Great question! Client referrals can be tough to come by, especially if you are just starting out in the personal training industry. However, word of mouth can be one of the best promotional strategies for building your business. Here are a few key things you can do to jumpstart (and maintain) the client referral process…

  1. Make it easy for your client to want to refer you
    Recognize your client’s willingness to bring you new business by setting up a “referral reward program”. This could be anything from a free session, a certain dollar amount off their next package purchase, a drawing to win a gift certificate, or whatever works for you and your clients. This ends up being a “win” for all parties involved.Along the same vein, I encourage you to actively refer your friends to your clients’ businesses when feasible. This principle of reciprocity is the foundation of many business networking organizations and can work just as well for you too.
  2. Make it easy for your client’s friend to get in touch with you
    Have something tangible that your clients can give to their friends. Business cards are a great tool for this purpose and easy to distribute. There are a number of online sites, such as, that will create free (or inexpensive) business cards.Make sure to include all of your social media handles to make it simple for new clients to get in touch with you however they’d like… it also serves as a way for potential clients to follow all of the great content that you put forth on the social media channels that you and/or your business utilize!
  3. Just ask!
    As a confident trainer, you should feel secure that your clients are happy with the service that you provide. Simply asking your clients if they know of anyone looking for a personal trainer could generate a lead or two. Granted, sometimes it’s easier said than done! If you are hesitant about how to approach this topic with your client, start off with a simple email. Think about your niche or desired client demographic (e.g. student athletes, pre- and post-partum women, etc.) and ask your client if they know anyone who falls in that category who could benefit from working with a trainer.No matter how confident you are though, hold off on asking for a client referral until you’ve built up an established relationship with your client, otherwise your request could come off as disingenuous. This isn’t something you want to ask after finishing up your first assessment or training session.

Client referrals can start off slow but if you continue to treat your clients like they are the most important aspect of your business (which they are!) and foster that client/trainer relationship then they will be your biggest advocate and will willingly refer you to everyone they know!

Was this Article Helpful?

If this article was helpful to you, please consider linking this article to your own blog or sharing this through the social buttons below. You will also find other great articles at “Ask An Expert“.

Maureen Faherty

Maureen Faherty

Moe oversees corporate wellness and fitness initiatives as a Wellness Specialist for a financial services company and all their U.S. locations.She is also a Personal Trainer at Harvard Business School and the creator of Fitness MoeJo, a blog in which she shares advice, personal experiences and inspiration on maintaining a healthy, fit lifestyle.

She has a B.S. in Business Administration from Framingham State University and a M.S. in Physical Education/ Strength & Conditioning from Bridgewater State University. She is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and with USA Weightlifting as a Sports Performance Coach.

Moe lives in Boston where she keeps busy crossing things off her fitness bucket list.
Maureen Faherty


News collects all the stories you want to read