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ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Expert Tips: 15 Surprising Ways to Find New Fitness Clients

Expert Tips: 15 Surprising Ways to Find New Fitness Clients

Reading Time: 8 minutes


DATE: 2023-02-13

Finding new personal training clients is what helps you to build and sustain your fitness business. Personal training is a service-based industry, and as such, the number of clients a trainer has directly impacts their income. Acquiring new clients allows personal trainers to diversify their client base and potentially increase their income through additional services. Furthermore, new clients bring new challenges and opportunities for personal trainers to help individuals achieve their fitness goals. 

Without new clients, personal trainers may find that their income and professional growth become stagnant. So, the big question is, how can personal trainers find new clients?

15 Ways Personal Trainers Can Find New Fitness Clients

From focusing on testimonials to creating local ads, here are 15 tips from experts, business owners, and CEOs on how fitness professionals can find new clients:

  • Start by Adding Testimonials to Your Marketing Material

  • Share Educational Videos

  • Create Fitness Challenges

  • Post on TikTok

  • Maximize Your Reach

  • Sponsor Company Events

  • Appeal to a Diverse Clientele

  • Write Wellness Articles

  • Partner With Other Health Professionals

  • Offer Your Best Service with a Free Demo or Discount

  • Join Affiliate Programs that Pay Therapists for Referrals

  • Network and Build Relationships Within the Industry

  • Increase Your Digital Visibility

  • Go Local with Your Paid Spend

  • Expand Your Education and Offerings

Start by Adding Testimonials to Your Marketing Material

As a health and fitness professional, adding testimonials to your marketing materials can be a great way to draw in potential clients. Testimonials give prospective customers the assurance that you are a trusted provider of quality services. 

Additionally, it will demonstrate how others have benefited from utilizing your services. The more detailed the testimony, the better—it should include real stories of how you have helped clients improve their health and wellness. This will show that you are knowledgeable and qualified to help them reach their goals.

Michael Fischer, Founder, Elite HRT

How and when should you collect testimonials? Check out this ISSA blog article: Personal Trainer Portfolios and Testimonials

Share Educational Videos

One way that health and fitness professionals can find new clients using video is by creating and sharing educational or instructional videos related to their area of expertise on social media platforms or video-sharing websites. 

These videos can demonstrate the professional's knowledge and skills, and showcase their personality and teaching style. By consistently creating and sharing high-quality, valuable content, health, and fitness professionals can attract and engage potential clients who are interested in their services. 

Additionally, professionals can include a call to action at the end of their videos, inviting viewers to contact them or visit their website to learn more about their services or to book a session. By leveraging the power of video, health and fitness professionals can effectively reach and connect with new clients and build their businesses.

Sanket Shah, CEO, InVideo

Post on TikTok

Health and fitness professionals who want to increase their reach can use TikTok as a platform to attract new clients. TikTok is still growing in popularity, making it an ideal place for health and fitness professionals to become influencers on the app. 

TikTok presents the opportunity for health and fitness professionals to create engaging content through inspiring stories that resonate with other users. By posting interesting and relatable videos, professionals have the capability of building real relationships with potential new clients who are interested in their services. 

TikTok can give health and fitness professionals the opportunity to leverage their industry expertise, increase their brand visibility, and get people excited about their message.

Jim Campbell, Owner, Camp Media

Create Fitness Challenges

A great way to find new clients is by creating fitness challenges on social media that encourage users and followers to engage, follow the challenge, and post it on their social media platforms, raising awareness about your brand. That way, more potential users will reach your profile and be encouraged to give your services a shot, especially if you share tips and tricks as well as transformational photos of previous clients.

John Gardner, Co-Founder & CEO, Kickoff

Maximize Your Reach

As a former trainer, something I always found useful was going out into the community. If you open your classes to a wider range of areas, you are likely to build up a more varied client base, reaching far more people.

Many can be scared to enter gyms, so consider doing classes in local parks, community centers, or even connecting with church groups or similar, to make sure you are connecting with potential clients who may want help but haven't quite built up the courage to enter a gym setting yet.

Sticking to the gym space means you will only connect with people who already feel comfortable there, and this could be massively minimizing your client potential and the potential of finding those who really want professional guidance.

Brett Downes, Founder, Haro Helpers

Sponsor Company Events

The working class is a busy bunch. They may have the will to be fit and healthy but may not have the time to know how. Opening the door for them by going where they are can bridge that gap. 

You may also make it more enticing by offering coupons and discounts. Free trials for a limited period can be a big draw for them. Focus on the groups within your locale. There can be a huge untapped market inside those cold walls called "offices." Behind the suits and the stereotypes are plain women and men who are ready to start living a healthy lifestyle. That is a plan that will be easy to work out.

Laura Martinez, Consultant & Content Writer, PersonalityMax

Appeal to a Diverse Clientele

Looking at the majority of fitness branding, advertising, and marketing, you'd be forgiven for having a very narrow idea of the type of person who is seeking your services. However, the truth is that people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities can and do want to work on their health. 

