How to Increase Your Client Base as a Personal Trainer

Written by Rebecca Turley

The gym can be an extremely daunting place for many. Those that don’t avoid it altogether may struggle to muster up the courage to ask for help once they are there. In some cases, new gym goers might actually be more self conscious about their lack of equipment knowledge than their lack of defined muscles, and will seek an expert’s help.

Here are few things worth keeping in mind as you think about how to retain a great group of clients as you begin your career as a personal trainer:

Credentials – First and foremost, people will only want the aid of a proficient trainer. They won’t care about average Joe’s opinion when they can get the facts from a person who has the proper training. The most qualified trainers hold industry standard certification, the most respected and widely recognized of which includes:

  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the American Council of Exercise (ACE)
  • Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

Any personal trainer who is not certified will have a hard time drawing in a lot of business.

Reputation – Before people will commit to you as a trainer, they typically will want to find out about your coaching style and may even ask around to get a better feel for what kind of reputation you’ve established. What kind of style would work well with a particular client really relies heavily on their individual preferences. Some are looking for intensity and want to be pushed to their limits, while other appreciate a calmer approach. As your potential clients try to learn more about you, it’s a good idea that you find out about what they may be looking for in a trainer. Ask each prospective client their preferred method and tailor the work out routines accordingly. In all cases, clients will also be looking for a trainer who is patient and an excellent communicator.

Accountability – A good personal trainer will assign some sort of homework at the end of the day. This may be in the form of a simple exercise routine, or you may require your clients to keep a food diary. This will help ensures your clients remain engaged in achieving their fitness goals even while outside of the gym, while at the same time it builds rapport, familiarity and promotes personal accountability.