How To Attract Customers as a Personal Trainer?

Apr 3, 2024 - 12 min read
A man and a woman in gym attire, working out together with dumbbells, the man assisting the woman with her form, in a brightly-lit gym setting, conveying a personal training session. (How To Attract Customers as a Personal Trainer)

You studied hard, finished your exams, and achieved your dream of becoming a personal trainer. Now, you’re probably wondering, “What’s next?” Specifically, how do you go from learning all that information to actually finding clients to train?

Maybe you’re a personal trainer who’s been in the business for a while but you’re finding it tough to get a steady flow of new clients and boost your income.

A lot of people think getting through studying and becoming a personal trainer is the hardest part. Sure, it’s tough, but what comes next is even tougher.

These days, you’re competing with the best trainers out there, not just locally but also online trainers and fitness apps purely run by AI. The competition is tough.

But, don’t start worrying or doubting your decision to join the health and fitness industry. There’s good news: with the right approach, you can build your own group of clients.

This article is going to show you the exact steps you need to follow to start attracting new clients for your personal training business.

1. Create a Personal Brand

A woman in fitness attire sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat with a water bottle, smiling and interacting with a smartphone on a tripod, suggesting a fitness influencer or a virtual workout session.

A personal brand is everything in 2024, all you need is access to the internet and a computer.

Personal branding helps in creating your own audience who trust in your knowledge and experience based on what you share on your social media accounts.

Think about this, if you have a bunch of people who are loyal and trust in your expert opinion, they are very likely to sign up for your services either locally or for online fitness training.

Here is how to go about building a personal brand.

Find Your Niche

The fitness market is saturated with all kinds of personal trainers, so you have to focus on one specific type of audience that you want to help and develop your brand around.

For example, this can be, a weight loss specialist, calisthenics trainer, home workout training specialist, performance coach, etc.

This sets you apart from other trainers who specialize in something else or who take all kinds of clients. It also helps you attract clients who are specifically looking for a weight loss coach or a calisthenics trainer.

Start Creating Content on that Niche for Social Media

Social media is where your audience is, and you need to let them know that people like you exist who can solve their problems.

So pick two or three platforms that you can find your target audience such as Twitter and Instagram for starters.

Have a profile picture of you in workout gear, standing in front of fitness equipment. This shows right away that you’re a fitness trainer.

Next, craft a bio for your profile. This bio needs to cover three key things:

  • Who you’re here to help (your target audience)
  • What problem do you solve (the benefit)
  • How you solve it (your unique selling point, USP)

For example here is how your bio could look like

I help women over forty lose weight and stay fit with simple 30-minute home workouts.

  • Target audience: women over 40
  • Benefits: lose weight and stay fit
  • USP: simple 30-minute home workouts

Once your bio is set up, start creating content based on your niche, and answer questions people are asking in that niche.

For this, you can use Google search or tools like AnswerThePublic to find out what kind of questions people are looking for answers to.

Then create Twitter threads and Instagram reels on those topics on a regular basis, the more you post the more the algorithms of those platforms get the sense of your niche and then over the period of time, it starts showing up in the feed of people who actively search for content like these on their platforms.

Build an Email List

After you begin regularly posting content and gather around 50 to 100 followers, it’s time to start building your email list.

Capturing emails is crucial because it opens a direct line of communication with your followers.

With their focused attention via email, you’re perfectly positioned to market your services, which could include:

  • Personal training services
  • A 30-day fitness challenge
  • Digital courses addressing niche problems
  • A subscription-based video library of your workouts
  • Affiliate marketing opportunities

This approach allows you to expand your beyond just offering personal training; you can engage clients with a broader array of services.

However, to successfully capture your followers’ emails, earning their trust is key. This usually means offering them something valuable at no cost.

In return, they simply provide their name and email address. Consider offering a free 7-day workout plan in PDF format or a 1-hour masterclass on a specific topic.

It’s important to consistently offer value to your followers, ensuring a balanced exchange where potential clients feel they’re receiving more than they’re giving.

2. Run Facebook Ads

A conceptual image depicting an "Ad Campaign" with a red upward trending arrow, sketched alongside various business and marketing doodles on a white surface with a keyboard, a cup of coffee, and pencils.

