Imagine you’re a personal trainer who has just started out or is looking to expand your clients’ list. You have no budget, no marketing experience, and your promotion posts on social media are generously liked only by your mother, your best friend, and your ex.
You have Googled “how to reach more personal trainer clients” and found thousands of tips. But all of the marketing techniques out there just overwhelm you. There are websites, emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Directories. You have been advised to spread flyers, business cards, write expert articles, eBooks and adopt hundreds of other techniques.
But what you really have to rely on is your professional personal training experience and communication skills. If you become a personal trainer you should be able to talk to people, right? So there’s the first and the most powerful tool you can use to get more clients! It works to just walk up to people and talk to them face to face.
Talking to strangers who probably don’t fancy any conversation is difficult. It seems much easier finding clients via a computer screen. You might not feel very enthusiastic about doing this, because this strategy does really take you out of your comfort zone. However, it’s exactly what you need because this is the best way to get clients straight away when you have just started and need a client base first and foremost.
Instead of spending too much money on flyer design and printing, try to think outside of the box. You can hand out fruits, for example! Go to a busy area next to your club, and give out fruits with complimentary passes. This is much cheaper, more effective and your potential clients will definitely remember you!
Get onto the gym floor
Being shy won’t help you to get more personal training clients, but talking to everyone, making friends will pay off eventually. You can offer free sessions, take phone numbers, Facebook details, book in sessions there and then, and then chase these prospects up.
Be professional and nice
You have done a good job chasing potentials and finally got your first clients. If you treat them like kings and queens, you will never have to worry about getting new clients. It’s up to you to choose your strategy – concentrating on building your business or keeping your focus on your current clients. But you should think carefully, which is better? Do you want a few clients who last at least one month or one client that stays with you for several years?
Offer your current clients monthly rolling contracts, treat them well, go the extra mile. They will help you to keep busy, and what’s more, this will encourage others to join you.
Busy personal trainers get noticed by gym members and when it’s time to decide they would rather come to you than to the personal trainer who is ‘busy’ taking their 100th Instagram photo.
Word of mouth is the most powerful type of promotion. If you are friendly, passionate and enthusiastic then you will not have a problem garnering loyal customers who you can always ask for referrals and encourage to bring along a friend for their first few training periods. This alone can also lead to new sign-ups.
Win back old clients
Sometimes life just gets in the way and a client will have to leave you, no matter how much they love your sessions. There could be different reasons, maybe they need to spend money on something else, or work has gotten so busy that they just can’t fit you in anymore. In this case, it’s better to accept it and offer them a free program to do on their own.
Then you can text them once per month and see how they are getting on, ask how the free program is going and whether they need a new one, invite them out for a coffee if you want. You will be surprised at how many of them respond with a question about when you’re next free for a session.
Keep a spreadsheet of all of their names, numbers, emails, birthdays. It’s free, easy, and it demonstrates your care. You might not get them to train with you again, but if someone were to ask them for recommendations, your name will definitely come up.
Train for sport events
Competitions like Tough Mudder, The Colour Runs, Ironman Triathlon and various city-based events come around every year. Find out what’s coming up in the calendar ask your clients (old and current) and if they want to participate with their friends, creating specific programs for them. It would be fun to compete as a team and even have branded t-shirts made to get extra inspiration and visibility on the event day.