How to build a client base QUICKLY

The health and fitness industry is exploding and showing no signs of slowing down. In the last few years there has been a rapid upsurge in healthy eating and working out, leading to a boom in business opportunities. Health food bloggers, boutique fitness classes and wellness retreats are all a direct result of the boom, which is great! Similarly, the amount of people gaining a qualification in personal training rises everyday – who wouldn’t want a job where you literally get paid to be fit and active? Whilst this is great for the world (being the healthiest and the best you can be is always positive) the competition among personal trainers is tighter than it was a few years ago. The more trainers entering the market, the more you need to up your game to win clients.

Luckily, personal trainers are still a very popular way to get in shape either for a certain event, or just in general. This means that there is certainly an ample consumer base out there – you just need to find them.

Being a newcomer on the personal training scene can feel a bit like an uphill battle. How do you stand out against the rest and gain enough clients to begin paying off the PT course you shelled out for? We understand the struggle, but there are a few ways that you can boost your chances of gaining a long client list in as short a time as possible!

1. Be your own advertisement

Most people hire personal trainers because they want to end up looking like a fitness blogger they saw on Instagram. To really convince new clients that you are the one that will help them get to where they want to be, you should be in peak physical condition. If you are skipping leg day and necking pints every afternoon, then who is going to take you seriously? Take the healthy lifestyle seriously and others will begin to trust your judgement.

2. Try out the competition

Book yourself in for a few personal training sessions. No, seriously. There is no better way to see what is out there in terms of competition than by experiencing it firsthand. Use it as an opportunity to build your professional network as well – chat to other personal trainers and ask for their advice on how they went about becoming established. If you are a freelancer in any field then you need to build your network up before anything else!

3. Be active on social media

If you think about all the big dogs in the fitness world today, what do you notice? They are all huge on social media. Instagram in particular has a massive health and fitness community bouncing around, so get involved. As we’ve previously been through, the personal training industry is highly visual – perfect for the oversharing tendencies of social media. As you gain clients you can use social media (with their permission) to offer your congratulations and share their progress as a testament to your sessions together.

4. Expand your knowledge

If you want to succeed and generate a comfortable revenue from personal training, then you will need to widen your skills beyond fitness. Make sure that your understanding of nutrition is on top form and stay relevant by following informed blogs or journalists so that you can offer your clients the most up-to-date advice. Brush up on your business understanding too, because form now on you are running your own business and you don’t want to be caught short on anything.

5. Ask for referrals

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of marketing, so don’t underestimate it. Far too many people feel uncomfortable about asking existing clients for referrals, but if they are happy with your service, then chances are their friends will be too. Bite the bullet and ask your client if they would be happy to refer you to their network (whilst handing them a crisp business card), and you will be amazed at the amount of people who will be willing to do so!

6. Write articles

Blogging is great if you want to get your name out via the internet. Attach a blog to your website and use keywords and basic SEO practice to rank in Google. The more informed and knowledgeable your articles, the more likely your name is to come up when anyone searches for personal trainers in the area. Ask local papers or relevant online blogs if you can write for them, to create a name for yourself as a go-to on the topics of health and fitness. This will draw clients who see your name popping up everywhere and would prefer to work with someone who definitely knows what they are doing.

7. Add testimonials to your marketing

If your current clients aren’t too keen on handing out referrals, then try asking them for a testimonial instead. It only needs to be a sentence, but make it prominent on your website and social media channels. Boost posts with quotes from satisfied customers and combine them with progress pictures if your client is happy to do that. People trust their peers, so capitalise on this by putting it at the forefront of your marketing efforts. Trust us, it will work wonders!

Finally, simply be confident in yourself and ensure that you are networking at every opportunity. There is no better way to gain clients than to talk about your business at every (appropriate) opportunity, and offer bits and pieces of advice for free, just to get the ball rolling…

About the Author Kitty Harris

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