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How to Get Clients for Personal Training

Before, having personal trainers to have a healthy and fit lifestyle was more of a luxury. It’s a privilege that only some people can enjoy. However, as time goes by, more and more people feel the need to have one. Personal Training is considered as one of the emerging and growing industries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal training and fitness instruction will expand 13 percent between 2018 to 2028, which is faster compared to the average expansion for all occupations. 

However, being a newbie in the industry may be a challenge for you, especially with fellow new trainers and senior trainers who usually get the first opportunity to talk to potential clients. Let this be a motivation to strive harder in order to reach your goals.

If you have the necessary educational background, ability to adapt to technological advancements, as well as flexibility, you can have your own breakthrough by bagging those well-deserved clients for your own personal training program. In this article, you will learn more how to find the right clients for you, how to sell your own program, and gauge how many clients you need to make your program prosper.

Finding the Right Clients

how to find the right clients

In order for your personal training programs to prosper, let’s talk about some tips and tricks on finding and getting the right clients for you.

Establish Your Own Niche

A niche serves as your market, in which they could be your potential clients for your personal training. Establishing your own niche is essential in starting up your own personal training business because, in this manner, you’ll get more into detail of what you need and improve on your service.

Knowing your niche or your target market allows you to focus on a certain service. Let’s say your niche is personal training for muscle gain. Out of the market population, it narrows down your target market into specific people with that common need and goal, giving you a competitive advantage by knowing how to improve your service in line with your niche’s demographics.

Also, before you focus on what your clients really need and want, you, as a trainer, need to know yourself more. Ask yourself these questions: “Where do I excel in?” “What kind of training do I think I can help more clients?” “What am I most passionate about, and how can I help my clients?”

Master and focus on what you’re great at. After all, it’s better to practice one move 10,000 times than practice 10,000 moves one time. Also, remember that you can reach more clients if they can see that you’re the right pick for them. Without clients seeing what sets you apart from generic and bandwagon type of trainers, they’ll end up looking for free tutorials available online. Or worse, compare you to your competitors, and look for the cheapest one in town.

In addition, it’s also good to let your potential clients feel as if you are talking directly to them; that you hit a spot-on argument of what they are really looking for. Helping your clients achieve their goals is also the utmost priority.

Add More Value to What You’re Selling

Nothing is more off-putting than seeing a marketing ad that looks as if it’s been done by a robot. Your potential clients are people, and people want to see something authentic and with value. Instead of merely stating you’re offering a service, start a conversation with them about real-life personal training experiences. Start by telling them how personal training helped you, or add testimonies from those you have successfully trained or helped previously.

With that being said, build your rapport with your clients. That is also one way of adding more value to your personal training program. Let them feel there’s a two-way communication, and their experiences or feelings are valid and understood.

For starters, you might want to consider these key points in preparing your script when you approach potential clients:

  • Start your conversation with some pleasantries, ask them about their day, and the likes.
  • Actively listen to them, and reinforce encouragement through words of praise, compliments, and acknowledgment.
  • Ask them about their fitness goals, if it’s short term or long term, and let them know how you can help them reach their goals.

Expand Your Network

Let your service or program be known to more people. You can even start with your own neighborhood or community. Wouldn’t it be harder to find and get clients if the people in your neighborhood don’t even know about your service? With this, word of mouth will follow. Did you know that word of mouth is one of the easiest, yet most effective marketing strategies?

Having a strong and effective network doesn’t revolve in clients alone. Acquaintances from the gym you’re working at, such as the reception staff, sales head, other gym members, and the likes, are a good addition to your network. Your network may also include acquaintances from your previous jobs or in college. In this manner, they may connect you to your future clients or, better yet, become one. 

Expanding your network is like building ripples leading to you as their potential personal trainer. 

Here are some approaches you can adopt in expanding your network within the community:

  • Introduce yourself to potential clients
  • Offer free workshops or seminars
  • Give them your business card
  • Use social media marketing (this leads to our next tip below)

Social Media Marketing

Given that everything is now digital and can be found on the internet, use it—particularly social media—as one of your marketing tools in finding and getting clients. Social media can serve as an online community, where you and your clients can all communicate more effectively and easily even if you’re not meeting face to face.

For Facebook, you can create a group chat or a group page to connect with your existing clients, and monitor their progress. You may also ask for some feedback with regards to their improvements by posting a short clip of their workout or their pre- or post-workout routines.

For Instagram and Facebook Page, you may utilize these platforms to showcase your brand and service. Seeking help from your existing clients by asking them to share your social media handle is a good idea, too!

Here are several ideas you can post on your social media to attract more potential clients:

  • Set up a Facebook page, which allows an online booking for your clients.
  • Sample workout video teasers 
  • Informational infographics related to fitness and lifestyle (for example, how many cups of coffee or milk tea can I consume per week? Or, how many unhealthy fats are there in my favorite bag of chips?)
  • Success stories of your previous clients and your own

Referrals and Partnerships 

After one successful client story to another, let the result be the proof of your program. Ask a favor from your clients if they could refer you to their networks, such as friends, relatives, and colleagues, who they think would also want to avail of your personal training program.

Selling Personal Training to Potential Clients

how to sell personal training to potential clients

In order for you to be able to turn those potential clients into actual paying ones, you need to be comfortable in selling your personal training service. This is more about how you market and persuade people to avail of your program. 

