5 tips on how to get more clients as a personal trainer

How do you get more paying clients as a Personal Trainer to boost your income for your Personal Training Fitness Business?

A female personal trainer spots her client who is performing barbell squats in a gym

Do you want to get more clients for your personal training business?… or are you just starting out as a personal trainer and need to start building a client base from scratch?

Here are five tips that are proven to work to help you gain more leads and more paying clients – which in turn will boost your income.

If you are asking yourself – ‘how do I get more personal training clients?’… or if you are feeling like you just can not get enough paying clients to make your personal training business work, don’t give up on doing what you love, simply make sure that you are correctly marketing your brand and services professionally and consistently.

I loved the challenge of finding new clients to start a course of personal training sessions with me. Not only was it great to meet someone new and to start the process of helping them to achieve their goals and improve their lifestyle, but I also saw this gaining of a new client as a way of giving myself a little pay rise each month.

Here’s how it would work:

Example: Giving yourself a pay rise!

As a personal trainer, I was charging £35 for a session and my target was to deliver 25-30 sessions per week (giving me a weekly average wage of £875 – £1050 per week).

Let’s say that my weekly sessions in this example is at 20 sessions per week, this would give me an average weekly income of £700 per week.

When I gained a new client on the back of my marketing strategies and they were able to train with me twice a week, that would give me an extra £70 per week income (2 x £35 sessions), which in turn will be an extra £280 per month in income.

If I picked up two extra clients wanting to do two personal training sessions a week, then that’s an extra £560 per month.

As a result I would have increased my weekly average wage from £700 per week to £840 per week, and increased my monthly average income from £2800 up to £3360 per month.

Yearly increase – Average of £33600 up to £40,320.

Obviously this is excluding factors such as holiday, training less clients from one week to another etc, but you get my point about how this pay rise can be a great motivational tool. And the above example is showing what happens if you simply pick up two new clients. You could double this pay rise by picking up 4 new clients!

Not a bad pay increase right?…

But how do you get new clients? Are you currently doing the right means of advertising right now to make this happen?

Clients do not always just come to you, potential new clients need to be made aware of your personal training services and given an easy route in contacting you and buying your product (a block of personal training sessions). It is of utmost importance that you professionally and consistently advertise your brand for new clients.

Here are five actions that you can do RIGHT NOW to gain some new clients:


1. Utilise word of mouth/testimonials and referrals

Word of mouth referrals are the best new leads that you can hope for as there is already trust in your service. This means that an individual is most of the way there to becoming a new personal training client and paying for a block of personal training sessions with you.

You can help to increase the word of mouth referrals that come in by ‘asking your existing clients’ to promote your services.

Many of your existing clients may not even realise that you are on the look-out for new clients to boost your income. But if you were to ask them, and ideally offer them an incentive to help find you some more clients, I am sure they will do what they can to promote your services to those around them.

You can motivate your existing clients to help generate more leads for you by giving them the incentive of a FREE PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION for every new client they put your way, so long as their referral purchases a block of personal training sessions with you. Maybe bring some value to this even further, and make it easier for your clients to spread the word about you, by creating a small flyer that you give to your clients to hand out to anyone who may be interested – this will come across as more professional too.

Adding client testimonials to your website and social media platforms can also help drum up new leads – both as an image with a written review and also video testimonials (the latter being more visual and more engaging so try to get video testiominals where you can).



2. Use Social media, content creation and even paid advertising

Social media is an amazing platform for you to advertise your business and personal training services on, though there are a few caveats as to how it should be used correctly, ensuring that your brand comes across as professional and enticing for new clients:


  • Ensure you post regularly and consistently to ensure you gain more reach to a wider target audience and that you are being a constant reminder to those considering signing up with you as a personal training client. Potential new clients may see a few of your posts and advertisments and be interested but they might not always contact you or commit to personal training straight away. By regularly posting, you are adding a constant reminder that you are there to provide a personal training service for them when they are ready to commit.


  • Make sure the content that you post is professional and it showcases your brand and personal training service in its best possible light – ensure you are posting images and videos of how you train your clients, rather than too much imagery of how you train yourself. Record from a shop window point-of-view (showing new clients how you train a client, therefore how they will be trained by you), rather than from ‘your’ point-of-view (you watching your client train). Potential clients need to see how you train your clients.


