How to Get Clients as a Personal Trainer

If you’re strategizing how to get clients as a personal trainer, that’s a great use of your time, as it shows you’re taking your endeavor as a fitness professional seriously.

At Thrive and Conquer, we rent space to personal trainers, but it’s up to them to find their own clients.

When it comes to learning how to get clients as a personal trainer, there are many different ways to get clients, and you should not rely on just one strategy.

For example, social media marketing and other forms of digital marketing can be effective for getting new clients, but so can other strategies such as allowing your client to bring a friend to their session, or developing a referral program.

How to Get Clients as a Personal Trainer by Identifying Your Target Market

When you’re trying to attract new clients as an independent personal trainer, it’s important to consider the type of clientele you are seeking.

Who is your ideal client? This is your target market.

What do they do for work? Where do they live? What are their goals? What are their hobbies? What type of lifestyle do they lead?

When you’re learning how to get clients as a personal trainer, outlining your marketing strategy and identifying your target market are important early steps to take.

Plan your marketing strategy and how you will promote your services to reach your target market. This will help set you up for success.

Once you identify your target market, you can tailor your advertisements to them. For example, Facebook and Instagram advertising allow you to boost your post on social media to a specific target market by their age, location, and interests.

Professional Branding and Your Online Presence

Taking the time to create a brand that appears professional will help you attract clients. Your professional fitness brand should be visible online.

When it comes to creating a brand, you should have a professionally designed, active website with an easy way to contact you with questions about your services, such as a contact form.

Create a logo for your fitness brand, and choose a colour palette you’ll use for social media graphics, your logo, and other branded documents.

You’ll need social proof as well, so work on building your Instagram following for your fitness Instagram account.

Post fitness related content on social media regularly. Posts such as quick workout videos or fitness tips tend to perform well. By investing in your online presence, you can increase the opportunity to attract new clients. For example, when a prospect sees one of your fitness reels on Instagram of you training a client, they might DM you and become your new client. How to get clients as a personal trainer will likely require some dedication to social media posts and your online presence.


Consultations often lead to paid clients. When you meet a prospect face-to-face and educate them on the benefits of hiring a personal trainer, while also building rapport, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up new clients.

Consultation forms are also a great way to get to know your prospect and their goals, so that when you meet them, you can explain how you can help them meet their goals. You should therefore create a consultation form on your website. You can have a call-to-action tab on your home page that links to your consultation questionnaire. From there, you can contact your prospect to arrange an in-person consultation.

Having an easily accessible consultation questionnaire on all online platforms is wise. Not just on your website, but also link to it on your social media. As mentioned, it helps you find out everything you need to know about your potential client before you even meet them. Be ready for your in-person meeting by investing in a professional presentation that showcases your business, case studies of client results, explains the process, and guides them to invest in a longer term commitment for increased client retention and overall sales.

Networking and the Elevator Pitch

Networking is all about how you can meet people face-to-face and discuss the opportunity for them or someone they know to work with you on their fitness goals. Networking groups are a great place to meet people in the market for a personal trainer. Some organizations such as BNI have a structured way to build relationships and expand your referral opportunities.

Even if you’re at a networking event or social gathering that has nothing to do with fitness, you can still utilize the opportunity to discuss the fact that you’re a personal trainer who is currently accepting new clients.

It’s in these brief conversations that you can use your 30 second “elevator pitch” which is essentially just a pitch about what you do, why it works, and how you’re accepting new clients.

Networking events aren’t the only way to master how to get clients as a personal trainer. Networking and collaborating with like-minded businesses helps, too.

For example, perhaps a local spin studio has a lot of clients who certainly get enough cardio through spin classes, but could use more strength training and might want a personal trainer. A networking collaboration could mean the two of you promote each other’s services.

Another example of smart networking is when a certified personal trainer and a yoga studio owner build a relationship, decide to cross-promote their businesses, and send new clients to each other since they offer complementary services.

Create an enticing offer for networking partners, and clients that you already work with. When it comes to clients you already work with, a referral program is key.

Referral Program

Referral programs are accelerated ways to gain clients through ‘word of mouth’ by providing current clients with an incentive to promote your personal training services. When it comes to how to get clients as a personal trainer, you shouldn’t solely rely on referrals, as they won’t necessarily be presented to you consistently in a specific timeline. However, referral programs can result in new clients, so it should be part of your strategy.

What will your referral program be? That’s up to you. It could be something as simple as a free session for your existing client if they refer a friend who signs up. Be sure to explain the referral program to all of your existing clients. You could even equip them with some of your business cards to hand out to their friends.

Bring a Friend

A step beyond a basic referral program is a “bring a friend” program where you allow your clients to bring a friend to their session at no extra cost. This essentially means that while your client is still paying for their session, their friend does not have to pay anything to be introduced to your personal training services.

This is a great way to build rapport with your client’s friend, and potentially sign them up as a client. When it comes to how to get clients as a personal trainer, some trainers use this strategy, for example by sending out an email notifying their clients of “Bring a Friend November”. This means that for the month of November only, your clients can bring a friend for no extra cost.

Find the Perfect Fitness Facility to Train Your Clients

A professional fitness facility that you train clients out of will help a lot when it comes to attracting new clients. Rent space at a private gym that is aesthetically pleasing, with good fitness equipment and a great location.

We rent space to independent personal trainers at Thrive and Conquer, which helps them attract new clients.

Building up a client base takes time, but with the tips in these articles, you’ll have an advantage to get clients more easily.

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