How to win clients to your new personal training business

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Fitness is your passion. Everybody knows that. It’s all you talk about, it’s what you enjoy doing the most, and you’re really good at it. However, establishing a new personal training business can be daunting. You have the ‘personal training’ bit nailed, but it’s the ‘business’ part that’s slightly unnerving. It’s crucial to understand that the issue is no longer just about your talent and enthusiasm. Although they definitely help, it’s also about how you market yourself. Showing the world how great you are is the goal, so here are a few tips and tricks to inspire you.

1. Be specific

Fitness marketing can be tough. There are so many personal trainers about, doing incredible things. Of course you’re the best, but it’s much harder to convince people of that if you’re competing with thousands of others in the industry. That’s why finding your niche and properly drawing it out in your business plan is essential. Suppose you’re really good at yoga, for instance, it’s a good idea to market yourself as a specialist yoga instructor. If your mission is to help people lose excess weight and build muscle, make sure it stands out in your marketing materials and targeting. And if your pregnancy-friendly workouts always gain many compliments, embrace this talent. It doesn’t mean you can’t offer other services too, but a specific calling can help your target audience find you and trust you as their best option.

2. Ask for referrals and testimonials

When it comes to trust, you can’t expect your prospective clients to just accept that you know what you’re doing. Your credentials and education may help with that, but there’s nothing better than word of mouth. The rule of thumb is to never be too shy to ask for testimonials. If your clients enjoy their sessions with you –  or at least the results they’re achieving – they are likely to be more than happy to help you grow. Don’t think of it as a favour to you, as they’re also benefitting from your success. You can also give out business cards or leaflets at the end of a session and ask for referrals, which are extremely valuable for getting new clients. Consider providing a one-off discount to anyone who gives you a testimonial, or start a ‘refer a friend’ scheme where you give a certain percentage off for successful introductions.

3. Utilise social media

Marketing your personal training business has really never been easier thanks to social media. Many potential clients follow fitness gurus to help them on their journey, and amassing enough exposure through your account can give you the authority you need to become a truly successful trainer. First, you will need to identify the main platforms your audience scrolls through. Are they part of the Instagram generation, or are they more into TikTok? When you start, it’s good to pick one platform to focus most of your marketing efforts on, otherwise it can become a full time job before you know it! Generally, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are the best apps for personal trainers, but do your own research based on your target audience.

Another thing to consider is what kind of content your prospective customers spend their time consuming. Short tips, snappy informational videos, personal experiences or full workouts are all examples of types of posts you should look at. Whatever you do, make sure your content adds extra value and entices viewers to follow you.

4. Become a thought leader

Social media is brilliantly complemented with a blog where you can post longer pieces of useful content. This means that when people search for answers, they might stumble across your helpful post and want to learn more about what you’re offering. Make sure that what you produce is not too sales-heavy, and try to give your readers something that they can’t get anywhere else. Utilise your expertise to create content that will be thought-provoking and useful, like professional tips or advice.

However, a blog is not the only way to position yourself as a thought leader. You could approach local magazines with article ideas so you can write about your niche, or ask to provide quotes whenever there is a piece that requires the opinion of a professional trainer. The more your name is out there – particularly around your neighbourhood – the more likely you are to be recognisable and attract fresh clients.

5. Offer a free trial

You’re a fantastic trainer, and you should be remunerated for it. However, in order to get your first few clients in the door, it’s sometimes necessary to give them some perks. Offering a free or discounted trial session can be a great way to overcome any hesitation a new customer may have and get them to find out first hand just how excellent your services are, ensuring they come back again. This will also help you generate more referrals and testimonials, so the money lost on the free trial is likely to come back to you, with interest.

6. Consider online classes

COVID forced many businesses to adapt to a new way of providing services. Even though lockdowns are winding down, those tools aren’t going away, and they can actually boost your efforts. Teaching online classes for a reduced price can attract new customers, and the best part is that you will no longer be bound by geographical locations – you can be based in London and host a session with clients in Essex, Edinburgh or even El Paso. Some people would also be more willing to participate in a class from the comfort of their own home, and then join you for an in-person session after they’re sure your style suits them.

Whatever you do, it’s vital to have everything in place before you welcome your first clients, so that you’re fully prepared. Insurance is one such thing that’s easy to forget, but will save you time, effort and money in the future. None of us have a crystal ball, and accidents happen. In an age when clients can be easy on the trigger when it comes to lawsuits, insurance will take your mind off the bad and allow you to focus on the good. Luckily, Salon Gold offers bespoke personal trainer insurance policies that are tailored to the needs of different professionals. Get a quote with us today and get your perfect policy in no time.


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