-body workout program 3 times a week, tell them about your “Full Body Fat Burner” workout program instead.

When done correctly, people will start referring others to your branded fitness program which could skyrocket your personal training business.

7. Get Hyper-Specific on a Targeted Niche

It may seem like a good idea to work with anyone and everyone when you don’t have many clients. But by narrowing down your fitness niche and focusing on a smaller subset of people, it’s much easier to grow your client list.

Most people who are just getting into health and fitness usually have a specific interest, goal, or lifestyle that they’re after.

Telling others that you can help them lose weight by holding them accountable with a consistent workout regimen is too general. Instead, hone in on a laser-targeted audience. For example, you could brand yourself as the go-to personal trainer for older adults who are new to fitness and want to lose weight without having to leave their home.

It’s much easier to get known as an expert in the field if you have specialized knowledge in a smaller fitness niche rather than trying to be known as the personal trainer who just helps people lose weight.

8. Strategically Receive Referrals

Referral marketing is extremely popular in the personal training business. Word-of-mouth referrals are an extremely effective source of ongoing clients but relying on others to recommend your services may feel like something you have no control over.

Going above and beyond to get clients the results they’re after and having a fantastic experience working with you will increase the chances that your existing clients will tell their friends and family about you.

In addition, you can also network with other independent gyms, studios, and health clubs to see if they’re willing to refer leads to you. If you are just starting out and don’t have many connections, consider offering these business owners a monetary reward for each client you land as an incentive.

9. Advertise a Free Session

If you’re a brand new personal trainer, advertise free sessions at your local gym. Once you’ve demonstrated your expertise, you can begin to charge them after your free session if they like working with you.

If you already have existing clients, offer a one-time “bring a friend free” session for each of your clients. Adding a specific deadline to the “bring a friend free” pass is also a great idea. This will give your existing clients a sense of urgency and the chances they have someone tag along increases.

Your clients will be more than happy to bring their friends in and it’s your job to give them an experience so good they’ll want to work with you long-term.

10. Partner with Health and Wellness Businesses

Establishing new relationships in the health and fitness industry isn’t limited to your local gym. Think outside the box and consider partnering with other health and wellness businesses in your area.

For example, if your target audience consists of millennials who are health conscious, reach out to coffee shops, yoga studios, or juice bars and ask them if they’d be interested in having you come in once a week to host a donation-only fitness class on the weekend.

This will help attract more customers to the business owner’s store while at the same time allowing you to make relationships with potential clients.

11. Always Stay Ahead of the Education Curve

The health and fitness industry is constantly evolving. It’s your job as a personal trainer to stay up to date with the latest science and trends to ensure that your clients are getting their money’s worth.

Most personal training certifications also require continuing education to stay certified. Maintaining your certification makes you a more valuable personal trainer and demonstrates you’re an expert in the eyes of potential clients.

It’s also a great idea to further your education with specialized credentials. If you’re already a personal trainer, graduating in a specialized program such as core training, back injury, or strength and conditioning will help you gain an even larger client list.

12. Deliver Results

Helping your clients get the results they’re looking for should be your number one priority.

Not only will they want to continue working with you, but it will increase the chances that they refer your services to their friends and family.

Additionally, always speak to your client with the sole purpose of delivering results. People hire personal trainers to help them achieve a specific goal. Keep your communications as clear, concise, specific and simple as possible inside and outside of the gym.

For example, tell them exactly how many sessions they should be working with you per week to get the results they’re after and offer to lay out an entire month’s schedule with dates and times so you’re always on the same page.

During your actual training sessions, start off by explaining to them what exercises you’ll be covering and why. Help them feel comfortable and confident that your regimen is right for them. Try not to get too heavy on the fitness jargon and guide them into doing the workout correctly without getting into exercise terminology they may not know about.

Grow Your Client List With a Widespread Approach

Growing your client list is the key to establishing a successful personal training business.

If you’re a new personal trainer with little to no clients, the majority of your time should be spent on marketing your services. Choosing a few of the strategies explained above and implementing them into your business on a consistent basis will help you land more clients in no time.

Instead of relying on just one strategy, consider casting a wider net with your marketing plan by choosing three to four of the tips we laid out and work on it every day.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing you have multiple sources of leads coming your way without relying on just one prospecting method. This way, you’ll always have a constant source of potential clients from various platforms and mediums.