Statistics show that if you’re advertising on Facebook in 2024, you’ve got a potential ad reach of 1.98 billion people. With over 3 billion users active users on Facebook, as a personal trainer, you have to take advantage of this.

Facebook ads can be a helpful tool to reach out to your target audience and let them know that you can help them reach their particular fitness goal.

To utilize Facebook ads effectively, you need to initiate an ad campaign.

This involves selecting your target demographic, such as women over 40 in the US, and specifying interests related to your services, like fitness and health.

The next step is crafting an engaging ad. Tools like Canva offer an easy way to design eye-catching ads. For instance, your ad should look like this:

A fitness advertisement featuring a woman mid-exercise with dynamic lighting and smoke effects, alongside bold text "GET IN SHAPE TODAY" and a call-to-action button offering a "25% Discount on first month!

The ad should be visually appealing with big text with bright colors on it. Encourage the users to click on a “Join Now” or “Sign Up” button, directing them to a landing page.

This page could be about joining an online fitness challenge, getting a free consultation with you, or filling out a questionnaire.

The main goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to take the next step with you.

3. Ask Your Existing Clients For a Referral

Two women in a gym; one is stretching with a happy expression, raising her hand above her head, the other, possibly a trainer, is watching and smiling, holding a clipboard.

Even if you only have a few clients right now, that’s okay. You can start with just one.

Ask them if they know anyone who wants to get fit. Tell them you’ll give their friends a discount if they sign up because of the referral.

For instance, at the end of a workout session, you could say something like this:

“Great job today! By the way, I’m currently looking to assist more people in reaching their fitness goals, just like you. If you know friends, family, or colleagues interested in personal training, I’d be happy to offer them a free fitness consultation. Plus, for every referral that becomes a client, I’m offering [a special incentive/discount on future sessions.”

This approach may seem traditional, but word-of-mouth is still a highly effective marketing tool.

According to a study, that surveyed 40,000 people across 56 countries, 88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know more than any other form of marketing.

So, if you have existing clients, don’t hesitate to ask for referrals. Sweeten the deal by offering them discounts or additional free sessions as a thank-you for their help.

4. Get a Job as a Fitness Trainer at a Gym

A portrait of a smiling man with a towel around his neck, giving a thumbs-up, set against a background of gym equipment, suggesting a satisfied gym-goer or personal trainer.

If you’re just starting out, this is one of the best ways to not only learn by doing but also to let potential clients know about you.

If you ever decide to start your own thing, many of the gym members you’ve trained might be interested in following you.

The only small downside is you’ll have to give a part of what you earn to the gym for every person who signs up to train with you.

But think about it like this: at the start, you’re getting the chance to learn a lot, which is really important. And later, many of these clients might want to keep training with you regularly, even after you’re not at the gym anymore. So, either way, it’s good for you. So, in both situations, it’s a win-win.

5. Start Your Personal Training Blog

A lifestyle image of a person holding a coffee mug and using a laptop with a "BLOG" screen, depicting a relaxed blogging or content creation session.

This is another method that has proven to be effective in the past decade or so. The way this works is a lot of people use search engines to look up specific terms.

As a personal trainer, identifying and focusing on a niche you’re passionate about is key. For instance, if you choose “Workouts for Pregnant Women” as your niche, it’s essential to establish yourself as a topical authority.

This means covering a broad spectrum of related topics to gain recognition from both search engines and readers. Blog topics might include:

  • What exercises should be avoided during pregnancy?
  • Pregnancy exercises - first trimester
  • Which month to start exercise during pregnancy
  • Pregnancy exercises third trimester
  • Which month to start exercise during pregnancy for normal delivery
  • Can pregnant women exercise to lose weight
  • Pregnancy exercises at home

By addressing a wide range of search queries within your niche, you build your authority, improving your visibility in search engine results.

This increased visibility can lead to a steady flow of web traffic. Attracting web visitors is just the beginning; converting them into personal training clients is the next step.

Strategically placed signup buttons for personal training services at the end of your articles can encourage interested readers to seek professional guidance from you which can lead to you getting more personal training clients.