Be Client-Centered ALL the Time

Every person has their own personal story and struggle. This means that you need to deal with each person differently. So, don’t strictly follow your sales script all the time. Also, it’s essential to be client-centric in a way that you’ll let them do all the talking. Let them lead the conversation, but let them know you’re listening and interested to know more about their fitness goals and struggles. 

Active listening will lead you to ask the right questions. This may include: “Why do you want to be fit?” or “Why do you want to lose/gain weight?” Beneath these goals lie deeper ones they wanted to achieve at the end of the training program. 

By getting to know more about your client, you’ll gain enough information to give them your plan of action, and easily close the sale. In addition, it would also give you an insight on how you and the program can help. 

Lay Down the Training’s Benefits

Your potential clients would always want to know what you, as a trainer, could offer to them. Typically, trainers would tell all the features of the personal training program, such as the scope of the program, how many sessions there would be in a week, and so on. But that would sound too sales-driven, as if you’re closing the deal to reach your quota. Instead of focusing on your program’s features, emphasize the benefits the client would gain from your program.

Steve Grant of GymHub suggested to not bring up the benefits until the consultation portion of your meeting. Talk about the benefits after the client has shared their story and goals. These are some of the benefits he said would definitely attract clients to choose you as their personal trainer:

  • Strengthen your core and develop your discipline
  • Boost your immune system and reduce risks of critical illness
  • Boost your immune system and have more time to be with your family

Promote Your Personal Training Program by Painting Pictures

Promote what you can offer to potential clients trying to achieve their goals. When selling personal training, give them an idea of the outcome of your program. Inject outcome scenarios, which would speak to their deeper goals. Here’s an example:

After the program, imagine you losing several kilograms making you more confident and comfortable wearing the clothes you wish you could wear. Moreover, your biggest win after this personal training program is achieving and gaining self-confidence and self-love from all the sweat and hard work. This would also empower you more and, at the same time, have a positive outlook in your day-to-day life.

As stated above, losing weight is the benefit of the personal training program, while being more confident is the client’s deeper goal. Always incorporate your client’s deeper goals because that is the main reason why they’re seeking help.

When Objections Arise, Propose Options

Note that there are highs and lows when it comes to selling. Not all potential clients will automatically become your actual clients. You may face rejection and objections, but don’t let it make you give up so easily. Instead, give them options that will fit in their situation. 

Here are some possible objections and options you can propose. Some options are questions that would let the client reconsider their objection. It’s a way of helping them realize to give the training a try.

Bonus: How Many Clients Should You Have

The answer to that question depends on your capability and circumstances, but it is highly recommended that less is more. Yes, this is your bread and butter, which means you need to hustle more. But, you should also remember that quality is greater than quantity. With more clients, there’s a higher chance that the results and performance are not in its optimal shape.

These are some points you may consider in setting your own client limit or capacity:

How Many Clients Can You Train With a Given Schedule

Consider having a small number of clients for you to focus on them more. Mark Ruehle, a veteran personal trainer for almost two decades, testified that less is more. He started his article by asking if you’d rather train 10 to 15 clients two to four times a week, or have 50 clients once a week. He added hopefully that you guys chose the former.

Training or offering your services at least twice a week would yield faster and better results than those who are meeting only once a week or once a month. Yes, you may have a lot of “clients”, but the question is: would your clients achieve their goals at the end of the training?

James FitzGerald, founder of OPEX Fitness, recommends having a number of clients you and your business can support. If you’re eyeing to offer one-on-one personal training with 24/7 availability, you can only support fewer clients in order to yield great results compared to offering large group personal training, in which you can support more clients.

To expound what James shared, ask yourself whether you would be a full-time or part-time personal trainer. If you are planning to work full-time, with 30 to 40 working hours a week, you can have an estimate of 15 to 25 clients a week. On the contrary, if you’re working part-time, it really depends on your availability or schedule. Approximately, you can train five clients, at most, in a week, especially if you’ll train your clients for one to two hours during weekdays or on the weekends

Think of your Retention and Churn 

This is in relation to the saying, “quality is greater than quantity.” According to James, one way to measure how many clients you can have is by knowing your retention rate and churn rate.

Retention rate, as the name suggests, is the number of clients you keep each month. This may include clients who have finished their agreed-upon number of training sessions but decided to extend or renew the contract.

Churn rate, on the other hand, is the number of clients you are letting go or losing each month. These are the clients who weren’t able to continue or finish the program, or those who decided not to renew the contract.

As retention and churn rate impact the number of clients you would have month over month, make it a goal to have all your clients in retention. If it’s not possible, at least know why your churn rate increased, and how you can improve your program and services in the future.


We hope that you’ll give these tips and tricks a try to start your personal training career. Being new to this field is never a disadvantage and hindrance to reaching your own breakthrough. 

Always remember these points in order to get those clients, and be successful in your own craft:

First is to always prioritize your client’s goals. Know their goal and story. From there, you’ll be able to actually help them achieve their desired outcome. Be hands-on, so that you’ll be able to focus on delivering amazing, yet optimal results for every client.

Second is to be flexible. From time to time, feed yourself new techniques, tools, and the likes, to help you further your services. You must also be strategic and be keen, so that you can deliver great results with the right tools and techniques.

Lastly is to keep the fire burning. Be passionate enough to help your client achieve their goals. Be client-centric and genuine enough to help them. Passion and grit will make you stay in this industry for a very long time, so always keep your fire burning.

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