  • Use social media as a place to add ‘free value’ which will build a potential new clients trust in you, your brand and to show that you actually know what you are talking about. This will encourage potential new clients that you are the personal trainer that has the knowledge to correctly and professionally help them to achieve their goals. Make sure that you post regular blogs, images with a small bit of text which gives some great tips and advice, and even videos and podcasts.


  • Advertise SPECIAL OFFERS on your social media – give people a reason to get in touch with you (add a deadline call to action to increase this chance of a lead getting touch with you).


  • Link your social media content back to your website, so that potential new clients can then go further and see more information about you – services you offer, prices and testimonials. Your website will even make it easy for a potential client to contact you using your contact form.


  • You can even look into paid advertising. Get your brand and services in front of an audience that may not even be aware of your personal traaining business. Without paid advertising you are only really getting your brand in front of friends, family, and friends of friends and family as they share and engage with your posts. Facebook/Instagram ads are relatively cheap and easy to do, and for a surprisingly small spend you can get your content and special offers in front of a very targetted and localised audience.

3. Start doing free sessions

Free sessions are a great way to start building a personal training client base from scratch. This is effectively how I built up my personal training client base from zero sessions per week to 10-15 sessions per week.

Get your friends or family members to come into the gym that you are based and give them a free personal training session.

This gives the gym members a chance to see how you deliver personal training sessions, some of which may have already seen you in the gym and are in the ‘consideration’ thought process of contacting you about personal training sessions. Consider this a shop window for potential clients to see how you deliver your personal training sessions.

By delivering these free sessions, you are seen to be constantly engaging with clients (potential clients wont necessarily know these are friends), you will look busy (in-demand), and you will be seen in a better light than just standing around and waiting for someone to contact you – be pro-active.

In regards to special offers – a really good way to get a new client is to offer 3 x free half an hour taster sessions. This gives the potential client an easy way to get to know you, and to experience first-hand what personal training sessions with you will be like (try before you buy). This is also an important tactic as it forms the habit of your potential client booking in to see you in the gym. In most cases, after the third free half an hour session, the potential client will more than likely want to book in for some further personal training sessions – but the next time it will be booking in for ‘paid’ personal training sessions.

You could even consider getting in front of more people at once by offering a FREE 30 minute group exercise session, or a focus pad session. Be creative and don’t be afraid to give your time away for free – just ensure that you get the details (name, email address, phone number) of anyone who takes you up on a free session, this way you can follow up and offer them your services or a special offer at a later date, if they do not commit straight away that is.

4. Expand your services

To add more revenue to your personal training business, and again to be able to get yourself in front of more ‘potential new clients’, consider adding further qualifications to your skillset:

By having these extra qualifications, you can start to advertise to a wider audience – Sports Massage for example.

An indivdual my contact you for a Sports Massage, who in turn ends up becoming a weekly personal training client – regularly training with you twice a week (an extra £70 per week to you off the back of a £40 sports massage treatment).


Extra qualifications also ensure that you become recognised as a go-to personal trainer, as you are someone who is investing in themselves to be able to offer more services, knowledge and expertise to your clients. Everyone loves working with an expert in their profession.


5. Network

In a world that feels as though digital marketing and social media is the only way to do anything, it is important to remember that the ‘old-school’ basic methods of advertising work – i.e. speaking with people!

Ensure that you are getting your name and brand out there, especially to those who are not on social media!

Contact the local gyms in your area, making them aware of what it is that you offer – maybe you can do some freelance work for them? Speak to all the different gyms around you – offer them your help and services if it fits in with them.

Advertise your brand with leaflets, posters, business cards and even sign writing your car. Try to get as many eyes on your brand as possible, and make it easy for those people to be able to see more about you – directing them to your website wherever possible.


In summary – use this checklist and implement them all:

A table to show advertising methods that should be in a place for a successful personal training business.
What next?

The best way to start getting new clients from right now is to take action. Put a plan in place of what needs to be done, and what you need to do to make this happen. 

Be pro-active.


If you would like more help, tips and advice on how to correctly advertise your fitness business as a Level 3 Personal Trainer, download our FREE e-book:


find out how to build your client base and earn a good income as a personal trainer or fitness professional

If you are interested in becoming qualified as an industry recognised Personal Trainer, you will need to complete the Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course.