The biggest challenge facing nearly every small business is attracting new clients. This is in part due to the level of competition in most industries but also in part due to the way businesses promote and provide their services. Personal Trainers are unfortunately no exception to this.

However, in this article, you will discover four ways to get more clients as a PT and as a bonus, you will also learn how to retain these clients. Retention is especially important for Personal Trainers, because unlike other business models where you can just sell more products to meet financial goals, there are only so many hours in a day you have to train clients.

1. Spread the Word

The first way to get more clients is arguably the most important. That is, you need to get your business heard as nothing else matters if nobody knows you exist.

Tell everyone. This is crucial during the early stages of your business – you need to tell everyone about your business. Friends, family, subtly work it into conversation with as many people as possible. However you do it, ensure you are always prepared to tell others about what you do. You may need to work on your sales technique – so having a mental script or ‘elevator pitch’ will be useful. However, it should eventually come naturally, especially as you become more confident.

Consider a referral program. Encourage existing and potential clients to bring a friend, family or anyone else for that matter. In return, offer a discount for both the referee and all referrals who sign up. This has two main advantages: you strengthen the loyalty of the existing client and you expand your clientele.

Tip: consider all your options. Social networking, paid advertisements and endorsements are all important options in promoting your business. But no one option is enough.

2. Entice with Discounts and Special Deals

Discounts and deals are one of the easiest ways to draw attention to your services. Everyone loves the concept of getting more for less and getting fit while spending less money can be a powerful motivator.  Having the confidence to offer free or discounted introductory sessions shows clients that you believe in the quality of your service that they will want to come back as a paying customer.

Offer free or practically free week sessions. Encourage new clients to join by providing their first session for free or for a ludicrously low fee. This creates a ‘what do I have to lose’ mentality where potential clients almost feel obligated to at least try it out.

Reward commitment with discounts. Reward clients for their commitment. If they commit to regularly training with you, such as subscribing monthly or annually instead of per session, reward them. For example, offer a percentage off if they buy a monthly or annual membership instead of per session. This encourages longer-term regular customers, building loyalty and retention and helps with your cash flow.

Tip: There are plenty of ways to discount your services and offer deals to potential clients. Find one that works best for you and don’t be afraid to experiment with existing strategies.

3. Get Creative with Publicity

You have spread the word and discounted your services. Next, you need to get creative, evaluate the competition and find a way to standout. There are no definitive ways to do this as it all boils down to your creativity, but here are some tips:

Be bold, turn your car into a rolling advertisement. Wrap your car in captivating advertisements and drive around areas where your target demographics are located such as outside gyms and health food stores.

Take to the internet. Create a Facebook group and YouTube channel. Regularly uploading viral-worthy videos to capture the attention of potential clients and create a community for your existing clients can be very effective.

Tip: Regardless of how you do it, the key is to stand out and draw attention – the right kind of attention. Also consider advertising on local online media outlets. It’s quick and usually cheap and easy to manage.

4. Clever Pricing

Pricing can make or break any business, including your own. If a business prices their services too low, they will be unsustainable. If they price too high, they will lose existing clients and struggle to gain new ones.

Offer tiered pricing. Break your services down into tiers and price them accordingly. Always have an ‘entry’ tier – one that is good for those on a budget and/or those who are new to fitness. However, do not forget about the ‘elite’ tiers. There are many diehard fitness enthusiasts who will be off-put by basic and unchallenging training sessions. You can price this tier much higher.

Offer flexible pricing. Provide as many options as feasible when it comes to taking payment. From pay- as-you-go to monthly direct debit to annual subscriptions. This ensuresyou do not miss out on a new client because they do not want to commit to long-term payment or because they do not want to have to remember to pay per session.

Tip: Look at your competition and see how they price their services. Figure out your pricing ‘sweet spot’, such as clients who buy the monthly direct debit and mid-tiered package or those who buy the ‘elite’ tiered package on an annual basis. Find which works for you, your business and your clients and recommend that option to clients.


In the end, the goal is promote your PT business and get enough clients that you completely fill your diary. If you adapt the four pieces of advice given here, you will notice a positive difference in the growth of your business. However, growing your client base is one thing, but retaining clients is just as important, if not more so. Excellent customer services, professionalism and being on top of your game are all vital to retaining clients once you have them.