How to Get More Personal Training Clients


“How to get personal training clients” (unsurprisingly) is one of the most searched terms by PT’s on Google today. Maybe that’s what led you to this post. Equally, I get messages everyday on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn from aspiring personal trainers asking me the same question.

So how do you go about getting more clients? Well, that all depends on a couple of factors. You see, there are lots of ways you could go about it. But depending on where you’re located and the size of your gym, what’s best for one trainer is not the same for another.

To answer the question on how to get personal training clients, it’s important to look at where your ideal customers are actually hanging out. If you’re working from a small studio, maybe they’re scattered around the local community. If you’re working in a big box gym, they are going to be easy to find amongst the membership.

It’s important to consider that wherever your potential clients are hanging out, you’ll need to build relationships. And building relationships are much easier in person versus trying to do it through a phone screen. So if you’re in a big box gym, spending all day looking for new clients on Instagram may not be the best use of your time. Your time would be better spent engaging into conversations with active members.

When trainers think about how to get more personal training clients, naturally their first instinct is to turn to social media, thinking it going to be easier due to the perceived large volumes of people online. And yes, that’s true to some degree, but I want to drive home that nothing beats a face to face interaction.

Simply put, marketing & selling anything online takes time to build what we call ‘know, like & trust’. Firstly, it takes time to get people to ‘know’ you. Then you have to spend time getting people to ‘like’ you. At least to some degree anyway. Lastly, it takes yet more time for people to ‘trust’ you before they will ever do business with you.

Given that I’ve worked with 100s of personal trainers trying to solve the problem of how to get more personal training clients, I’ve observed some psychological patterns that may be worth pointing out here.. Most trainers will actually just do what’s most comfortable. For example, instead of speaking to members, they will post some content on Instagram or build an email list.

Again, these things can work with lots of time & effort, but if I’m honest, they will be less  effective than face to face interactions in a big box gym or in the local community for that matter. So why is it that trainers opt for hiding behind a screen and avoiding contact with members? Simply put, due to the dreaded fear of rejection or humiliation.

Let’s be honest, no one likes being rejected. I’ve been rejected by girls, employers, prospects, my father. It’s horrible. However, if you’re thinking right now “how to get more personal training clients” it’s going to involve some chance of rejection. Either someone not responding to your post or being rude in a face to face interaction and not taking you up on your offer.

So I want to be clear before I move on. If you’re in a gym with plenty of active members, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn are going to be the slowest ways for you to get new clients. The quickest route to signing new clients will be engaging with the members. It’s unbeatable from a marketing standpoint and will solve the burning question on how to get more personal training clients?

Now if you’re being put off by the fear of rejection, I suggest you do some work on your mindset to unpack why that’s the case and what’s holding you back. In reality, what’s the worst that can happen? Think about it like this. You’re starting with a ‘no’. If you speak with someone and it doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s still a ‘no’. Nothing changed right!?

On the flip side, you start with a ‘no’. You strike up a conversation on the gym floor and that person tells you they’ve been considering a trainer for a few weeks now. With relative ease, they agree to a consultation and they sign up for 2 sessions a week. Can you see the upside?

Now let’s tackle the scenario where you don’t have access to thousands of members at your fingertips. In this instance, social media will likely be your first and most effective method for generating PT clients. As I explained, you’ll still have to build ‘know, like & trust’, but if you follow some of the following advice, you won’t have to keep wondering  how to get more personal training clients?

Don’t be like every other trainer. Posting quotes, generic plans, your prices etc. It’s all been done and it won’t separate you from the noise. Instead use video content as frequently as possible to mimic a face to face interaction. Remember what I suggested about building relationships and how it’s much easier in person? Well the same goes for video content versus images. Images will be slow at building relationships. Video will help people get to know, like & trust you much faster. Thank me later!

Avoid speaking to everyone, or you’ll be speaking to no one. Let me explain…Establish the 3 mile radius of your studio / gym and only speak to people in those areas (anyone outside that 3 mile radius likely won’t travel to see you anyway.) Then pick a specific group of people who you want to help or marketing your services towards.

Mums, Dads looking to get rid of the dad bod, older women dealing with menopause.  Why is this important when figuring out “how to get more personal training clients”? Because if you target the mass market your message will be weak and you won’t be able to compete with the likes of The Body Coach, James Smith or Weight Watchers who also target the mass market. Make sense?

So let’s wrap up this post on “how to get more personal training clients”. Think about where your audience is right now. What’s the easiest way for you to get to them? Are there any face to face conversations that you can’t start, or are social media platforms going to be the best place to find your next client.