How do I get personal training clients?

It’s a question I heard every time from trainers.

A full-time personal trainer needs 15-20 clients to work 30-40 hours/week considering that the average clients train 2-3 times a week. What other business do you know only needs 15-20 customers? Building up relationships with your clients is the only way to succeed. They love you, not your gym. You must take responsibility for your business and yes, it’s your business even if you work for somebody else!!

I have two rules for success. These two rules have been applied in my career for the past 20 years:

Rule #1 – Do a great job. This is your Craft

Rule #2 – Make sure everybody knows about it. This is your Marketing.

I want to share my top 10 tips to get more clients today!!

1. Be passionate, enthusiastic, likable and keep your energy high.

2. Make giving referrals a condition of doing business with you. Ask for them, reward your clients when they give them and give them a lot of praise in front of the other clients.

3. Always run new promotions that offer a lost cost and shorter time commitment entry into your funnel. Then convert these clients into regular ongoing clients.

4. Do some dialing for dollars once a month. Hit the phones and reactive former clients. Make them special offers.

personal training clients5. Schedule at least one “lunch and learn” for local businesses with ten or more employees. Give them 20 minutes of content, 10 minutes of Q and A and then make them an irresistible offer.

6. Give all new clients a certificate to bring a friend along the first week. Easy referrals and conversion.

7. Get all your clients  on EFT (Auto Debit). This may not be a client GETTING system but it’s one of the best client KEEPING systems I know.

8. Network with these businesses. BUT don’t ask for referrals yet. You gotta give to get. Tanning salon, hair salon, day spa, nail salon, dress shop, day care, and chiropractors.

9. Buy the top spots on google, yahoo, and bing. Bid on specific keywords and phrases that your marketplace searches. And be sure that the page you’re sending traffic to has a solid lead capture system in place with a great opt-in to captured that email!!

10. Identify Mavens in your Community. In every neighborhood there are mavens and they are the key to becoming the go-to trainer in that neighborhood. I first learned about the concept of the maven from Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and quickly put the concept to use netting 2 clients in two weeks that both bought 50-session packages.

Allow me to explain.Gladwell describes the maven as an “information specialist” and as “people we rely on to connect us with new information”. The maven is a trusted source with a lot of connections.

When they like something not only does everybody know, people take note.

So who are the mavens?

Every neighborhood differs but here’s who I have had success with:

√ Real estate agents – Make the top real estate agents in your neighborhood your #1 target. They will probably say that they’re too busy to train but your goal is not to train them. They sell houses to all of the rich people moving into your neighborhood looking for a gym. If somebody trusts a person enough to buy a house from them they will take their suggestion for a gym and trainer. To add to this the real estate agent must establish trust. A way for them to do this is to give top notch suggestions. Call the agents and offer to add value to their service. Give them a gift certificate worth $500 of training to give to anybody who buys a house. Make sure the certificate has a monetary value and doesn’t say free sessions. Don’t ever devalue your service.

√ Doctors – No surprises here. Doctors can be a good referral source. The only negative with getting a referral from a doctor is that the new client may not be psychologically ready for a change.

√ Baristas – The coffee shop fuels the neighborhood in more ways than one. Find the local fancy coffee shop and go there every day in your training uniform to buy a coffee. Give the barista a huge smile, say thank you, and always tip. Ask his or her name and remember it. After a couple days, they will ask you if you “work at that gym down the street”. After saying yes they’ll probably ask you a couple questions about themselves. The answer, as well as you, can and walk out. Do this for a month, it will cost you $50-60 (unless you buy the mocha crappie grande chai latte medium hot with light foam (which I’m told means milk) then it will cost you $1000’s.) Write up an article about low back pain or whatever you specialize in and ask them to put it up or leave some cards at the desk.

Be proactive about getting new clients and please don’t be reactive!!

Every 2 weeks take a look at your schedule. Take note of any possible holes that may open and plan ahead. Start generating leads in advance and always have a couple potential clients in the pipeline. So let’s go after and get some clients today, don’t wait !!

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Daniel Yakupka

Daniel Yakupka

Daniel Yakupka is an International Fitness Expert with 20 years of experience.

Daniel has been featured in IDEA Health and Fitness Magazine as Top Fitness Professional in Washington DC and magazine contributor, as Mastermind Member in the Spotlight,,,and

Daniel is a ACE certified trainer,MS,WLS,PES,TRX Coach and Nutrition Coach with Precision Nutrition.

Daniel was named Argentina’s most successful personal trainer and worked in the Washington DC Metro area as a Fitness Specialist until 2008 when he opened Fit for Life Fitness In-Home Personal Training Specialists.

Daniel can be reached via email at
Daniel Yakupka


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