These people deserve attention and consideration, but they are often overlooked. It's important to maintain an open mind and to see the potential every individual has to benefit from your support. There may be those who are intimidated by a traditional gym setting or fear they will be judged. Why not reach out to them? 

Offering to guide them on their journey in an accessible, empowering way could gain you valuable clients. Others may not recognize their own capacity and may disengage from fitness. Raise awareness and encourage them to consider what they could achieve with your help. Appealing to a diverse clientele can attract clients and make a positive difference; it would persuade me to choose you.

Alex Mastin, CEO & Founder, Home Grounds

Write Wellness Articles

Writing local and online articles geared toward health and wellness is an excellent way to get discovered by new clients. Contributing articles on health and wellness websites establishes one's fitness authority and doubles as a way to build an SEO presence. Depending on the local newspaper or prominent magazines, becoming a columnist is a classic way to spread word-of-mouth awareness, too.

Adam Bem, Co-Founder & COO, Victoria VR

Partner With Other Health Professionals

As a health and fitness professional, one of the best ways to acquire new clients is to partner with other health professionals. It can be accomplished through referrals, teaming up with a nutritionist or physical therapist, joining an existing practice, or setting up an independent practice.

By partnering to provide comprehensive care for their patients and clients, health professionals can build relationships with various providers to help them reach more individuals. Working as part of a team allows for better sharing of information and specialized knowledge each provider has available. It helps gain trust from potential clients who see the value in having multiple perspectives when working on their wellness goals and plans.

Kate Wojewoda-Celinska, Marketing Manager, Spacelift

Offer Your Best Service with a Free Demo or Discount

Getting a client is hard, but offering them a free taste of your best service sometimes may pay off in the long run. Use your strength as a health or fitness professional that has brought you results to draw attention from clients by offering free trials for a limited time. 

Within that limited time, without giving them the result, you must demonstrate that your teaching method is simple to execute and fun to do while making them feel that staying with you longer can help them reach their goal. 

Once the free service is over, let them extend the offer for the most nominal amount possible for you and with the least number of benefits. If they want to increase the services, raise your price accordingly and ask for more.

Nathan Hughes, Founder, Art Ignition

Join Affiliate Programs that Pay Physical Therapists for Referrals

As a health and fitness professional, you can save yourself the hassle of generating new customers by tapping into the client base of top physical therapists.

Physical therapists get a lot of clients who have fitness concerns, and they can recommend your services to their clients if you can establish a mutually rewarding relationship with them. Given that these therapists have substantial credibility, their clients' objections to using your service are significantly weakened, meaning every referral has a high chance of becoming a paying client. 

Now, you cannot depend on these free "favors" from the therapists. Establish affiliate programs with the therapist to make this client generation funnel more stable. Here, the therapist gets a predetermined remuneration package for each of their referrals that sign up or a fixed percentage of their sign-up fees. This win-win arrangement will ensure the therapist commits to referring clients.

Lotus Felix, CEO, Lotus Brains Studio

Network and Build Relationships Within the Industry

One way that health and fitness professionals can find new clients is through networking and building relationships with other professionals in the industry. This could include joining professional organizations or attending industry events and conferences. Building a strong network of professionals can lead to referrals, as other professionals may recommend your services to their clients. 

Another way to find new clients is through social media marketing. By creating a strong online presence and actively promoting your services on social media platforms, you can reach a wider audience and attract new clients. It is also important to consistently update your website and online profiles with relevant information and showcase your skills and expertise. Finally, offering promotions or discounts to first-time clients can also be an effective way to attract new business.

Isabella Meyer, Editor, Art in Context

Increase Your Digital Visibility – Hire a Professional

If you aren't online already, then you should be. If you are already online, then you should consider how you can improve your visibility so that clients can find you. Marketing is always key to finding new opportunities for your business. 

You'll want to leverage your social media to gain visibility among your audience. You may even want to create a website for your business to streamline the way potential clients learn about you and contact you. There will be a lot to do in order to develop or increase the reach of your digital marketing, but it will be worth the effort.

It may be wise to consider hiring some professional help in this regard to make sure you get the most out of every dollar you put into marketing yourself. The world is only going to become more digitally connected as time goes on. Be sure you're doing your utmost to keep yourself visible in the places where your clients will be looking.

Max Ade, CEO, Pickleheads

Go Local with Your Paid Spend

I see a lot of local businesses failing to look for some instant gratification with easy sites that have a low cost per click and a very high engagement rate. My top pick in this bunch is NextDoor (not affiliated with them in any way). This site has a great back-end platform and low-cost clicks and geo-targeting. It's ideal for health and fitness professionals and home service providers.

Michael Lazar, Executive, ReadyCloud

Expand Your Education and Offerings

Expanding your personal training skills can help you reach a wider audience. Consider adding Nutrition, Glutes, or Strength and Conditioning coaching to your skill set. ISSA has the expert content to keep you at the top of your game and continuously growing! 

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