For inspiration read more on our guide on creating fitness content.

6. Network With Other Professionals

A lifestyle image of a person holding a coffee mug and using a laptop with a "BLOG" screen, depicting a relaxed blogging or content creation session.

As a personal trainer, you likely recall from your training the emphasis on the “Scope of Practice.” This concept underscores the importance of operating within your expertise and licensure.

For instance, if a client seeks your advice on rehabilitating an injury, the appropriate action is to direct them to a physiotherapist who specializes in that area.

Similarly, the situation can be reversed, highlighting the value of networking with other health professionals such as nutritionists, physicians, and physiotherapists.

These professionals, upon identifying a need for lifestyle changes in their clients—for example, a patient in a doctor’s clinic presenting with high blood pressure and prediabetes—will recommend a dietitian for nutritional guidance and a personal trainer for exercise regimens.

Networking with these health and fitness professionals can lead to referrals, potentially bringing new clients to your practice periodically.

7. Offer a Week of Free Personal Training For New Signups

A woman performing a lunging exercise with dumbbells under the guidance of a personal trainer who is attentively correcting her form in a gym setting.

A lot of people sign up for the gym but decide to do their workouts alone. Some think hiring a personal trainer is too expensive, or they simply don’t like being told what exercises to do.

For those people who are unsure about using a personal trainer, you could offer a free trial for a week where they don’t have to commit to anything.

They just come in, you train them for a week, and after that, they can decide if they liked being guided by you and if they want to sign up for more sessions.

This offer could also attract people who have never worked out before but have always thought about starting. Seeing an offer for free personal training might just be the push they need to give it a try.

Make sure you tell people about this offer, especially on social media. If you’re not active on social media yet, or if you don’t have many followers, you can still spread the word.

Ask your current clients to tell their friends and family about it. This way, you’re likely to get at least a few new people interested in signing up for the free week.

8. Offer Online Training

A woman in a yoga pose on a mat in a home setting with fitness equipment around, filming herself with a smartphone on a tripod, likely for an online training session or fitness vlog.

Ever since the pandemic a lot of people have been forced to exercise at home, but even as the pandemic ended many of them actually liked training from the comfort of their homes.

So a lot of potential online personal training clients that you can target.

Your online training could be as simple as doing a live workout over a video call, where your client does the exercises you do.

Or, you could make a library of workout videos. Clients can pay a subscription fee to watch these videos and pick their workouts.

Another good way to find clients online is by offering group training sessions. You could set up a 21-day fitness challenge to start with. Advertise it a lot on social media, both for free and with paid ads, and let people sign up without paying.

During these 21 days, you can lead live workouts on platforms like Zoom, and everyone can join and follow along.

At the end of the 21 days, ask them if they’d like to keep doing personal training sessions with you online or join another group training session, but at a lower price. Giving free group training sessions at the beginning can be a smart way to get personal training clients.


There you have it, these are some of the old age and some new ways that work very well in today’s world to attract new clients for your personal training business.

But, it’s important to remember that getting new strategies to make more money is good, but helping your client should always be the main goal.

So, whatever new thing you try, you need to make sure it really helps your client. If you give a free week of personal training, do your best in those sessions.

If you’re offering a paid fitness program through email, create a really helpful educational PDF that they get for free when they give you their email.

This way, they get something valuable, and you get to show how good your training is.

So go ahead and start with at least one of the strategies mentioned in this article.


How do I get more clients as a Personal Trainer?

Network, offer referral incentives, maintain a strong online presence, and provide exceptional service to encourage word-of-mouth.

How do I get my first client as a Personal Trainer?

Start with friends and family, offer free sessions to gain testimonials, and use social media to showcase your expertise.

How do I brand myself as a Personal Trainer?

Identify your unique selling proposition, create a professional website, and consistently share valuable content related to your niche.

What do clients look for in a Personal Trainer?

Clients look for expertise, personalized attention, motivational skills, reliability, and a trainer who aligns with their fitness goals.

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Carmen Blanco Moreno

Marketing ES

Carmen is part of Virtuagym's marketing team, where her dedication to fitness and her passion for marketing allow her to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. Her commitment to wellness and her creativity aim to inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.