Tell me if you’ve heard this before:
Every aspiring personal trainer needs to go through the vigorous syllabus and practical process of their certification course and then trudge through a string of failures before finally being able to land first personal training client.
But guess what? That’s only partially true. You don’t need to suffer through hell before you get personal training clients. Reaching out to people and getting them to hire you can be hard, but it’s not impossible. A huge demographic of amateur trainers have done it, and so can you.
This article will walk you through 11 steps that’ll help you land your first personal training client and send you on your way to becoming a successful personal trainer.
10 Strategies to Land Your First Training Client
1. Ask for advice
You’ll certainly meet people in the fitness industry who are your superiors and have more experience than you while getting your personal trainer certification. You can start by showing them your passion for personal training, all the progress you’ve made and asking if they have any advice for you.
It’s usually a bad idea to ask for referrals right off the bat because you’re so inexperienced. Instead, ask for advice that could lead to more personal training clients. They might even help you land your first personal training job
2. Offer free trials
Visit local communities and gyms around you and offer free trials to prospective clients. A free training session will allow you to showcase your skills and knowledge and give you practical experience as well. If you are able to impress interested people and on the lookout for reliable personal trainers, they will waste no time in hiring you.
Eventually and gradually, you can rack up more customers and establish your own business in this sector. Free personal training sessions can also help spread the word about you. People who don’t hire you will know about you and hopefully tell others about how good you are.
3. Develop social skills
Being a certified personal trainer isn’t enough. You also have to cultivate strong social skills that help you stand out and stay memorable. Your ability to get people — other trainers and potential clients alike — to remember you is a critical asset in your personal trainer starter kit.
These skills will not only make you able to pitch your exercise program to others but also help you keep the clients you acquire for a long period of time.
4. Use print media
Consider creating attractive brochures and business cards with concise information about your certification and the services you will be providing. These are great tools for in-person client hunting. Go to your local gyms, fitness institutions, and other community gatherings to distribute your resources whenever an opportunity presents itself.
This post by PT Pioneer highlights over the importance of business cards in the PT industry and also contains 19 sure-shot tips on how you can create a great one. Check it out.
5. Give advice
When visiting the gyms and fitness studios around you, you will find a number of individuals exercising with bad form, and other bad gym practices. It’s a good idea to give them advice and share tips to help them improve their form. This can also lead to them hiring you as their personal trainer.
6. Approach society gyms
Nowadays, almost every society has an operating gym for its society members, and you can always connect with those members and tell them about the services you provide to try and turn them into your clients. This will not only help you connect with other personal trainers, but it can also help land your first client.
Plus when you do land your first client, these gyms are a great place to train your clients.
7. Look in your circle
Your colleagues or friends from college or other aspects of your life can make an excellent first client. Reach out to them, and tell them that you’re now a certified personal trainer looking for potential clients to help achieve their goals.
The good will you have from your previous job will most likely transfer to the fitness industry, and they should be more than happy to hop on board with you.
In fact, they should be the people to hear about your certified personal trainer journey.
8. Use social media to increase your reach
Personal trainers are now using social media to reach potential clients, and it’s not difficult to see why. Everyone uses social media, no matter their age or profession. In today’s day and age, the most efficient form of marketing is digital marketing.
Creating social media accounts around this knowledge on different platforms will help you build a strong following and reach your target audience, which in turn will give you a lot of clients.
Create videos of yourself working out with a family member or friends acting as your clients. You can also use these platforms to approach people directly by sending them messages containing a brief of the value you can provide them with and how you can also help them online and not just in-person.
Posting regularly on social media not only helps you stay connected to the rest of the industry and your personal training clients but also exposes you to a whole new untapped market.
9. Look the part
You may be looking to land your first client, but you don’t have to look like a complete newbie. To earn clients as a personal trainer you need to look like a personal trainer.
At first glance, your physique may be the only thing that sets you apart from other trainers, so being fit and dressing for success is of great importance. You need to stick to your own workouts to be in shape, dress sharp and always have a positive attitude when approaching new clients.
You want people to look at you and immediately know that you are a personal trainer. This is one strategy that will attract multiple first client prospects to you.
10. Patience is key
You need to have patience and a positive attitude, especially when things are not going your way as you struggle to land your first paying client.
Even when you train clients, you have to be patient with them because not everyone is cut from the same cloth. If it takes one person a single try to nail the correct form, it doesn’t mean that the same should be applicable to person B. Being supportive allows both you and your client to have a good experience, which may end up converting into additional referrals.
Clients you need to avoid
While it is your job to help your clients achieve their dream physique, there’s a lot of work and effort that goes into it from both sides. If your client isn’t willing to cooperate accordingly, there can be problems down the line.
Here are some clients you need to avoid as you search for your first client.
1. People with outrageous expectations
On your journey as a personal trainer, you will meet many people who set unrealistic fitness goals and have high expectations from themselves and as well as you as a trainer. Some clients will constantly talk about how they expect you to be shredded as a personal trainer.
Pro tip: You don’t need to be shredded to be an effective PT. You just need to know your stuff.
Some will expect to see quick results in a short span of time. Others will skip sessions regularly and still expect to see results. On top of all that, they may then try to blame you for the lack of results. All this may sound outrageous now, but ask any Workout Pro, and they’ll tell you that it’s a regular occurrence.
It is best for you to avoid clients like these because they turn out to be more trouble than they are worth.
2. Buying into false fitness
There is a lot of bad information about fitness out there on the internet, and certain influencers and trainers try to take advantage of people’s desire to find the easy way out. Your clients might try to impose these trends onto you and try to convince you to use them without any concrete proof.
This is where you need to rely on your training and trust your instincts. Stick to what you know works and drop clients who expect you to follow fad diets and high-risk exercise routines.
3. Lying about their diet
When you’re a personal trainer, it’s easier for you to figure out when a client is lying to you about their eating habits. When your clients do not follow the diet outlined for them, they will not see the results.
This is why you need to be very careful about the kinds of results you promise clients. It’s also why your clients should sign PT liability waivers before training.
Make it clear that they won’t get any results unless they eat healthily and that if they can’t stick to that, then you can’t help. Serious clients will have no problem agreeing to that.
4. Financial negotiations
Negotiation is very important when it comes to your income, no matter what the profession. You should know your value, the value you provide to your clients, and the rate your clients pay should be directly proportional to the amount of time and effort you put into your clients.
Some clients will try to get away with paying as little as possible, regardless of the results you deliver. You need to stay away from these people.
There are tons of people out there looking to pay good amounts for a personal trainer. Build your personal training business around these clients, and you’ll be fine.