Personal Training Clients: How to Find Them, Get Them Started, and Keep Them for Good
When you start out as a PT building a client base, it can be a daunting task thinking about approaching new people to engage with, regardless of how confident you are at coaching. The most important thing to know is there are always people who want to get healthier, almost everyone is open to improving their wellbeing and fitness in some way. It’s just how you communicate with them when you find them. Bothering to really understand and identify with their “why” is the real key to getting PT client sign-ups, and empowering them throughout their fitness journey is what makes them stay.
How To Find Personal Training Clients
Depending on where and how you work will determine where you find your clients. However, considering its 2021, they will be both outside and online. Being prepared is everything, and marketing yourself as a brand is the way to stand out and look credible. They’ll be in the gym as a regular non-PT member, locally doing sports, in the office, in a cafe…essentially, everywhere! This is why you need to be prepared to engage with them offline and online.
Offline marketing materials you need to find personal training clients:
- Business cards
- Posters or flyers
- Branded kit, equipment or vehicles
Online marketing materials you need to find personal training clients:
- Good social accounts with branded highlight reels
- Website or Facebook business page
- Podcasts or vlogs if you have the time (a great way to start getting noticed as these are very shareable)
- A great training App to use
Tactics to connect with potential PT clients
- Invite people you meet in person or on socials for a free consultation so they have no financial worry to begin with
- Reach out to people asking for help in training forums and answer their questions in the most helpful non- pushy way. You can make them aware you’re a trainer by offer a free resource like a blog or video post which helps them, and then follow up if it was useful by offering a free consult if they said yes
- Ask questions on your socials which work to your niche, for example “Does anyone want to improve their soccer performance through better sports specific training?”
- Teach gym floor classes, these are where the fitness engaged but not yet personally coached people are mostly. Offer an initial free 1-1 session for those who want a bit more of a push
- Set up a 21-day challenge at a set affordable price to achieve a certain goal, this helps get someone to commit short term and gives you an opportunity to shine and retain them for longer
How many PT clients should a trainer have?
You will need to work out how many hours per week you need to fill with pure coaching time if you’re self-employed to cover gym or equipment rental costs and the admin time you need per client. On average, a PT will have between 15 and 30 teaching sessions per week, and the ideal is that most people have at least 1 to 2 sessions weekly to see ideal progress.
Also, don’t spread yourself too thin that you can’t offer a high enough service. Having intuitive coaching software makes client management a lot more efficient, meaning you can have more people on your books, and less time on laborious admin tasks.
The more clients you are juggling means more admin, more real people with real needs, and therefore more brainpower for you. Encourage people to take up 2 sessions per week during sign-up, if not more.
How much should you charge PT clients?
At the start, it’s hard to know how much to charge, and sometimes many coaches undersell themselves due to needing to get clients in through the door and having lower confidence. Choosing your rates is completely at your discretion if you work independently, otherwise, the gym or fitness center you work in will have a guideline amount or range per experience level.
The main thing to consider when choosing your rates is to find out what your local competition charges and what they offer, and pitch yourself around that for your experience level. Charging enough to fairly cover the additional costs of admin, program writing, and travel to/from where you train them to make sure you are earning enough per client. There’s a lot more that goes into personal training than the actual workout, and it’s all part of the coaching process. Overcharging puts you at the risk of clients choosing someone else based on cost and seeming too exclusive, regardless of how good you are.
The best thing to do when you’re starting out adds value to your offering to get people in the door. Charge a fair amount so you can live and support yourself, but throw in converting factors like free trials, monthly bioscans, recipe plans, or even branded resistance bands for their home workouts. Use your extra talents and interests to your advantage. If you’re also a boxing coach, you could put in a free monthly 30 min padwork session if someone signs up for longer. You’ll feel better about charging more when you know they are getting value for money. If you’re a good coach, your prices over time will naturally increase and so will your confidence to charge more.
Don’t waste time on admin when you can be finding new PT clients
Saving time on admin and program writing is key when you start out, as you need those extra hours to be on the gym floor, on social media, or at events to find new engaged clients. Getting on the front foot by delivering your workouts through an app is the most efficient way of coaching in 2021, whatever your fitness specialism.
Showcase that you’re efficient at PT client communication
Everyone is busy, and the key to keeping clients accountable is by making communication seamless and easy for them. Don’t use spreadsheets, text, and email combos for keeping in contact when you can use in-app messaging. If they have to attach screenshots to an email, fill in a spreadsheet, and answer your texts in different locations, it’s much easier to lose them or their engagement along the way. Real time messaging means the job at hand makes communication more fluid, and a lot faster.
Show them that you track your PT client’s progress, nutrition, and data in one place
Don’t miss a beat. Being a great coach is about being one step ahead, always in tune with what’s going on with their progress and nutrition so you can step in and support when things go downhill. And, show praise and support when you can see their effort and keep the ball rolling.
Empowering your clients through improved and continuous learning will mean that you just progressively adjust their goals and workload, there’s no “end” destination. Someone might start by just wanting to run 5k, but you’ll soon find if you keep them engaged and focused on new evolving goals based on their increasing ability they will keep signing up and be running that marathon in no time. Showing them that you have technology that moves with their goal setting is a big converting factor as they won’t outgrow it quickly.
Inspire them to sign up as your PT client by showing them what visual tech you use when they aren’t in the gym
A lot of potential clients worry about falling short, not understanding what’s required of them, and lacking confidence in themselves or their ability. Using a built-in video library means that they are going to find it a lot easier to digest and learn without barriers. It also gives them time to repeat visual demonstrations at home as many times as they need without feeling like they need to call you to ask questions, which is a huge factor in someone’s increasing confidence and putting power in their hands.
Empower your new personal training clients by using these 5 top tips
- Continue to educate your clients on why they are doing the exercises and nutrition plans, adults are motivated by learning and feeling in control of their progress. Withholding technical info will only over time create boredom or make them wonder why they are doing things.
- Help them to work autonomously, train from home using the workout builder and manage their own nutrition by using the nutrition tracker means less micromanagement for you and happier clients.
- Feature them on your socials (with their consent of course)! Many people weren’t on school teams or in organized sport, so having shoutouts can be the first time they ever received praise for anything physical which will keep them hooked.
- Set SMART goals and be real with them. Set them up to succeed with achievable programs and be honest with them about what will get in the way if they aren’t committed.
- Make them have FUN! A Lot of people dread exercise, if you can make them look forward to your sessions, let alone love them, you’ve got happy clients for a long time.