9 Tips for Landing Your First Personal Training Client

How Personal Trainers Get Clients

Congratulations!  You’ve passed your personal training exam and have your certification in hand.  Now the fun can begin. So, how do you get your first personal training client?

Chances are you put a lot of time and effort into studying and passing the personal training certification test.  Unfortunately, personal training certifications don’t teach you how to build a sustainable business and it can be difficult to find your first client.

I asked six seasoned personal trainers to share with us their best advice for getting new clients in door. Here’s what they had to say…

 How to Get Your First Personal Training Client

 1. Define your target market.
Figure out the type of person you want to work with & drive all your marketing efforts to them. Who do you really like working with? What issues can you help solve? Once you do this, I suggest running a Facebook promotion targeting those people.

2. Be available.
If you are in a gym, make yourself available for the members through workshops, demos, working out with them & just general conversation. Let them know that you’re there to help them! They will eventually gain your trust & become a client!

Certified Personal Trainer Maurice WilliamsMaurice Williams MS, CSCS, NASM-CPT,CES,PES,SFS,WLS,FNS
Owner, Move Well Fitness


3. Be a visible beacon in your community or area you service.
Set up a referral program with restaurants, hair salons, doctors, real estate agents, and other pillars of the area. Offer to add value to their services! Example for a real estate agent:  give them a gift certificate valued at $300 for your services to give to anyone who buys a house from them. Don’t get discouraged, it’s a process and will take some time.

Certified Personal Trainer Akai JacksonAkai Jackson
Owner, Next Level Athletic Performance & Training.  Official Strength and Conditoning Coach of UCF Men’s Lacrosse Team

 4. Confidence without letting the ego get in the way.
This will be your best tool for getting the first client and everyone after that.

5. Step out and put yourself out there.
Let clients see you. It can make you feel vulnerable, but they need to know you are even an option.

6. Strategically market to your ideal client.
Stick with your ideal client type until your confidence and knowledge builds.

Certified Personal Trainer Rocky KitzmillerRocky Kitzmiller, NASM CPT
Owner, RockBody Fitness
Instagram: @rockbody_fitness

 7. Don’t worry about what you don’t know now.
Know your niche clientele and know what skill you’re good at and perfect that skill to the best of your ability.

Certified Personal Trainer Bryan JacksonBryan Jackson
Certified NASM Personal Trainer, PES, CES

 8. Fake it til you make it.
Don’t give away to potential clients that you don’t have any clients yet. You have to be confident and sell yourself. What we are selling is priceless. Believe in yourself and your training. Once the ice is broken you can start developing your own style and niche. Trust your instincts.

Certified Personal Trainer Kevin RehakKevin Rehak, NASM CPT, CES, NCEP CPT
Excel Fitness Personal Training

9. Be an Active Listener

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Theodore Roosevelt

I think new trainers have lots of great knowledge they want to impart on everyone but need to remember training is about the client, not you. Talk less about yourself and listen to what your prospect is saying, be an Active Listener. Pay attention to your perspective clients, look them in the eyes, avoid distractions and only give your feedback after they have finishing talking.

Active Listening is more about showing you really care and less about making a sale. You should use this skill to develop a partnership to work with the prospect to reach their goals. This helps to take the “sale” out of the process and makes it a happy side effect, reducing the stress that many trainers have about selling.

Certified Personal Trainer Russel WynterRussell Wynter, NASM- Master Trainer, CPT, CES, PES, GFS, FNS, GPTS, BCS, MMACS
Co-Owner Madsweat
Instagram: @MadSweat



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Jill Tomich

Jill Tomich is an award-winning entrepreneur and marketing consultant at Fitness Marketing Foundry, a full-service marketing and graphic design agency helping wellness companies attract more clients. Check out her free ebook 135 Fitness Marketing Tips to swipe proven marketing strategies to grow your business.

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